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 a tie in the standings, a playoff would be held to determine the division winner.
The Denver Broncos, who would not have a winning season until they went 7-5-2 in 1973, were the Western Division leaders halfway through 1960. They won the AFL's first game, played on Friday night, September 9, 1960, beating the Boston Patriots 13-10. The Patriots' Gino Cappelletti scored the AFL's first points with a 35-yard field goal. Other results in Week One were the Los Angeles Chargers 21-20 win over the Dallas Texans, the Houston Oilers 37-22 win over the Oakland Raiders, and the New York Titans' 27-3 win over the Buffalo Bills. In the Raiders game, J.D. Smith caught a pass from Tom Flores to score the first two-point conversion in pro football history.
In Week Eight (October 30), Denver lost to the visiting Texans, 17-14, and didn't win any of their last eight games, finishing with the AFL's worst record at 4-9-1. The Chargers, still in Los Angeles, pulled ahead the next week with a Friday night win over the New York Titans, 21-7, and finished at 10-4-0. The Eastern Division lead was held by Houston, except for a setback from a 14-13 loss to Oakland on September 25. In Week Five, the Oilers beat the visiting Titans, 27-21 and led the rest of the way.