1960 Buffalo Bills season

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1960 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Buster Ramsey
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field War Memorial Stadium
Results
Record 5–8–1
Division place 3rd AFL Eastern
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
N/A 1961

The 1960 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s first season in the American Football League. Home games were played at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York. Head Coach Buster Ramsey's Bills compiled a 5–8–1 record, placing them third in the AFL Eastern Division.

Unlike most of the offensive-minded AFL, the Bills focused on defense, allowing the third-fewest points in the league (303). Their defensive line boasted Laverne Torczon and Chuck McMurtry (both of whom were 1st Team All-AFL in 1960),[1] as well as a mobile, hard-hitting middle linebacker in Archie Matsos, who was AFL All-Star in each of the three seasons he spent in Buffalo. The Bills' defense led the league in fewest passing yards allowed (2,130) and most passes intercepted (33),[2] with NFL veterans Richie McCabe and Jim Wagstaff in their secondary.[3]

The Bills' offense, however, was not as competent. The 1960 Bills had the worst passing attack in the AFL, throwing for 2,346 yards.[4] Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Tommy O'Connell started the season 1–3 before being replaced by Johnny Green. Green would go 3–3 as a starter, despite only completing 39% of his passes.[5] Richie Lucas, the Bills' first ever draft pick, was a bust, both at quarterback and at halfback,[6] throwing only 49 passes all season.[7]

The Bills did show glimmers of hope on offense, however, by showcasing running back Wray Carlton and flanker Elbert "Golden Wheels" Dubenion, who would later go on to be AFL All-Stars for the Bills in the mid-1960s.

Uniforms[edit]

In their first season, the Bills wore silver helmets and light blue home jerseys. Their road jerseys were white with light blue letters. The team wore white pants both at home and on the road. The Bills' helmets displayed the player's number in light blue on the side where the logo would normally be (much like the Alabama Crimson Tide's helmets.)[8]

The uniforms, not coincidentally, resembled those of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. grew up in Detroit, and had once been a minority owner in the Lions.

Offseason[edit]

When Lamar Hunt announced formation of the American Football League in the summer of 1959, Buffalo was one of the target cities Hunt sought, based on its previous success with the Bills in the AAFC. His first choice of owner, however, turned him down; Pat McGroder (then a liquor store owner and sports liaison with the city of Buffalo) was still hopeful that the threat of the AFL would prompt the NFL to come back to Buffalo to try and stop the AFL from gaining a foothold there (as the NFL would do with teams in Minnesota, Dallas, St. Louis and later Atlanta). McGroder's hopes never came to fruition, and in 1961, he took a position in the new Bills organization.

Harry Wismer, who was to own the Titans of New York franchise, reached out to insurance salesman and automobile heir Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. to see if he was interested in joining the upstart league. (Both Wismer and Wilson were minority owners of NFL franchises at the time: Wilson part-owned the Detroit Lions, while Wismer was a small partner in the Washington Redskins but had little power due to majority owner George Preston Marshall's near-iron fist over the team and the league). Wilson agreed to field a team in the new league, with the words "Count me in. I'll take a franchise anywhere you suggest."[9] Hunt gave him the choice of six cities: Miami, Buffalo, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Atlanta, or Louisville, Kentucky; after being turned down in his effort to put a team in Miami, he consulted with Detroit media, who connected him with McGroder and The Buffalo News managing editor Paul Neville;[10][11] their efforts to lobby Wilson to come to Buffalo were successful, and Wilson sent Hunt a telegram with the now-famous words, "Count me in with Buffalo."

The Buffalo Bills were a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. After a public contest, the team adopted the same name as the AAFC Buffalo Bills, the former All-America Football Conference team in Buffalo.

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1960 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Roster[edit]

All of the following players appeared in at least one game for the 1960 Buffalo Bills.[12]

Number Name Position Notes
20 Billy Atkins K/P/DB
84 Bob Barrett E
60 Phil Blazer G
17 Bob Brodhead QB
88 Dick Brubaker E
55 Bernard Buzyniski LB
30 Wray Carlton FB
84 Dan Chamberlain WR
77 Donald Chelf T
80 Monte Crockett E
75 Tony Discenzo T
44 Elbert Dubenion WR Member of Buffalo Bills "Wall of Fame"
26 Fred Ford HB
23 Willmer Fowler HB
78 Gene Grabosky DT
18 Johnny Green QB
41 Darrell Harper HB/K
54 Joe Hergert LB/K
88 Al Hoisington E Also played for the Oakland Raiders in 1960
42 Jack Johnson DB
24 Billy Kinard DB
43 Joe Kulbacki HB
57 Jack Laraway LB
27 Hal Lewis FB/HB
11 Richie Lucas QB/HB/DB
56 Archie Matsos LB
45 Richie McCabe DB
52 Dan McGrew C
73 Chuck McMurtry DT
62 Eddie Meyer T
85 Leroy Moore DE
70 Chuck Muelhaupt G
14 Tommy O'Connell QB
74 Harold Olson T
54 Sam Palumbo LB/C
53 Dennis Remmert LB
85 Charlie Rutkowski DE
81 Tom Rychlec E
67 Joe Schaffer LB
76 Jack Scott DT
75 Robert Sedlock T
35 Carl Smith FB
79 Jim Sorey DT
87 LaVerne Torczon DE
22 Jim Wagstaff DB
33 Ted Wegert HB
71 Mack Yoho DE

Starters[edit]

The following players started the most games at their respective positions:[12]

Pos Offense Pos Defense Pos Special teams
QB Johnny Green LDE Mack Yoho K Billy Atkins
HB Willmer Fowler LDT Chuck McMurtry P Billy Atkins
FB Wray Carlton RDT Jim Sorrey PR Joe Kulbacki
FL Elbert Dubenion RDE LaVerne Torczon KR Joe Kulbacki
SE Dan Chamberlain LOLB Jack Laraway
TE Tom Rychlec MLB Archie Matsos
LT Harold Olson ROLB Joe Schaffer
LG Phil Blazer LCB Billy Atkins
C Dan McGrew RCB Billy Kinard
RG Chuck Muelhaupt LS Jim Wagstaff
RT Donald Chelf RS Richie McCabe

1960 AFL Draft[edit]

Two Rounds of draft were held, the first round called "First Selections", the second round "Second Selections".

First Selections[edit]

Second Selections[edit]

1960 Regular Season[edit]

Season schedule[edit]

Preseason[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Notes Attendance
1 July 29, 1960 Boston Patriots L 28–7 First game in American Football League history
16,474
2 August 13, 1960 Denver Broncos W 31–14 Played at Aquinas Stadium in Rochester, New York
6,200
3 August 24, 1960 Oakland Raiders L 26–21
17,071

Regular season[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
1 September 11, 1960 at New York Titans L 27–3 Polo Grounds
10,200
2 September 18, 1960 Denver Broncos L 27–21 War Memorial Stadium
15,229
3 September 23, 1960 at Boston Patriots W 13–0 Nickerson Field
20,732
4 October 2, 1960 Los Angeles Chargers L 24–10 War Memorial Stadium
15,821
6 October 16, 1960 New York Titans L 17–13 War Memorial Stadium
14,988
7 October 23, 1960 Oakland Raiders W 38–9 War Memorial Stadium
8,876
8 October 30, 1960 Houston Oilers W 25–24 War Memorial Stadium
23,001
9 November 6, 1960 Dallas Texans L 45–28 War Memorial Stadium
19,610
10 November 13, 1960 at Oakland Raiders L 20–7 Kezar Stadium
8,800
11 November 20, 1960 at Los Angeles Chargers W 32–3 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
16,161
12 November 27, 1960 at Denver Broncos T 38–38 Bears Stadium
7,785
13 December 4, 1960 Boston Patriots W 38–14 War Memorial Stadium
14,335
14 December 11, 1960 at Houston Oilers L 31–23 Jeppesen Stadium
25,243
15 December 18, 1960 at Dallas Texans L 24–7 Cotton Bowl
18,000

Season summary[edit]

Week 3[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
• Bills 6 7 0 0 13
Patriots 0 0 0 0 0

[13]

Buffalo's first win in franchise history.


Standings[edit]

Eastern Division
Team W L T PCT PF PA
*Houston Oilers 10 4 0 .714 379 285
New York Titans 7 7 0 .500 382 399
Buffalo Bills 5 8 1 .385 296 303
Boston Patriots 5 9 0 .357 286 349

References[edit]