1961 Houston Oilers season

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1961 Houston Oilers season
Head coach Wally Lemm (9–0) and
Lou Rymkus (1–3–1, fired)
Owner Bud Adams
Home field Jeppesen Stadium
Results
Record 10–3–1
Division place 1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finish Won AFL Championship
San Diego Chargers, (10–3)

The 1961 Houston Oilers season was their second. 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]

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[edit]

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[edit]

  • Houston Oilers draft picks (Selected eighth)
Round Player Position College
1 Tommy MasonMike Ditka Offensive End Pittsburgh
2 Tom GoodeTom Goode Center Mississippi State
3 Walter SuggsWalter Suggs 1 Tackle Mississippi State
4 Bobby WaldenBobby Walden Halfback Georgia
5 Monte LeeMonte Lee Linebacker Texas
6 Jake GibbsJake Gibbs Quarterback Mississippi
7 Dick ReynoldsDick Reynolds Tackle North Carolina State
8 Houston AntwineHouston Antwine 1,2 Guard Southern Illinois
9 Ralph WhiteRalph White Tackle Bowling Green
10 Charles LeeCharles Lee Center Iowa
11 Robert BirdRobert Bird Guard Bowling Green
12 Bob McLeodBob McLeod Offensive End Abilene Christian
13 Gerald HintonGerald Hinton Guard Louisiana Tech
14 Jimmy KingJimmy King Tackle Clemson
15 Dennis FerriterDennis Ferriter Center Marquette
16 Larry WoodLarry Wood Halfback Northwestern
17 Sam FewellSam Fewell Tackle South Carolina
18 Mike GrimsleyMike Grimsley Halfback Michigan State
19 Myron PearsonMyron Pearson Halfback Colorado
20 Lewis JohnsonLewis Johnson Halfback Florida A&M
21 Ron MillerRon Miller Quarterback Wisconsin
22 Bob KellyBob Kelly Offensive End New Mexico State
23 James AndersonJames Anderson Fullback Mississippi
24 Ken GregoryKen Gregory Offensive End Whittier
25 Jack KreiderJack Kreider Halfback Tulsa
26 Don FuellDon Fuell Quarterback Mississippi Southern
27 Boyd KingBoyd King Center Rice
28 John FrongilloJohn Frongillo Center Baylor
29 Tom LewisJohn Frongillo Offensive End Lake Forest
29 Tom LewisErrol Linden Defensive end Houston
30 Tom LewisJim Stroud Tackle Rice

Regular season[edit]

Standings[edit]

AFL Eastern Division
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
Houston Oilers 10 3 1 .769 4–1–1 513 242 W9
Boston Patriots 9 4 1 .692 2–3–1 413 313 W4
New York Titans 7 7 0 .500 3–3 301 390 L2
Buffalo Bills 6 8 0 .429 2–4 294 342 L1

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

Season schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 9, 1961 Oakland Raiders W 55–0
16,231
2 Bye
3 September 24, 1961 at San Diego Chargers L 34–24
29,210
4 October 1, 1961 at Dallas Texans L 26–21
28,000
5 October 8, 1961 Buffalo Bills L 22–12
22,761
6 October 13, 1961 at Boston Patriots T 31–31
15,070
7 October 22, 1961 Dallas Texans W 38–7
21,237
8 October 29, 1961 at Buffalo Bills W 28–16
23,228
9 November 5, 1961 at Denver Broncos W 55–14
11,564
10 November 12, 1961 Boston Patriots W 27–15
35,649
11 November 19, 1961 New York Titans W 49–13
33,428
12 November 26, 1961 Denver Broncos W 45–14
27,864
13 December 3, 1961 San Diego Chargers W 33–13
37,845
14 December 10, 1961 at New York Titans W 48–21
9,462
15 December 17, 1961 at Oakland Raiders W 47–16
4,821

Roster[edit]

1961 Houston Oilers roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs CB

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics

Postseason[edit]

AFL Championship Game[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 3 7 0 10
Chargers 0 0 0 3 3

Houston Oilers 10, San Diego Chargers 3

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

Scoring

References[edit]

  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. 

External links[edit]