1968 Boston Patriots vs. New York Jets football game

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The 1968 Boston Patriots vs. New York Jets football game was a regular-season, American Football League (AFL) game played on September 22, 1968, at Legion Field. Serving as the home opener for the Boston Patriots, the New York Jets were victorious by a final score of 47–31. The game marked the first regular-season, major professional football game ever played in the state of Alabama. Attendance for the contest was 29,192.

On April 25, the Patriots announced their 1968 home opener would be moved to Legion Field in Birmingham. The move became necessary as the Boston Red Sox stated that Fenway Park would be unavailable for the September 22 date. Since the team owned the stadium, availability for the Red Sox would take precedence. The move to Birmingham was made at the suggestion of AFL President Wilt Woodard. The primary reason for selecting Legion Field was to serve as a "test game" to gauge overall interest in professional football in the community as Birmingham was viewed as a potential relocation city for the Patriots franchise if a new stadium failed to be constructed in Massachusetts. Additionally, the visiting Jets featured former University of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Joe Namath, who was expected to draw additional fans to the stadium.

Scoring summary

In the contest, Joe Namath led the Jets in passing for 196 yards on 13 of 25 passes and a pair of touchdowns. For the Patriots, Mike Taliaferro passed for 276 yards on 17 of 30 passes.

First quarter
  • Jets – Randy Beverly 68-yard interception return of a Mike Taliaferro pass for a touchdown. 7-0 Jets
  • Patriots – Gino Capelletti 31-yard field goal. 7-3 Jets
  • Jets – Don Maynard 39-yard touchdown reception from Joe Namath. 14-3 Jets
Second quarter
  • Jets – Jim Turner 30-yard field goal. 17-3 Jets
  • Jets – Jim Turner 27-yard field goal. 20-3 Jets
  • Patriots – Aaron Marsh 70-yard touchdown reception from Mike Taliaferro. 20-10 Jets
Third quarter
  • Patriots – Mel Witt 4-yard interception return of a Joe Namath pass for a touchdown. 20-17 Jets
  • Jets – Mark Smolinski recovery of a blocked punt for a touchdown. 27-17 Jets
  • Jets – Pete Lammons 27-yard touchdown reception from Joe Namath. 34-17 Jets
  • Jets – Jim Turner 27-yard field goal. 37-17 Jets
Fourth quarter
  • Jets – Emerson Boozer 1-yard touchdown run. 44-17 Jets
  • Patriots – Ed Philpott fumble return for a touchdown. 44-24 Jets
  • Jets – Jim Turner 48-yard field goal. 47-24 Jets
  • Patriots – Gene Thomas 1-yard touchdown run. 47-31 Jets


External links