Houston lost to New York in week two 27 to 17 and the Oilers are looking for revenge here at home today. Houston is just one game behind the Jets at 4-1 and the New York Jets are the only unbeaten team remaining in the AFL. Back in 1966 the Huston Oilers defeated the Jets 24 to 0, mostly due to Joe Willy throwing 4 interceptions. The win improved their record to 3-3, my replay Oilers are two games better so far, this is a big game for both teams for the race of the AFL Eastern Division.
~ 1st Quarter ~
New York is lined up for the kickoff … Jim Turner with the kick off … Oilers will field it at the Houston 12 … Bobby Jancik returns the kickoff 30 yards to the Houston 42 yard line … Jancik jumps up an spikes the football in celebration … flags come out … delay of game called against the Oilers … 5 yard penalty … 1st and 15 from the Houston 37 yard line.
Blanda hands off to Ode Burrell running off tackle to his right … hurdles a tackle at the line of scrimmage gaining 8 yards on the play … 2nd and 7. Hard count by Blanda … stretch play to Burrell … bounces it outside … side-steps a hit … and now he’s caught and flung out-of-bounds … 3rd and 4. New York in zone coverage … George Blanda with a straight back drop … throws it underneath to Charley Hennigan and hits him on the numbers … tackled at the New York 46 yard line … 1st and for the Houston Oilers. Blanda with a screen to Ode … Burrell tripped and fell down … incomplete. Big John Henry Johnson on a dive play … burst through the line for a nice pickup of 8 yards … Caught the Jets is a pass defense. Ode Burrell barges his way passed the line of scrimmage … and now his legs are cut-out from underneath him … a gain of 7 yards on the play … another first down for Houston. The opening drive for Huston has been very impressive. George Blanda rolling out of the pocket … fires a missile and connects with Charley Frazier at the New York 23 … he’s wrapped up at the 19 … a nice gain of 12 yards … 1st and 10 Houston. George Blanda taking his time looking over the Jets defense … halfback flare pass to Ode Burrell … he cuts to the inside … linebacker Larry Grantham hits dead on in the face mask … a painful pick up of 3 yards … that sets up a 2nd and 7 from the New York 16. The Jets are desperately trying to stop the Oilers and hold them to a field goal … looks like someone jumped … 5 yard penalty against NY (Encroachment). It’s now 2nd and 2 from the New York 11 yard line. John Henry Johnson is the ball carrier … going off-tackle … and smacked to the turf just as he reaches the line … that’ll be a 1 yard gain … it’s now 3rd and 1 from the New York 10 with 10:20 left in quarter one. Jets have their free safety up in the box looking to stop the run … quick toss to the outside its Burrell on the toss sweep … knocked out of bounds at the 8 yard line … first and goal for the Oilers. Trap inside to Burrell … spins out of the grasp of Larry Grantham … gain of 6 yards. Power dive to Johnson and he plows into the endzone! Houston is celebrating but we have a flag out on the field … this one is going against the Oilers … they failed to be set prior to the snap … Blanda is arguing but to no avail. Houston breaks the huddle … Blanda changes the play at the line … Jets drop off into man to man coverage and Blanda is throws the football right into Larry Grantham arms at the 2 yard line! Grantham heading the other way with the football … tackled at the 10 of NY … 8 yard return on the interception and the Jets stop the Oilers after that long opening drive.
Joe has the offense huddled … here they come to the line … quick snap and its Emerson Boozer on a dive play … 3 yards. Jets come out in a spit back set … counter to Boozer … slips past the defensive end for a 14 yard gain! Boozer straight up the gut … just 2 yards this time. Joe Namath lobs it over the rush … Don Maynard pulls it in and he takes a hard hit at the New York 35 yard line … gain of 6 yards … New York is looking at 3rd and 2. Joe Namath … side-arm throw to Matt Snell at the New York 43 … can’t break the tackle … and is hauled down at the New York 45 yard line … a gain of 10 yards … its 1st and 10. Namath under center … turns and hands off to Boozer to his right … hit hard at the line but still gains 6 yards and the Oilers were keying on him. Quick drop by Joe … Pat Holmes is in his face … Namath sprints out right and runs out of bounds after a 4 yard gain … that will move the chains. Don Maynard out to Joe’s right … Joe drops back and it looks like a screen to Matt Snell and he gathers the football with wide open field …at the 40 … the 30 … the 15 … and Snell is in for the touchdown! Hold on folks we have a flag back at the line of scrimmage … Jets are being assessed a 5 yard penalty (Illegal Formation) … that will take 6 points off the board … some Jets fan just spilled beer on himself, he’s wearing a shirt with Ogaurd62 on the front, wonder who that is? Joe Namath throws … caught by George Sauer … just beyond the line of scrimmage … and he’s tackled at the Houston 43 yard line … not much of a gain … just 7 yards … that sets up a 2nd and 8 from the Houston 43 with 4:19 to go in the first. Matt Snell gets the call … off tackle to Joe’s left and gains 9 yards and another Jets first down. Namath up at the … looks like a passing formation … Joe turns to drop back to pass but hands off to Boozer … big stiff arm by Boozer as he breaks free … they won’t catch him now! TOUCHDOWN JETS! Boozer takes it to the house from 34 yards out and Jets score first blood this afternoon. Bad snap on the extra point, no good. Jim Turner slipped on the ensuing kickoff which went only 24 yards … up man John Frongillo returned it 21 yards to the New York 43.
Oilers halfback Sid Blanks darts for 4 yards on the first down run. Sid Blanks … off-tackle right side … passed the line of scrimmage … slows to avoid a hit … and is tackled from behind … a pickup of 10 yards and a new set of downs … as it’s 1st and 10 from the New York 29. John Henry gains 3 yards on the power dive its 2nd and 7 for Houston. George Blanda … looking … looking … … throws to Charley Hennigan … and it’s incomplete … … it’s now 3rd and 7 from the New York 26. The Jets are showing blitz … George Blanda sends a man-in-motion … takes the snap … and throws to Charley Hennigan but its well over his head and here comes the field goal unit. From the 26 … the football will be spotted at the New York 33 yard line and the Oilers are looking at a 33 yard field goal attempt and here’s George Blanda with the kick … wide right … I can’t believe his missed it. That will end the first quarter … New York 6 Houston 0.
~ 2nd Quarter ~
Namath with a screen out to Bill Mathis … nowhere to go but he did make it back to the line of scrimmage. Boozer and Snell lined up behind Joe in split back formation …. Snell leading Boozer through the hole and takes out linebacker Johnny Baker with a viscous block … Boozer side steps the corner and rambles for another big gain … 19 yards on the off tackle run. New York breaks the huddle … quick snap by Namath … off tackles again to Boozer with Snell out in front … Boozers rips through the Oilers for another 20 yard gain! Boozer is tearing up the Oilers with 98 yards on 7 carries and we have just started quarter number two. Matt Snell … off-tackle right side … passed the line of scrimmage … slows to avoid a hit … and is tackled from behind … a pickup of 8 yards … that sets up a 2nd and 2 from the Houston 33. Emerson Boozer slams through the line of scrimmage … cuts left … hit hard and brought down … gain of 11 yards … and that will move the chains … 1st and 10 from the Houston 22. The Oilers are showing blitz … Joe Namath audibles … play action pass … throws to Don Maynard … he’s double covered … no chance on that throw … incomplete … Maynard had to play defensive back to save the interception … Houston giving Joe Namath no time on that play … … it’s now 2nd and 10. Back to the ground game … Emerson Boozer rounds the corner on a toss sweep … right side … now cuts inside … a violent hit knocks his helmet off and sends Boozer sliding out of bounds … he didn’t see that hit coming … gain of 3 yards … it’s now 3rd and 7. Joe Namath is hit as he throws and falls to the turf with a hard thump right on his back … can’t see his pass to tight end Pete Lammons. Lammons jumps high and makes the catch at the Houston 11 … and he’s swarmed at the Houston 5 yard line … a gain of 14 yards … 1st and goal from the Houston 5. New York is showing the Oilers why they are 5-0 and at the top of the AFL. Quick dive to the fullback Matt Snell … just a yard. Namath looking over the Oilers alignment … three step drop and fires to Sauer to the corner … over the shoulder catch for a touchdown … wow what a pass! Jim Turner boots the extra point and Jets are out in front 13 to 0 with 9:23 before the half.
Blanda on first down flings one to Charley Frazier … hit right in the hands but he dropped it. George Blanda takes the snap … quick drop … screen to Ode Burrell … and he’s hit and downed at the Houston 21 yard line … just a gain of 1 yard on the play … Houston is looking at 3rd and 9 from their own 21. George Blanda evades the pass rush … and throws to Charley Hennigan … and it’s incomplete … … Charley Hennigan made a leap for it … but it was a good three feet over his head. Houston will have to punt the ball back to New York. Houston is set in punt formation … … Jim Norton takes the snap … and gets the punt away … 48 yarder to the NY 31 … Bake Turner … calls for the fair catch.
Houston has their goal line defense in trying to stop Boozer. Emerson Boozer tries the right side … AND HE’S BURIED FOR NO GAIN … he’s fortunate he even made it back to the line of scrimmage … it’s 2nd and 10 from the New York 31 yard line. Joe Namath … throws to Matt Snell coming out of the backfield … complete right at the line of scrimmage … hauled down on the spot .. New York is looking at 3rd and 10 from their own 31. Joe Namath … throws to Don Maynard his favorite target … and it’s incomplete … … Maynard juggled it … but was hit before he could get control … the Jets now face a 4th and 10 from the New York 31 and they will punt. New York is set in punt formation … Curley Johnson takes the snap … and gets the punt away … high and deep to the Houston 29 … taken by Bobby Jancik and returns the punt 17 yards … to the Houston 46 yard line … just a little over 5 minutes left before halftime.
Charley Tolar on a trap play … Hit Square in the mouth for no gain … looks a little woozy after that hit … he’s heading to the sideline. George Blanda is all wrapped up and he just flings it out of the pocket … caught by Ode Burrell at the Houston 49 … hauls it in and has a clear field … gains just 15 yards but that could have been a big play (50yds) but the Jets had him double covered. George Blanda … throws to Charley Frazier … and it’s incomplete … Charley Frazier had it … and dropped it … it’s now 2nd and 10 from the New York 39. John Henry Johnson is the ball carrier … met at the line … but keeps chugging forward until he’s brought down … a gain of 3 yards … it’s now 3rd and 7 from the New York 36. George Blanda … throws into traffic … Larry Elkins pulls it in … he falls and is touched down at the New York 30 yard line … a miniscule gain of 6 yards but there are flags in the backfield. Blanda looks hurt. The Jets are assessed a 15 yard penalty (Roughing the Passer) … and it’s an automatic 1st down for the Oilers. With just 2:10 left in the half Houston has a chance to tighten up the score. Blanda is staying in the game after that big blindside hit. Houston breaks the huddle … Blanda is rolling his neck trying to loosed it up … trap to the right … Burrell gains 4 on the play. Clock stops for the two minute warning. George Blanda … throws to Charley Hennigan and the pass is way behind him … 3rd and 6 from the New York 11. George Blanda … short toss out to Charley Frazier and the Jets are all over him at the New York 5 yard line … gain of 6 yards and it’s 1st and goal from the New York 5 with 1:20 showing on the game clock. John Henry Johnson has the football … hits the line … lowers his shoulder … and is brought down … that’s a pickup of 2 yards … it’s now 2nd and goal from the New York 3. Ode Burrell is the ball carrier … looking for a crease … and he’s driven to the turf … no gain … it’s now 3rd and goal from the New York 3. Houston calls their 1st Time-Out … that stops the clock with 00:35 left … before half-time. Ode Burrell carries it … left side … nothing there but a mass of bodies … and the Jets clearly won that trench battle as Ode Burrell is held to no gain … it’s now 4th and goal from the New York 3. Houston calls Time-Out and that stops the clock with 00:20 left … here comes the field goal unit. Houston can ill afford to leave points on the field in this ball game. From the 3 … the football will be spotted at the New York 10 yard line and the Oilers are looking at a 10 yard field goal attempt … George Blanda tightens up his chin strap … the kick … Right through the uprights … and the Oilers cut into the Jets lead … it’s now 13-3 for New York with just 7 seconds left. Blanda’s kickoff travels out of the end zone and that will send us into halftime here at Rice Stadium.
~ 3rd Quarter ~
George Blanda with the kick off and the Jets will field it at the 4 … Emerson Boozer returns the kickoff 34 yards to the New York 38 yard line and we are underway here in half number two. Emerson Boozer carries the football … swallowed up at the line … and the Oilers hold him to no gain … its 2nd and 10. Joe found Sauer open 12 yards down field for the completion and another first ….WAIT flags in the back field. Holding called against left guard Sam DeLuca … that will push the Jets back to their 23. Namath at the line … snap is clean and he drops back 7 yards looking for Sauer again … throws into double coverage and it’s picked off! No return on the interception. I see flags at the line of scrimmage and the referees are talking … here is the call: The Oilers are assessed a 5 yard penalty (Holding) … and an automatic 1st down comes with it. It’s now 1st and 10 for the Jets from their own 28 yard line … Big break for Joe. Matt Snell carries it … trying to get the outside corner … Houston forced him out-of-bounds … a 1 yard gain on the play … it’s 2nd and 9 from the New York 29 yard line. Emerson Boozer … delayed draw … … bursts through the line … but he’s horse-collared and hauled down from behind … that’ll be a pickup of 3 yards and the Oilers seem to have slowed the New York running game down. Jets in the huddle along time … here they come … quick snap and it’s a sideline screen to Maynard … caught the Oilers in a corner blitz from Maynard’s side and he has a clear gridiron ahead of him … it’s a foot race with fee safety Jim Norton and he will not catch the speedy Don Maynard … a 68 yard touchdown and a dagger in the heart of Oiler fans to open up the second half of play. Jim Turner’s point after is good and the Jets increase their lead to 20 to 3 and look to be in control of the ball game. Here’s Jim Turner with the kick off … lots of leg behind this one as it sails out of the back of the endzone for a touchback … the Oilers will scrimmage from their 20 yard line.
Houston needs to have something good happen soon are this ball game will be out of reach. Blanda at the line and looks to be changing the call … seven step drop … has some protection this time … throwing deep over the middle … Charley Frazier has three steps on free safety Jim Hudson … perfect pass right into the arms of Frazier … Hudson is burned for an 80 yard big touchdown! And just like that the Oilers are back in this game … George Blanda’s point after is good, Jets 20, Oilers 10 with 10:25 to go in the third period. Better go get some popcorn as this one is a long way from being over. Earl Christy returns the kickoff 23 yards … to the New York 26 yard line and here come the Jets in their white uniforms looking to score quickly and answer back that big play by Houston.
New York needs to get the running game moving again to take some pressure off Joe. Emerson Boozer is the ball carrier … looking for a crease … and he’s driven to the turf … no gain … it’s 2nd and 10 from the New York 26 yard line. Emerson Boozer … looking for a seam but there’s nothing there and he’s brought down behind the line for a loss of 2 yards … Houston is gaining momentum in this one, NY better watch out … 3rd and 12 for New York. Namath back to pass … the pass it tipped at the line by defensive right tackle Ernie Ladd … the ball is up in the air … Oilers left tackle Pat Holmes snags the ball out of the air at the 27 and taken down on the spot. Houston is setup at the 26 of New York after that devastating turnover by the Jets.
Ode Burrell protecting the football … driving ahead … driving … and now he’s tackled … a hard-fought pick up of 7 yards … that sets up a 2nd and 3 from the New York 19. Ode Burrell carries it … fighting for yardage … but flung back … for no gain … stellar run-defense by New York … it’s now 3rd and 3 from the New York 19. George Blanda in the pocket and its falling apart … flips the ball to Charley Hennigan behind the line … and he’s brought down at the New York 14 yard line … 1st and 10 from the New York 14. George Blanda … with a long count … now he takes the snap … throws to Ode Burrell … and it’s knocked away by the New York defender … it’s now 2nd and 10 with 6:15 to go in the third. John Henry Johnson on a draw to the right side … bounces off a hit … now shifting further to the right … and slammed down … a pickup of 3 yards … 3rd and 7 coming up for Houston. George Blanda … throws to Larry Elkins and its incomplete … good defensive play by the Jets defender to break that one up. Blanda will attempt an 18 yard field goal. Blanda from the 11 … the football will be spotted at the New York 18 yard line. George Blanda with the kick and he shanked it badly, that was the ugliest field goal attempt I have ever seen … Jets take over on their 20 and dodge giving Houston any points after that turnover.
Bill Mathis in the backfield … gets the hand off from Joe … darts inside … a gain of 3 yards on the play … its 2nd and 7 from the New York 23 yard line. Joe Namath … rolls out … sends out an aerial … Don Maynard tips it and now pulls it in for a 12 yard gain … 1st and 10 for the Jets. Joe Namath … has an open man … throws to Matt Snell … and Matt Snell is hit and can’t hold on … it’s incomplete … … it’s 2nd and 10 from the New York 35 yard line. Boozer gained 7 yards but its coming back … offensive holding on NY. Namath is looking at 2nd and a mile … drops five steps into a great pocket … Joe fires deep to George Sauer down the left sideline … can’t tell who has the football as booth Sauer and cornerback W.K. Hicks came down with the football … the catch goes to George and that’s a pickup of 23 yards! That sets up a 3rd and 2 … much more manageable down for sure. Houston is blitz their linebackers … Emerson Boozer bolts right past them … shifts into high gear … and is finally brought down … a big gainer of 23 yards … and that will move the chains … 1st and 10 from the Houston 34. Emerson Boozer carries it … hit in the back-field … spins off … hit again … and again … and now plastered face-first into the turf … a 1 yard gain … that sets up a 2nd and 9 from the Houston 33. Joe Namath … throws to Don Maynard and its batted away … Namath tried to force it into double-coverage … and is fortunate it wasn’t intercepted … it’s now 3rd and 9 from the Houston 33. Namath calmly walking up to the line … quick snap and he throws to Don Maynard … incomplete … Don Maynard got a hand on it … but couldn’t haul it in … … the Jets now face a 4th and 9 from the Houston 33 so they are sending out Jim Turner to attempt the long field goal, this should be the last play of the quarter. From the 33 … the football will be spotted at the Houston 40 yard line and the Jets are looking at a 40 yard field goal attempt … very low percentage kick … here’s Jim Turner’s field goal from 40 yards … moving right to left … … and just inside the right upright … IT’S GOOD! That will extend the Jets lead … it’s now 23-10 for New York as we head into the final period of play.
~ 4th Quarter ~
Jim Turner’s kickoff traveled out of the back of the end zone … the final 15 minutes is underway. Ode Burrell carries it … met at the line … but shimmy’s his way forward … and now he’s hit and dropped … a pickup of 4 yards on the play … it’s 2nd and 6. George Blanda breaks the huddle and hurries up to the line … drops back to pass … double-clutch … now he throws to Charley Frazier … almost intercepted … he was late getting the pass out to Frazier … incomplete … Houston is looking at 3rd and 6 from their own 24. New York in zone … George Blanda with hands in his face just got it off to tight end Bob McLeod … goes up high to make the catch as he has his feet taken out and lands on this head … he held on … 1st and 10 from the Houston 31. Blanda trying to keep things moving … seven step drop and good pass protection this time … throws to his running back Ode Burrell … slipped out of the backfield unnoticed … cornerback Bill Baird is closing in on him fast … the pass deflected off Baird’s helmet and right into Ode Burrell’s arms … and he’s brought down at the New York 48 yard line … a gain of 21 yards … a new set of downs … as it’s 1st and 10 from the New York 48. George Blanda trying to pull the safety out of position with a double pump … throws to Larry Elkins over the middle … and it’s incomplete … the Jets were not fooled … it’s now 2nd and 10 from the New York 48. George Blanda … throws to Charley Hennigan … and it’s incomplete … Charley Hennigan had it … briefly … but then it was swatted out of his hands … 3rd and 10 from the New York 48. Jets send Ray Abruzzese on a blitz … Blanda is SACKED and that’s a loss of 2 yards bringing up 4th and 12 at the 50. The Oilers are set in punt formation … Jim Norton’s punt will carry into and out of the back of the endzone … it’s a touchback … the Jets will scrimmage from their 20 with 11:45 to go.
Houston expects to be watching the Boozer/Snell show as NY looks to take time off the clock. Boozer … good move at the line … stutter-step … and now he lunges forward … and is brought down … a pickup of 7 yards. Matt Snell running to his left … not much there … breaks a tackle … and another one … and now he’s brought down after a decent pick up of 7 yards … its 1st and 10 from the New York 34. Joe hands off to Matt Snell … falls in the back-field … gets to his feet … zigzagging through the line … and pulled down … a good job of getting something out of nothing … a gain of 2 yards on the play … it’s 2nd and 8. New York breaks the huddle with both running backs in a Pro-Set … Namath with a play action pass and he’s looking down field … found Maynard down the left sideline and he makes the grab for a 24 yard gain! Bill Mathis running it up the middle … NOTHING THERE … JUST A PILE OF BODIES… and Houston holds him to no gain … that sets up a 2nd and 10 from the Houston 40. Broadway Joe throws a quick screen to Snell … gain of 7 yards … looks like another flag on the field and it’s going against NY … Holding on the play. The Jets have been penalized seven times for 70 yards this afternoon. Joe Namath looking to get some of the penalty yards back quickly … rolling out to the right … throws to George Sauer … incomplete … New York is looking at 3rd and 25 now. Joe Namath drops back to pass … pressure from the outside by Houston … the football is batted out of Joe Namath’s hand … that’s a fumble! Emerson Boozer snags the football off the grass and takes off running … finally tackled after a 16 yard return … Jets now face a 4th and 7 from the Houston 37. Jim Turner from the 37 … the football will be spotted at the Houston 44 yard line and the Jets are looking at a 44 yard field goal attempt and here’s Jim Turner with the kick … … up … … up … … and … … NO GOOD !! … WIDE TO THE LEFT … the Jets fail to widen their lead … the score remains … New York 23 … and Houston 10 … the Oilers will now scrimmage at their 20 with 6:45 to play.
Play-action … George Blanda fires outside to Ode Burrell … and he heads straight out-of-bounds at the Houston 24 yard line … that’s a small pickup of 4 yards … its 2nd and 6. George Blanda looks up at the game-clock … time is running out on the Oilers … takes the snap and throws to Charley Frazier … it bounces a foot short … incomplete … 3rd and 6 from their own 24. George Blanda … over the middle to tight end Bob McLeod … and he’s sandwiched by two defenders and knocked down at the Houston 38 yard line … gain of 14 yards and a much needed first down. Jets are sending the blitz again … Blanda has to throw early … Charley Hennigan couldn’t come up with the low pass … 2nd and 10 from the Houston 38 yard line with just a little over five minutes to play. George Blanda … with a quick screen to Charley Frazier … not enough blocks … and he’s tackled at the Houston 43 yard line … that’s a small pickup of 5 yards … Houston is looking at 3rd and 5 and time on the score board has reached a point that Jets know they have a win here this afternoon at Rice Stadium. Blanda goes down under a pile of Jet pass rushers for a 2 yard sack … 4th and 7 now and the Oilers and they are down two scores with 4:05 to play … they will go for it. George Blanda … looking down-field … and he finds Ode Burrell in the flat … he needs a block … but there’s no one to assist … and he’s hit and dropped at the New York 49 yard line … gain of 10 yards and a new set of downs … as it’s 1st and 10 from the New York 49 … the clock is still running. New York showing blitz … now they back off … George Blanda … throws to Charley Frazier … and it’s knocked away by New York … New York read that play well … it’s now 2nd and 10 with 2:55 to play. George Blanda moves up in the pocket … throws to Ode Burrell … incomplete … … that was thrown into double-coverage and George Blanda is fortunate it wasn’t picked off … … it’s now 3rd and 10. George Blanda … throws to Bob McLeod … and it’s incomplete … batted down at the line of scrimmage by New York. The Oilers now face a 4th and 10 and we are at the two minutes warning … Houston is playing for their pride now as this one will go into the win column for New York and they will remain undefeated. George Blanda … throws to Charley Frazier … and it’s incomplete … I think George Blanda heard foot-steps … and got rid of it early … and Charley Frazier wasn’t expecting it … Houston turns it over on downs.
Mark Smolinski … rams ahead … looking for a lane … and brought down by the Oilers … a 1 yard gain … and Houston will not take a time out. Mark Smolinski carries it … hit in the backfield … breaks free … and now he’s brought down … right at the line of scrimmage … and that does it … the final score …New York 23 … Houston 10. With the win over the Oilers and New York Jets now savor a two game lead in the AFL East.
Actual Score: New York 0 at Houston 34
APBA Replay Score: New York 23 at Houston 10