1961 Buffalo Bills season

Last updated

1961 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Buster Ramsey
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field War Memorial Stadium
Results
Record6–8
Division place4th Eastern
Playoff finishDid not qualify

The 1961 Buffalo Bills season was the team's second year in the American Football League. The Bills played in the Eastern division, winning six games, losing eight, and missing the postseason.

Contents

The Bills didn't have a winning record at any point in the season; they played their final five games of the season on the road.

Season summary

The Bills had a problematic quarterback situation, with former Redskin M.C. Reynolds, second-year Bills QB Johnny Green and ex-Lion Warren Rabb all struggling at the passer position. None completed more than 46% of their passes, and only Reynolds had a winning record (2–1) and threw for more than 1,000 yards. [1]

Punter Billy Atkins led the league in punts, with 85; he also led the league with 44.5 yards per punt. Atkins also played safety for the Bills in 1961, and led the league with 10 interceptions, and was 2nd-Team All-AFL on defense. [2]

Middle linebacker Archie Matsos was 1st-Team All-AFL for the second consecutive year, as was defensive tackle Chuck McMurtry. Defensive tackle LaVerne Torczon was 2nd-Team All-AFL in 1961. [3]

Offseason

Personnel

Staff

1961 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Final roster

1961 Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

*Note:Rookies in italics

AFL Draft

The Bills amassed a great deal of talent on their offensive line in the 1961 draft. Four of their first seven picks—Rice, Shaw, Barber and Bemiller, all offensive linemen—would go on to make at least one All-AFL team in the next five years. This draft would form the nucleus for the Bills' power running game over the next five years.

Rice was All-AFL as a rookie in 1961.

= All-AFL [4]
RoundPlayerPositionCollege
1 Ken Rice [5] TackleAuburn
2 Billy Shaw [6] TackleGeorgia Tech
3 Art Baker Fullback Syracuse (from New York)
3 Tom Gilburg TackleSyracuse
4 Stew Barber [7] Tackle Penn State
5 Norm Snead* [8] Quarterback Wake Forest
6Fred BrownHalfbackGeorgia
7 Albert Bemiller [9] CenterSyracuse
8Charles LinningTackle Miami
9William MajorsHalfback Tennessee
10Don KernHalfback VMI
11Roy WallHalfbackNorth Carolina
12Floyd PowersGuardMississippi State
13Tom CauseyOffensive end Louisiana Tech
14 Ron Kostelnik* [10] Tackle Cincinnati
15Jerry FryeOffensive end South Carolina
16Vincent ScottOffensive end Maryland
17Wayne WolffTackleWake Forest
18John BodkinGuardSouth Carolina
19 Charley Barnes Offensive endNE Louisiana State
20Everett CloudHalfbackMaryland
21Larry VargoOffensive end Detroit
22Charles BakerTackleTennessee
23William MackHalfbackNotre Dame
24Frank JackunasCenterDetroit
25 Jack Harbaugh Halfback Bowling Green
26Lorenzo StanfordTackleNorth Carolina A & I
27Bob AllenOffensive endWake Forest
28Jason HarnessOffensive end Michigan State
29Mike StockHalfback Northwestern
30 William Martin Halfback Minnesota

Standings

AFL Eastern Division
WLTPCTDIVPFPASTK
Houston Oilers 1031.7694–1–1513242W9
Boston Patriots 941.6922–3–1413313W4
New York Titans 770.5003–3301390L2
Buffalo Bills 680.4292–4294342L1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Game-by-game results

The 1961 preseason was notable for the Bills as they became the only AFL (or NFL) team to lose to a CFL team, and it was the last game between the CFL and AFL/NFL met in history. [11]

Preseason

WeekDateOpponentResultStadiumAttendance
August 8, 1961 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL)L 38–21 [12] Ivor Wynne Stadium 12,000

Regular season

WeekDateOpponentResultStadiumRecordAttendance
1September 10, 1961 Denver Broncos L 22–10 War Memorial Stadium 0–1
16,636
2September 17, 1961 New York Titans W 41–31 War Memorial Stadium 1–1
15,584
3September 23, 1961 Boston Patriots L 23–21 War Memorial Stadium 1–2
21,504
4September 30, 1961 San Diego Chargers L 19–11 War Memorial Stadium 1–3
20,742
5October 8, 1961at Houston Oilers W 22–12 Jeppesen Stadium 2–3
22,761
6October 15, 1961 Dallas Texans W 27–24 War Memorial Stadium 3–3
20,678
7October 22, 1961at Boston PatriotsL 52–21 Boston University Field 3–4
9,398
8October 29, 1961Houston OilersL 28–16 War Memorial Stadium 3–5
21,237
9November 5, 1961 Oakland Raiders L 31–22 War Memorial Stadium 3–6
17,027
10November 12, 1961at Dallas TexansW 30–20 Cotton Bowl 4–6
15,000
11November 19, 1961at Denver BroncosW 23–10 Bears Stadium 5–6
7,645
12November 23, 1961at New York TitansL 21–14 Polo Grounds 5–7
12,023
13December 3, 1961at Oakland RaidersW 26–21 Candlestick Park 6–7
8,011
14December 10, 1961at San Diego ChargersL 28–10 Balboa Stadium 6–8
24,486

Final roster

Related Research Articles

Super Bowl XXVI 1992 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1991 season. The Redskins defeated the Bills by a score of 37–24, becoming the fourth team after the Pittsburgh Steelers, the now Las Vegas Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers to win three Super Bowls. The Bills became the third team, after the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos to lose back-to-back Super Bowls. The game was played on January 26, 1992, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first time the city played host to a Super Bowl.

Billy Shaw American football player

William Lewis Shaw is an American former professional football player who was an offensive guard for the Buffalo Bills in the American Football League (AFL). After playing college football with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, he was drafted by the Bills. Shaw was the prototypical "pulling guard" who despite his size held his own against much bigger defensive linemen like Ernie Ladd, Earl Faison and Buck Buchanan. He won three straight Eastern Division titles and two American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965 with Buffalo.

Ron McDole All-star AFL defensive lineman

Roland Owen "Ron" McDole is a former American football defensive end. He played college football at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and professionally in the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL).

Jim Jeffcoat American football player and coach

James Wilson Jeffcoat, Jr. is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills. He was most recently an assistant football coach for the Dallas Renegades of the XFL. He played college football at Arizona State University.

Jim Schwartz American football coach

James J. Schwartz is an American football coach who is the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). Schwartz was also formerly the head coach of the NFL's Detroit Lions.

Billy Atkins (American football) American football player, coach, college athletics administrator

William Ellis Atkins was an American football defensive back and punter from Auburn University who played for the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League, and in the American Football League for the Buffalo Bills, the New York Titans/Jets, and the Denver Broncos. He was an AFL All-Star in 1961.

Mike Nelms American football player

Michael Craig Nelms is a former American football defensive back and kick returner in the National Football League (NFL) who played five seasons with the Washington Redskins from 1980 to 1984. Before his NFL career, Nelms played in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at Baylor University.

The 1961 National Football League draft took place at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia on December 27–28, 1960. The league would later hold an expansion draft for the Minnesota Vikings expansion franchise, and the Vikings were also awarded the first selection position in this draft. This draft was also the first regular draft for the Dallas Cowboys as they had only participated in the 1960 NFL expansion draft that year. The Cowboys held the worst record in the NFL the previous season, but selected second in this draft because of the entry of the Vikings into the league.

1966 American Football League Championship Game

The 1966 American Football League Championship Game was the seventh AFL championship game, played at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, on January 1, 1967.

Ken Rice (American football) American football player

Kenneth Earl Rice is a former an American football offensive tackle in the American Football League for the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, and the Miami Dolphins. Rice played college football at Auburn, where he was named a two-time All-American.

Don Larry Talbert is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints. He was drafted in the eighth round of the 1961 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jerry Wayne Crafts is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. He also played in the World League of American Football, XFL, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League. He is the only person to have been involved with teams that played in the championship games of each of the aforementioned Leagues. He played college football at the University of Oklahoma for Barry Switzer and the University of Louisville.

The 1965 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s sixth season in the American Football League. Though not as statistically dominant as the previous season, the Bills won a second consecutive league championship.

The San Jose State Spartans football team represents San Jose State University in NCAA Division I FBS college football as a member of the Mountain West Conference.

The 1980 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 11th season in the National Football League, and the 21st overall. Their 11–5 record was tied for best in the AFC.

The 1962 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s third season in the American Football League. The Bills finished the season with a 7–6–1 record, third place in the AFL East; it was the Bills' first-ever season finishing with a winning record.

The 1976 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 7th season in the National Football League, and the 17th overall.

The 1977 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 18th season, and their eighth in the National Football League. The team posted a losing record for the second-consecutive season, and missed the postseason for the third season.

References

  1. Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1961 Buffalo Bills
  2. Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1961 AFL Leaders and Leaderboards
  3. Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1961 AFL Pro Bowlers
  4. Players are identified as All-AFL if they were selected to the All-AFL at any time in their career.
  5. All-AFL 1961
  6. 8x AFL All-Star
  7. 5x AFL All-Star
  8. 4x NFL Pro Bowler for Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants
  9. 1965 AFL All-Star
  10. Inducted into Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame (NFL) in 1989
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 19, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN   0-7611-2480-2, p. 369