Jan. 15, 1967 Los Angeles
Packers Romp, 35-10, in Super Bowl
By Dave Brady
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 The Kansas City Chiefs were slightly superb in the first half but the Green Bay Packers were vastly superior at the finish today and clearly established the supremacy of the National Football League over the American in the first Super Bowl game, 35-10.
It was a pass interception by bridegroom-to-be Willie Wood of Washington, D.C., that blew the game open in the first three minutes of the third quarter before 63,036 in the Coliseum.
He ran back a throw by Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson 50 yards to the Chiefs' five-yard-line. Halfback Elijah Pitts scooted for a touchdown on the next play for a 21-10 advantage and the Green Bay defense shut out the Chiefs the rest of the way.
Green Bay's Blitz Forces Hurried Throw
At the final gun, a swarm of Packers crossed the field to console the anguished Kansas City players, as if to say, "Sorry about that, Chiefs."
There was a historical coincidence as NFL prestige was upheld by the Packers in the first contest against an AFL team. By the identical score, the Cleveland Browns of the defunct All-American Football Conference defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, defending NFL champions, in the Browns' NFL debut in 1950.
Starr, McGee Combine for Two Touchdowns
McGee, 34-year-old, 11-season campaigner, caught passes for 37- and 13-yard touchdowns that were pointed illustrations of the Packers' quality of depth. He replaced regular Boyd Dowler, who was injured on the third play from scrimmage while blocking for fullback Jim Taylor.
Regular center Bill Curry was hurt on the Packers' second touchdown drive, in the second period, but there was no discernible effect on their blocking when Ken Bowman replaced him.
McClinton Scores for Kansas City to End Drive
Dawson took the Chiefs 66 yards at the outset of the quarter to tie the score at 7-7 on a seven-yard pass to fullback Curtis McClinton between defensive backs Wood and Bob Jeter.
The Packers then had a 64-yard touchdown pass from Starr to Carroll Dale nullified by an illegal motion penalty against an interior lineman but still completed a 73-yard scoring jaunt on several big third-down plays by Starr, who finally sent fullback Taylor 14 yards for the touchdown that put Green Bay ahead to stay.
Undismayed, the Chiefs bounced back and swept 74 yards before Mike Mercer kicked a 31-yard field goal. That ended their scoring.
In the third quarter, right safety Wood provided the break that dashed the Chiefs' high spirits. Then Starr began picking them apart.
The five-yard plunge by Pitts and the 13-yard reception by McGee for touchdowns in that period put Starr in full command and Pitts scored again on a one-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.
At that juncture, Coach Vince Lombardi relieved Starr and inserted Zeke Bratkowski at quarterback and his running backs of the future--halfback Donny Anderson and fullback Jim Grabowski.
Starr fired away at the Chiefs in the teeth of unrelenting blitzes and was thrown three times for losses of 22 yards. He also had his first pass in 174 attempts intercepted by cornerback Willie Mitchell in the fourth quarter. It was only the fourth interception this season off Starr.
Previously, Starr had riddled Mitchell and cornerback Fred Williamson, who had promised to use his "hammer" tackle on Green Bay receivers. Near the finish of the game Williamson was hammered flat after a collision with Anderson and was carried off the field on a stretcher.
Dawson, who played for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns before joining the Chiefs, hit on 16 of 27 passes for 211 yards. Eventually he was thrown four times for losses of 43 yards and substitute Beathard was tackled twice for 18 yards as the Green Bay defense adjusted to the Chiefs' rollout and man-in-motion offense.
Dawson appeared to crack after the first big mistake that the Packers were playing for--the only pass he had intercepted. What the Packers' defensive backs did was play as much as seven yards away from his receivers. It was a compliment to Dawson and his dangerous targets.
McGee to Retire
But whereas Dawson was a bit reckless with his throws when pursued strongly, Starr was incredibly accurate and McGee was catching in a manner to make Green Bay fans long remember the last game of his career. He caught seven passes for 138 yards and announced in the dressing room that he was retiring.
Starr was acclaimed by Sport magazine as the outstanding player in the Super Bowl before the game was over and will be in the driver's seat of a Corvette in the off-season as a reward.
After the Chiefs tied the score at 7-7, the Packers appeared as if they were going to abandon attempts to run against a Kansas City line that outweighed Green Bay by 15 pounds to the man.
As it turned out, Starr was setting them up and eventually he had them doing all the guessing.
Starr gouged out the first touchdown in congested traffic. In the 80-yard drive, mostly by air, he went to tight end Marv Fleming, counting on him to throw his 235 pounds around in the heavy traffic on a short shot over center. Fleming justified the call by breaking away from Bell for an 11-yard reception.
The next big gainer from Starr's fist went to Pitts, who sprinted out of the backfield for a 22-yard catch on the Chiefs' 44.
Linebacker E. J. Holub blitzed and threw Taylor for a five-yard loss, so in anticipation of another blow-in by the Chiefs, Starr hustled a pass to Dale for a 12-yard pickup.
Starr was being mugged as he got off a pass on the next play, but McGee had a lead on Mitchell at the Chiefs' 21 and managed a one-handed grab at full tilt. Mitchell fell trying to recover and McGee sailed into the end zone.
In the second quarter hometown favorite Mike Garrett from Southern California turned a broken-pattern pass reception into a 17-yard gain and Wood, another Southern Cal product, came to respect the talents of Chiefs' flanker Otis Taylor, who caught a 31-yard toss from Dawson at the Packer seven to set up the Chiefs' touchdown.
Then Starr relied strictly on passes in five third-down situations, all of which he made good except the one to Dale that was nullified.
Rising above the discouragement on the next play, Starr again passed ten yards to McGee for a first down.
It came up third and ten, and Starr passed 15 yards to Dale at the Chiefs' 43. Next it was third and five, and Starr passed 11 yards to Fleming at the 27. Finally it was third and seven, and Starr threw ten yards to Pitts on the 14.
With the Chiefs' defense expecting another air raid, Starr handed off to Jim Taylor on a classic Green Bay power play around left end with guards Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston removing bodies from his path.
On obstacle remained--defensive end Chuck Hurston, who had been drafted by Green Bay but chose to sign with Kansas City. Taylor convinced him of the error of his decision when he absorbed Hurston's tackle and then dragged him four yards into the end zone.
The Chiefs managed three more points on Mercer's field goal, but then Wood got serious about that $15,000 winner's share and it was all over.