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1965 Buffalo Bills season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1965 Buffalo Bills season
Head coachLou Saban
OwnerRalph Wilson
Home fieldWar Memorial Stadium
Division place1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finishWon AFL Championship
(Chargers, 23–0)

The 1965 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s sixth season in the American Football League. Though not as statistically dominant as the previous season, the Bills won a second consecutive league championship.

Although Buffalo's offense was in the middle of the pack in 1965, it was their dominant team defense that kept them atop the league's standings. Buffalo gave up only 226 points (16.1 per game), fewest in the AFL, and one point fewer than AFL Championship runner-up San Diego.[1] The Bills' opportunistic defense led the league in interceptions, with 32, and gave up a league-low four rushing touchdowns all season. Between week 6 of the 1964 season, through week eight of the 1965 season, including two 1964 playoff games, the Bills' defense did not allow a touchdown by rushing, a Professional Football record that still stands.

The Bills, who had led the AFL in points, rushing yards and total yards the previous season, suffered significantly after losing star running back Cookie Gilchrist in the offseason. Statistically, the Bills dropped to 6th (out of 8) in rushing yards, and 7th in passing yards. Still, they managed to finish 3rd in the AFL in points scored, with 313 (22.3 per game).[2]

The Bills' turnover ratio was +18, best in the AFL, and fourth best in AFL history.[3] Buffalo's +87 point differential was second-best in the league in 1965.

Seven Bills made the 1965 AFL All-Star team: safety George Saimes, cornerback Butch Byrd, linebacker Mike Stratton, defensive tackle Tom Sestak, guard Billy Shaw, kicker Pete Gogolak, and quarterback Jack Kemp.[4]



1965 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

Final roster

1965 Buffalo Bills roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Note: Rookies in italics


The Bills lost All-AFL running back Cookie Gilchrist to the Denver Broncos after the 1964 season. Bills running back Wray Carlton would take over as the Bills' lead back.

AFL Draft

Regular season


AFL Eastern Division
Buffalo Bills 10 3 1 .769 4–2 313 226 L1
New York Jets 5 8 1 .385 3–3 285 303 W1
Boston Patriots 4 8 2 .333 2–4 244 302 W3
Houston Oilers 4 10 0 .286 3–3 298 429 L7

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 11 Boston Patriots W 24–7
2 September 19 at Denver Broncos W 30–15
3 September 26 New York Jets W 33–21
4 October 3 Oakland Raiders W 17–12
5 October 10 San Diego Chargers L 34–3
6 October 17 at Kansas City Chiefs W 23–7
7 October 24 Denver Broncos W 31–13
8 October 31 Houston Oilers L 19–17
9 November 7 at Boston Patriots W 23–7
10 November 14 at Oakland Raiders W 17–14
11 November 21 Bye
12 November 25 at San Diego Chargers T 20–20
13 December 5 at Houston Oilers W 29–18
14 December 12 Kansas City Chiefs W 34–25
15 December 19 at New York Jets L 14–12

Player stats


Player Comp Att Yds Completion % TD INT
Jack Kemp 179 391 2368 45.8 10 18
Daryle Lamonica 29 70 376 41.4 3 6



Player Att Yds Average Long TD
Wray Carlton 156 592 3.8 80 6



AFL Championship Game

1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 0 14 6 3 23
Chargers 0 0 0 0 0

Buffalo Bills 23, San Diego Chargers 0

December 26, 1965, at Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California
Attendance: 30,361


  • BUF – Warlick 18 pass from Kemp (Gogolak kick)
  • BUF – Byrd 74 punt return (Gogolak kick)
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 11
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 39
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 32

AFL All-Star Game

Season Date Winner Most Valuable Player(s) Site
1965 January 15, 1966
AFL All-Stars 30,
Buffalo Bills 19
Offense: Joe Namath, QB, Jets
Defense: Frank Buncom, LB, Chargers
Rice Stadium, Houston

Awards and Records

  • Lou Saban, Coach of the Year


This page was last edited on 29 May 2019, at 16:25
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