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After coming up short in their first appearance in the big game, suffering a decisive 35-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I, the Kansas City Chiefs finally emerged as champions, knocking off the Minnesota Vikings to win Super Bowl IV by a score of 23-7.
As was the case three years earlier, the AFL champion Chiefs took the field at Tulane University in New Orleans as heavy underdogs, with the NFL champion Vikings pegged at sportsbooks as 12-point favorites, while the point total was set at 39.
The Chiefs enjoyed another strong regular season, finishing 11-3, a game and a half back of the powerhouse Oakland Raiders in the AFL Western Division. After knocking off the New York Jets 13-6 in AFL Divisional Playoffs, the Chiefs faced the rival Raiders in the final AFL Championship Game, holding the vaunted Raiders offense to a single first-quarter score in a 17-7 win.
The 12-2 Vikings were the class of the NFL in 1969, winning the Central Division while holding opponents to just 9.5 points per game. Minnesota had to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit to knock off the Los Angeles Rams 23-20 in the Western Conference Championship before clinching their first Super Bowl berth with a 27-7 rout of the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship Game.
While the defending champion Jets had silenced the naysayers as the first AFL team to claim a Super Bowl title, sports bettors remained firm in their belief that the NFL produced superior teams, resulting in the double-digit point spread favoring the Vikings.
But the story of Super Bowl IV quickly became the Chiefs’ stout defense, which held the Vikings to just 78 total yards in the first half, while forcing a total of five turnovers in the game.
The Chiefs ended the half up 16-0, on the strength of three Jan Stenerud field goals, followed by a five-yard TD run by Mike Garrett with just over five and a half minutes remaining.
After Minnesota shut down the Chiefs on the first drive of the third quarter, QB Joe Kapp marched the Vikings 69 yards downfield, ending the drive with their sole score of the day, a four-yard TD run by Dave Osborn.
Chiefs QB Len Dawson capped the win with a 46-yard TD pass to Otis Taylor late in the third, finishing the day with 142 yards on 12 completions to take home Super Bowl MVP honors.