1961 Houston Oilers season

Last updated

1961 Houston Oilers season
Owner Bud Adams
Head coach Wally Lemm (9–0) and
Lou Rymkus (1–3–1, fired)
General manager Don Suman
Home field Jeppesen Stadium
Results
Record10–3–1
Division place1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finishWon AFL Championship (at San Diego Chargers) 10–3

The 1961 Houston Oilers season was the second season for the Houston Oilers as a professional American football franchise; For the second consecutive season, the Oilers scored a triumph in the AFL championship game over the San Diego Chargers (12–2), the Western Division champions. [1] [2] [3]

Contents

The Oilers started slowly in 1961, with a 1–3–1 record. After a tie on October 13 with the Boston Patriots, head coach Lou Rymkus was fired by owner Bud Adams. Wally Lemm was hired, [4] and the team went undefeated for the remainder of the season, including the championship game, a winning streak of ten games.

The Oilers set the AFL record for points scored in 1961, with 513 (36.6 points per game). [5] They also set an American Football League record with a +271 point differential, by allowing only 242 points. [6] The 1961 Oilers are the only team in AFL or NFL history to score 45 points or more six times in a single season. [7]

Offseason

On January 14, end Willard Dewveall played out his option with the Chicago Bears of the NFL and joined the Oilers. [8] He became the first player to move deliberately from one league to another. [9] Dewveall was the only one to move between leagues for five years, until placekicker Pete Gogolak moved from the Buffalo Bills to the New York Giants of the NFL in 1966. [10]

AFL Draft

RoundPlayerPositionCollege
1 Mike Ditka Offensive EndPittsburgh
2 Tom Goode CenterMississippi State
3 Walter Suggs 1TackleMississippi State
4 Bobby Walden HalfbackGeorgia
5 Monte Lee LinebackerTexas
6 Jake Gibbs QuarterbackMississippi
7 Dick Reynolds TackleNorth Carolina State
8 Houston Antwine 1,2GuardSouthern Illinois
9 Ralph White TackleBowling Green
10Charles LeeCenterIowa
11Robert BirdGuardBowling Green
12 Bob McLeod Offensive EndAbilene Christian
13 Gerald Hinton GuardLouisiana Tech
14 Jimmy King TackleClemson
15 Dennis Ferriter CenterMarquette
16 Larry Wood HalfbackNorthwestern
17 Sam Fewell TackleSouth Carolina
18 Mike Grimsley HalfbackMichigan State
19 Myron Pearson HalfbackColorado
20 Lewis Johnson HalfbackFlorida A&M
21 Ron Miller QuarterbackWisconsin
22 Bob Kelly Offensive EndNew Mexico State
23 James Anderson FullbackMississippi
24 Ken Gregory Offensive EndWhittier
25 Jack Kreider HalfbackTulsa
26 Don Fuell QuarterbackMississippi Southern
27 Boyd King CenterRice
28 John Frongillo CenterBaylor
29 John Frongillo Offensive EndLake Forest
29 Errol Linden Defensive endHouston
30Jim StroudTackleRice

Regular season

Standings

AFL Eastern Division
WLTPCTDIVPFPASTK
Houston Oilers 1031.7694–1–1513242W9
Boston Patriots 941.6922–3–1413313W4
New York Titans 770.5003–3301390L2
Buffalo Bills 680.4292–4294342L1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Season schedule

WeekDateOpponentResultRecordVenueAttendanceGame
Recap
1September 9 Oakland Raiders W 55–01–0 Jeppesen Stadium
16,231
Recap
2Bye
3September 24at San Diego Chargers L 24–341–1 Balboa Stadium
29,210
Recap
4October 1at Dallas Texans L 21–261–2 Cotton Bowl
28,000
Recap
5October 8 Buffalo Bills L 12–221–3Jeppesen Stadium
22,761
Recap
6October 13at Boston Patriots T 31–311–3–1 Boston University Field
15,070
Recap
7October 22 Dallas Texans W 38–72–3–1Jeppesen Stadium
21,237
Recap
8October 29at Buffalo Bills W 28–163–3–1 War Memorial Stadium
23,228
Recap
9November 5at Denver Broncos W 55–144–3–1 Bears Stadium
11,564
Recap
10November 12 Boston Patriots W 27–155–3–1Jeppesen Stadium
35,649
Recap
11November 19 New York Titans W 49–136–3–1Jeppesen Stadium
33,428
Recap
12November 26 Denver Broncos W 45–147–3–1Jeppesen Stadium
27,864
Recap
13December 3 San Diego Chargers W 33–138–3–1Jeppesen Stadium
37,845
Recap
14December 10at New York Titans W 48–219–3–1 Polo Grounds
9,462
Recap
15December 17at Oakland Raiders W 47–1610–3–1 Candlestick Park
4,821
Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Roster

1961 Houston Oilers roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs


Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics

Postseason

RoundDateOpponentResultVenueAttendanceRecap
Championship December 24 San Diego Chargers W 10–3 Balboa Stadium 29,556 Recap

AFL Championship Game

1234Total
Oilers037010
Chargers00033

Houston Oilers 10, San Diego Chargers 3

December 24, 1961, at Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California
Attendance: 29,556

Scoring

Related Research Articles

Keith Payson Lincoln was an American professional football player who was a running back for eight seasons in the American Football League (AFL). He played college football for the Washington State Cougars before choosing to play with the San Diego Chargers in the AFL over the established National Football League (NFL). Lincoln was a two-time All-AFL selection and a five-time AFL All-Star. A member of the Chargers Hall of Fame, he won an AFL championship with San Diego in 1963, when he was named the most valuable player (MVP) of the championship game. He had a stint with the Buffalo Bills before returning to San Diego and finishing his career.

George Blanda American football quarterback and placekicker

George Frederick Blanda was an American football quarterback and placekicker who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). Blanda played 26 seasons of professional football, the most in the sport's history, and had scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement.

Jim Norton (safety) American football safety and punter

James Charles Norton was a professional American football player. He was an original member of the Houston Oilers of the American Football League. He played at strong safety and punter for their first nine seasons, 1960 to 1968. Norton was an AFL All-Star for three seasons and holds the league's record for career interceptions. His jersey No. 43 was the first of eight retired by the Oilers/Titans franchise.

Wally Lemm

Walter Horner Lemm was an American football coach at the high school, collegiate and professional levels and achieved his greatest prominence as head coach of the American Football League's Houston Oilers and the National Football League's St. Louis Cardinals.

Willard Dewveall

Willard Charles Dewveall was an American football end, the first player to jump from the National Football League to the American Football League.

Jacky Lee

Jack Ross "Jacky" Lee was an American quarterback who played professional football in the American Football League for all ten of its seasons (1960–1969). After playing football, baseball, and basketball at Ellet High School in Akron, Ohio, he played college football at the University of Cincinnati. In 1958–1959, Jacky Lee was the team MVP and an All Conference Quarterback. In 1960, he was MVP of the Senior Bowl.

1964 American Football League Championship Game

The 1964 American Football League Championship Game was the American Football League's fifth championship game, played at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, December 26.

1962 American Football League Championship Game

The 1962 American Football League Championship Game was played on December 23 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. The host Houston Oilers (11–3) of the Eastern Division were trying for their third consecutive AFL title, matched against the Western Division's Dallas Texans, also at 11–3.

The 1961 American Football League season was the second regular season of the American Football League (AFL). It consisted of 8 franchises split into two divisions: the East Division and the West Division.

1961 American Football League Championship Game

The 1961 American Football League Championship Game was a rematch of the first AFL title game, between the Houston Oilers and the San Diego Chargers. It was played on December 24 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California, and the Oilers were three-point favorites.

1960 American Football League Championship Game

The 1960 American Football League Championship Game was the first AFL title game, played on New Year's Day 1961 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. With New Year's on Sunday, the major college bowl games were played on Monday, January 2. This was the first time that a major professional football league's playoff game was played in January rather than December.

Mark Johnston (American football)

Mark Johnston is a former professional football cornerback who played five professional seasons 1960-1964 in the American Football League with the Houston Oilers, New York Jets, and the Oakland Raiders. He was an American Football League All-Star in 1961, and was with the Oilers in the first three AFL Championship games, winning the title in 1960 and 1961.

The 1963 San Diego Chargers season was the team's fourth in the American Football League. The team had gone 4–10 in 1962. They won their only AFL Championship with a 51–10 win over the Boston Patriots in Balboa Stadium. To date, this is the Chargers' only league championship season in the AFL or NFL. This is also the most recent world championship ever won by a major league sports team in the city and county of San Diego. In 2003, the team was inducted into the Chargers Ring of Honor. Receiver Lance Alworth was named the league M.V.P by UPI, while quarterback Tobin Rote was the pick of the Associated Press.

The 1961 San Diego Chargers season was the team's second in the American Football League. It was the Chargers' first season in San Diego, where the team remained until 2017. The Chargers won their first eleven games and clinched the Western Division by mid-November, but only managed one victory in December. Like the previous season, the Chargers' season ended with a loss to the Houston Oilers in the AFL championship game, this time 10–3 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego.

The 1960 Los Angeles Chargers season was the team's inaugural season and also the inaugural season of the American Football League (AFL). Head coach Sid Gillman led the Chargers to the AFL Western Division title with a 10–4 record, in the team's only season in Los Angeles until its 2017 return, with its home field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The 1960 Houston Oilers season was the first season for the Houston Oilers as a professional American football franchise; Head Coach Lou Rymkus led the Oilers to the AFL Eastern Division title, with a 10–4 record. It was also the first American Football League season. It ended with a 24–16 victory in the AFL championship game at home over the Los Angeles Chargers (10–4).

The 1962 Houston Oilers season was the third season for the Houston Oilers as a professional American football franchise; For the third consecutive season, the Oilers appeared in the AFL Championship Game, only to lose 20–17 in double overtime to the Dallas Texans.

The 1965 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s sixth season in the American Football League. Though not as statistically dominant as the previous season, the Bills won a second consecutive league championship.

The 1966 Denver Broncos season was the seventh season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). For the second straight season the Broncos posted a record of four wins, and ten losses, last again in the AFL's Western Division. Following the second game of the season, head coach Mac Speedie abruptly resigned, and offensive line coach Ray Malavasi was the interim head coach for the remaining twelve games.

The Los Angeles Chargers are a professional American football team that currently plays and competes in the National Football League (NFL). The Chargers were established in 1960 and played one season in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego in 1961. The team returned to Los Angeles in 2017.

References

  1. "Chargers challenge for AFL grid title". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 24, 1961. p. 2, sports.
  2. "Blanda stars as Oilers win AFL title, 10-3". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. December 25, 1961. p. 1S.
  3. "Blanda's arm and toe clear path as Houston takes 2d AFL crown". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 25, 1961. p. 14.
  4. "Lemm lifts Oilers back toward top". Sarasota Journal. Florida. UPI. November 2, 1961. p. 30.
  5. Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1940 to 2011, in the AFL, in the regular season, sorted by descending Points For
  6. Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1960 to 1969, in the AFL, in the regular season, sorted by descending Points Differential
  7. Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1940 to 2011, in the regular season, requiring Points For >= 45, sorted by most games in season matching criteria.
  8. "Chicago Bears veteran Dewveall joins". Victoria Advocate. Texas. Associated Press. January 14, 1961. p. 8.
  9. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, NY, ISBN   0-7611-2480-2, p. 282
  10. "Signing of Gogolak could trigger football battle". Ludington Daily News. Michigan. Associated Press. May 18, 1966. p. 12.