The Buffalo Bills have a long history behind them. One with many valuable moments to cherish.
The Buffalo Bills have a long history behind them. One with many valuable moments to cherish. Ralph Wilson Jr. founded the team... He chose the name Buffalo Bills so he could pay tribute to Buffalo's previous Pro-football franchise by using the name Bills.
Coach Buster Ramsey directed the bills. The first game was played against the New York Titans with the final score ending in 27-3 in the historic Polo Grounds.
A week later, they would make their home debut at War Memorial Stadium. Unfortunately, they lost the game to the Denver Broncos ending 27-21. The Bills would finally get their first win on over the Patriots 13-0. The Bills would go on to finish in 3rd Place with a 5-8-1 record.
On the road, they played much better winning four of seven including three of their last five to finish with a 6-8 record. Following the season Coach Buster Ramsey is let go and Lou Saban takes over.
In 1962, the Bills would become one of the best teams in the AFL at the end of the year losing just one of their final nine games to finish with a 7-6-1 record.
1963, the Bills stumble out of the gate again, going winless in their first four games. The Bills would recover again to get in the thick of the race for 1st Place in the East. Later that season the Patriots lost their season finale, and the Bills fond themselves in a tie for first. In the Divisional Playoff at War Memorial Stadium, the Bills could not get anything going in a 26-8 loss to the Patriots.
In 1965, they were led by Jack Kemp, who passes for 2,368 yards the Bills would get off to another fast start winning their first four games on the way cruising to their second straight Eastern Division Title with a 10-3-1 record.
In the AFL Championship Game, the Bills would once again prove superior blanking the Chargers 23-0 in San Diego to win their second straight AFL Championship
In 1966, the Bills would win five straight games to reclaim 1st place. The Bills were never in the game falling 31-7 before the home fans.
In1968, losing their first two games by a combined score of 64-13 Coach Joe Collier is let go, and replaced by Harvey Johnson the remainder of the season. A week later, they would get their first one, by stunning the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Jets at War Memorial in a 37-35 shoot out. It would be the only win for Buffalo all season as they finished with a terrible 1-12-1 record. Following the season, the Bills would name John Rauch their new head coach.
In 1969, the first overall draft, pick the Bills select Heisman Trophy Winning RB O.J. Simpson. In his first season, O.J. would have a solid season by collecting 1,040 All-purpose Yards while scoring five Touchdowns. However, the Bills would still struggle finishing with a 4-10 record.
In 1970, the Bills finished in last place with a miserable 3-10-1 record.
In 1971, as training camp was beginning Coach John Rauch decided to leave, making the Bills to call upon Harvey Johnson to fill the role as interim coach again. Following the season Lou Saban who coached the Bills to 2 AFL Championships would return, hoping the Bills could return to glory.
In 1972, their final game at War Memorial Stadium, the Bills play the Detroit Lions to a 21-21 tie, while posting a 4-9-1 record, in the final year of football at the ancient stadium. The season would end up being a break through for RB O.J. Simpson who breaks the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time with a solid 1,251-yard season.
In1973, the Bills get the season started in a style as O.J. Simpson sets a single game rushing record in a 31-13 win over the Patriots in New England. O.J. Simpson who was well on his way to winning the NFL MVP had a chance at history. Playing the Jets in the snow at Shea Stadium O.J. ran for 200 yards to become the first player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. Other players would later break Simpson's record, but no one else would rush for 2,000 yards in a 14-game season.
In 1974, new uniforms featuring a charging Buffalo, the Bills get off to a solid start winning seven of their first eight games. The Bills season would end quickly with a 32-14 loss to the Steelers in the Divisional Playoffs at Pittsburgh.
In 1975, O.J. Simpson sets a new NFL record by scoring 23 Touchdowns, while rushing for 1,817 yards, as the Bills get off to a 4-0 start. The Bills would only win four games the rest of the season finishing with an unrewarding 8-6 record.
In 1976, after playing mediocre football through their first five games while posting a 2-3 record, Coach Lou Saban resigns. Under his replacement Jim Ringo the Bills struggle would get worse as they lost all 9 games on the way to finishing with a terrible 2-12 record. Despite the struggles, Ringo would be retained as Coach. Despite the poor season, O.J. Simpson would have another solid season rushing for 1,503 yards.
In 1977, with injuries limiting O.J. Simpson to 557 yards and no Touchdowns the Bills struggles continued as they lost their first 4 games extending their losing streak to 14 games. Following the season Coach Jim Ringo is fired and replaced by Chuck Knox. In addition, an era ends as O.J. is traded to the San Francisco 49ers for draft picks as the Bills began to rebuild.
In 1978, the Bills begin life without O.J. Simpson by losing their first three games, on the way to another poor 5-11 season. Simpson's replacement Terry Miller would have a solid season by rushing for 1,060 yards.
In 1979, after a 4-6 start the Bills start to come together as a team winning three straight games to poke above .500. However, the Bills would fall back to earth losing their final three games to finish with a 7-9 record.
In 1980, the Bills begin the 80's by doing something they failed to do in the 70's; beat the Miami Dolphins. The Bills got their season started with a 17-7 win, as Bills fans rushed the field and tore down the goal posts. The win was just the start, as the Bills won their first five games of the season. However, the magic would be over quickly as the Bills were zapped 20-14 by the Chargers in the Divisional Playoffs at San Diego.
In 1982, the Bills get off to another solid start winning their first two games, before the season is interrupted by a 2-month Player's strike. When play resumed the Bills could not get into the same grove splitting their next four games. However, things would get worse as the Bills lost their final three games to fall out of the playoffs with a 4-5 record. Following the season Coach Chuck Knox resigned to take the job with Seattle Seahawks. Assistant Kay Stephenson would later replace him.
In 1983, In the NFL draft the Bills select QB Jim Kelly, but are spurned when he decides to play in the rival USFL. Despite the draft setback, the Bills get off to another solid start, and find themselves in strong playoff position sitting at 7-4 through 11 games. However, the Bills would fold down the stretch losing four of their last five games to finish with an 8-8 record.
In 1984, the Bills went on to finish with an awful 2-12 record. In 1985, the Bills would stumble out of the gate again losing their first four games before Coach Kay Stephenson is fired, and replaced by assistant Hank Bullough. Under Bullough, the Bills would not fair much better winning just two of 12 while posting a 2-14 record for the second year in a row.
In 1986, the Bills are signing QB Jim Kelly, 3 years after initially drafting him. Under Levy the Bills on win 2 out of 7 games to finish with another poor 4-12 record.
In 1987, the Bills defense begin to get better with rookies as LB Shane Conlon won the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and LB Cornelius Bennett is acquired in a 3-team deal.
In 1988, rookie RB Thurman Thomas adds an extra dimension to the Bills offense, as the team comes flying out of the gate winning 11 of their first 12 games, to clinch AFC East title before Thanksgiving. In the title, winning victory the Bills beat the New York Jets 9-6 in overtimes as Bills fans tore down the goal posts in celebration. However, clinching early would have a negative effect as the Bills lost three of their final four games to finish with a 12-4 record, losing Home Field Advantage. In the Divisional Playoffs, the Bills defeated the Houston Oilers 17-10 in the first playoff game in Buffalo in 24 years. A week later, the Bills would lose the AFC Championship to the Bengals 21-10 in Cincinnati.
In 1989, their season would end quickly with a 34-30 loss to the Browns in a Divisional Playoff shoot out in Cleveland. However, lessons would be learned form the game as the Bills found a new rhythm when they ran a no huddle offense.
In 1990, smelling the Super Bowl the Bills would not be denied destroying the Raiders by a score of 51-3 before a sold out frenzied crowd at Rich Stadium.
In the Super Bowl XXV, playing in the Silver Anniversary Super Bowl the Bills were a heavy favorite facing the New York Giants in Tampa. The Bills jumped out quickly taking a 12-3 lead in the 2nd Quarter. The Giants would begin a long drive to cut the lead to 12-10 just before halftime. The Bills would only see the ball for a few second choosing to go in the locker with a 2-point lead. When the second half began the Giants continued to grind the clock holding the ball for nearly 10 minutes to take a 17-12 lead.
The Bills would get the ball back and would march up the field themselves retaking the lead on a Thurman Thomas 31 yard TD run on the first play of the 4th Quarter. However, the Giants would take more time off the clock and take a 20-19 lead on a Matt Bahr FG. The Bills would have one last chance to win, as they set up for a Scott Norwood FG with 10 seconds left. However, the 47-yard kicked sailed wide right as the Bills hopes ran out. The Giants had found away to stop the Bills from scoring, not letting them have the ball as the Bills scored 19 points in 19 minutes of possession, in the first ever Super Bowl free of turnovers.
In 1991, the Bills offense was even stronger as Thurman Thomas won the Offensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP 2. The Bills won a trip to their second straight Super Bowl with a 10-7 win.
Now since we took a quick look at some of the highlights of the Bills, we now look into 2005, where there will be plenty of growing pains for the Bills under J.P. Losman at QB, as the 2nd year QB now runs the show. A good defense and a strong running game should help, as the Bills will not be a team to take lightly. In the end, they will fall just short of the playoffs.