1981 San Diego Chargers season

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1981 San Diego Chargers season
Head coach Don Coryell
(4th season)
General manager Johnny Sanders
(Since 1976)
Owner Gene Klein
(Since 1966)
Home field Jack Murphy Stadium
Results
Record 10–6
Division place 1st AFC West
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Dolphins) (41–38 OT)
Lost AFC Championship (Bengals) (7–27)
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
Chargers' quarterback back Dan Fouts (middle) runs a play against the Dolphins in the AFC Divisional Playoff game "Epic in Miami".

The 1981 San Diego Chargers season began with the team trying to improve on their 11–5 record in 1980. In the playoffs they beat the Dolphins in a game known as the Epic in Miami and lost to the Bengals in a game known as the Freezer Bowl.

1981 was the second straight season in which the Chargers reached the AFC Championship Game,[3] as well as their second consecutive loss.

Running back Chuck Muncie enjoyed his best season, running for 1,144 yards and 19 touchdowns, tying the then-NFL season record for rushing touchdowns.[4][5]

During this season, the Chargers lost two key players by way of trade. Before Week 3, wide receiver John Jefferson was dealt to the Green Bay Packers, while defensive end Fred Dean would be dealt to the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers by Week 5. The season was chronicled on September 18, 2008 for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.

1981 NFL Draft[edit]

1981 San Diego Chargers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 24 James Brooks *  RB Auburn
3 77 Irvin Phillips  CB Arkansas Tech
4 107 Eric Sievers  TE Maryland
5 131 Keith Ferguson  LB Ohio State
6 141 Andrew Gissinger  OT Syracuse
6 162 Bobby Duckworth  WR Arkansas
7 189 Pete Holohan  TE Notre Dame
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1981 San Diego Chargers staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – Larrye Weaver
Defensive coaches



[6]

Roster[edit]

1981 San Diego Chargers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics
53 Active, 5 Inactive, 5 Practice squad

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1981 at Cleveland Browns W 44–14
78,904
2 September 13, 1981 Detroit Lions W 28–23
51,264
3 September 20, 1981 at Kansas City Chiefs W 42–31
63,866
4 September 27, 1981 at Denver Broncos L 42–24
74,822
5 October 4, 1981 Seattle Seahawks W 24–10
51,463
6 October 11, 1981 Minnesota Vikings L 33–31
50,708
7 October 18, 1981 at Baltimore Colts W 43–14
41,921
8 October 25, 1981 at Chicago Bears L 20–17
52,906
9 November 1, 1981 Kansas City Chiefs W 22–20
51,307
10 November 8, 1981 Cincinnati Bengals L 40–17
51,259
11 November 16, 1981 at Seattle Seahawks L 44–23
58,628
12 November 22, 1981 at Oakland Raiders W 55–21
50,199
13 November 29, 1981 Denver Broncos W 34–17
51,533
14 December 6, 1981 Buffalo Bills L 28–27
51,488
15 December 13, 1981 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24–23
67,388
16 December 21, 1981 Oakland Raiders W 23–10
52,279

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: at Cleveland Browns[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
• Chargers 10 10 14 10 44
Browns 0 7 7 0 14

[7]

Week 2 vs. Detroit Lions[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Lions 3 0 10 10 23
• Chargers 7 0 7 14 28

[8]

Week 3: at Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Week 4: at Denver Broncos[edit]

Week 5: vs. Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Week 6: vs. Minnesota Vikings[edit]

Week 7: at Baltimore Colts[edit]

Week 8: at Chicago Bears[edit]

Week 9: vs. Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Week 10: vs. Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

Week 11: at Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Week 12: at Oakland Raiders[edit]

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 7 21 20 7 55
Raiders 7 14 0 0 21

Stats

  • Dan Fouts 28/44, 296 Yds, 6 TD, INT
  • Kellen Winslow 13 Rec, 144 Yds, 5 TD

Week 13: vs. Denver Broncos[edit]

Week 14: vs. Buffalo Bills[edit]

Buffalo Bills at San Diego Chargers
1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 7 7 14 0 28
Chargers 7 14 3 3 27

Stats

  • Dan Fouts 28/42, 343 Yds, 2 TD, INT
  • Chuck Munci 22 Rush, 113 Rush Yds, 1 Rush TD
  • Kellen Winslow 6 Rec, 126 Yds, 1 TD
  • Joe Ferguson 13/29, 248 Yds, 4 Rush Yds, 1 Rush TD
  • Roosevelt Leaks 8 Rush, 28 Rush Yds, 2 Rush TDs
  • Frank Lewis 5 Rec, 113 Yds

Week 15: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

The game came down to the wire. A late interception from Buccaneers Quarterback Doug Williams at the Chargers own 1 yard-line sealed the deal for San Diego

Week 16: vs. Oakland Raiders[edit]

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 0 3 7 0 10
Chargers 7 10 3 3 23

Last regular season game of NFL season.

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance Nickname
Divisional January 2, 1982 at Miami Dolphins W 41–38
73,735
"The Epic in Miami"
Conference Championship January 10, 1982 at Cincinnati Bengals L 27–7
46,302
"The Freezer Bowl"

Game Summaries[edit]

AFC Divisional Playoff: San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
1 2 3 4 OT Total
Chargers 24 0 7 7 3 41
Dolphins 0 17 14 7 0 38

at Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

Game information

Standings[edit]

AFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
San Diego Chargers(3) 10 6 0 .625 6–2 8–4 478 390 W2
Denver Broncos 10 6 0 .625 5–3 7–5 321 289 L1
Kansas City Chiefs 9 7 0 .563 5–3 7–5 343 290 W1
Oakland Raiders 7 9 0 .438 2–6 5–7 273 343 L2
Seattle Seahawks 6 10 0 .375 2–6 6–8 322 388 W1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1981 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 
  2. ^ "1981 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 
  3. ^ The Chargers lost to the Raiders the season before
  4. ^ "Chuck Muncie dies at age 60". ESPN.com. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ "AFC West". Sports Illustrated. September 1, 1982. Archived from the original on September 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Oct-20.
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Oct-20.
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Oct-20.

External links[edit]