UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 12: Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Texans. Texans safety and special teams member Johnny Robinson(42) runs the ball while teammates block out front. (Photo by Bob D’Olivo/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)
5. Texans win AFL title (1962)
In 1962, the American Football League was split into two divisions. In the East there was the Houston Oliers, the Boston Patriots, the Buffalo Bills and the New York Titans. In the West it was the Houston Texans, the Denver Broncos, the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. In fact the teams finished in that order and the Texans and the Oilers both led their respective divisions with 11-3 records.
The contest was a standoff in the first four quarters. At 17-17, overtime was forced with Houston being led by George Blanda while the the Texans were led by Len Dawson, in his first year with the team. In the first two years of the AFL, Blanda led the Oilers to a championship each year so the Oilers were favored going into this game with Blanda once again at the helm.
Overtime began inauspiciously for the Texans. Noting that the wind was blowing hard from one end of the field, Hank Stram sent Abner Haynes out with instructions to make sure his team would have the wind at their backs … only when Haynes won the coin toss he erroneously said, “We’ll kick towards the clock” when he meant to say he would receive. The Oliers objected that Haynes could not choose both to receive the ball and which direction to kick. So, the Texans ended up with both their faces in the wind… and allowing the Oilers to have the ball first.
Luckily, the Texans were able to overcome the mistake and kicked the game-winning field goal in the second overtime, not only giving the Texans their first championship but ending what was the longest game in professional football history at the time.
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