1966 Buffalo Bills season

7th season in franchise history

1966 Buffalo Bills season
OwnerRalph Wilson
Head coachJoe Collier
Home fieldWar Memorial Stadium
Results
Record9–4–1
Division place1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finishLost AFL Championship (vs. Chiefs) 7–31

The 1966 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s seventh season in the American Football League. It was the first season for head coach Joe Collier, who had been the Bills' defensive coordinator for the previous four seasons.[1]

It ended with a loss in the AFL Championship Game to the Kansas City Chiefs, ending the team's two-year reign as league champions. The score was 31-7 during the time.

The Bills allowed the fewest points in the AFL for the third consecutive year.[2] Although defensive tackle Tom Sestak hampered by a bad knee, defensive linemen Jim Dunaway and Ron McDole took a leadership position. Linebackers Mike Stratton, Harry Jacobs and John Tracey, and defensive backs George Saimes, Butch Byrd, Hagood Clarke and Tom Janik provided a strong defensive foundation.[3]

Halfback Bobby Burnett and split end Bobby Crockett joined long-time Bills running back Wray Carlton and quarterback Jack Kemp, leading Buffalo's offense to scoring 358 points,[4] second-most in the AFL in 1966. Burnett's 1,185 total yards from scrimmage were 5th in the AFL, and garnered AFL Rookie of the Year honors for Burnett.

Personnel

Staff

1966 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

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

Defensive Coaches

  • Linebackers/Defensive Backs – Richie McCabe

Final roster

1966 Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Note: Rookies in italics

Offseason

Lou Saban, who had coached the Bills to consecutive AFL Championships, left the team after the 1965 season to coach at the University of Maryland.

AFL Draft

Regular season

Season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 4 at San Diego Chargers L 7–27 0–1 Balboa Stadium 27,572 Recap
2 September 11 Kansas City Chiefs L 20–42 0–2 War Memorial Stadium 42,023 Recap
3 September 18 Miami Dolphins W 58–24 1–2 War Memorial Stadium 37,546 Recap
4 September 25 Houston Oilers W 27–20 2–2 War Memorial Stadium 42,256 Recap
5 October 2 at Kansas City Chiefs W 29–14 3–2 Municipal Stadium 43,885 Recap
6 October 8 Boston Patriots L 10–20 3–3 War Memorial Stadium 45,542 Recap
7 October 16 San Diego Chargers T 17–17 3–3–1 War Memorial Stadium 45,169 Recap
8 Bye
9 October 30 at New York Jets W 33–23 4–3–1 Shea Stadium 61,552 Recap
10 November 6 at Miami Dolphins W 29–0 5–3–1 Miami Orange Bowl 37,177 Recap
11 November 13 New York Jets W 14–3 6–3–1 War Memorial Stadium 45,738 Recap
12 November 20 at Houston Oilers W 42–20 7–3–1 Rice Stadium 27,312 Recap
13 November 24 at Oakland Raiders W 31–10 8–3–1 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 36,781 Recap
14 December 4 at Boston Patriots L 3–14 8–4–1 Fenway Park 39,350 Recap
15 Bye
16 December 18 Denver Broncos W 38–21 9–4–1 War Memorial Stadium 40,583 Recap

Note:

  • Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Standings

AFL Eastern Division
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W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
Buffalo Bills 9 4 1 .692 6–2 358 255 W1
Boston Patriots 8 4 2 .667 5–1–1 315 283 L1
New York Jets 6 6 2 .500 4–3–1 322 312 W1
Houston Oilers 3 11 0 .214 1–7 335 396 L8
Miami Dolphins 3 11 0 .214 2–5 213 362 W1

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

Game summaries

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

1 234Total
Dolphins 3 7014 24
• Bills 21 2737 58
  • Date: September 18
  • Location: War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, NY
  • Game weather: 61°F; wind 3
Scoring summary
Q1BUFKemp 1 yard run (Lusteg kick)BUF 7–0
Q1BUFByrd 60 yard interception return (Lusteg kick)BUF 14–0
Q1BUFByrd 72 yard punt return (Lusteg kick)BUF 21–0
Q1MIAMingo 24 yard field goalBUF 21–3
Q2BUFCrockett 26 yard pass from Kemp (Lusteg kick)BUF 28–3
Q2BUFBurnett 1 yard run (Lusteg kick)BUF 35–3
Q2BUFBurnett 3 yard run (kick failed)BUF 41–3
Q2MIARoderick 4 yard pass from Wilson (Mingo kick)BUF 41–10
Q2BUFSpikes 11 yard run (Lusteg kick)BUF 48–10
Q3BUFLusteg 13 yard field goalBUF 51–10
Q4MIARoberson 66 yard pass from Wilson (Mingo kick)BUF 51–17
Q4BUFSpikes 18 yard pass from Lamonica (Lusteg kick)BUF 58–17
Q4MIAKocourek 13 yard pass from Wilson (Mingo kick)BUF 58–24

[5]

Week 10

1 234Total
Jets 0 030 3
• Bills 0 0014 14
  • Date: November 13
  • Location: War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York
  • Game attendance: 45,738
  • Game weather: 33°F; wind 10
Scoring summary
Q3NYJJim Turner 43 yard field goalNYJ 3–0
Q4BUFElbert Dubenion 14 yard pass from Jack Kemp (Booth Lusteg kick)BUF 7–3
Q4BUFJim Dunaway 72 yard blocked field goal return (Booth Lusteg kick)BUF 14–3

[6]

Roster

Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

K-Booth Lusteg

Postseason

AFL Championship Game

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 7 10 0 14 31
Bills 7 0 0 0 7

Kansas City Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7

January 1, 1967, at War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 42,080

The Bills entered the AFL championship game seeking their third consecutive title. Though the game was played in Buffalo, the visiting Kansas City Chiefs were three-point favorites, mainly because of their explosive and innovative offense led by head coach Hank Stram. The Bills were a more conventional team with a solid defensive line and a running mindset on offense.

Buffalo found no offensive rhythm in the second half, and the Chiefs closed the game out in the fourth quarter with Dawson found Chris Burford for a 45-yard gain, setting up a one-foot touchdown run by rookie Mike Garrett. Less than two minutes later, Garrett scored a second touchdown following another Bills fumble.

Scoring

  • KC – Arbanas 29 pass from Dawson (Mercer kick)
  • BUF – Dubenion 69 pass from Kemp (Lusteg kick)
  • KC – Taylor 29 pass from Dawson (Mercer kick)
  • KC – Field goal Mercer 32
  • KC – Garrett 1 run (Mercer kick)
  • KC – Garrett 18 run (Mercer kick)

Awards and Records

References

  1. ^ Collier would coach the Bills for three seasons: 1966–1968
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference: 1966 AFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics
  3. ^ Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition, p.108, Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
  4. ^ 25.6 per game
  5. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-Jan-06.
  6. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Jan-24.
  • Buffalo Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • Buffalo Bills on jt-sw.com
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