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Raiders Upset Chargers in Oakland

Dec. 8, 1963 - The amazing Raiders, paced by receiver Art Powell and quarterback Cotton Davidson, erupted for four touchdowns and a field goal in the last period today and upset the San Diego Chargers, 41-27, before a rain-soaked but happy home crowd of 20,249 — a record turnout for Youell Field. With this stunning victory, the Raiders climbed to within a game of the Western Division lead in the American Football League. After today’s contest, Oakland coach Al Davis jokingly complained that he wasn’t going to have any thrills to look forward to in the future because his Raiders are giving them all to him in his first year on the job. In a more serious vein, Davis said the biggest break the Raiders got was when San Diego fullback Keith Lincoln was injured in the first quarter although, he amended, “Bobby Jackson played a great game in Lincoln’s place.” Lincoln’s injury was tentatively diagnosed as a “minor concussion.” Had Davis felt the Chargers had clinched the victory when they went ahead by 27-10 in the third quarter? “I never felt we were out of it,” Al replied. “But at that point, I concede, the game could have been broken wide open in their favor. But our guys wouldn’t quit.” Davis said the only major decision he had to make was whether to go for the one-point or two-point conversion when the Raiders scored the touchdown that reduced San Diego’s lead to 27-26. “We went for one to tie,” he explained, “because we thought we could come back and win with a field goal.” Little did he know his troops had two more touchdowns in their system. “Looking at it in retrospect,” Al continued, “we should have gone for two. But who cares now?” Davidson, who has been around a spell — seven years in pro ball — said this victory gave him a greater thrill than any in his long career. Like a number of other Raiders, the quarterback probably wouldn’t be on the team but for Davis. “After last season, I seriously considered quitting football,” Cotton explained. “But I had known Al for a number of years, and when the club hired him, I decided to give it another whirl. I’ve never played under a coach who has given me so much to work with.”

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