Coach and general manager Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders poses December 17, 1963 in Oakland, Calif., on practice field with six of his players who have been named to the Associated Press 1963 All-Star team of the American Football League. From left: defensive halfback Tommy Morrow and Fred Williamson, linebacker Archie Matsos, halfback Clem Daniels, center Jim Otto and end Art Powell. AP Photo/Robert Klein
On December 22, 1963, the Oakland Raiders hosted the Houston Oilers at Frank Youell Field. In an offensive battle, the Raiders pulled out a 52-49 victory in a game that included 14 touchdowns and stands as the third highest scoring game in Pro Football history. The two teams set the record for most points combined in a first half and most points combined in a quarter (second quarter). The Raiders and Oilers also set the record for most points after touchdowns in a game with 14.
Houston won the toss and elected to receive. K Mike Mercer kicked off and kick returner Fred Glick returned the kickoff to the 37, before the ball was placed at the Oilers 12 after a penalty. Houston's quarterback, George Blanda, took the field and immediately got a first down with a handoff to RB Bill Tobin. After losing a yard on the next three downs, the Oilers were forced to punt.
P Jim Norton punted to the Raiders 32 and DB Claude Gibson returned the punt 68 yards for a touchdown. Mercer kicked the extra point and the Raiders led 7-0.
On the ensuing Mercer kickoff, KR Bobby Jancik returned the kick to the Houston 30. The Oilers went three and out and were forced to punt. DB Joe Krakoski signaled for a fair catch at the Raiders 33. Raiders QB Tom Flores took the field for the first time, but went three and out on his opening series.
Mercer punted to the Houston 14, where Glick signaled for a fair catch. From there, Blanda drove his team down the field. After a first down pass to TE Bob McLeod, they got another first down on a run by FB Charley Tolar and a pass to Tobin. They continued to drive down the field with passes to WR Willard Dewveall. With a first and goal at the Raiders 4-yard line, Blanda threw a touchdown to WR Charley Hennigan. Blanda kicked the PAT and the score was tied 7-7 with 9:40 gone in the 1st quarter.
Tobin kicked off and T Dick Klein fielded the kick and lateraled to WR Bo Roberson who returned the kick to the 15. After two short runs by Clem Daniels and an incomplete pass, the Raiders were forced to punt again.
Mercer punted and Glick returned the kick to the Houston 39. Tobin ran twice for a first down and Blanda followed up with a complete pass to Hennigan. The Oilers got another first down and with a first and goal at the 2, FB Dave Smith ran over the right guard for the touchdown. After the PAT, Houston led Oakland 14-7 with :10 remaining in the 1st quarter.
Tobin kicked off to Roberson, who returned it to the 16 to close out the quarter. End of the 1st: Oilers 14 – Raiders 7.
Flores rushed for eight yards to the 22, but on the second play of the quarter, his pass was intercepted at the Raiders 47. The interception was returned Raiders 27 and after a penalty, Blanda took over at the 12. On the first play, Blanda threw a TD pass to Dewveall. Blanda kicked his third PAT of the game and the Oilers took a 21-7 lead.
After the kickoff, the Raiders took over at the Houston 49-yard line. A Daniels run and passes to Roberson and Powell brought the Raiders to the Oilers 7-yard line. Flores' first pass to TE Ken Herock was incomplete, but the next pass to Herock was complete for a touchdown. Mercer kicked the extra point and the score was 21-14 with 4:40 gone from the 2nd quarter.
Mercer kicked off to the Houston 9 and Jancik returned it to the 34. The Oilers went three and out and Gibson fair caught the punt at the Raiders 18.
Flores and the Raiders took the field and started the drive with a Daniels first down. After a loss of one on the next Daniels run, Flores passed to Powell for a first down at the Raiders 44. On the next play, Flores passed to Daniels down the middle for a 56-yard Raiders touchdown. Oakland drove 82 yards in four plays and tied the score 21-21.
Mercer kicked off and Jancik returned the ball to the Houston 36. The Oilers picked up two first downs on four straight running plays before a pass to Dewveall put Houston at the Raiders 25. Blanda passed to Smith for another touchdown, and with the PAT, the Oilers took a 28-21 lead with 10:38 elapsed in the 2nd quarter.
Roberson returned the kickoff and the Raiders took over at their own 16-yard line. On the third play of the drive, Powell took a Flores pass 80 yards for a touchdown. After Mercer's fourth PAT, the Raiders tied the score 28-28 with less than two minutes to play in the half.
Jancik returned the ensuing kickoff to the Houston 46 where Blanda and his squad took over. With two quick passing first downs, the Oilers were already in the red zone. Blanda handed the ball off to Tolar who took it over center for another touchdown. Houston 35 – Oakland 28
Blanda kicked off to Roberson, who returned it to the 30. Flores passed to Powell, RB Alan Miller and then Daniels to drive the Raiders to the Oilers 20-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Flores found Powell in the end zone for a touchdown. The Raiders tied the score 35-35.
Mercer's onside kick attempt went out of bounds and after a rekick, the half came to a close tied 35-35. The high scoring half was one for the record books with the most points in a half (70 points) and most points in quarter (49 in the second). The scoring would continue when the teams took the field for the second half.
The Raiders got the ball to start the half and after the return had a 1st and 10 at their 25. Oakland went three and out, Mercer punted and Glick called for the fair catch. The Oilers also went three and out and punted back to the Silver and Black.
The Raiders got a big gain on a Daniels run to take them to the Houston 35. After a 15-yard holding penalty on the Raiders, they had a 2nd and 19 at the Houston 44. Another penalty gave them a 3rd and 19 at the 44, but Oakland wasn't fazed by it. On the next play, Flores hit Powell in the end zone for Powell's third touchdown on the day. The Raiders took a 42-35 lead in the 3rd.
Mercer kicked off to the 7-yard line and Jancik returned the kick to the Houston 31. Blanda's first pass to Smith went for 26 yards to the Raiders 43. After a Tolar run and a pass to McLeod, the Oilers lined up at the Raiders 31. Blanda hit Dewveall for his second touchdown of the day and tied the score 42-42.
Blanda kicked off to Roberson who had a 38-yard return to the Houston 48. Despite the good field position, the Raiders went three and out and were forced to punt. Glick returned Mercer's punt to the 33. Smith ran for a first down, and Blanda completed three passes to get the Oilers down to the Raiders 21. Blanda then passed for another touchdown, this time to Bob McLeod, giving Houston the lead again 49-42.
The Raiders started the following drive at their own 22. After a delay of game call, the Raiders had a 1st and 15. Flores completed a pass to Miller who took it to the Houston 27-yard line. Daniels ran on the next play and on a 2nd and 7, Flores was sacked for a loss of nine to end the 3rd quarter.
At the start of the 4th quarter, Houston led 49-42. The Raiders would need a 4th quarter push to win the game. On the first play of the 4th, Flores was intercepted by Jancik in the end zone. The Oilers took over and on the third play of the drive, Blanda was intercepted by LB Arch Matsos at the Houston 24.
After a two-yard Daniels run, Flores found Powell who ran it in for a touchdown from 22 yards out. The touchdown was Powell's fourth of the game and tied the score 49-49.
Mercer's ensuing kickoff went into the end zone and Jancik returned it to the Houston 25. The Oilers gained one first down before Blanda's pass was intercepted by Gibson in the end zone. The Raiders started their next drive at the 20-yard line.
On 3rd and 12 at the 18, the Raiders got a first down on a completed pass to Herock. Daniels gained 15 yards on the next play to the Houston 47. Daniels gained another 14 yards to the Houston 33 and another 11 to take the Silver and Black down to the 22. A six-yard Roberson run and two quarterback sacks put the Raiders back at the 32-yard line and on 4th and 20, Mercer kicked a 39-yard field goal to put the Raiders ahead 52-49 with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
The Raiders defense forced an Oilers punt and the Silver and Black proceeded to run out the clock to claim the victory. Flores completed 17 of 29 passes for 407 yards and six touchdowns, the first 400-yard passing game by a Raiders quarterback. Daniels rushed 22 times for 158 yards and a touchdown and Powell scored 24 points, setting a team record, gained 247 receiving yards and recorded four touchdown catches.