1966 Buffalo Bills season
|1966 Buffalo Bills season|
|Head coach||Joe Collier|
|Home field||War Memorial Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFL Eastern|
|Playoff finish||Lost AFL Championship|
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 defensive coordinator for the previous four seasons.
The Bills allowed the fewest points in the AFL for the third consecutive year. 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.
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, 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.
|1966 Buffalo Bills staff|
|New York Jets||6||6||2||.500||322||312|
|1||September 4, 1966||at San Diego Chargers||L 27–7||
|2||September 11, 1966||Kansas City Chiefs||L 42–20||
|3||September 18, 1966||Miami Dolphins||W 58–24||
|4||September 25, 1966||Houston Oilers||W 27–20||
|5||October 2, 1966||at Kansas City Chiefs||W 29–14||
|6||October 8, 1966||Boston Patriots||L 20–10||
|7||October 16, 1966||San Diego Chargers||T 17–17||
|9||October 30, 1966||at New York Jets||W 33–23||
|10||November 6, 1966||at Miami Dolphins||W 29–0||
|11||November 13, 1966||New York Jets||W 14–3||
|12||November 20, 1966||at Houston Oilers||W 42–20||
|13||November 24, 1966||at Oakland Raiders||W 31–10||
|14||December 4, 1966||at Boston Patriots||L 14–3||
|16||December 18, 1966||Denver Broncos||W 38–21||
Buffalo Bills roster
AFL Championship Game
The Bills went into the 1966 AFL Championship having already won the game the previous two years. Though the game was to be 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. Garrett scored his second touchdown less than two minutes later following another Bills fumble.
- 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
- Bobby Burnett, Rookie of the Year
- Collier would coach the Bills for three seasons: 1966-1968
- Pro-Football-Reference: 1966 AFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics
- [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
- 25.6 per game