Those who watched the replay on TV saw that Biletnikoff was absolutely right. A touchdown at this juncture might have given the AFC hope, but Lamonica missed Wells on his third pass and the AFC had to settle for Jan Stenerud's second field goal.
Rich Jackson, Denver's defensive end, felt that the Biletnikoff call was largely responsible for the NFC win. "That took the heart out of us," he said sadly. He may have been right; the AFC never advanced beyond the NFC 45 after that.
The fourth period was by far the most exciting and this was wholly due to the heroics of Renfro, the Dallas cornerback who doubles as a punt returner. Jerrel Wilson, the AFC punter, had to hurry a kick after a bad pass from center and he got off a line drive that Renfro fielded on the bounce at the NFC 18. He sliced by the first wave of defenders, cut to the left sideline, slid behind a block by Dick Butkus on Zeke Moore and stumbled into the end zone to complete an 82-yard return.
Ten minutes later Renfro fielded another punt on the NFC 44, again fled past the first few tacklers, cut to his right and scored easily after angling across the field. On this run he got a key block from Cecil Turner of the Bears on Wilson, the last player with a chance to catch him. The two touchdowns made the score 27-6, which was the way it ended.
"I don't think this is a true test of the strengths of both conferences," Rich Jackson said after the game, and Coach Madden agreed. "There are no conclusions to be drawn from the game," he said.
Madden and Jackson are right. There are no conclusions to be drawn on the basis of one game, but when the one game is added to all the others played last season it looks as if the NFC is, and the NFL was, a stronger league than the AFL was, or the AFC is.