The 2020 AFC Championship Game carries the legacy and tradition of the original AFL teams. Both franchises won multiple AFL championships.
The 2020 AFC Championship Game features the Buffalo Bills at the Kansas City Chiefs. This isn’t the first time the two teams have played for a chance at the Super Bowl.
The Bills and Chiefs battled for the American Football League championship on January 1, 1967 for a berth in Super Bowl 1.
The Bills had won the last two consecutive American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965. The AFL and NFL announced a merger in the summer of 1966. The leagues’ respective champions would meet to determine the World Champion in what was originally called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game.
The Chiefs found good fortune early in the chilly mist of Buffalo’s War Memorial Stadium, as the Bills fumbled the opening kickoff. Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson tossed a touchdown pass to tight end Fred Arbanas. The Chiefs led 7-0.
Buffalo countered with a touchdown of their own, as quarterback Jack Kemp hit receiver Elbert Dubenion on a 69-yard catch and run.
Hear Bills DE Ron McDole share stories about the Bills AFL championships!
Otis Taylor broke the tie in the second quarter with a 29-yard touchdown reception. A key play came later in the second quarter, as Chiefs Hall of Fame defensive back Johnny Robinson interception a Jack Kemp pass and returned it over 70 yards. Kansas City capitalized with a field goal before the end of the first half to lead 17-7 at halftime.
Former USC Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett scored 2 touchdowns for Kansas City in the fourth quarter. His second touchdown was a remarkable 18-yard run through a swarming Bills defense that chased Garrett from one sideline to the other. Garrett stayed on his feet in the muddy conditions, circling back all the way near the Bills 30 before cutting to his right and dashing toward the goal line. Garrett’s gallop made the score 31-7, which was the final.
Photos: The 1966 AFL Championship Game
The Kansas City Chiefs played the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I. The Packers won 35-10. The name “Super Bowl” was thought up by Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt. Hunt played college football at SMU with two future NFL stars, one who was a member of the Packers. The Chiefs won Super Bowl 4 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Listen to our football history podcast!
Looking for a great American Football League history book? Check out The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL. The book features stories from legendary AFL and NFL players. Available at — Amazon.com – Barnes and Noble – University of Nebraska Press