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1974 Buffalo Bills season

1974 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Lou Saban
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Results
Record 9–5
Division place 2nd AFC East
Playoff finish Lost AFC Divisional Playoff
Timeline
Previous season      Next season
< 1973      1975 >

The 1974 Buffalo Bills season was the 15th season for the club in pro football and fifth in the National Football League. Buffalo made the NFL playoffs for the first time, and reached the postseason for the first time in eight seasons.

Buffalo debuted their new uniforms and helmets in 1974, replacing the red "standing buffalo" with the "streaking bison."[1] The look first shown to a national audience on the first Monday Night Football game of the season, in a dramatic 21-20 victory over Oakland.[2]

Star running back O.J. Simpson, coming off consecutive rushing titles, did not lead the league in 1974, but did cross the 1,000-yard barrier despite a sore knee.[3]

Buffalo's defense was far more stout than it had been in previous years, as it gave up 3,489 yards in 1974, fifth-fewest in the NFL. The Bills' 1,611 passing yards allowed were the third-best in the league.[4]

The 1974 Bills have the odd distinction of being the last team to go a full game without completing a pass,[5] in Week Three of the season against the New York Jets. Despite this, they still managed to defeat the Jets, behind 223 combined Buffalo rushing yards—as well as only 2 completions by Jets quarterback Joe Namath in 18 attempts.[6]

Offseason

NFL Draft

Main article: 1974 NFL Draft

Oklahoma State tight end Reuben Gant played his entire seven-year career with the Bills. Quarterback Gary Marangi was the Bills' backup quarterback for three seasons; in 1976, he started the final seven games of the season when starter Joe Ferguson was injured for the season with a back injury.

Round Pick # Player Position College
1 18 Reuben Gant Tight end Oklahoma State
2 27 Doug Allen Linebacker Penn State
3 70 Gary Marangi Quarterback Boston College
4 95 Carlester Crumpler Running back East Carolina
5 106 Gary Hayman Wide receiver Penn State
5 122 Tim Guy Tackle Oregon
8 203 Greg Hare Quarterback Ohio State
9 226 Brian Doherty Punter Notre Dame
10 241 Art Cameron Tight end Albany State
10 249 Don Calhoun Running back Kansas State
11 279 Rod Kirby Linebacker Pittsburgh
12 303 Dave Means Defensive end Southeast Missouri State
13 331 Ed Gatewood Linebacker Tennessee State
14 339 Phil Lamm Defensive back North Carolina
14 355 Phil Gurbada Defensive back Mayville
15 382 Ken Williams Linebacker Southwestern Louisiana
16 406 Sanford Qvale Tackle North Dakota State
17 434 Sal Casola Kicker Cincinnati

Hall of Fame Game

  • St. Louis Cardinals 21, Buffalo Bills 13 [7]

[8]

Regular season

Schedule

Game Date Opponent Result Bills points Opponents Bills first downs Record 'Attendance
1 Sept. 16 Oakland Raiders Win 21 20 22 1–0
80,020
2 Sept. 22 Miami Dolphins Loss 16 24 16 1–1
80,020
3 Sept. 29 New York Jets Win 16 12 17 2–1
76,978
4 Oct. 6 at Green Bay Packers Win 27 7 22 3–1
56,267
5 Oct. 13 at Baltimore Colts Win 27 14 15 4–1
40,626
6 Oct. 20 New England Patriots Win 30 28 19 5–1
78,935
7 Oct. 27 Chicago Bears Win 16 6 16 6–1
78,084
8 Nov. 3 at New England Patriots Win 29 28 22 7–1
61,279
9 Nov. 10 Houston Oilers Loss 9 21 16 7–2
79,144
10 Nov. 17 at Miami Dolphins Loss 28 35 16 7–3
69,313
11 Nov. 24 at Cleveland Browns Win 15 10 10 8–3
66,504
12 Dec. 1 Baltimore Colts Win 6 0 9 9–3
75,325
13 Dec. 8 at New York Jets Loss 10 20 12 9–4
61,091
14 Dec. 15 at Los Angeles Rams Loss 14 19 8 9–5
84,324
[9]

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
Raiders 0 3710 20
• Bills 0 7014 21

[10]


Week 8

1 234Total
Bills 6 1373 29
Patriots 7 1470 28
  • Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com


Standings

Roster

Playoffs

Pittsburgh Steelers 32, Buffalo Bills 14
1 2 34Total
Bills 7 0 7014
Steelers 3 26 0332

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Awards and honors

See also

External links

  • YouTube: Classic Buffalo Bills: 1974 Highlight Film – Part 1 of 2
  • YouTube: Classic Buffalo Bills: 1974 Highlight Film – Part 2 of 2
  • YouTube

References

  • Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • Bills on jt-sw.com
  • Bills Stats on jt-sw.com

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