For this New Year’s edition of NFL Thursday, we look at league title-game MVPs for both the AFL and the NFL, as well as Rookies of the Year for both, too, for the 1967 season. This season also gave us another Super Bowl, so there is that to consider, too. Yes, Super Bowl II marked the end of a major professional football dynasty, so read on to learn more about that.
In the meantime, check out our first miniseries entry on this year for context, too …
Super Bowl II MVP: Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay (original, confirmed)
The Green Bay Packers won their second straight Super Bowl with a 33-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Bart Starr won the MVP vote again, although we gave the nod to someone else last season. How will it turn out this time? Well, there were no dominant performances, really, from any single person on either side of the ball for Green Bay, so Starr will get to keep his trophy for being calm/cool.
He completed 13 of his 24 passing attempts for 202 yards and a touchdown, as three different running backs accounted for 148 rushing yards. Starr methodically led his team to a 26-7 lead by the end of the third quarter, and no receiver caught more than 4 passes in the process. Without making mistakes, Starr did what he needed to do to complement the defense, which forced 3 Raiders turnovers.
1967 NFL Championship Game MVP: Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay
This was the famous Ice Bowl, won by the Packers over the Dallas Cowboys, as Green Bay won its third-straight NFL title—something no team has accomplished since. Starr scored the game-winning TD late in the fourth quarter as the Packers escaped, 21-17, after blowing a 14-0 second-quarter lead. There was no official MVP designation, now that there was a Super Bowl the following week.
Neither team gained 200 total yards, and running the ball was very challenging, strangely enough. But Starr had success throwing the ball, more so than did his counterpart, Don Meredith. In fact, Starr’s two TD passes to receiver Boyd Dowler gave the Pack the early lead, and then Starr’s only carry of the game resulting in the winning score.
We will give him the nod for completing 14 of 24 passes for 191 yards. Dowler would be a close second, however, but most of his damage was done early, while Starr kept the Green Bay offense active enough to the end to score that final TD.
1967 AFL Championship Game MVP: Hewritt Dixon, RB, Oakland
The Raiders thumped the Houston Oilers, 40-7, in the upstart league’s championship round, taking a 30-0 lead early in the fourth quarter before the opponent scored. The Oilers compiled just 146 total yards, so there could be candidates here on both sides of the ball for Oakland. But the Raiders’ defensive effort was a true team one, with no solitary standout, so we will focus on the offense that scored 40 points.
But Oakland QB Daryle Lamonica completed less than 50 percent of his passes, and two different RBs ran for more than 100-plus yards on the day: Pete Banaszak and Hewritt Dixon. Yet Dixon scored the first TD of the game on a 69-yard run. The Oilers seemed broken at that point, already, so we’re going to give Dixon the nod here for his timely score on a back-breaking long play.
1967 NFL ROTY: Mel Farr, RB, Detroit & Lem Barney, CB, Detroit (original); Rick Volk, S, Baltimore (revised)
The Associated Press started giving both Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards this season, so we have two winners from now on which we will whittle down to one, to the best of our ability. The funny thing is that this season, both winners came from the same team: the 5-7-2 Detroit Lions. On two counts, neither can win this award from us.
So, what about other candidates? Two defensive players stand out besides Barney, without any offensive rookies truly shining: Baltimore Colts safety Rick Volk (6 INTs, 1 TD) and Minnesota Vikings tackle Alan Page (8.5 sacks). With the latter’s team finishing 3-8-3, this award will go to Volk, as the Colts tied for the best record in the league (11-1-2) while giving up 28 fewer points than the season before.
1967 AFL ROTY: George Webster, LB, Houston (original, confirmed)
Oilers linebacker George Webster took the vote here, as he posted 1 INT, 1 sack, and 1 fumble recovery for the East Division champs—while allegedly averaging 10 tackles a game. The last stat is unofficial, so we will see what other candidates are out there: San Diego Chargers RB Dickie Post (941 total yards, 8 TDs, 2 TOs) and Miami Dolphins receiver Jack Clancy (864 total yards, 2 TDs, 2 TOs).
The Dolphins won just 4 times, while the Chargers finished way behind the Raiders with an 8-5-1 record in the West Division. Post clearly had a good season, but if the voters at the time didn’t see the value in it, then we’re going to defer to the unofficial tackles data and confirm Webster’s award. It is what it is.