David Michael Stratton (born April 10, 1941) is an American former football player who was a linebacker in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) for twelve seasons. He played professionally for the Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers.
Drafted out of the University of Tennessee in the 13th round of the 1962 AFL Draft, Stratton was selected as an AFL All-Star six straight seasons from 1963 through 1968. Lou Saban used him at linebacker, where with Harry Jacobs and John Tracey he filled out the AFL's best linebacking crew, playing together for 62 consecutive games from 1963 through 1967, a pro football record. They helped the formidable front four hold opposing teams without a 100-yard rusher for seventeen consecutive games in 1964 and 1965, a pro-football record 17 consecutive games without allowing a rushing touchdown, and achieved American Football League championships in both those years.
In the 1964 AFL championship game against the San Diego Chargers, he made the memorable "hit heard 'round the world". The Chargers led 7-0 and were marching toward another score when Stratton tackled the Chargers' Hall of Famer Keith Lincoln, putting him out of the game. The Bills shut out San Diego for the rest of the game, and won, 20-7. Stratton was selected to the All-Time All-AFL second team.
- ^ a b "The Best Outside Linebackers Not in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame". bleacherreport.com. May 22, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
By Dean Hanley
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