|Eastern Champion New York Jets|
Champion New York Jets
|Start date 1968|
Site Shea Stadium
|Duration September 6 – December 15, 1968|
Western Champion Oakland Raiders (playoff)
People also search for 1969 American Football League season
The 1968 American Football League season was the ninth regular season of the American Football League, and its penultimate season prior to the AFL-NFL Merger.
The season ended when the New York Jets (11–3) defeated the Oakland Raiders (12–2) in the AFL championship game on December 29 at Shea Stadium in New York City. Two weeks later, the Jets defeated the National Football League's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in one of the biggest sports upsets in history. Because the AFL lost the first two Super Bowl games, the planned merger between the NFL and the AFL was in jeopardy. The Jets win helped keep the merger alive.
With the addition of the Cincinnati Bengals, the AFL's ten teams were split equally into two divisions. Each played a home-and-away game against the other four teams in its division, one game against each of the five teams in the opposite division, and a second game against one of the other division's teams.
As with the previous eight seasons, the best record in the Eastern Division played the best in the Western Division in the AFL championship game, with the site alternating between the divisions; the Eastern division hosted in even-numbered years. If there was tie within the division standings (as happened when Oakland and Kansas City both finished at 12–2), a tiebreaker playoff was held to determine the division winner. The Jets, with the third-best record in the league in 1968, had a week off and hosted the title game.
The Cincinnati Bengals joined the league as an expansion team.
(*) Played at Legion Field, Birmingham since Boston Red Sox refused to rent Fenway Park to Patriots.