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Super Bowl IV
Jan. 11, 1970  New Orleans

Super Chiefs Shock Vikings, 23-7

By Dave Brady
Washington Post Staff Writer
January 12, 1970

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 11 — The Kansas City Chiefs, second best team in the American League West standings, became the champions of all football today with a smashing 23-7 upset of the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs shot into a 16-0 advantage by the second quarter, ridiculed the 13-point spread favoring the Vikings and established the AFL's superiority over the best the National Football League had to offer for the second straight year.

In 1969 football fans waited expectantly, if vainly, for the Baltimore Colts to overtake the New York Jets. Today the 80,997 witnesses in Tulane Stadium awaited only the final gun, so total was the Chiefs' domination.

The victory marked a courageous personal comeback for Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson, whose interception in the first of these four Super Bowls touched off a 35-10 victory for Green Bay. And he brought it off despite the pressures created by his link to a gambling investigation earlier this week.

Dawson did some gambling today. He threw an end-around play at the vaunted Viking defense from a double-reverse formation, did it again from a single reverse, and after Minnesota finally scored a touchdown in the third quarter, he did it again on third-and-seven and split end Frank Pitts just made the first down that set up the Chiefs' last touchdown.

Dawson was spitting in the eye of the Vikings' defense by mixing up his tricky calls with shotgun formations as early as the second quarter. He frequently mocked the front four of Minnesota with quick-count plays off the I formation.

Not surprisingly, Dawson was voted the game's most valuable player in a Sport Magazine poll after completing 71 per cent of his passes 12 of 17, for 142 yards including a shortie that flanker Otis Taylor stretched into a 46-yard touchdown by flouting the tackles of two Viking defenders.

Dawson, a mere 190-pounder, ran the ball three times, too, once for 11 yards and a first down in the fourth quarter after the Chiefs' third interception left the Vikings for dead. Dawson ran the ball only once during the regular season, his mobility limited by a knee injury.

Joe Kapp of the Vikings ran the ball twice for nine yards total and was knocked out of the game with 5:44 to go in the final period while in desperate retreat from the Chiefs. He suffered a shoulder injury when he went down under massive Aaron Brown, and Gary Cuozzo replaced him. It recalled a prophecy by Weeb Ewbank, coach of last year's upsetter in the Super Bowl, the New York Jets. He said this past week that Kapp was going to be hurt running the ball unnecessarily.

Kapp was throwing relatively well early in the game but the Kansas City defenders had his receivers smothered. Split end Gene Washington, his favorite target all season, was held to one reception. The huge Chief defenders began overrunning the Minnesota offensive line early and Kapp was intercepted twice and thrown for losses three times. Cuozzo also was intercepted once.

Osborn Goes Over
Kapp took Minnesota 69 yards to cut the Chiefs' lead to 16-7 in the third quarter. He rolled to his left to evade the charge of Buck Buchanan and Aaron Brown and hit tight end John Beasley for 15 yards, threw a screen pass to his left to fullback Bill Brown for 11 yards, and on second-and-one drifted to his left and connected with running back Oscar Reed for 12 yards to the Kansas City four.

Dave Osborn, who was held to 15 yards in seven attempts for the afternoon, humped, bumped and dived backward over his right tackle for a touchdown. Fred Cox converted.

Other than that, the closest the Vikings got to the Chiefs' goal line was the Kansas City 38 in the first quarter, the first time Minnesota got the ball.

Up-Front Difference
Against probably the biggest team in pro football the Vikings could not make a dent with their straight-ahead running and occasional long throws.

The Chiefs' defensive line of Jerry Mays, Curley Culp, Buchanan and Brown was much more effective against the Vikings offensive line then was the Fearsome Foursome of Los Angeles.

Right safety Johnny Robinson of Kansas City was not expected to play because of ligament tears in his rib cage, but he and middle linebacker Willie Lanier intercepted on Kapp and right cornerback Emmitt Thomas intercepted on Cuozzo.

The Chiefs kept chipping away at the Vikings with field goals of 48, 32 and 25 yards by soccer-style placekicker Jan Stenerud until they had a 9-0 lead on the Vikings in the second quarter and then Charlie West of Minnesota fumbled a kickoff by Stenerud and Remi Prudhomme recovered for the Chiefs on the Minnesota 19.

Dawson was thrown for a loss of eight yards by defensive end Jim Marshall, but responded with a quick-count, quick-opening play from the I formation that netted running back Wendell Hayes eight yards; rolled to his right and passed 10 yards to his flanker, Taylor, and then, after fouling up a handoff, sprang running back Mike Garrett into a big hole opened by right guard Mo Moorman for five yards and a touchdown.

It was a commentary on coach Bud Grant's mounting doubt about the Vikings' ability to move the ball when after Kapp was almost intercepted in the next series from scrimmage, Fred Cox attempted a 56-yard field goal in vain.

The Chiefs ended any lingering suspense about the outcome after the Vikings pulled up to 16-7 in the third quarter. Kansas City immediately went 82 yards in six plays, mostly on a 13-yard pass by Dawson to flanker Taylor that he turned into a 46-yard touchdown by shaking off cornerback Earsell Mackbee at the Viking 41-yard line and leaving safety Karl Kassulke grounded at the 13.

Near the finish, defensive end Carl Eller of the Vikings threw Dawson for a four-yard loss and when Minnesota defensive tackle Alan Page followed up with a forearm directed at Dawson the Vikings were penalized for a personal foul and offensive tackle Dave Hill began throwing punches at the Vikings.

The Chiefs' bench emptied and the players crossed the field in case help was needed.

Linebacker Jim Lynch wanted to resume hostilities on the next play but when the countdown by the fans of the last 30 seconds began there was no fight or interest in the game left in the Vikings.

Several of the defensive linemen turned and walked away from the field while center E. J. Holub was still waiting to snap the ball to substitute quarterback Mike Livingston of the Chiefs. Long ago it had been decided that the Chiefs had earned the right to the winners' share of the loot, $15,000 a man to $7,500 for the Vikings.

A Kansas City delegation had its own comment on the Vikings on a sign paraded around the field: "The Purple Gang is now Black and Blue."

© Copyright 1970 The Washington Post Company

 

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