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This Day in Bills History, Dec. 26: An all-time highlight

Dec. 26, 1964 – Professional sports championships haven’t exactly been common in Western New York. Therefore, it’s fun to remember the ones we’ve had.

The Bills won their first American Football League championship with a 20-7 win over the San Diego Chargers. The 40,242 in War Memorial Stadium no doubt enjoyed almost every minute of it.

It was a typical blue-collar performance by the Bills. Jack Kemp and Wray Carlton ran for touchdowns, while Pete Gogolak added a pair of field goals.

Yet the game is best remembered for a tackle. Keith Lincoln of the Chargers was the target of a swing pass, only to be absolutely flattened by linebacker Mike Stratton. The San Diego running back had to leave the game with broken ribs.

Exactly one year later, the Bills won their second-straight AFL championship. Buffalo defeated the Chargers, 23-0, as San Diego was held to 12 first downs.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

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