Super Bowl IV
Though the New York Jets defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, legitimizing the talent and strength of the American Football League, sentiment prior to Super Bowl IV remained the same as the NFL's Minnesota Vikings were considered a superior team to the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, even though the Chiefs had appeared in the first AFL-NFL World Championship, or "Super Bowl I." Interestingly, with most of the "firsts" already having taken place in the previous three year-end battles between the two leagues, Super Bowl IV marked the first time that the championship game was played by an NFL expansion team. It was the final World Championship game to take place between the AFL and the NFL as the two leagues were schedule to merge at the conclusion of the season. The Minnesota Vikings capped off their 12-2 season convincingly beating the Los Angeles Rams 23-20 in the division playoff and then the Cleveland Browns 27-7 in the NFL Championship Game. On the other side of the field stood the Kansas City Chiefs, who reached Super Bowl IV via the "wild card", who beat the New York Jets 13-6 in the divisional playoff and then upset the Oakland Raiders 17-7 in the AFL Championship Game. While Kansas City was led by veteran quarterback Len Dawson, who was making his second appearance in the championship game, Minnesota was led by an offense that scored an NFL-best 379 points and the famed "Purple People Eaters" defense that allowed the fewest points in the league (133).
Super Bowl IV was played in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 11, 1970 before a crowd of more than 80,000 fans. Chiefs head coach Hank Stram seemed to have all of the answers when it came to approaching the Vikings offense and defense. Matchups were carefully thought out and worked according to plan from the outset. Stram became the first head coach to be miked for a Super Bowl and his jovial attitude and light-hearted, joking manner made for some entertaining film moments for NFL Films. The Chiefs stifled the Vikings offense for virtually the entire first half while scoring 16 points on three Jan Stenerud field goals and a Mike Garret 5-yard touchdown run followed by a Stenerud PAT. Near the end of the first half, the Vikes attempted a 56-yard field goal, but it fell short and they went into the locker room at the half with a 0-16 deficit. At the opening of the second half, the Vikings did manage to get on the board with a 4-yard score from running back Dave Osborn, but the Chiefs answered when Len Dawson hit Otis Taylor with a 46-yard touchdown pass. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter and Kansas City defeated Minnesota 23-7 to even up the Super Bowl series 2-2 between the NFL and AFL. Dawson went 12-for-17 with 142 passing yards and one touchdown to earn the coveted Super Bowl IV Most Valuable Player award. It was the final championship game between the NFL and the AFL before the two leagues merged in 1970.