1968 New York Jets season
Head Coach Weeb Ewbank
Home Field Shea Stadium
Record 11–3
Place 1st AFL East
Playoff Finish Won AFL Championship
27–23 vs. Oakland Raiders
Won Super Bowl III
16–7 vs. Baltimore Colts
Previous season Next season
1967 1969

The 1968 New York Jets season was the ninth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The team had the most successful season in franchise history. Trying to improve upon their 8–5–1 record in 1967, they won the AFL Eastern Division with an 11–3 record. They defeated the Oakland Raiders in the AFL Championship game, and earned the right to play in Super Bowl III against the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. In a stunning upset, marked by quarterback Joe Namath's famous "guarantee" of victory, the Jets defeated the heavily favored Colts 16–7.


On May 21, Sonny Werblin sold his shares in the Jets to his partners Don Lillis, Leon Hess, Townsend Martin and Phil Isselin. Lillis became the President on May 21 but died on July 23. Isselin was appointed President on August 6.[1]

AFL DraftEdit

Regular seasonEdit


Eastern Division[2]
*New York Jets 1130.786419280
Houston Oilers 770.500303248
Miami Dolphins 581.385276355
Boston Patriots 4100.286229406
Buffalo Bills 1121.077199367

Regular season scheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Attendnace
1 September 15 at Kansas City Chiefs W 20–19 Municipal Stadium
2 September 22 vs. Boston Patriots W 47–31 Legion Field[3]
3 September 29 at Buffalo Bills L 35–37 War Memorial Stadium
4 October 5 San Diego Chargers W 23–20 Shea Stadium
5 October 13 Denver Broncos L 13–21 Shea Stadium
6 October 20 at Houston Oilers W 20–14 The Astrodome
7 October 27 Boston Patriots W 48–14 Shea Stadium
8 November 3 Buffalo Bills W 25–21 Shea Stadium
9 November 10 Houston Oilers W 26–7 Shea Stadium
10 November 17 at Oakland Raiders L 32–43 Oakland-Alameda Coliseum
11 November 24 at San Diego Chargers W 37–15 San Diego Stadium
12 December 1 Miami Dolphins W 35–17 Shea Stadium
13 December 8 Cincinnati Bengals W 27–14 Shea Stadium
14 December 15 at Miami Dolphins W 31–7 Miami Orange Bowl


New York Jets roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Rookies in italics

Heidi GameEdit

The 1968 season also saw the Jets involved in one of the most notorious incidents in television history, an incident that would change the way television networks carried sporting events for decades to come. On November 17, 1968, just before 7:30pm Eastern time, the Jets scored late to take a 32–29 lead over the Oakland Raiders with 1:05 left. NBC cut to a commercial, and then everywhere but the West Coast showed the movie Heidi, a show which NBC had promoted extensively for the sweeps period. Outraged fans bombarded NBC headquarters in New York with phone calls demanding the game be restored; so many phone calls were made that they eventually knocked out the NBC switchboard. Even though a decision was made to carry the game to conclusion, this decision could not be communicated, thus resulting in the movie starting on schedule.

Fans' ire was further fueled when they discovered that NBC's cutting away from the game denied them from seeing live a dramatic finish. On the Raiders' second play from scrimmage on the next drive, Daryle Lamonica threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Smith, giving the Raiders a 36–32 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Earl Christy of the Jets fumbled at the 10 yard line, which the Raiders' Preston Ridlehuber converted into another touchdown, ultimately giving the Raiders a 43–32 victory. Much of the country learned of this final outcome only via a bottom-of-screen crawl line shown during the movie. This incident, dubbed the Heidi Game, resulted in most television networks and sports leagues amending their television policies to ensure that games in progress would be broadcast to their conclusion, no matter what, even if it meant delaying or canceling the rest of the network's lineup, and even if the game's outcome seemed assured.


  • On December 29, Weeb Ewbank became the first coach to win titles in the National Football League and in the American Football League. Ironically, his former team, the Baltimore Colts won the 1968 NFL Championship on December 29 as well. The Colts defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 34–0.[4]
Week Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
AFL Champ. December 29, 1968 Oakland Raiders W 27–23 Shea Stadium
SB III January 12, 1969 Baltimore Colts W 16–7 Miami Orange Bowl

Super Bowl IIIEdit

The GuaranteeEdit

In 1969, the Jets would reach the pinnacle of their existence and provide the moment that would indicate the AFL's coming of age. Under Namath's guidance, the Jets rose to the top of the AFL, defeating the Oakland Raiders in a thrilling AFL championship game, 27–23. The win qualified them to represent their league in a game that was being referred to for the first time as the Super Bowl (and referred to retroactively as Super Bowl III). They were pitted against the champions of the NFL, the Baltimore Colts. At the time, the AFL was considered to be inferior to the NFL, and most people considered the Jets to be considerable underdogs and treated the Jets as such. That would change three nights before the game while Namath was being honored by the Miami Touchdown Club as its Player Of The Year. Namath took exception to a heckling Colts fan and used that moment to lament the lack of respect his team had gotten to that point. He then said "The Jets will win Sunday. I guarantee you." His audacious remark proved correct, as the Jets created one of the greatest upsets in football history by defeating the Colts 16–7. This victory showed that the AFL was capable of competing with the NFL.


Scoring summaryEdit

Quarter Time Team Drive Scoring Information Score
Length Plays Time NYJ BAL
2 9:03 NYJ 80 12 5:06 TD: Matt Snell 4 yard run (Jim Turner kick) 7 0
3 10:08 NYJ 8 8 4:17 FG: Jim Turner 32 yards 10 0
3 3:58 NYJ 45 10 4:06 FG: Jim Turner 30 yards 13 0
4 13:26 NYJ 61 7 3:58 FG: Jim Turner 9 yards 16 0
4 3:19 BAL 80 14 3:15 TD: Jerry Hill 1 yard run (Lou Michaels kick) 16 7

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 283
  2. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book. New York City, NY: Workman Publishing Company. p. 298. ISBN 0-7611-2480-2.
  3. 1968 schedule
  4. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.283
  5. He guaranteed it – Pro Football Hall of Fame

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Oakland Raiders
American Football League champion
Succeeded by
Kansas City Chiefs
Preceded by
Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl champion
Succeeded by
Kansas City Chiefs
Eastern Division Western Division
Boston Cincinnati
Buffalo Denver
Houston Kansas City
Miami Oakland
New York Jets San Diego
1969 AFL DraftAFL Playoffs1968 AFL All-Star gameSuper Bowl III
Related: 1968 NFL Season

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