|1964 American Football League season|
|Duration||September 12 – December 20, 1964|
|Date||December 26, 1964|
|Eastern Champion||Buffalo Bills|
|Western Champion||San Diego Chargers|
|Site||War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York|
The 1964 American Football League season was the fifth regular season of the American Football League.
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.
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.
The season ended when the Buffalo Bills defeated the San Diego Chargers in the AFL Championship game. Two years later, the AFL would join the NFL to form the AFL-NFL World Championship game, known today as the Super Bowl.
The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The Bills compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays their home games at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills are the only NFL team that plays its home games in the state of New York. The Bills conduct summer training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester.
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) where the champion of the National Football Conference (NFC) competes against the champion of the American Football Conference (AFC). The game is the culmination of a regular season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. Normally, Roman numerals are used to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the 1966 regular season. The sole exception to this naming convention tradition occurred with Super Bowl 50, which was played on February 7, 2016, following the 2015 regular season, and the following year, the nomenclature returned to Roman numerals for Super Bowl LI, following the 2016 regular season. The upcoming Super Bowl is Super Bowl LIV, scheduled for February 2, 2020, following the 2019 regular season.
This was the final season of AFL telecasts on ABC before the games moved to NBC for the following season.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Disney–ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building.
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.
The AFL had 8 teams, grouped into two divisions. Each team would play a home-and-away game against the other 7 teams in the league for a total of 14 games, and the best team in the Eastern Division would play against the best in the Western Division in a championship game. If there was tie in the standings, a playoff would be held to determine the division winner.
The Buffalo Bills won their first nine games, before Boston beat them at home on November 15, 36–28. Buffalo came back from a 24–14 deficit at San Diego on Thanksgiving Day to eke out a 27–24 win. On December 6 at Oakland, the Raiders beat the Bills on the final play of the game, 16–13, and did not try for an extra point.Boston won at Kansas City, 31–24, to take Buffalo's lead away. In Week Fourteen, Boston was idle, and Buffalo took a 1/2 game lead with a 30–19 win at Denver. As it turned out, the Eastern Division title would come down to the final game of the season, with Buffalo (11–2–0) traveling to Boston (10–2–1) on December 20, with the winner to take all. Jack Kemp led the Bills to three touchdowns for a 24–14 win to capture the title.
The Western Division race was less dramatic. In Week Six, the Chargers took a lead over the Chiefs during a six-game winning streak, and held that lead for the rest of the season.
|1||Tie (Bos, Buf, NYJ)||1–0–0||San Diego||1–0–0|
|2||Tie (Bos, Buf)||1–1–0||San Diego||1–1–0|
|3||Tie (Bos, Buf)||3–0–0||Kansas City||1–1–0|
|4||Tie (Bos, Buf)||4–0–0||Kansas City||2–1–0|
|Home/Road||Eastern Division||Western Division|
|New York Jets||35–14||7–20||24–21||30–6||27–14||35–13||17–17|
|Kansas City Chiefs||24–31||22–35||28–7||24–7||49–39||42–7||14–28|
|San Diego Chargers||28–33||24–27||27–21||38–3||42–14||6–49||31–17|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
|AFL Championship Game|
|December 26, 1964 – War Memorial Stadium|
|San Diego Chargers||7|
Michael Joseph Holovak was an American football player, coach, and executive. He played college football at Boston College, where he was named an All-American at fullback in 1942. Holovak was selected in the first round of the 1943 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Rams. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he played in the National Football League (NFL) with the Rams, who had moved to Los Angeles, in 1946 and with the Chicago Bears in 1947 and 1948. Holovak served as the head football coach at his alma mater, Boston College, from 1951 to 1959, compiling a record of 49–29–3. In 1960, he joined the Boston Patriots of the American Football League as an assistant coach under Lou Saban. Holovak took over as head coach after Saban's firing midway through the 1961 season and remained as the team's head coach through the 1968 season. In 1976, he served one game as head coach for the New York Jets. He was also the general manager of the Houston Oilers from 1989 to 1993. Holovak was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1985.
Louis Henry Saban was an American football player and coach. He played for Indiana University in college and as a professional for the Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference between 1946 and 1949. Saban then began a long coaching career. After numerous jobs at the college level, he became the first coach of the Boston Patriots in the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. He joined the Buffalo Bills two years later, and led the team to consecutive AFL championships in 1964 and 1965. After serving briefly as head coach at the University of Maryland, he was hired as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 1967, where he remained for five years. Saban returned to the Bills—by then in the National Football League following the AFL–NFL merger—from 1972 to 1976, reaching the playoffs once but failing to bring Buffalo another championship.
Samuel Adrian Baugh was an American football player and coach. During his college and professional careers, he most notably played quarterback, but also played as a defensive back and punter. He played college football for the Horned Frogs at Texas Christian University, where he was a two-time All-American. He then played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins from 1937 to 1952. After his playing career, he served as a coach for Hardin–Simmons University, the New York Titans and the Houston Oilers.
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos compete as a member club of the National Football League (NFL)'s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. They began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust and currently play home games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Prior to that, they played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000.
Jack Faulkner was an American football coach and administrator who most prominently served as head coach of the American Football League's Denver Broncos from 1962 to 1964. He also has been an integral part of the Los Angeles Rams organization, dating back to the team's first tenure in LA
Mac Curtis Speedie was an American football end who played for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL) for seven years, and later served for two years as head coach of the American Football League's Denver Broncos. A tall and quick runner whose awkward gait helped him deceive defenders and get open, Speedie led his league in receptions four times during his career and was selected as a first-team All-Pro six times. His career average of 800 yards per season was not surpassed until two decades after his retirement, and his per-game average of 50 yards went unequalled for 20 years after he left the game.
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Martin Edward Schottenheimer is a former professional American football player and coach who served as a head coach in the National Football League (NFL) for 21 seasons. He was the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs for 10 seasons, the Cleveland Browns for five seasons, the San Diego Chargers for five seasons, and the Washington Redskins for one season. Eighth in all-time wins at 205 and fifth in regular season wins at 200, Schottenheimer has the most wins of a head coach to not reach an NFL championship and the second most of non-championship winning head coaches. After coaching in the NFL, he won a 2011 championship in his one season with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League (UFL).
For its first nine seasons, 1960 through 1968, the American Football League determined its champion via a single playoff game between the winners of its two divisions.
The American Football Conference – Western Division or AFC West is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The division comprises the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders.
The 1967 Oakland Raiders season was the team's eighth in Oakland. Under the command of second-year head coach John Rauch, the Raiders went 13–1 and captured their first Western Division title. The addition of strong-armed quarterback Daryle Lamonica greatly energized the Raiders' vertical passing game. Additionally, the Raiders added Gene Upshaw, Willie Brown, and George Blanda to their roster during the 1967 offseason. All three players would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.
The professional American football team now known as the Los Angeles Chargers previously played in San Diego, California as the San Diego Chargers from 1961 to 2017 before relocating back to Los Angeles where the team played their inaugural 1960. The Chargers franchise relocated from Los Angeles to San Diego in 1961. The Chargers' first home game in San Diego was at Balboa Stadium against the Oakland Raiders on September 17, 1961. Their last game as a San Diego-based club was played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on January 1, 2017 against the Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated the host Chargers, 30–13.
This article describes the history of the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are a professional American football club based in Oakland, California. The team competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) West division.
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