1986 Buffalo Bills season

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1986 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Hank Bullough
Marv Levy
General manager Bill Polian
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Results
Record 4–12
Division place 4th AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1985 1987 >

The 1986 Buffalo Bills season was the 27th season for the club and its 17th in the National Football League.

Although the Bills were only 2–6 at the midway point of the season, their games were much more competitive than in years past. (Only two of their losses in the first eight games were by more than a touchdown.) Still, after a 6-point Week Nine loss to Tampa Bay, the Bills fired coach Hank Bullough, and hired former Kansas City coach Marv Levy from outside the organization, an unusual mid-season tactic. (Levy had been out of coaching since being the head man with the USFL's Chicago Blitz in 1984.) Levy would win his first game with the Bills against Pittsburgh in Week Ten, and one more game against Kansas City in Week Thirteen, finishing with a 2–5 record in his first half-season as head coach.[1]

Offseason[edit]

Buffalo's quarterback position underwent a drastic improvement before the season, as first-round draft pick Jim Kelly—fresh from the recently folded United States Football League—signed with the team amid much fanfare. The signing increased home attendance at Rich Stadium by 30,000 per game.[2]

NFL Draft[edit]

University of Iowa running back Ronnie Harmon played for the Bills for four seasons.[3] Vanderbilt's Will Wolford played offensive tackle for the Bills for seven years, and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1990 and 1992.[4] Linebacker Mark Pike played his entire 13-year career with the Bills, mostly as a special teams star; he is the NFL's all-time leader in tackles on special teams, with 283. Tight end Butch Rolle played for the Bills for 6 years, and at one point had a streak of ten consecutive receptions for touchdowns.

= Pro Bowler [5]
Round Pick # Player Position College
1 16 Ronnie Harmon Running back Iowa
1 20 Will Wolford Offensive Tackle Vanderbilt
3 77 Leonard Burton Center South Carolina
5 111 Carl Byrum Running back Mississippi Valley State
7 168 Bob Williams Tight end Penn State
7 178 Mark Pike Linebacker Georgia Tech
7 180 Butch Rolle Tight end Michigan State
8 202 Tony Furjanic Linebacker Notre Dame
9 222 Reggie Bynum Wide receiver Oregon State
10 251 Guy Teafatiller Defensive tackle Illinois
11 278 Tony Garbarczyk Defensive tackle Wake Forest
11 282 Billy Witt Defensive end North Alabama
12 313 Brian McClure Quarterback Bowling Green
12 331 Derek Christian Linebacker West Virginia Tech

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1986 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

  • President – Ralph Wilson
  • Vice President of Administration/General Manager – Bill Polian
  • Director of Player Personnel – Norm Pollom
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Bob Ferguson

Head Coaches

  • Vice President of Football Operations/Head Coach – Hank Bullough
  • Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach – Jim Valek

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers – Herb Paterra
  • Defensive Line – Ted Cottrell
  • Outside Linebackers – Ardell Wiegandt
  • Defensive Backfield – Dick Moseley

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning Coordinator – Rusty Jones

[6]

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1986 New York Jets L 28–24
79,951
2 September 14, 1986 at Cincinnati Bengals L 36–33
52,714
3 September 21, 1986 St. Louis Cardinals W 17–10
65,762
4 September 28, 1986 Kansas City Chiefs L 20–17
67,555
5 October 5, 1986 at New York Jets L 14–13
69,504
6 October 12, 1986 at Miami Dolphins L 27–14
49,467
7 October 19, 1986 Indianapolis Colts W 24–13
50,050
8 October 26, 1986 New England Patriots L 23–3
77,808
9 November 2, 1986 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 34–28
32,806
10 November 9, 1986 Pittsburgh Steelers W 16–12
72,000
11 November 16, 1986 Miami Dolphins L 34–24
76,474
12 November 23, 1986 at New England Patriots L 22–19
60,455
13 November 30, 1986 at Kansas City Chiefs W 17–14
31,492
14 December 7, 1986 Cleveland Browns L 21–17
42,213
15 December 14, 1986 at Indianapolis Colts L 24–14
52,783
16 December 21, 1986 at Houston Oilers L 16–7
31,409

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: vs. New York Jets[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Jets 7 7 0 14 28
Bills 7 3 0 14 24

at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Game information
First Quarter
Second Quarter
  • NYJ – Al Toon 46 yard pass from Ken O'Brien (Pat Leahy kick) – Jets 14–7
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 19 yard field goal – Jets 14–10
Fourth Quarter
  • BUF – Andre Reed 55 yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick) – Bills 17–14
  • NYJ – Johnny Hector 1 yard run (Pat Leahy kick) – Jets 21–17
  • NYJ – Wesley Walker 71 yard pass from Ken O'Brien (Pat Leahy kick) – Jets 28–17
  • BUF – Pete Metzelaars 4 yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick) – Jets 28–24
Jets
  • Ken O'Brien
    18/25, 318 Yds, 2 TD
  • Freeman McNeil
    21 Rush, 72 Yds
  • Al Toon
    6 Rec, 119 Yds, TD
Bills
  • Jim Kelly
    20/33, 292 Yds, 3 TD
  • Greg Bell
    17 Rush, 44 Yds
  • Andre Reed
    5 Rec, 95 Yds, TD

Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
New England Patriots(3) 11 5 0 .688 7–1 8–4 412 307
New York Jets(4) 10 6 0 .625 6–2 8–4 364 386
Miami Dolphins(5) 8 8 0 .500 5–3 6–6 430 405
Buffalo Bills 4 12 0 .250 1–7 3–11 287 348
Indianapolis Colts 3 13 0 .188 1–7 2–10 229 400

Roster[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Levy would go on to coach the Bills for the subsequent eleven full seasons, before retiring after the 1997 season.
  2. ^ [Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition, p. 526, Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
  3. ^ Harmon made the Pro Bowl with the San Diego Chargers in 1992.
  4. ^ Wolford made a third Pro Bowl with Indianapolis.
  5. ^ Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
  6. ^ 1986 Buffalo Bills Media Guide. pp. 5–25. Retrieved August 9, 2010.