Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!
Bills History

BILLS THUNDER HOME


Features

BILLS THUNDER


Bills Superstars


Bills Greatest Moments


Bills Photo Album


BILLS TALK
Message Board


Bills Links


1999 Season Review


WILD BILLS'
Prognostications


Articles on
Two Bills Drive


SABRES CENTRAL


Email Bills Thunder

THE GLORIOUS PAST

Forty years ago this October, the Buffalo Bills were formed by Ralph C. Wilson when he bought into the American Football League and put a franchise in Buffalo. From their first regular season game against the New York Titans, the Bills gathered momentum and drew bigger and bigger crowds, as did the entire league. The fledgling American Football League shook off all skeptics and became a success. With that, the AFL and NFL ended their six year feud and merged. Buffalo finally had a team in a major professional sports league. From that point on, the Bills became one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. Having 80,000 seat Rich Stadium filled to capacity game in and game out did wonders for the image of Buffalo and its avid sports fans.

This section of Bills Thunder is dedicated to the glorious past. We will try to paint the picture of the two glory eras in which the Bills produced championships, first in the American Football League, and finally four straight appearances in the Super Bowl. Reminisce in the past and bring out all your Super Bowl video tapes, ‘cause we're gonna get loud and rowdy!


How Pro Football began in Buffalo

At the turn of the last century, football was already making a big impact in the Buffalo area. Organized teams were being formed throughout the region. Buffalo department stores like the William Hengerer Company and Adam, Meldrum, and Anderson Company created organized teams as did a club from South Buffalo called the Oakdales.

In the first decade of the Twentieth Century, the Oakdales were the dominant semi-pro team in Western New York. Other teams gained strength and overtook the Oakdales after 1912. First a team called All-Buffalo became the dominant team in Western New York. Another all-star team came into play from Tonawanda called All-Tonawanda. The American Malleable Company formed a team that was very competitive during those early games. They were called the Lancaster Malleables. Like companies today form bowling and golf leagues, back then it was popular to have company football teams.

READ FULL STORY - THE BEGINNINGS OF PRO FOOTBALL IN BUFFALO...


1963 BILLS LOSE AFL EAST PLAYOFF TO PATS

PATS HAMMER BILLS FOR EAST TITLE, 26-8

The Boston Patriots annihilated the Buffalo Bills and advanced to the American Football League championship game by beating the Bills 26-8, in the Eastern Division title playoff in War Memorial Stadium.

A throng of 33,044 Bills fans became frost-bitten by the Bills masquerade, and by the 24-degree temperature as their team put on one of their worst efforts in the 1963 season,.

Both Boston and Buffalo ended the regular season with identical 7-6-1 records which mandated the AFL's first divisional playoff. By trouncing the Bills, the Patriots wound up going west to face San Diego in the 1963 AFL Championship game.

It was a well deserved victory for the Patriots. They scored four of the first five times they had the ball and completely dominated the game.

READ FULL STORY...


A SEASON TO TOP ALL

The Bills win 1964 AFL Championship

The Buffalo Bills, after an explosive start in the 1964 regular season, played like a super-team, winning their first nine games. But it took a victory over the Boston Patriots on the final day of the regular season, and a tackle by Mike Stratton for Buffalo to win its first AFL Championship.

READ FULL STORY...


NEITHER RAIN, MUD NOR DEVIL COULD STOP THE BILLS

The December 26, 1965 AFL Championship game

The crippled Buffalo Bills, playing against all odds, defeated the talent-loaded San Diego Chargers to become the AFL champions for the second straight year.

There's an old cliche in sports that goes like this: "The team that plays together wins together." That expression just about sums up the sixth annual American Football League Championship game played 34 years ago in sunny San Diego.

Take two teams, one with great individual stars, and the other a team with practically no stars at all, but one with players that are willing to give up individual glory for the benefit of their team. Almost always, the starless team will come out in front. This was exactly the case in the championship game between the Buffalo Bills and the San Diego Chargers.

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS LOSE CHANCE TO PLAY IN FIRST SUPERBOWL

JANUARY 1, 1967 - The Buffalo Bills could have been the first team to represent the AFL in the very first Super Bowl back in January 1967. They played the Kansas City Chiefs in their third straight AFL title game, but fell short this time, after winning the previous two over San Diego.

The Chiefs proved that they were the most talented team in the American Football League as they brought in the New Year with a overwhelming manifestation of both offense and defense to vanquish the Bills, 31-7, at War Memorial Stadium to win the AFL championship and advance to the Super Bowl.

The Bills, who were attempting to become only the second team in the history of pro football to win three straight league championships, were their own worst enemy and were the major contributor to this defeat by making way too many mistakes.

READ FULL STORY...


STEEL CURTAIN STONEWALLS BILLS

BILLS CRUSHED IN ONLY ‘70s PLAYOFF APPEARANCE

December 22, 1974 - Three Rivers Stadium -The Buffalo Bills were making their first playoff appearance in 8 years, the first one since the Kansas City Chiefs foiled the Bills bid to go to the first ever Super Bowl in January of 1967. The Pittsburgh Steelers handed the Bills their second straight playoff loss (including that one in ‘67), by beating the Bills 32-14.

READ FULL STORY...


1981 - CHARGERS COME BACK AND BEAT BILLS 20-14

San Diego, Sunday January 3, 1981 - Joe Ferguson was a foot soldier on this third day of 1981. Despite having a badly sprained left ankle, Ferguson made a valiant effort to be the courageous leader the Bills needed in their attempt to advance in the playoffs.

READ FULL STORY...


CINCINNATI OUSTS BILLS 28-21 IN 1982 PLAYOFFS

Cincinnati, January 3, 1982 - It was a mild 48 degrees in Cincy, but it was damp and rainy as the Bills and Bengals clashed in this divisional playoff game. The Bengals won their first playoff game in history as they took advantage of a long punt return and a pickoff of a Joe Ferguson pass to beat Buffalo 28-21.

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS BOW OUT TO BENGALS, END 1988 SEASON

January 8, 1989 - Riverfront Stadium - The Buffalo Bills made it to their first AFC Championship game and it happened to be against the Cincinnati Bengals, who had prevented the Bills from advancing in 1982 with a 28-21 victory over the Bills, who were led by Joe Ferguson and Joe Cribbs. This time the Bills had Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas as weapons, but it didn't help as the Bengals defeated the Bills in their first AFC title dance, 21-10. It was a wild and crazed crowd at the Jungle, officially known as Riverfront Stadium. A total of 59,747 wild animals dressed as fans made life miserable for Kelly and Thomas.

READ FULL STORY...


BROWNS BEAT BILLS IN THE LAST SECONDS

Bills Open 90s Decade With New K-Gun Offense

January 6, 1990 - Cleveland Stadium - Just as Super Bowl XXV will be known as the one that Scott Norwood kicked wide right to lose the game for the Bills, this one a year earlier will forever be known as the "Big Drop" by Ronnie Harmon. The Bills had the ball on the Browns 12 yard line and were trailing 34-30 with just a few seconds remaining when Bills QB Jim Kelly hit Harmon in the right corner of the end zone with a perfect pass. But it bounced off Harmon's finger tips for an incompletion. On the very next play, Browns linebacker Clay Matthews picked off Kelly's 11-yard pass on the 1-yard line with 9 ticks left on the clock to win and send the Bills to the dressing room wondering what if.

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS TROUNCE RAIDERS 51-3, WIN FIRST TRIP TO SUPER BOWL

DAY OF EXALTATION - January 20, 1991

The Bills put on a stunning display of fireworks as they blasted the Los Angeles Raiders out of the Big Dance

After two failures, the Buffalo Bills finally advanced to the Super Bowl when they defeated the LA Raiders 51-3 before 80,324 delirious fans to win the AFC title. The Bills, using their famous "No Huddle" offense, exploded for 502 yards on offense (202 of which were on the ground). Jim Kelly passed for an even 300 yards, completing 17 out of 23 and two touchdowns. The no huddle was the hurry up, 2 minute drill offense that the Bills used most of the games for most of the season. They employed it to perfection this January day in 1991.

READ FULL STORY...


SUPERBOWL XXV - "WIDE RIGHT" NIGHTMARE

There he stood, waiting for the snap. Hundreds of millions were watching across the globe. In the Tampa Stadium, 73,813 fans were holding their breaths in silence. The ball was snapped and Scott Norwood made his approach to what was going to be the most famous field goal attempt in history. The ball was caught and put down properly by holder Frank Reich and the stage was set. Norwood kicked the ball and followed through, watching the ball sail into the air and towards the goal posts. For eternity, the ball inched closer and closer to the posts, and it appeared to be starting the usual curve that would make it good. When the ball was just about to reach the posts, it straightened out and........

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT AFC TITLE

Bills squeeze by Broncos 10-7, Go to Super Bowl again!

January 12, 1992

On a day in which it was more like the first of November instead of the middle of January in Buffalo, the Bills and Denver Broncos locked horns in sunny 42-degree weather. A sellout crowd of 80,272 witnessed a nail-bitter of a game as the Bills edged the Broncos 10-7 in a defensive struggle.

Scott Norwood, who the previous year had missed a 47-yard field goal that would have won Super Bowl XXV, got redemption as he kicked the winning field goal. Norwood, who had spent the past year reliving the missed field goal and what could have been, kicked a 44-yarder with 4:18 remaining in the game.

READ FULL STORY...


WASHINGTON SKINS BUFFALO ALIVE!

Redskins get 5 turnovers in 37-24 rout

It was not supposed to happen this way! The Bills were dead set in their thinking that they would make atones for their Super Bowl XXV loss the year before, when they missed winning when Scott Norwood kick went wide right. They were going to have their heads on straight and had a clear focus of what had to be done. Too bad Thurman Thomas didn't follow their set course. He wasted the first two plays from scrimmage searching the sidelines for his helmet. The rest of the Bills had their helmets on straight, but that's about the only thing they got straight as the Washington Redskins buried the Bills alive 37-24. And the score is much closer than the game actually was.

READ FULL STORY...


GREATEST COMEBACK IN HISTORY

BILLS RALLY FROM 32 POINT DEFICIT TO BEAT OILERS

January 3, 1993 - Things looked bleak for the Buffalo Bills in their Wild Card game against the Houston Oilers in Rich Stadium. The Oilers had built a 35-3 with a minute and 41 seconds gone by in the second half. But that set the stage for the greatest comeback of all time in football! Frank Reich, starting in place of injured quarterback Jim Kelly, pulled out the rabbit from his magic hat and performed a miracle.

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS THREE-PEAT AS AFC CHAMPS

BILLS TAKE LONG ROUTE TO GO TO SUPER BOWL

The Buffalo Bills did it as a wild card team. They did it with the greatest comeback in NFL history when they spotted the Houston Oilers 34 points and then rallied and won it in overtime. And on this bright sunny day in Miami, they won their third straight American Football Conference championship by beating the Dolphins 29-10.

After the Bills miraculous comeback win in the Wild Card game against Houston, they had to defeat the Steelers in Pittsburgh and now had to defeat the Eastern Division champion Miami Dolphins in the Florida heat.

READ FULL STORY...


COWBOYS BLAST BILLS IN SUPER BOWL XXVII

PASADENA, CA. - Jan. 31, 1993 - OUCH! This one really smarted! The Dallas Cowboys ripped the relative heads off the Buffalo Bills and put them over their mantle as trophies along with the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they shellacked the Bills 52-17. In losing in such a manner, the Buffalo Bills disgraced not only themselves but the Super Bowl itself.

They became the only team to ever lose three consecutive Super Bowl clashes. The 52-17 thrashing was the worst post-season loss the Bills ever had. The major weapon the Cowboys used against the Bills was Buffalo's self-destructive mode. The Bills coughed up the ball a Super Bowl record nine times! To top that, five of the turnovers happened in the first half, which produced 28 Cowboy points.

Bills quarterback Jim Kelly had his worst post-season game ever. He threw 7 times for 4 completions and had two picked off. He also fumbled once. The fumble and the first interception led to Dallas touchdowns.

"You can't beat a college team with that many turnovers," Kelly said after the blowout.

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS WIN 4TH STRAIGHT AFC CHAMPIONSHIP

Bills Rout Chiefs 30-13 - Go to the Dance One More Time!

They said it could never be done. The Buffalo Bills made history by becoming the first and only team to ever make four straight Super Bowls. By beating the Kansas City Chiefs 30-13 before a hometown crowd of 76,642, the Bills were determined to make this Super Bowl appearance a good one.

Thurman Thomas had a hey day, as he rambled 189 yards on 33 rushes and scored three touchdowns. By doing so, he not only set a team record, but he had the second most rushing yards in an AFC Championship game.

READ FULL STORY...


SUPER BOWL XXVIII

Cowboys hand Bills 30-13 defeat as Bills lose fourth straight Super Bowl

January 30, 1994 - Atlanta - This time it was going to be different. The Buffalo Bills were playing the same team as the year before. The Dallas Cowboys had handed the Bills their heads on a platter in that one, 52-17, and there was this thing called revenge that could be a definite factor.

Things looked bleak right at the get-go, however. The Bills kicked off to Kevin Williams, and he galloped with the ball 50 yards into Bills territory. The Bills defense stiffened and forced Eddie Murray to kick a 41-yard field goal. Buffalo came right back and Bills kicker Steve Christie set a Super Bowl record by kicking a 54-yard field goal to tie the game up at 3.

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS LOSE FIRST PLAYOFF GAME EVER IN RICH

Jaguars upset Bills 30-27

December 28, 1996 - Orchard Park - In what turned out to be Jim Kelly's last game in pro football, the Bills let upstart Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Bills 30-27. Jim Jeffcoat, Bills defensive linesman, almost sacked Mark Brunell in the endzone, but Brunell was able to get rid of the ball before the sack. However, it was ruled intentional grounding and the Bills had the ball in Jaguar territory when they received the punt.

Thurman Thomas ran the ball five straight times and then on the sixth play from scrimmage during the drive, Kelly threw to Thomas, who managed to get wide open in the right side of the endzone.

READ FULL STORY...


BILLS 1998 SEASON COMES TO END
WITH BITTER LOSS TO DOLPHINS

For the third time this year, the refs played a major role in an important AFC East game. First there was the Patriots game in which the refs blew 2 calls that cost the Bills the game. Then the week after, the refs gave the Jets a game on a controversial Vinny TD. And now in this game, the refs do it again in the Bills AFC Wild Card game against the Dolphins. Andre Reed scored a touchdown that the refs took away. All replays showed that Reed was in. Andre was very upset and when he got up, he accidently bumped the ref. Result: Reed thrown out of the game, the Bills lose a down and 10 yards. This was not the only controversial call that the refs made. There were plenty to go around, mostly against the Bills.

READ FULL STORY...


Shocking finish ends
Bills season

Heartbreak city. That's what they call Nashville and the Bills can testify to that afer losing a heartbreaker to the Tennessee Titans Saturday
Kevin Dyson clutches ball after scoring controversial 70 yard kickoff return

afternoon in Adelphia Coliseum. In a stunning series of events, the Bills went from being winners to losing one of the most controversial and wildest NFL games in history. They went from the ultimate high to the ultimate low in a matter of 13 seconds! It is being labeled as the "Music City Miracle" and the wildest game in NFL history.

Losing 15-13, Rob Johnson led the Bills down to field goal range, even playing shoeless on his final pass completion to Peerless Price. Steve Christie kicked a 41 yard field goal to apparently win the game for Buffalo. Instead of kicking a squib ball, Christie kicked it in the air down to the Titans 25. Lorenzo Neal caught it and handed off to Frank Wycheck who ran to his right six steps, stopped and threw it directly to the left sideline to Kevin Dyson. Dyson had clear sailing in front of him and three blockers who took the only Bill between him and the victory. Christie had no chance of even getting close to Dyson.

"This will go down in history," said Bud Adams, the owner of the Titans. "There's never been another one like it, and I've been in this 40 years."

READ FULL STORY...

Copyright © Bills Thunder, all rights reserved

RETURN TO BILLS THUNDER

Bills Greatest Moments | Bills Photo Album | Bills Superstars of Yesteryear
BILLS MESSAGE BOARD | BILLS LINKS | Email Bills Thunder
1999 Season Review | WILD BILLS' Prognostications | Articles on Two Bills Drive