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1983 Buffalo Bills season

1983 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Kay Stephenson
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Record 8–8
Division place 2nd AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Previous season      Next season
< 1982      1984 >

The 1983 Buffalo Bills season was the 24th season for the club and its 14th in the National Football League. It was the first of three seasons for head coach Kay Stephenson.

Bills running back Joe Cribbs was both the Bills' leading rusher (1131 yards), and the team's leader in receptions and receiving yards (57 catches for 524 yards).[1]


NFL Draft

Main article: 1983 NFL Draft

The Bills drafted future Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, the third of a record six quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 1983 draft. Kelly would play for the USFL's Houston Gamblers from 1983-1985, before making his first start with the Bills in Week One of the 1986 season. The Bills later retired Kelly's #12, the only time the franchise ever retired a player's number.

Linebacker Darryl Talley played for twelve years with the Bills. He was a two-time Pro Bowler, in 1990 and 1991. He was inducted into the Bills Wall of Fame.

= Pro Bowler [2] = Hall of Famer
Round Pick # Player Position College
1 12 Tony Hunter Tight End Notre Dame
1 14 Jim Kelly Quarterback Miami (FL)
2 39 Darryl Talley Linebacker West Virginia
4 93 Trey Junkin Linebacker Louisiana Tech
4 112 Jimmy Payne Defensive end Georgia
5 126 Matt Vandenboom Defensive back Wisconsin
7 180 Gurnest Brown Defensive tackle Maryland
8 207 James Durham Defensive back Houston
9 234 George Parker Running back Norfolk State
10 260 Richard Tharpe Defensive tackle Louisville
11 293 Larry White Defensive end Jackson State
12 320 Julius Dawkins Wide receiver Pittsburgh

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance Notes
1 September 4, 1983 Miami Dolphins L 12–0
Uwe von Schamann accounted for all points scored
2 September 11, 1983 at Cincinnati Bengals W 10–6
Joe Ferguson threw a 14-yard touchdown
3 September 18, 1983 Baltimore Colts W 28–23
Game lead changed seven times in final three quarters
4 September 25, 1983 Houston Oilers W 30–13
Ferguson threw for only 127 yards
5 October 3, 1983 New York Jets L 34–10
Buffalo's only Monday Night appearance of the year
6 October 9, 1983 at Miami Dolphins W 38–35
Ferguson threw five touchdowns and 419 yards; first road win over Miami since 1966
7 October 16, 1983 at Baltimore Colts W 30–7
Last trip to Baltimore until formation of Ravens
8 October 23, 1983 New England Patriots L 31–0
Ferguson intercepted three times by Roland James
9 October 30, 1983 New Orleans Saints W 27–21
Ferguson threw four touchdowns
10 November 6, 1983 at New England Patriots L 21–7
Ferguson intercepted four times
11 November 13, 1983 at New York Jets W 24–17
Bills outscored Jets 24-3 in second half
12 November 20, 1983 Los Angeles Raiders L 27–24
Bills lost despite erasing 21-point Raiders lead in the fourth
13 November 27, 1983 at Los Angeles Rams L 41–17
Eric Dickerson rushed for 125 yards
14 December 4, 1983 at Kansas City Chiefs W 14–9
Joe Cribbs' 185 rushing yards constituted almost all of Buffalo's offense
15 December 11, 1983 San Francisco 49ers L 23–10
Ferguson intercepted three times
16 December 18, 1983 at Atlanta Falcons L 31–14
Matt Kofler threw for 125 yards



Awards and honors



  • 1983 Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • 1983 Bills on
  • 1983 Bills Stats on

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