Pro footballs top five rivalries of the

  • The NFL was fighting for real estate as the league entered the 1960s. Not only was the NFL trying to surpa s baseball as America's No. 1 pastime, the league also had to compete with the newly-formed American Football League, a league that was comprised of colorful jerseys, creative team names and rules that encouraged higher scoring games.The succe s of the AFL, along with the continued growth and succe s of the , led to a boom in pro football's popularity during the '60s. By the end of the decade, the leagues' two champions would start playing an annual game against one another in a spectacle now known as the . Also helping the growth of pro football during this time was the budding of new rivalries, rivalries that are just as relevant today as they were six decades earlier.With the recent conclusion of the NFL's 100th season, we decided to take a look at pro football's top five rivalries during the '60s, rivalries that helped pro football climb to its current heights.5. Oilers vs. (AFL)Overall head-to-head record during the decade: Chargers, 12-7Playoff record during the decade: Oilers, 2-0Longest winning streak: 8 (Chargers)Best game: 1960 AFL Championship - Oilers 24, Chargers 16 The AFL's first two powerhouse teams, the Oilers and Chargers faced each other in the league's first two championship games. Their first championship meeting, played at the end of the 1960 season, put the finishing touches on the AFL's succe sful inaugural season.After splitting their season series against the AFL Western Division champion Chargers, the Oilers, winners of the AFL Eastern Division, would face Los Angeles for a third time in the 1960 AFL Championship Game. The Oilers' defense intercepted Chargers quarterback Jack Kemp twice, while their offense received a legendary performance from quarterback George Blanda, whose 301-yard, three-touchdown performance included an 88-yard touchdown pa s to Billy Cannon that proved to be the game-clinching score.While the Oilers would again have their number in the '61 championship, the Chargers would finally break through in 1963, sweeping the season series against Houston en route to a 51-0 demolishing of the in the AFL title game. The Chargers, led by Hall of Fame receiver Lance Allworth, would finish as the AFL's runner-up in '64 and '65. In the proce s, they won 10 of their final 11 games against the Oilers, who made it back to the AFL title game in '67, losing to the , 40-7. January 1, 1961The first AFL Championship has the vs Kemp 21-41-171-0-2Blanda 16-31-301-3Paul Lowe 21-165-1Hennigan 4-71Smith (19-45 5-52-1) scores the first TD Old Time Football (@Ol_TimeFootball) 4. vs. Overall head-to-head matchup during the decade: Browns, 12-6-1Longest winning streak: 6 (Browns)Best game: December 17, 1961 - Giants 7, Browns 7Two of the NFL's best teams during the decade, the Giants and Browns represented the NFL Eastern Division a combined six times in NFL title games during the '60s. The Browns, led by Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown and Hall of Fame receiver Paul Warfield, appeared in four NFL title games that included a 27-0 whipping of Johnny Unitas and the in the '64 title game.Deadlocked in a tight division race with the defending champion , the Giants needed either a win or a tie against the Browns in the final week of the 1961 regular season. While the Browns had nothing to play for, they gave the Giants all they could handle, with Brown rushing for 102 yards. Trailing by a touchdown following Y.A. Tittle's first-quarter touchdown pa s to Joe Wells, the Browns tied the score in the fourth quarter on a 35-yard touchdown pa s from Milt Plum to Leon Clarke. Fortunately for the Giants, the Browns wouldn't score again, as New York edged the Eagles for the division crown and a shot against Green Bay for the NFL title. The Giants, who appeared in back-to-back NFL title games in 1961 and '62, lost both games at the hands of the , who dominated the decade by winning five titles in a seven-year span. The Giants would again beat out the Browns for the division title in '63 before falling to the in the NFL Championship Game. Cleveland finally broke through in '64, sweeping the Giants that season before winning the franchise's fourth -- and most recent -- championship. Old DaysLegendary Announcer Chris Schenkel describes a Memorable Day in Cleveland History,the 1964 Colts-Browns 1964 NFL Championship Game. Tom's Old Days (@sigg20) 3. Bears vs. PackersOverall head-to-head matchup during the decade:Packers, 15-5Longest winning streak: 5 (Packers, 1960-62)Best game: September 24, 1967 - Packers 13, Bears 10While the Bears-Packers rivalry dates all the way back to the 1920s, the rivalry added a new chapter to its rich history in 1963, when the Bears dethroned the Packers as NFL Western Division champions before besting the Giants for the NFL title. But despite acquiring two Hall of Famers (linebacker Dick Butkus and running back Gale Sayers) during the 1965 draft, the Bears, who also featured Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka, failed to make it back to another NFL title game during the decade, as the deeper, more talented Packers always seemed to stand in Chicago's way. Despite its shortcomings, Chicago managed to give Green Bay everything it could handle during the '66 and '67 seasons. In Week 2 of the '67 season, the Packers, despite holding a 24-5 advantage in first downs gained, needed a late field goal by Don Chandler to defeat the Bears, who picked off Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr five times. With Starr neutralized, the Packers turned to running back Jim Grabowski, who gained 111 of the Packers' 233 rushing yards on the afternoon.Despite a 117-yard, one-touchdown performance by Sayers in the 1967 rematch, the Bears fell short again against the Packers, as Starr enjoyed a much better performance in Green Bay's 17-13 victory in Week 11. The Packers' hard-earned season sweep of the Bears helped them capture another division title. In January, Green Bay defeated the , and to capture its fifth and final championship of the '60s. And while Butkus and Sayers never made the playoffs, they were both members of the NFL's 100th Anniversary Team. Gale Sayers was one of the shiftiest dudes to ever lace 'em up NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) 2. Raiders vs. Chiefs (AFL)Overall head-to-head matchup during the decade:Series tied, 11-11Playoff record during the decade: Series tied, 1-1Longest winning streak: 4 (Chiefs, 1961-62; Raiders, 1968-69)Best game: 1969 AFL Championship - Chiefs 17, Raiders 7 The first franchise to win the AFL title, the Chiefs held the upper hand in their matchups against the Raiders before Oakland b