1965 American Football League Championship Game

Last updated

1965 American Football League Championship Game
1234Total
BUF0146323
SD00000
DateDecember 26, 1965
Stadium Balboa Stadium,
San Diego, California
MVP Jack Kemp (QB, Buffalo) [1]
Attendance30,361
TV in the United States
Network NBC
Announcers Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman,
and Charlie Jones [2]
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
 San Diego
Location in the United States

The 1965 American Football League Championship Game was the sixth AFL championship game, played on December 26 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California. [3] [4] [5]

Contents

It matched the Western Division champion San Diego Chargers (9–2–3) and the Eastern Division champion Buffalo Bills (10–3–1) to decide the American Football League (AFL) champion for the 1965 season.

The defending champion Bills entered the game as 6½ point underdogs; [3] the Chargers had won the first regular season meeting on October 10 by a convincing 34–3 score, [6] and tied the Thanksgiving rematch at twenty points each. [7] [8]

In favorable 60 °F (16 °C) conditions on the day after Christmas, [3] the Bills shut out the Chargers and repeated as champions, scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter, one on a punt return. They added three field goals in the second half to win 23–0. [1] [3] Of the ten AFL title games, this was the only shutout: the Chargers had advanced to five of the first six, but won only one, in 1963.

Bills' quarterback Jack Kemp, the league's most valuable player, was named MVP of the game; [1] he and Paul Maguire were among the five ex-Chargers on the Bills' roster that were previously released by San Diego head coach Sid Gillman. [9]

This was the last AFL Championship to end the season; the AFL–NFL merger agreement was made the following June, [10] [11] and the first Super Bowl followed the 1966 season.

Game summary

Buffalo Bills 23, San Diego Chargers 0
1234Total
Bills0146323
Chargers00000

at Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California

Officials

The AFL still had five game officials in 1965; the NFL added a sixth official this season, the line judge. The AFL went to six officials in 1966, and the seventh official, the side judge, was added in 1978.

Referee Jim Barnhill died less than three months after this game; while officiating a basketball playoff game in Wisconsin, he collapsed and died at age 45. [12]

Players' shares

The winning Bills players were allocated $5,189 each, while the Chargers players received $3,447 each. [1] This was twice as much as the previous year and about 70% of the players' shares for the NFL championship game.

Because of the smaller venue, the attendance was nearly 10,000 lower than 1964, but the television money was increased with NBC.

Aftermath

This game marked the first time the AFL Championship Game was televised in color, and the last time that a final pro football championship was decided in December, within the same calendar year as regular season games (the 1965 NFL Championship Game was played on January 2, 1966). The following season would conclude with the first Super Bowl played in January 1967.

This is the last professional American football championship game to have been won by a team from Buffalo, New York, as well as the last of any major league team from the city. Indeed, the fortunes of both teams, and for that matter both cities, would go southward since then. The Bills would not appear in another championship game until Super Bowl XXV when the infamous Wide Right occurred, and would also proceed to lose the next three Super Bowls. The Chargers meanwhile would not appear in another championship until Super Bowl XXIX, which they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26. San Diego and Buffalo currently have the longest and second-longest championship droughts respectively for any city that has at least two major sports franchises. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

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 1970, 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.

Below is a list of professional football championship games in the United States, involving:

The AFL–NFL merger was the merger of the two major professional American football leagues in the United States at the time: the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL). It paved the way for the combined league, which retained the "National Football League" name and logo, to become the most popular sports league in the United States. The merger was announced on the evening of June 8, 1966. Under the merger agreement, the leagues maintained separate regular-season schedules for the next four seasons—from 1966 through 1969—and then officially merged before the 1970 season to form one league with two conferences.

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 1965 NFL playoffs determined the champion of the National Football League in professional American football for its 1965 season. Although a single championship game between conference winners was the current format for the league, a tie in the Western Conference standings between the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Colts necessitated an unscheduled tiebreaker playoff, the first in the league in seven years and the first in the Western conference since 1957. A coin flip decided the home team. The teams had played twice during the regular season and Green Bay had won both: 20–17 in Milwaukee on September 26, and 42–27 in Baltimore on December 12.

1966 NFL season 47th regular season of the National Football League

The 1966 NFL season was the 47th regular season of the National Football League, and the first season in which the Super Bowl was played, though it was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The league expanded to 15 teams with the addition of the Atlanta Falcons, making a bye necessary each week for one team.

Tobin Rote American football quarterback

Tobin Cornelius Rote was an American football player who played quarterback for the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL), the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL), and the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos of the American Football League (AFL).

Lee Roy Caffey was an American football outside linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers. He played college football at Texas A&M University.

History of the San Diego Chargers Sports team history

The professional American football team now known as the Los Angeles Chargers previously played in San Diego as the San Diego Chargers from 1961 to 2016 before relocating back to Los Angeles where the team played their inaugural season. 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 final game as a San Diego-based club was played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego at the end of the 2016 season against the Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated them 37–27.

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.

1966 American Football League Championship Game

The 1966 American Football League Championship Game was the seventh AFL championship game, played at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, on January 1, 1967.

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.

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

The 1963 American Football League Championship Game was the fourth American Football League (AFL) title game. The Western Division champion San Diego Chargers won 51–10 over the Eastern Division champion Boston Patriots. The Chargers' Keith Lincoln was named the game's most valuable player (MVP).

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.

The 1966 Season was the 7th season for the San Diego Chargers as a professional AFL franchise; the team failed to improve on their 9–2–3 record from 1965. In the team's final season at Balboa Stadium, the Chargers went 7–6–1 and finished in third place in the AFL West Division. The team would move to San Diego Stadium for the following season. It was also the first season to feature an AFL-NFL World Championship Game now known as the Super Bowl.

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.

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. 1 2 3 4 "Bills turn solid gold with $100 quarterback". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. December 27, 1965. p. 31.
  2. 1 2 1965 NFL-AFL Commentator Crews Archived December 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Buffalo wins AFL crown". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 27, 1965. p. 2, part 2.
  4. 1 2 Markus, Robert (December 27, 1965). "Buffalo wins AFL crown". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
  5. Shrake, Edwin (January 3, 1966). "The Bills come storming in". Sports Illustrated. p. 16.
  6. "Bills suffer setback". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. October 11, 1965. p. 20.
  7. "Bills tied, but clinch tie for crown". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. November 26, 1965. p. 2, part 2.
  8. "Pro football's leaders battled by foes to holiday standoffs". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. November 26, 1965. p. 2B.
  9. "'Bills won by clawing, digging' says MVP Kemp". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 27, 1965. p. 5, part 2.
  10. "How merger will operate". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. June 9, 1966. p. 4, part 2.
  11. Schramm, Tex (June 20, 1966). "Here's how it happened". Sports Illustrated. p. 14.
  12. "Official dies at tourney". Milwaukee Journal. March 12, 1966. p. 14.
  13. Champs or Chumps - Longest Championship Droughts

Coordinates: 32°43′N117°09′W / 32.72°N 117.15°W / 32.72; -117.15

Preceded by
Buffalo Bills
1964 AFL Champions
Buffalo Bills
American Football League Champions

1965
Succeeded by
Kansas City Chiefs
1966 AFL Champions