January 2, 2015

Highlighted Year: Lance Alworth, 1964

Flanker, San Diego Chargers

Age: 24
3rd season in pro football & with Chargers
College: Arkansas
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 185

Chosen by the Raiders in the second round of the 1962 AFL draft, Alworth’s draft rights were obtained by San Diego (he was picked by the 49ers in the first round of the corresponding NFL draft). Due to injuries, he had a quiet rookie season, appearing in four games and catching 10 passes for 226 yards, although three of those went for touchdowns. Alworth broke out in 1963 with 63 catches for 1205 yards (19.8 avg.) and 11 TDs. He received AFL Player of the Year honors from UPI in addition to being a consensus first-team All-AFL and AFL All-Star selection.

1964 Season Summary
Appeared in 12 of 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 61 [5] 
Most receptions, game – 8 (for 124 yds.) at Boston, (for 203 yds.) vs. Oakland 11/1
Yards – 1235 [3]
Most yards, game – 203 (on 8 catches) vs. Oakland 11/1
Average gain – 20.2 [4]
TDs – 13 [1]
200-yard receiving games – 1
100-yard receiving games – 6

Attempts – 3
Yards – 60
Average gain – 20.0
TDs – 2

Punt Returns
Returns – 18 [4, tied with Bill Baird & Willie Mitchell]
Yards – 189 [4]
Most yards, game – 66 (on 4 ret.) vs. Denver 10/18
Average per return – 10.5 [2]
TDs – 0
Longest return – 43 yards

Pass attempts – 1
Pass completions – 1
Passing yardage – 11
TD passes – 0
Interceptions – 0

All-purpose yards – 1484 [6]

TDs – 15 [1]
Points – 90 [3]

Missed postseason game due to injury

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-AFL: League, AP, NEA, UPI, NY Daily News
AFL All-Star Game

Chargers went 8-5-1 to finish first in the AFL Western Division. Lost AFL Championship to Buffalo Bills (20-7).

The 1964 season was the second of seven straight 1000-yard receiving seasons for Alworth, three in which he led the AFL, and four straight (of an eventual five) years in which he reached double figures in receiving TDs (he led the league again in 1965 with 14 and with 13 in ‘66). With his speed, finesse, and great leaping ability, Alworth led the AFL in pass receptions three times, was a consensus 1st-team All-AFL honoree for six straight years, and was selected to seven consecutive league All-Star games. Alworth spent his last two seasons (1971 and ’72) with the Dallas Cowboys and scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl VI win over Miami. Overall, the graceful receiver known as “Bambi” caught 542 passes for 10,266 yards (18.9 avg.) and 85 touchdowns (458 for 8976 yards with 77 TDs came in the AFL). His string of 96 consecutive games with a catch was the AFL/NFL record at the time. Alworth’s #19 was retired by the Chargers and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1978 (the first inductee whose career was primarily in the AFL).


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970