Vince Lombardi thinks the Kansas City Chiefs simply don’t rate with the top teams in the National Football League after watching his Green Bay Packers whip the American Football League champs in Sunday’s first Super Bowl game.
“They have a good football team with fine speed, but I’d have to say that NFL football is tougher,” said Coach Lombardi, following the Packers’ 35-10 victory before a rather disappointing crowd of 63,036 at the Memorial Coliseum. The game was supposed to prove which league played the best ball, and the NFL came out of this first prestige test with flying colors.
Not true test
Hank Stram, coach of the Chiefs, paid his respects to the Packers as an excellent team, but he maintained, “One game is not a true test of the abilities of both leagues.”
At the end of the half the Packers clung to a precarious 14-10 lead and had been outgained by the Chiefs. In the second half, the NFL champs manhandled Len Dawson, the Chiefs’ quarterback, and dominated play by a 21-0 edge.
Willie Wood’s interception of a Dawson pass early in the third quarter was the first indication that the “Packers were aroused. In the first half they had failed to pressure Dawson and let him scramble around.
Wood rambled 50 yards to the Chiefs’ five after picking off the pass that was deflected by Lee Roy Caffey. Elijah Pitts went in on the next play and the Packers were on their way. Bart Starr had a tremendous day, picking out receivers or calling the right ball carrier on those important third down situations. Of 14 third downs calls in the game, Starr produced first downs 11 times. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the game, and winner of a special sports car award by a magazine.
Starr threw two touchdown passes to 34-year-old Max MeGee, who caught only four passes during the regular season.
The ll-year-veteran led the receivers with seven for 138 yards, including the scoring plays of 37 and 13 yards.
On most of his catches the victim was Wiffie Mitchell, a. corner back who was signalled out for special attention in the Packers’ game play.
McGee got into the game when Boyd Dowler, the regular flanker, suffered an injury, to his right shoulder on the third play of the game.
“It was our game plan to throw a lot to the receiver on the weak side,” said McGee. “I just happened to be the one.” Talking about the first TD pass that be caught one-handed, McGee said, “I was so surprised that I expected to open iny other hand and find a silver dollar.”
Starr completed 16 of 23 for 250 yards and two TDs, but also had one intercepted by Mitchell, his first in 173 tosses since Oct 16. He also bad a 64-yard touchdown pass to Carroll Dale called back because of a penalty.
Jim Taylor, who still has not signed his 1966 contract and may have played his last game for the Packers, stormed home from the 14 in the second period, Elijah Pitts, who took Paul Hornung’s place, scared twice from the five and one, Hornung, suffering from a pinched nerve in his neck but supposedly available for duty, did not get into the game.
Hot 1st half
When Dawson was not pressured strongly in the first half be was able to hit with 11 of 15, including a seven-yarder to Curt McClinton for a touchdown. Mike Mercer, who missed with a 40-yard field goal attempt in the first period, made good from 30 yards out in the dying seconds of the first half. The Chiefs never got closer than the Packers’ 44 in the second half and that was after Pete Beathard had taken over for Dawson at quarterback. Dawson wound up with 16 of 27 for 211 yards. The two Kansas City quarterbacks were dumped six times for 61 yards, trying to pass.
We had them
“I thought Dawson did a fine job in the first half,” said Wood. “After we got that quick six in the second half be bad to play our game. Then I knew we had them.”