1995 Buffalo Bills season

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1995 Buffalo Bills season
Head coachMarv Levy; Elijah Pitts (interim until Levy recovered from prostate cancer surgery)
General managerJohn Butler
OwnerRalph Wilson
Home fieldRich Stadium
Results
Record10–6
Division place1st AFC East
Playoff finishWon Wild Card Playoffs (Dolphins) 37–22
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Steelers) 21–40

The 1995 Buffalo Bills season was the 36th season for the club and its 26th in the National Football League.

Season summary[edit]

After suffering a losing season the previous season, the 1995 Bills won the AFC East, and made the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons. They defeated the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Game in Don Shula's final game as an NFL head coach. The following week they lost to the eventual AFC Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The playoff win over Miami represents the last time to date that the Bills have won a playoff game.

In his first season with the team, defensive end Bryce Paup was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Paup led the NFL with 17.5 sacks, the fourth-highest single-season total of the 1990s.[1]

During the season, head coach Marv Levy underwent successful treatment for prostate cancer; assistant Elijah Pitts filled in as interim coach until Levy returned after a three-game absence.[2]

Off-season[edit]

1995 Expansion Draft[edit]

Buffalo Bills selected during the Expansion Draft
Round Overall Name Position Expansion Team
5 9 Keith Goganious Linebacker Jacksonville Jaguars
23 46 Vince Marrow Tight End Carolina Panthers

NFL Draft[edit]

= Pro Bowler [3]
Round Pick Player Position School/Club team
1 14 Ruben Brown[4] Guard Pittsburgh
2 45 Todd Collins Quarterback Michigan
3 76 Marlon Kerner Cornerback Ohio State
3 96 Damien Covington Linebacker North Carolina State
4 109 Ken Irvin Cornerback Memphis
4 113 Justin Armour Wide receiver Stanford
4 131 Tony Cline Tight end Stanford
5 144 John Holecek Linebacker Illinois
6 185 Shannon Clavelle Defensive tackle Colorado
7 221 Tom Nütten Center Western Michigan
7 244 Darick Holmes Running back Portland State

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1995 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office
  • President – Ralph Wilson
  • Executive Vice President and General Manager – John Butler
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Marv Levy
  • Director of Pro Personnel – A. J. Smith
  • Director of Player Personnel – Dwight Adams

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Marv Levy
  • Assistant Head Coach – Elijah Pitts
  • Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach – Chuck Lester

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive Coordinator – Wade Phillips
  • Defensive Line – Dan Sekanovich
  • Linebackers – Ted Cottrell
  • Assistant Linebackers – Chuck Lester
  • Defensive Backs – Dick Roach

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

[5]

Roster[edit]

1995 Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists



Rookies in italics

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site Attendance TV time
1 September 3, 1995 at Denver Broncos L 7–22 0–1 Mile High Stadium
75,157
TNT 8:00ET
2 September 10, 1995 Carolina Panthers W 31–9 1–1 Rich Stadium
79,190
FOX 1:00ET
3 September 17, 1995 Indianapolis Colts W 20–14 2–1 Rich Stadium
62,499
NBC 1:00ET
4 Bye
5 October 2, 1995 at Cleveland Browns W 22–19 3–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
76,211
ABC 9:00ET
6 October 8, 1995 New York Jets W 29–10 4–1 Rich Stadium
79,485
NBC 1:00ET
7 October 15, 1995 Seattle Seahawks W 27–21 5–1 Rich Stadium
74,362
NBC 1:00ET
8 October 23, 1995 at New England Patriots L 14–27 5–2 Foxboro Stadium
60,203
ABC 9:00ET
9 October 29, 1995 at Miami Dolphins L 6–23 5–3 Joe Robbie Stadium
71,060
NBC 4:00ET
10 November 5, 1995 at Indianapolis Colts W 16–10 6–3 RCA Dome
59,612
NBC 1:00ET
11 November 12, 1995 Atlanta Falcons W 23–17 7–3 Rich Stadium
62,690
FOX 1:00ET
12 November 19, 1995 at New York Jets W 28–26 8–3 The Meadowlands
54,436
NBC 4:00ET
13 November 26, 1995 New England Patriots L 25–35 8–4 Rich Stadium
69,384
NBC 1:00 ET
14 December 3, 1995 at San Francisco 49ers L 17–27 8–5 Candlestick Park
65,568
ESPN 8:00 ET
15 December 10, 1995 at St. Louis Rams W 45–27 9–5 Trans World Dome
64,623
NBC 1:00 ET
16 December 17, 1995 Miami Dolphins W 23–20 10–5 Rich Stadium
79,531
NBC 1:00 ET
17 December 24, 1995 Houston Oilers L 28–17 10–6 Rich Stadium
45,253
NBC 1:00 ET

Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(3) Buffalo Bills 10 6 0 .625 350 335 L1
(5) Indianapolis Colts 9 7 0 .563 331 316 W1
(6) Miami Dolphins 9 7 0 .563 398 332 W1
New England Patriots 6 10 0 .375 294 377 L2
New York Jets 3 13 0 .188 233 384 L4

[6]

Playoffs[edit]

AFC Wild Card Game[edit]

Buffalo Bills 37, Miami Dolphins 22
1 2 34Total
Dolphins 0 0 02222
Bills 10 14 31037

at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

In Buffalo's first playoff game since losing Super Bowl XXVIII two seasons earlier, the Bills handled Miami easily by a score of 37–22 at Rich Stadium. Although Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino completed 33 out of 64 passes for 422 yards and two touchdowns, the Bills jumped to a 27–0 lead going into the fourth quarter, and rushed for an NFL playoff-record 341 yards, led by Thurman Thomas's 25 carries for 158 yards. The Bills forced four turnovers, including intercepting Marino three times, in the victory.[7] It was the final game of Don Shula's coaching career with the Dolphins. As of 2017, this was the last time that the Bills won a playoff game.

AFC Divisional Playoff[edit]

Pittsburgh Steelers 40, Buffalo Bills 21
1 2 34Total
Bills 0 7 7721
Steelers 7 16 31440

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh

Running back Bam Morris scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Steelers stopped the Bills from pulling off a comeback. Pittsburgh jumped to a 20–0 lead by the second quarter with running back John L. Williams's 1-yard touchdown, quarterback Neil O'Donnell's 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ernie Mills, and two field goals by Norm Johnson. However, Buffalo running back Thurman Thomas scored a 1-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds left in the first half. But Johnson made a 34-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give the Steelers a 23–7 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Johnson added a 39-yard field goal before Bills tight end Tony Cline caught a 2-yard touchdown reception. With 11:23 left in the game, Thomas scored on a 9-yard touchdown reception to cut the lead to 26–21. In response, Pittsburgh drove 76 yards to score on Morris' 13-yard touchdown run. Linebacker Levon Kirkland then intercepted a pass to set up Morris' 2-yard score with 1:58 remaining to clinch the victory.[8] Bruce Smith was inactive for the game because he had a 106-degree fever; Smith wanted to play but the Bills' medical staff said "no".[citation needed]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Bryce Paup, NFL Defensive Player of the Year[9]
  • Bryce Paup, AFC Pro Bowl selection[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Player Season Finder Query Results - Pro-Football-Reference.com". PFRef.com. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Press, From Associated (October 17, 1995). "Levy Tells Bills He Faces Cancer Surgery : Pro football: Coach will miss three games after prostate operation today in Buffalo". Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via LA Times.
  3. ^ Players are identified as Pro Bowlers if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
  4. ^ 9x pro bowler, 1996–2003
  5. ^ "Administration, coaches and staff". 1995 Buffalo Bills Media Guide. pp. 5–26.
  6. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 291
  7. ^ "Wild Card - Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills - December 30th, 1995". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  8. ^ "Divisional Round - Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers - January 6th, 1996". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  9. ^ "AP Defensive Player of the Year Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  10. ^ "1995 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-13.

External links[edit]