1969 “Interdivisional” Playoff

In 1969, the final year of the independent AFL, a four-team playoff was held, with the second-place teams in each division playing the winner of the other division in what were called the “Interdivisional” playoffs. These playoffs were not, and are not considered to have been, “wildcard” playoffs since the two best non-division winners did not automatically qualify. (Had the 1969 playoffs been true wildcard playoffs, the Western Division’s third-place team, San Diego, would have qualified while the Eastern Division’s second-place team, Houston, would not have.) The 1969 playoffs were only the second time a major professional football league allowed teams other than the first place teams to compete in post-season playoffs (the other instance being the All-American Football Conference’s 1949 four-team playoff).

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