Sept. 11, 1960: Houston Oilers 37, Oakland Raiders 22
This flashback goes way back to the first game played by the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders, two charter members of the American Football League.
The debut regular season game was played at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco and featured the first passing touchdown (a 43-yarder from George Blanda to Charlie Hennigan in the first quarter) and rushing touchdown (an 8-yard run by Dave Smith in the fourth quarter) in Titans/Oilers franchise history.
|George Blanda threw four TD passes, kicked four extra points and a field goal in the first regular season game ever played by the Oilers.|
Blanda quickly showed why Oilers founder K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. wanted to sign the player who had 10 years of NFL experience to help the AFL compete in popularity against the longer-established league. The QB/kicker completed 19 of 37 passes for 279 yards with four touchdowns, kicked four extra points and an 18-yard field goal.
In addition to the pass to Hennigan, Blanda had touchdown passes of 32 yards to Bill Groman and 3 and 11 yards to John Carson. The first score to Carson began a run in which the Oilers outscored the Raiders 24-8 to finish the game.
Groman finished with six catches for 115 yards, Hennigan had four receptions for 85 yards and Carson had seven for 76. Smith led the Oilers with 104 rushing yards on 19 attempts, and Billy Cannon, the first player drafted by the Oilers, rushed 12 times for 59 yards.
Attendance at the game was 12,703.
The season that started with this game ended with Houston winning the first of two consecutive AFL titles. Blanda played for the Oilers until 1966 and finished his 26-year Hall of Fame career by kicking for Oakland in his final nine seasons.