The 1961 American Football League season was the second regular season of the American Football League. The Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego, California following the 1960 season, retaining the Chargers name.
The season ended when the Houston Oilers defeated the San Diego Chargers in the AFL Championship game.
The AFL had 8 teams, grouped into two divisions. Each team would play a home-and-away game against the other 7 teams in the league for a total of 14 games, and the best team in the Eastern Division would play against the best in the Western Division in a championship game. If there was tie in the standings, a playoff would be held to determine the division winner.
Relocated from Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers won their first eleven games, clinching the Western Division on November 12, with four games left. When San Diego reached 10-0, it had twice the wins of any other team in the AFL. In the Eastern Division, the New York Titans lost 27-10 to Denver, while Boston beat Buffalo 52-21, in Week Seven, for a tie in the race, with the Pats at 3-3-1 and the Titans at 3-3-0. The Titans lost, 48-13 to San Diego, in Week Nine. The following week, though (November 12), Houston beat Boston, 27-15, to take a half-game lead, and won the division by a full game.
|1||Tie: (Hou, NYT)||1-0-0||Tie: (Den, SD)||1-0-0|
|3||Tie: (Bos, NYT)||2-1-0||San Diego||3-0-0|
|4||N.Y. Titans||3-1-0||San Diego||4-0-0|
|5||N.Y. Titans||3-1-0||San Diego||5-0-0|
|6||N.Y. Titans||3-2-0||San Diego||6-0-0|
|7||Tie: (Bos, NYT)||3-3-1||San Diego||7-0-0|
|8||Tie: (Bos, NYT)||4-3-1||San Diego||8-0-0|
|New York Titans||7||7||0||.500||301||390|
|*San Diego Chargers||12||2||0||.857||396||219|
* — Qualified for Championship Game.
- Main article: 1961 American Football League Championship Game
- AFL Championship Game