2002 Buffalo Bills season
|2002 Buffalo Bills season|
|Head coach||Gregg Williams|
|General manager||Tom Donahoe|
|Home field||Ralph Wilson Stadium|
|Division place||4th AFC East|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The Bills acquired quarterback Drew Bledsoe from the New England Patriots on draft weekend in exchange for Buffalo's first round pick in the 2003 draft. (The Bills would regain that first round pick via a sign-and-trade of Peerless Price, coming off a breakout season, to the Atlanta Falcons for Atlanta's first round pick after the 2002 season.) Bledsoe brought instant credibility to Buffalo's inept passing game; the Bills' offense scored the 6th most points in the AFC in 2002, after having scored the fifth fewest in the entire league the previous season.
The season saw the Bills change their uniform which lasted until 2011.
The Bills infamously drafted Mike Williams, an offensive tackle from Texas with the #4 overall pick of the draft, with University of Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie still available. Williams spent only four seasons with the team. The Sporting News named Williams as the #4 biggest NFL draft bust from 1989–2008.
|2||36||Josh Reed||Wide Receiver||LSU|
|2||61||Ryan Denney||Defensive End||BYU|
|5||139||Justin Bannan||Defensive Tackle||Colorado|
|7||249||Rodney Wright||Wide Receiver||Fresno State|
|7||251||Jarrett Ferguson||Running Back||Virginia Tech|
|2002 Buffalo Bills staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1||September 8, 2002||New York Jets||L 37–31||CBS 1:00pm||
|2||September 15, 2002||at Minnesota Vikings||W 45–39||CBS 4:15pm||
|3||September 22, 2002||at Denver Broncos||L 28–23||CBS 4:15pm||
|4||September 29, 2002||Chicago Bears||W 33–27||FOX 1:00pm||
|5||October 6, 2002||Oakland Raiders||L 49–31||CBS 1:00pm||
|6||October 13, 2002||at Houston Texans||W 31–24||CBS 1:00pm||
|7||October 20, 2002||at Miami Dolphins||W 23–10||CBS 1:00pm||
|8||October 27, 2002||Detroit Lions||W 24–17||FOX 1:00pm||
|9||November 3, 2002||New England Patriots||L 38–7||CBS 1:00pm||
|11||November 17, 2002||at Kansas City Chiefs||L 17–16||CBS 1:00pm||
|12||November 24, 2002||at New York Jets||L 31–13||CBS 1:00pm||
|13||December 1, 2002||Miami Dolphins||W 38–21||CBS 1:00pm||
|14||December 8, 2002||at New England Patriots||L 27–17||CBS 1:00pm||
|15||December 15, 2002||San Diego Chargers||W 20–13||CBS 1:00pm||
|16||December 22, 2002||at Green Bay Packers||L 10–0||CBS 1:00pm||
|17||December 29, 2002||Cincinnati Bengals||W 27–9||CBS 1:00pm||
|(4) New York Jets||9||7||0||.563||4–2||6–6||359||336||W2|
|New England Patriots||9||7||0||.563||4–2||6–6||381||346||W1|
- September 8 vs. New York Jets:
Drew Bledsoe debuted as Bills quarterback against the team that knocked him out of the 2001 season. Bledsoe led the Bills to a 10–0 lead in the second quarter but a 98-yard kick return by Chad Morton set off a Jets rally that tied the score at 17 at the half. The Jets snatched two Bledsoe INTs and took a 31–24 lead late in the fourth, but Bledsoe led the Bills down field and a 29-yard touchdown throw to Eric Moulds in the final half-minute forced overtime. Morton returned the opening kick of overtime 96 yards for the game-winning score and a 37–31 final for the Jets.
- September 15 at Minnesota Vikings:
Bledsoe threw for 463 yards in Buffalo's second straight overtime game. A huge kick return by D'Wayne Bates set up a two-yard Randy Moss touchdown catch in the third quarter, but this was immediately answered with a 90-yard Charlie Rogers kick return touchdown. A 29-yard Bates touchdown put the Vikings up 26–23, but Doug Brien missed the PAT. and did so again after a Derrick Alexander touchdown for the Vikings. The game lead tied or changed 12 times as the game went on. After Mo Williams ran in a touchdown with 30 seconds remaining, Bledsoe completed a pass to Peerless Price that set up a 54-yard Mike Hollis field goal on the final play of regulation. With the score tied at 39 Hollis missed another long FG try in the extra quarter, but the Bills defense forced a Vikings punt, and in the final five minutes of OT Bledsoe found Price at the Minnesota 30-yard line for a 48-yard touchdown and a 45–39 Bills win. Bledsoe became only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw a touchdown in overtime in three games; coincidentally, he'd beaten the Vikings in 1994 on a touchdown in overtime while quarterbacking the Patriots.
- September 29 vs. Chicago Bears:
The Bills opened this game with a Peerless Price touchdown catch from Drew Bledsoe. The Bears responded when Mike Brown recovered a fumble and ran it back 62 yards for a tying score. The Bills opened a 17–7 lead in the second until Jim Miller found David Terrell for a five-yard touchdown. An exchange of field goals left the two teams tied at 20 by the fourth quarter, then Bledsoe and Miller traded touchdowns – a one-yard Dave Moore catch for Buffalo followed by a John Davis three-yard catch for Chicago. Mike Hollis missed a 39-yard field goal try and the game went to overtime, where Bledsoe finished it barely two minutes in with a 26-yard score to Travis Henry and a 33–27 Buffalo win.