1964 AFL Championship Game Summary – Bills vs. Chargers

Despite my fondness for the early Chargers, I feel that the 1964 championship game was one of the great ones in AFL history.  The game had a lot of great material – the seemingly unbeatable Chargers vs. the underdog Bills, great offense vs. great defense, a legendary tackle and upset victory.  Here is the officially-distributed summary of the game.  A couple notes of interest…

  • “The Tackle Heard “Round the World” was noted rather insignificantly on the first page.  “2-10 SD 34 Rote swing for Lincoln broken up by Stratton, Lincoln injured.”
  • Page 8 shows the amount of money that each player received for playing in the championship games in 1963 and 1964.  Each Bills player earned $2,668.60 for winning the 1964 AFL championship.  Would that even be enough for Ray Lewis to purchase a case of celebratory champagne after winning Super Bowl XLVII this past February 3rd?


Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

15 Responses to 1964 AFL Championship Game Summary – Bills vs. Chargers

  1. Eddie Arminio says:

    I remember the hit Mike Stratton put on Keith Lincoln. It was probably one of the best pure one on one hits in football history. It was hard and it was clean.

  2. For the sake of accuracy, 49 years later, if you look at the stills and the vidoe of the hit, it looks like Lincoln never had control of the ball, and Stratton actually hit him after the ball left his hands. Still a clean, hard hit, but it may have been called differently today. http://www.remembertheafl.com/1964AFLChampions.htm

  3. Tim Tryjankowski says:

    My Algebra teacher and High School Baseball Coach was Connie MacGillicudy..decendent of THEE Connie Mack..He was the game day reporter for the Bills for the better part of 40 years..I wonder if that report was typed by Mr. Mac ??
    Thanks for sharing an amazing artifact of Buffalo history.. I wear my Stratton jersy with pride every Sunday in the Fall..and love to explain to the 20 year olds..who he was and what he meant to Bills History. It is up to “US” to educate the next generation and keep the stories alive.

  4. Brandon Rose says:

    The Mike Stratton hit is one every San Diego Chargers and especially RB Keith Lincoln fans will NEVER forget. The Chargers were off to the races in the 1964 AFL Championship Game and after “The Hit” never recovered. Oh the pain!

  5. TK says:

    If memory serves me correctly the Bills celebrated their AFL title victory in the basement home of a South Buffalo resident….Great blue-collar team…..Many remember the hit on Lincoln that broke his ribs but he was MVP of the infamous ’65 AFL All Star game in Houston just 2 wks later….

    • billd says:

      Great blue collar team….The late NBC News correspondent Tim Russert went to many Bill’s games with his father “Big Russ”, who was a sanitation worker. Tim talked about his memory of the early AFL Bills all of his life.

  6. And I’m not expecting you to say “Yes,” but I want to ask: Would Mr. MacGillicudy, if he’s still with us, be interested in doing an interview? I know neither one of you know me, and I know it’s a total longshot. In the event that you say yes, I could send you my contact information through Todd.

    The man sounds like he’s got a 10-volume encyclopedia’s worth of stories stored up inside him.

  7. I’m just now looking at the summary. WOW, the Chargers actually got off to a great start, with Lincoln running for 38 yards on the first play of the game ! ! !
    Then, with the Chargers up 7-3, Speedy Duncan returns the ball 72 yards to the Bills’ 35. Then, on second down, comes a play I was never aware of: Rote gets intercepted by “Warner.” I have to confess–I don’t know who “Warner” is. He sure made a huge play.

    It goes to show how little I know about this amazing era of football. For the one hundredth time, thanks Todd.

  8. Jeff says:

    It always amazes me that whenever I see an all-time greatest Bills team it isn’t about 90% these guys instead of those over-rated choke artists from the 90’s!

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