>1965 AFL Most Valuable Players – Jack Kemp & Paul Lowe

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The San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills faced each other in the 1965 AFL Championship Game.The Bills were led on offense by their quarterback, Jack Kemp, whom they had won away from the Chargers for a $100 waiver fee in a rare Sid Gillman snafu in 1962.  The Chargers had several star players implementing Coach Gillman’s space aged offense, but their running game was dominated by a silky-smooth back from Oregon State by way of Compton Community College, named Paul Lowe.  Kemp and Lowe, one time teammates, shared the league’s most valuable player honors in 1965.
Jack Kemp did not produce awe-inspiring statistics in 1965.  In fact, the only offensive category in which he led the league was fumbles (9).  Still, his workman-like numbers (179-for-391 passing, 2,368 yards and 10 touchdowns) and superior leadership was enough to guide the Buffalo Bills to their second-consecutive AFL championship with a 23-0 victory over a very talented Chargers team.  The Associated Press selected Jack Kemp as their 1965 American Football League Most Valuable Player.
The San Diego Chargers reached their fifth-and-final AFL Championship Game in 1965, with an offense that featured two top running backs, the punishing Keith Lincoln and the elegant Paul Lowe.  Starring in an offense known for its passing attack, Lowe became the first runner in league history to top 1,000 rushing yards in a season when he led the AFL in rushing yards (1,121), average (5.0 yards-per-carry) and touchdowns (6).  He hauled in 17 receptions for 126 yards and another score.  When post-season honors were announced, both the United Press International and The Sporting News had selected Paul Lowe as their Most Valuable Player.
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.

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9 Responses to >1965 AFL Most Valuable Players – Jack Kemp & Paul Lowe

  1. E Dub says:

    >You probably remember that Kemp's backup for four seasons was Daryle Lamonica. I always wonder what would have happened to the Bills if they hadn't let Lamonica go to the Raiders. They had a long dry spell after 1965.

  2. Tales from the American Football League says:

    >Good question… The Raiders caught fire after Lamonica got there. Could he have kept the Bills rolling?

  3. Tom says:

    Paul Lowe attended Centennial High School in Compton Ca and played football, basketball and ran track. In 1954 Paul was the a nation leader and California State Champion in the 180 low hurdles in the time of 18.7. Centennials Track and Field squad won State that year with the help of Pauls teammate Charlie Dumas. Two years later Dumas became the first ever to clear 7′ in the high jump and won gold in the 1956 Olympic games in Melborne Australia.

    PS: The following year 1955 former San Diego Charger Bobby Howards’ older brother Junior Howard San Bernardino High School set the national record in the 180 low hurdles in a time of 18.5.

  4. Todd Tobias says:

    Great stuff, Tom! Lowe was such a smooth runner, it is no surprise that he was a track standout as well.

    Bobby Howard was a very nice guy, with a great smile and a quick laugh. I was able to spend an evening with Dave Grayson, Joe Beauchamp, Gary Garrison, Bobby and a few other friends a few months before Bobby passed. He told some fantastic stories, and you could tell that his old teammates were really happy to have some time with him.

    • Tom says:

      In 1980 Track in high schools converted to metered events and the 180 LH went the way of the dodo. In 1948 LA Washington Hi, NFL HOF Hugh Mc Elhenny was the nation leader in the 180 low hurdles 19.0. In 1962 Bobby Howards San Bernardino High School teammate Tom Hester set a new national record 18.3.
      The National High School record in the event remains in California, Earl McCullouch LB Poly, Long Beach CC, USC and Detroit Lions and Steve Caminiti Crespi Hi in 1964 18.1.

  5. […] that found their way onto AFL rosters in that inaugural season of 1960, Chargers running back Paul Lowe’s path into professional football was not a direct one.  He had been drafted by the San Francisco […]

  6. Jeff says:

    I believe Cookie Gilchrist of the Bills was the first running back in AFL history to top 1,000 yards in a season in 1962

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