1961 San Diego Chargers season

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1961 San Diego Chargers season
Head coach Sid Gillman
General manager Sid Gillman
Owner Barron Hilton
Home field Balboa Stadium
Results
Record 12–2
Division place 1st Western Division
Playoff finish Lost AFL Championship (Houston Oilers, 10–3)

The 1961 San Diego Chargers season was the team's second in the American Football League. It was the Chargers' first season in San Diego, where the team has remained ever since. The Chargers won their first eleven games and clinched the Western Division by mid-November,[1] but only managed one victory in December. Like the previous season, the Chargers' season ended with a loss to the Houston Oilers in the AFL championship game, this time 10–3 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego.[2][3]

The 1961 Chargers set a modern-era pro football record with 66 takeaways, most in AFL or NFL history.[4] The Chargers also recorded the most interceptions returned for a touchdown in both league histories with nine, with the team recording a total of 49 interceptions for 929 yards, both NFL records.[5]

Season schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 10, 1961 at Dallas Texans W 26–10
24,500
2 September 17, 1961 Oakland Raiders W 44–0
20,216
3 September 24, 1961 Houston Oilers W 34–24
29,210
4 September 30, 1961 at Buffalo Bills W 19–11
20,742
5 October 7, 1961 at Boston Patriots W 38–27
17,748
6 October 15, 1961 at New York Titans W 25–10
12,014
7 October 22, 1961 at Oakland Raiders W 41–10
12,014
8 October 29, 1961 Denver Broncos W 37–0
32,584
9 November 5, 1961 New York Titans W 48–13
33,391
10 November 12, 1961 at Denver Broncos W 19–16
7,859
11 November 19, 1961 Dallas Texans W 24–14
33,788
12 Bye
13 December 3, 1961 at Houston Oilers L 33–13
37,845
14 December 10, 1961 Buffalo Bills W 28–10
24,486
15 December 17, 1961 Boston Patriots L 41–0
21,339

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Championship December 24, 1961 Houston Oilers L 10–3 Balboa Stadium
29,556

Standings[edit]

AFL Western Division
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
San Diego Chargers 12 2 0 .857 6–0 396 219 L1
Dallas Texans 6 8 0 .429 4–2 334 343 W2
Denver Broncos 3 11 0 .214 1–5 251 432 L7
Oakland Raiders 2 12 0 .143 1–5 237 458 L6

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Keith's caper aids champs". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 13, 1961. p. 11. 
  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. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1940 to 2011, in the regular season, sorted by descending Takeaways.
  5. ^ "Bears picking on history". Pro Football Hall of Fame. October 29, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.