1995 Buffalo Bills season
|1995 Buffalo Bills season|
|Head coach||Marv Levy; Elijah Pitts (interim until Levy recovered from prostate cancer surgery)|
|General manager||John Butler|
|Home field||Rich Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC East|
Won Wild Card Playoffs (Dolphins) 37–22|
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Steelers) 21–40
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.
1995 Expansion Draft
|5||9||Keith Goganious||Linebacker||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|23||46||Vince Marrow||Tight End||Carolina Panthers|
|= Pro Bowler |
|3||76||Marlon Kerner||Cornerback||Ohio State|
|3||96||Damien Covington||Linebacker||North Carolina State|
|4||113||Justin Armour||Wide receiver||Stanford|
|4||131||Tony Cline||Tight end||Stanford|
|6||185||Shannon Clavelle||Defensive tackle||Colorado|
|7||221||Tom Nütten||Center||Western Michigan|
|7||244||Darick Holmes||Running back||Portland State|
|1995 Buffalo Bills staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1995 Buffalo Bills roster|
|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||TNT 8:00ET|
|2||September 10, 1995||Carolina Panthers||W 31–9||1–1||Rich Stadium||FOX 1:00ET|
|3||September 17, 1995||Indianapolis Colts||W 20–14||2–1||Rich Stadium||NBC 1:00ET|
|5||October 2, 1995||at Cleveland Browns||W 22–19||3–1||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||ABC 9:00ET|
|6||October 8, 1995||New York Jets||W 29–10||4–1||Rich Stadium||NBC 1:00ET|
|7||October 15, 1995||Seattle Seahawks||W 27–21||5–1||Rich Stadium||NBC 1:00ET|
|8||October 23, 1995||at New England Patriots||L 14–27||5–2||Foxboro Stadium||ABC 9:00ET|
|9||October 29, 1995||at Miami Dolphins||L 6–23||5–3||Joe Robbie Stadium||NBC 4:00ET|
|10||November 5, 1995||at Indianapolis Colts||W 16–10||6–3||RCA Dome||NBC 1:00ET|
|11||November 12, 1995||Atlanta Falcons||W 23–17||7–3||Rich Stadium||FOX 1:00ET|
|12||November 19, 1995||at New York Jets||W 28–26||8–3||The Meadowlands||NBC 4:00ET|
|13||November 26, 1995||New England Patriots||L 25–35||8–4||Rich Stadium||NBC 1:00 ET|
|14||December 3, 1995||at San Francisco 49ers||L 17–27||8–5||Candlestick Park||ESPN 8:00 ET|
|15||December 10, 1995||at St. Louis Rams||W 45–27||9–5||Trans World Dome||NBC 1:00 ET|
|16||December 17, 1995||Miami Dolphins||W 23–20||10–5||Rich Stadium||NBC 1:00 ET|
|17||December 24, 1995||Houston Oilers||L 28–17||10–6||Rich Stadium||NBC 1:00 ET|
|(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|
AFC Wild Card Game
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. 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
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. 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".
Awards and honors
- "Player Season Finder Query Results - Pro-Football-Reference.com". PFRef.com. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- 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.
- Players are identified as Pro Bowlers if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
- 9x pro bowler, 1996–2003
- "Administration, coaches and staff". 1995 Buffalo Bills Media Guide. pp. 5–26.
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 291
- "Wild Card - Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills - December 30th, 1995". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
- "Divisional Round - Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers - January 6th, 1996". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
- "AP Defensive Player of the Year Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
- "1995 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-13.