1966 American Football League season

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1966 American Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 2 –
December 18, 1966
DateJanuary 1, 1967
Eastern championBuffalo Bills
Western championKansas City Chiefs
SiteWar Memorial Stadium,
Buffalo, New York
ChampionKansas City Chiefs
1966 American Football League season is located in the United States
AFL teams: West, East

The 1966 American Football League season was the seventh regular season of the AFL. The league began its merger process with the National Football League (NFL) in June, which took effect fully in 1970.

The season also saw the debut of the expansion Miami Dolphins, the AFL's ninth team (an odd number), requiring an idle team each week. A sixth official, the Line Judge, was added to the officiating crew; the NFL added the Line Judge the previous season.

The season ended when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the two-time defending champion Buffalo Bills in the AFL Championship game, and were defeated by the NFL's Green Bay Packers in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, now known as Super Bowl I.

Division races[edit]

The AFL now had nine teams, grouped into two divisions (the new Miami team was in the Eastern Division, now with five teams), and still played a 14-game schedule. In previous seasons (with eight clubs), each played a home-and-away game against the other seven. All nine teams faced each other at least once, and each team played six others twice. Though Boston and Miami were both in the Eastern Division, they met only once, on November 27 (each team played Western Division teams Kansas City and Denver twice, while Boston also played San Diego twice and Miami played Oakland twice --- meaning that the Patriots and Dolphins each had a schedule that called for them to face three non-division opponents more often than they played a divisional opponent).

As in earlier years, the division champions met in the league championship game, with the home team rotating, this year to the Eastern champion. If there was a tie in the standings at the top of either division, a one-game playoff would be held to determine the division winner, with the other division's winner idle.

Week Eastern Western
1 Houston 1–0–0 Tie (Oak, SD) 1–0–0
2 Houston 2–0–0 Tie (KC, SD) 2–0–0
3 N.Y. Jets 2–0–0 Tie (KC, SD) 2–0–0
4 N.Y. Jets 3–0–0 Tie (KC, SD) 3–0–0
5 N.Y. Jets 3–0–1 San Diego 4–0–0
6 N.Y. Jets 4–0–1 Tie (KC, SD) 4–1–0
7 N.Y. Jets 4–1–1 San Diego 4–1–1
8 N.Y. Jets 4–2–1 Kansas City 5–2–0
9 Boston 4–2–1 Kansas City 6–2–0
10 Buffalo 5–3–1 Kansas City 7–2–0
11 Buffalo 6–3–1 Kansas City 8–2–0
12 Buffalo 7–3–1 Kansas City 8–2–1
13 Buffalo 8–3–1 Kansas City 9–2–1
14 Boston 7–3–2 Kansas City 9–2–1
15 Boston 8–3–2 Kansas City 10–2–1
16 Buffalo 9–4–1 Kansas City 11–2–1

Regular season[edit]

Prior to the season, the AFL–NFL merger was announced in June, and both leagues agreed to have their champions meet in an annual AFL-NFL World Championship Game (later known as the Super Bowl), beginning in January 1967. Additionally, a common draft was introduced, with the first held in March 1967.

Also, the Miami Dolphins joined the AFL as its first expansion team. Joe Auer would score the first touchdown in Dolphins history, returning an opening kickoff for 95 yards versus the Oakland Raiders. [1]


Home/Road Eastern Division Western Division
Eastern Boston Patriots 14–3 27–21 24–24 10–17 24–43 24–21 35–17
Buffalo Bills 10–20 27–20 58–24 14–3 38–21 20–42 17–17
Houston Oilers 14–38 20–42 13–20 24–0 45–7 31–0 22–28
Miami Dolphins 14–20 0–29 29–28 14–19 24–7 18–19 14–23
New York Jets 38–28 23–33 52–13 30–13 24–32 21–24 17–16
Western Denver Broncos 10–24 40–38 17–7 7–16 10–56 3–17 20–17
Kansas City Chiefs 27–27 14–29 48–23 34–16 37–10 13–34 24–14
Oakland Raiders 10–31 38–23 21–10 28–28 28–10 10–32 20–29
San Diego Chargers 24–0 27–7 44–10 42–27 24–17 17–27 19–41



The Chiefs lost to the Packers in the first AFL–NFL Championship Game (Super Bowl I)

Stadium changes[edit]

Coaching changes[edit]




  1. ^ 100 Things Dolphins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, Armando Salguero, Triumph Books, Chicago, 2020, ISBN 978-1-62937-722-3, p.19

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