1963 American Football League season

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1963 American Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 7 – December 22, 1963
Date December 28, 1963 – January 5, 1964
Eastern Champion Boston Patriots   (playoff)
Western Champion San Diego Chargers
Site Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California
Champion San Diego Chargers

The 1963 American Football League season was the fourth regular season of the American Football League (AFL).

In an organized sports league, a typical season is the portion of one year in which regulated games of the sport are in session: for example, in Major League Baseball the season lasts approximately from April to October. In other team sports, like association football or basketball, it is generally from August or September to May although in some countries - such as Northern Europe or East Asia - the season starts in the spring and finishes in autumn, mainly due to weather conditions encountered during the winter.

American Football League Professional football league that merged with National Football League in 1970

The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football league that operated for ten seasons from 1960 until 1969, when it merged with the older National Football League (NFL), and became the American Football Conference. The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence. It was more successful than earlier rivals to the NFL with the same name, the 1926, 1936 and 1940 leagues, and the later All-America Football Conference.


The season ended when the San Diego Chargers defeated the Boston Patriots in the AFL championship game – to this date the only major league championship won by the Chargers and the city of San Diego.

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. Receiver Lance Alworth was named the league M.V.P.

1963 Boston Patriots season Season of American Football League team the Boston Patriots

The 1963 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 4th season in the American Football League.

The 1963 American Football League Championship Game was the fourth AFL title game. At the end of the regular season, the San Diego Chargers (11–3) won the Western Division for the third time in the four-year existence of the AFL.

The original eight franchises of 1960 remained, but two underwent name changes, with one relocating. The Titans of New York changed their team colors and were renamed the New York Jets; the defending AFL champion Dallas Texans moved north to Missouri and became the Kansas City Chiefs.

1963 New York Jets season 1963 season of AFL team New York Jets

The 1963 New York Jets season was the fourth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL) and the first under the moniker Jets. The season began with the team trying to improve on their 5–9 record from 1962 under new head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished the season 5–8–1, while playing their final season of home games at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, before relocating to Shea Stadium in the borough of Queens the following season.

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 1962 Dallas Texans season was the third and final season of Lamar Hunt's American Football League franchise before its relocation to Kansas City from Dallas.

Division races

As with the previous three seasons, the AFL had 8 teams, split into two divisions. Every team played two games against the others for a total of 14 games, and the division winners met in the AFL championship game. If there was tie in the standings, a playoff was held to determine the division winner. San Diego led the Western Division for the entire season, with the Oakland Raiders following one game behind from Week Eight onward. The Raiders had started at 2–0, then lost four straight, then began a winning streak. Starting from a 2–4 handicap was insurmountable, and although Oakland beat San Diego twice (34–33 on October 27, and 41–27 on December 8), they were unable to catch up.

The 1963 Oakland Raiders season was the team's fourth in Oakland. The campaign saw the team attempt to improve upon its abysmal 1962 record of 1–13.

The Eastern race changed in Week Seven, after the Jets lost to Oakland, 49–26, and the Patriots and Houston Oilers tied at 4–3–0 for the lead. Houston, winner of the first three Eastern titles, pulled ahead the next week, and Boston beat them 45–3 the week after that; the next week, Boston lost 7–6 to San Diego, while Houston beat the Jets 31–27 to pull ahead again. Two weeks later (Week Twelve), San Diego beat Houston 27–0, while Boston led again after a 17–7 win over the Buffalo Bills. In Week Thirteen, Boston was at 7–5–1, and Buffalo and Houston right behind. In the final week, spoiler San Diego took out Houston, 20–14. Buffalo won 19–10 over the Jets, while Boston lost 35–3 at Kansas City, giving the Bills and Pats records of 7–6–1 and forcing a playoff.

The 1963 Houston Oilers season was their fourth in the American Football League.

The 1963 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s fourth season in the American Football League. Winless after their first four games, Buffalo won seven of the final ten games, including the final two over the New York Jets, to finish with their second-consecutive 7–6–1 record, tied with the Boston Patriots atop the Eastern division. In this era, this required a tiebreaker playoff, the AFL's first. The Patriots and Bills had split their season series, each team winning at home, and the Bills were slight favorites as playoff hosts.

The season schedule itself was pushed back a week from what was originally planned, owing to the assassination of President Kennedy, which resulted in the AFL moving games from that weekend (i.e., the weekend of November 23–24) to the weekend of December 21–22. Since only three games had been scheduled, with Boston and Buffalo both having a bye, it meant that the Patriots and Bills finished their regular schedule on Saturday, December 14, a week before the league's other six teams did. Consequently, the Patriots and Bills could have played their tiebreaker playoff on December 22, potentially leaving the AFL Championship Game for the next weekend (the originally scheduled date), since they knew after games of December 15 that they and they alone had tied for the division title. However, the Western Division race had not yet been decided and Chargers and Raiders owners Barron Hilton and Al Davis respectively objected to playing the Eastern playoff "early" on the grounds that it would have given the Eastern winner an unfair advantage in terms of rest in case the Chargers and Raiders also had to play a tiebreaker. The Chargers won their last game and with it won the West outright, nevertheless the Bills-Patriots Eastern Division playoff was not played until after the following week on Saturday, December 28 (the day before the Chicago-New York NFL Championship Game). This meant that the Boston-San Diego championship game was not played until January 5, 1964. Thus was held the second professional playoff game ever held in January (with the AFL's first ever title playoff on January 1, 1961, being the only time before then that that had occurred). As it happened, the Patriots-Chargers playoff was also latest date on which a non-Super Bowl playoff game was ever held, and it retained that record until the AFC and NFC Championship Games of January 7, 1979. No 14-game season ever ended later.

Assassination of John F. Kennedy 1963 murder of the US President

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was riding with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie when he was fatally shot by former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald firing in ambush from a nearby building. Governor Connally was seriously wounded in the attack. The motorcade rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where President Kennedy was pronounced dead about thirty minutes after the shooting; Connally recovered from his injuries.

John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician and journalist who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.

Barron Hilton American hotelier

William Barron Hilton is an American business magnate, socialite, and hotel heir. The son and successor of hotelier Conrad Hilton, he is the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hilton Hotels Corporation and chairman emeritus of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Hilton was also a founding partner of the American Football League and the original owner of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Week Eastern Record Western Record
1 Boston 1–0–0 3 teams 1–0–0
2 Tie (Bos, Hou) 1–1–0 Tie (Oak, SD) 2–0–0
3 Boston 2–1–0 Tie (SD, KC) 2–0–0
4 N.Y. Jets 2–1–0 San Diego 3–0–0
5 N.Y. Jets 3–1–0 San Diego 3–1–0
6 N.Y. Jets 3–2–0 San Diego 4–1–0
7 Tie (Bos, Hou) 4–3–0 San Diego 5–1–0
8 Houston 5–3–0 San Diego 5–2–0
9 Tie (Bos, Hou) 5–4–0 San Diego 6–2–0
10 Houston 6–4–0 San Diego 7–2–0
11 Houston 6–4–0 San Diego 8–2–0
12 Tie (Bos, Hou) 6–5–1 San Diego 9–2–0
13 Boston 7–5–1 San Diego 9–3–0
14 Tie (Bos, Buf) 7–6–1 San Diego 10–3–0
15Tie (Bos, Buf) 7–6–1 San Diego 11–3–0

Regular season

The defending champion Dallas Texans relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, and changed the team's name to the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, the New York Titans went under new ownership and changed their name to the New York Jets as they prepared to move from the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan to Shea Stadium in Queens near LaGuardia Airport, and their colors went from navy blue and gold to green and white.


Home/Road Eastern Division Western Division
Eastern Boston Patriots 17–745–338–1440–2124–2420–146–7
Buffalo Bills 28–2120–3145–1427–1727–2712–013–23
Houston Oilers 28–4628–1431–2720–1428–713–2414–20
New York Jets 31–2410–1924–1735–3517–010–77–53
Western Denver Broncos 14–1028–3024–339–147–5910–2650–34
Kansas City Chiefs 35–326–3528–748–052–217–2217–38
Oakland Raiders 14–2035–1752–4949–2635–3110–741–27
San Diego Chargers 17–1314–1027–024–2058–2024–1033–34



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