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Today in Sports History: 1/12 | Joe Namath, New York Jets Win Super Bowl III

Today in sports history, the New York Jets etched their name into NFL history with one of the biggest sports upsets ever. That, of course, took place in 1969, when the Jets beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III after Joe Namath’s guarantee.

The Jets came into the game as 19.5-point underdogs. Three days before the game, Namath famously guaranteed that the Jets would win the Super Bowl III.

joe namath jets super bowl iii today in sports history
Credit: Bettmann Archive/NY Daily News

Jets Back Up Joe Namath’s Guarantee in Super Bowl III

Joe Namath famously guaranteed that his team was going to win the Super Bowl. His team backed up his words, as they controlled most of the game. The Jets built a 16-0 lead going into the fourth quarter. Colts quarterback Earl Morrall got benched in the game for Johnny Unitas after throwing three interceptions. On Unitas’ first drive, he threw a garbage-time touchdown to get on the board.

The Jets won the game, 16-7. Until the Patriots matched the record in 2019, the Jets were the only team to win while only scoring one touchdown. Namath took home MVP of the game and was the first player to be named MVP that didn’t score a touchdown. The guarantee cemented Namath’s legacy in the NFL as he became a Hall of Famer and one of the biggest personalities of all time.

The importance of this Jets victory was to prove that the AFL could play with the NFL. Legendary Chief owner Lamar Hunt also renamed the game to the Super Bowl for Super Bowl III. 1969 also marked a year where three teams from New York beat three teams from Baltimore in the playoffs. The Knicks beat the Bullets, the Mets beat the Orioles and the Jets beat the Colts.

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