1974 Buffalo Bills season

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1974 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Lou Saban
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Results
Record 9–5
Division place 2nd AFC East
Playoff finish Lost AFC Divisional Playoff
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1973 1975 >

The 1974 Buffalo Bills season was the 15th season for the club in pro football and fifth in the National Football League (NFL). Buffalo made the NFL playoffs for the first time, and reached the postseason for the first time in eight seasons.

Buffalo debuted their new uniforms and helmets in 1974, replacing the red "standing buffalo" with the "streaking bison."[1] The look first shown to a national audience on the first Monday Night Football game of the season, in a dramatic 21–20 victory over Oakland.[2]

Star running back O.J. Simpson, coming off consecutive rushing titles, did not lead the league in 1974, but did cross the 1,000-yard barrier despite a sore knee.[3]

Buffalo's defense was far more stout than it had been in previous years, as it gave up 3,489 yards in 1974, fifth-fewest in the NFL. The Bills' 1,611 passing yards allowed were the third-best in the league.[4]

The 1974 Bills have the odd distinction of being the last team to go a full game without completing a pass,[5] in Week Three of the season against the New York Jets. Despite this, they still managed to defeat the Jets, behind 223 combined Buffalo rushing yards—as well as only 2 completions by Jets quarterback Joe Namath in 18 attempts.[6]

Offseason[edit]

NFL draft[edit]

Main article: 1974 NFL draft

Oklahoma State tight end Reuben Gant played his entire seven-year career with the Bills. Quarterback Gary Marangi was the Bills' backup quarterback for three seasons; in 1976, he started the final seven games of the season when starter Joe Ferguson was injured for the season with a back injury.

1974 Buffalo Bills draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 18 Reuben Gant  Tight end Oklahoma State
2 27 Doug Allen  Linebacker Penn State
3 70 Gary Marangi  Quarterback Boston College
4 95 Carlester Crumpler  Running back East Carolina
5 106 Gary Hayman  Wide receiver Penn State
5 122 Tim Guy  Offensive tackle Oregon
8 203 Greg Hare  Quarterback Ohio State
9 226 Brian Doherty  Punter Notre Dame
10 241 Art Cameron  Tight end Albany State
10 249 Don Calhoun  Running back Kansas State
11 278 Rod Kirby  Linebacker Pittsburgh
12 303 Dave Means  Defensive end Southeast Missouri State
13 331 Ed Gatewood  Linebacker Tennessee State
14 339 Phil Lamm  Defensive back North Carolina
14 355 Phil Gurbada  Defensive back Mayville State
15 382 Ken Williams  Linebacker Southwestern Louisiana
16 406 Sanford Qvale  Offensive tackle North Dakota State
17 434 Sal Casola  Placekicker Cincinnati
      Made roster  

[7]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1974 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches


Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Game Date Opponent Result Bills points Opponents Bills first downs Record 'Attendance
1 Sep 16 Oakland Raiders Win 21 20 22 1–0
80,020
2 Sep 22 Miami Dolphins Loss 16 24 16 1–1
80,020
3 Sep 29 New York Jets Win 16 12 17 2–1
76,978
4 Oct 6 at Green Bay Packers Win 27 7 22 3–1
56,267
5 Oct 13 at Baltimore Colts Win 27 14 15 4–1
40,626
6 Oct 20 New England Patriots Win 30 28 19 5–1
78,935
7 Oct 27 Chicago Bears Win 16 6 16 6–1
78,084
8 Nov 3 at New England Patriots Win 29 28 22 7–1
61,279
9 Nov 10 Houston Oilers Loss 9 21 16 7–2
79,144
10 Nov 17 at Miami Dolphins Loss 28 35 16 7–3
69,313
11 Nov 24 at Cleveland Browns Win 15 10 10 8–3
66,504
12 Dec 1 Baltimore Colts Win 6 0 9 9–3
75,325
13 Dec 8 at New York Jets Loss 10 20 12 9–4
61,091
14 Dec 15 at Los Angeles Rams Loss 14 19 8 9–5
84,324

[8]

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 0 3 7 10 20
• Bills 0 7 0 14 21

[9]


Week 8[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 6 13 7 3 29
Patriots 7 14 7 0 28


Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
Miami Dolphins 11 3 0 .786 6–2 9–2 327 216
Buffalo Bills 9 5 0 .643 5–3 7–4 264 244
New England Patriots 7 7 0 .500 4–4 4–7 348 289
New York Jets 7 7 0 .500 4–4 5–6 279 300
Baltimore Colts 2 12 0 .143 1–7 1–10 190 329

Playoffs[edit]

Pittsburgh Steelers 32, Buffalo Bills 14
1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 7 0 7 0 14
Steelers 3 26 0 3 32

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

References[edit]

External links[edit]