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Blast From The Past – Week 16

October 8 1967: Kansas City Chiefs 41 – Miami Dolphins 0
At the start of 1967, Kansas City had become AFL champions for the second time, and had taken part in the first ever Superbowl, losing out to Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. With the core of the squad still together, and Hank Stram still at the helm, the Chiefs were among the favourites to repeat their success the following season.

When the Dolphins came to town in week 4 of the season, the Chiefs had a 2 & 1 record, which included a comfortable 24-0 win away in Miami. It didn’t take long for the home team to get back into the groove in this fixture, as, early in the first quarter, quarterback Len Dawson hit star wide receiver Otis Taylor for a long 71 yard touchdown – one of 11 receiving touchdowns he would score in this, his most productive season. An extra point, and then a field goal, both by Jan Stenerud, gave KC a 10-0 lead after a quarter.

Stenerud hit another field goal in the second quarter, and then Dawson led a long drive on the next possession, helped by the running of Bert Coan, which ended with a 17 yard pass to tight end Fred Arbanas.

Drafted by the franchise in 1961, Arbanas missed his whole rookie season after a back injury in a pre-season game, but bounced back to play in every game in ’62, ’63 and ’64. At the end of the 1964 season, he was attacked while walking through Kansas City and lost the sight in one eye – despite this set back, he rehabilitated over the off season, and went on to play every game for five further seasons. Over his career, spent entirely with the Chiefs franchise, he scored 35 touchdowns, and he was a starter in the team which won Super Bowl IV in January 1970.

After Arbanas’ score, the Chiefs still had time to get the ball back from Miami and head back down the field one more time. Dawson was able to find Otis Taylor once again, and after another successful Stenerud kick, KC went into the half time break with a commanding 27 – 0 lead.

The second half saw the pattern continue. The Chiefs’ dominant defence snuffed out any hope of a comeback – safety Johnny Robinson managed two interceptions of hapless Dolphins QB Rick Norton, and his colleagues added a further 4 turnovers (in a game where KC didn’t turn the ball over once). Interceptions were a matter of course for Robinson – in a 12 year career, all spent as a Chief, he made 61 interceptions, as well as grabbing 7 fumble recoveries for good measure. One of those fumble recoveries was against the Vikings in our Super Bowl win. He was a pro bowler seven times, and after the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, he, like Fred Arbanas, was selected to the AFL All-Time First Team.

On the offensive side of the ball, Len Dawson’s connection to his receivers kept on working perfectly. He found Arbanas for his second score of the day during the third quarter. Then in the fourth, he gave Gloster Richardson his only catch of the day – it was a 50 yard completion for Richardson’s first ever NFL score, and it rounded off the day’s business with a thumping 41 – 0 victory.

The 1967 season would end up being good, but not quite good enough. A 9 & 5 record wasn’t enough to reach the post season – but the squad assembled at the Municipal Stadium would continue to be one of the most consistently successful sides of the late 60’s

Elsewhere in the NFL at the time:

While we were busy blowing out the Dolphins, another AFL game was playing out to a tie: the Boston Patriots held a 31-17 lead into the fourth quarter, but their hosts the San Diego Chargers scored two late touchdowns to level the scores. Both were passes by John Hadl, the QB throughout the 1960’s, who still holds third place in the Chargers’ all-time passing list, behind Dan Fouts and Philip Rivers

Elsewhere in the world:

Former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, driving force in setting up the welfare state and the National Health Service died. However, in the same week, notable television entity Davina McCall was born, so swings and roundabouts I suppose.

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