1965 Buffalo Bills season

6th season in franchise history, second league championship

1965 Buffalo Bills season
OwnerRalph Wilson
Head coachLou Saban
Home fieldWar Memorial Stadium
Results
Record10–3–1
Division place1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finishWon AFL Championship (at Chargers) 23–0

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.

Although Buffalo's offense was in the middle of the pack in 1965, it was their dominant team defense that kept them atop the league's standings. Buffalo gave up only 226 points (16.1 per game), fewest in the AFL, and one point fewer than AFL Championship runner-up San Diego.[1] The Bills' opportunistic defense led the league in interceptions, with 32, and gave up a league-low four rushing touchdowns all season. Between week 6 of the 1964 season, through week eight of the 1965 season, including two 1964 playoff games, the Bills' defense did not allow a touchdown by rushing, a Professional Football record that still stands.

The Bills, who had led the AFL in points, rushing yards and total yards the previous season, suffered significantly after losing star running back Cookie Gilchrist in the offseason. Statistically, the Bills dropped to 6th (out of 8) in rushing yards, and 7th in passing yards. Still, they managed to finish 3rd in the AFL in points scored, with 313 (22.3 per game).[2]

The Bills' turnover ratio was +18, best in the AFL, and fourth best in AFL history.[3] Buffalo's +87 point differential was second-best in the league in 1965.

Seven Bills made the 1965 AFL All-Star team: safety George Saimes, cornerback Butch Byrd, linebacker Mike Stratton, defensive tackle Tom Sestak, guard Billy Shaw, kicker Pete Gogolak, and quarterback Jack Kemp.[4]

Personnel

Coaches/Staff

1965 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Running Backs/Wide Receivers – John Mazur
  • Offensive Line – Jerry Smith
 

Defensive Coaches

Final roster

1965 Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Note: Rookies in italics

Offseason

The Bills lost All-AFL running back Cookie Gilchrist to the Denver Broncos after the 1964 season. Bills running back Wray Carlton would take over as the Bills' lead back.

AFL Draft

Regular season

Standings

AFL Eastern Division
  • view
  • talk
  • edit
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
Buffalo Bills 10 3 1 .769 4–2 313 226 L1
New York Jets 5 8 1 .385 3–3 285 303 W1
Boston Patriots 4 8 2 .333 2–4 244 302 W3
Houston Oilers 4 10 0 .286 3–3 298 429 L7

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

Season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 11 Boston Patriots W 24–7 1–0 War Memorial Stadium 45,502 Recap
2 September 19 at Denver Broncos W 30–15 2–0 Bears Stadium 30,682 Recap
3 September 26 New York Jets W 33–21 3–0 War Memorial Stadium 45,056 Recap
4 October 3 Oakland Raiders W 17–12 4–0 War Memorial Stadium 41,256 Recap
5 October 10 San Diego Chargers L 3–34 4–1 War Memorial Stadium 45,260 Recap
6 October 17 at Kansas City Chiefs W 23–7 5–1 Municipal Stadium 26,941 Recap
7 October 24 Denver Broncos W 31–13 6–1 War Memorial Stadium 45,046 Recap
8 October 31 Houston Oilers L 17–19 6–2 War Memorial Stadium 44,267 Recap
9 November 7 at Boston Patriots W 23–7 7–2 Fenway Park 24,415 Recap
10 November 14 at Oakland Raiders W 17–14 8–2 Frank Youell Field 19,352 Recap
11 Bye
12 November 25 at San Diego Chargers T 20–20 8–2–1 Balboa Stadium 27,473 Recap
13 December 5 at Houston Oilers W 29–18 9–2–1 Rice Stadium 23,087 Recap
14 December 12 Kansas City Chiefs W 34–25 10–2–1 War Memorial Stadium 40,298 Recap
15 December 19 at New York Jets L 12–14 10–3–1 Shea Stadium 57,396 Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Player stats

Passing

Player Comp Att Yds Completion % TD INT
Jack Kemp 179 391 2368 45.8 10 18
Daryle Lamonica 29 70 376 41.4 3 6

[5]

Rushing

Player Att Yds Average Long TD
Wray Carlton 156 592 3.8 80 6

[5]

Postseason

Round Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance Recap
Championship December 26 at San Diego Chargers W 23–0 Balboa Stadium 30,361 Recap

AFL Championship Game

1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 0 14 6 3 23
Chargers 0 0 0 0 0

Buffalo Bills 23, San Diego Chargers 0

December 26, 1965, at Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California
Attendance: 30,361

Scoring

  • BUF – Warlick 18 pass from Kemp (Gogolak kick)
  • BUF – Byrd 74 punt return (Gogolak kick)
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 11
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 39
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 32

AFL All-Star Game

Season Date Winner Most Valuable Player(s) Site
1965 January 15, 1966 AFL All-Stars 30,
Buffalo Bills 19
Offense: Joe Namath, QB, Jets
Defense: Frank Buncom, LB, Chargers
Rice Stadium, Houston

Awards and Records

  • Lou Saban, Coach of the Year

References

  1. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1965 AFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1965 AFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1960 to 1969, in the AFL, in the regular season, sorted by descending Turnover Margin
  4. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1965 AFL All-Pros
  5. ^ a b "1965 Buffalo Bills Statistics & Players".
  • Buffalo Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • Buffalo Bills on jt-sw.com
  • v
  • t
  • e
Buffalo Bills 1965 AFL champions
  • v
  • t
  • e
Buffalo Bills
  • Founded in 1960
  • Based and headquartered in Orchard Park, New York
Franchise
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Division championships (12)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (2)
Wall of Fame
Media
Owners
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
  • Category
  • Commons