Todd Collins started at quarterback for the Bills in their first season in the post-Jim Kelly era. The Bills also signed Oakland's Billy Joe Hobert to challenge Collins for the starting job. Third-string quarterback Alex Van Pelt also saw playing time with three starts in Collins' absence.
Hobert's contract was terminated after Week Seven, in which Hobert was backing up an injured Collins, and after the game revealed to the media that he had not studied the playbook. Hobert was released the next day.
One of the most memorable games in Buffalo Bills history occurred in Week Four against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts roared to a 26–0 lead in the second quarter, before the Bills went on a 37–3 run, ultimately taking the lead 37–29 with 1:15 remaining in the game. The Colts closed to within two, but missed a two-point conversion, giving Buffalo a two-point victory. The game was the second-greatest regular season comeback in NFL history (second only to a 28-point comeback by the 1980 49ers), and the second greatest in team history (second to "The Comeback" in the 1992 playoffs.)
Prior to the 1997 season, long-time quarterback (and future Hall of Famer) Jim Kelly announced his retirement from professional football. This left the Bills forced to find a different opening day starting quarterback for the first time since 1985. Third-year quarterback Todd Collins started the season, and the Bills signed former Raiders quarterback Billy Joe Hobert, whose contract was terminated after a Week Seven loss to New England.
^David Fleming, Breaking down the Bills' QB situation ESPN.com, September 23, 2010, "the infamous Billy Joe Hobert who promptly threw a pick on his first pass leading to a 33–6 blowout loss, after which Billy Joe admitted (awesomely, I might add) that he hadn't actually, you know, opened his playbook that week" | retrieved January 9, 2012