Buffalo Bills Team History

Buffalo Bills, professional football team and one of five teams in the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football League (NFL). The Bills play at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, New York, and wear uniforms of royal blue, scarlet, and white. The team was named by the organization's first president, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., after American scout, guide, and showman William Frederick Cody, who was known as Buffalo Bill for his ability to kill buffalo.The Bills built powerful teams in both the now-defunct American Football League (AFL) and the NFL. The team won consecutive AFL titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that starred running back Cookie Gilchrist and quarterback Jack Kemp. During the 1970s Bills running back O. J. Simpson became one of the most prolific rushers in professional football history, breaking nearly every NFL rushing record. Buffalo appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls from 1991 through 1994 with teams starring linebacker Cornelius Bennett, quarterback Jim Kelly, defensive end Bruce Smith, and running back Thurman Thomas.

Buffalo Bills Chronological History

Buffalo became a charter member of the AFL
After posting the AFL's worst record in 1968, the Bills used their number-one pick in the 1969 AFL draft to select O. J. Simpson. A year later, Buffalo joined the NFL when the AFL and NFL completed their merger.
the Bills reached the AFC Championship Game for the first time since joining the NFL. Buffalo's Eastern Division title was the first of five that the team captured from 1988 to 1993.
Bills fans establish a new single season in-stadium NFL record of 635,889, breaking their own mark they set in 1988.
Super Bowl XXV Lost to New York Giants, 20-19
Super Bowl XXVI Lost to Washington Redskins, 37-24
Super Bowl XXVII Lost to Dallas Cowboys, 52-17
Super Bowl XXVIII Lost to Dallas Cowboys, 30-13
Bills and state officially sign the stadium lease agreement that will keep the Bills in Western New York for 15 the next years and also announce the venue in Orchard Park has been re-named Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Bills defeat New England to record their 100th win in the 1990s, making them just the 6th NFL franchise ever to do so. The win was part of a successful regular season that saw Buffalo go 11-5 and finish second in the AFC East. Buffalo finished the decade with an AFC best record of 103-57. The Bills defense sets several team records and finishes as the #1 unit in the NFL despite not having any Pro Bowlers.
The final ties to the Bills' Super Bowl years were severed in 2000, when Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith were all cut
Bledsoe revived the Bills for the 2002 season, leading them to an 8-8 record, setting 10 team passing records in the process. However, in a tough division with all other teams finishing 9-7, they were still in last place.
Marv Levy returns to the fold as General Manager with the hopes of making the playoffs.
One of the most notable moves in the league occurred during the 2008 offseason, when league officials approved an October 2007 proposal by Bills owner Ralph Wilson to lease his team to Canadian media mogul Edward S. "Ted" Rogers, Jr. to play an annual regular season game and a biennial preseason game in Toronto, Ontario, Canada's Rogers Centre over the next five years, in exchange for a sum of C$78,000,000 cash.
The Buffalo Bills made a major splash in the free agency market when it acquired veteran wide receiver Terrell Owens, who had recently been released by the Dallas Cowboys and is known as much for his elaborate touchdown celebrations as he is for his on-the-field play.
Following a season where the Bills went 6-10, the Buffalo Bills relieved Chan Gailey and his entire coaching staff of their duties

Buffalo Bills Franchise Information

  • Franchise Granted: October 28 1959
  • First Season: 1960
  • Franchise History:
  • 1960 - 1969 Buffalo Bills (AFL)
  • 1970 - Present Buffalo Bills (NFL)

Buffalo's team in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946 was the Bisons. In 1947 a contest was held to rename the team, which was owned by James Breuil of the Frontier Oil Company. The winning entry suggested Bills, reflecting on the famous western frontiersman, Buffalo Bill Cody. Carrying the "frontier" theme further, the winning contestant further offered that the team was being supported by Frontier Oil and was opening a new frontier in sports in Western New York. When Buffalo joined the new American Football League in 1960, the name of the city's earlier pro football entry was adopted.

Buffalo Bills - Stadium

Buffalo Bills Stadium

Ralph Wilson Stadium

One Bills Drive
Orchard Park, NY 14127
Surface Artificial turf
Seating 75,339
Opened Aug. 17, 1973
Phone 716-648-1800
   Buffalo Bills

Second Home Stadium

Rogers Centre 2008-2013 (54,000) Once Yearly

Previous Stadiums

War Memorial Stadium 1960-73 (45,748)

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills history

League Championships

1964 (AFL), 1965 (AFL)

Conference Championships

1990 (AFC), 1991 (AFC), 1992 (AFC), 1993 (AFC)

Division Championships

1964 (AFC East), 1965 (AFC East), 1966 (AFC East), 1980 (AFC East), 1988 (AFC East), 1989 (AFC East), 1990 (AFC East), 1991 (AFC East), 1993 (AFC East), 1995 (AFC East)

Wild Card Wins


Years in Playoffs

1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999


Doug Marrone
Chan Gailey
2010 - 2012
Perry Fewell
Dick Jauron
2006 - 2009
Mike Mularkey
2004 - 2005
Gregg Williams
2001 - 2003
Wade Phillips
1998 - 2000
Marv Levy
1986 - 1997
Hank Bullough
1985 - 1986
Kay Stephenson
1983 - 1985
Chuck Knox
1978 - 1982
Jim Ringo
1976 - 1977
Lou Saban
1972 - 1976
Harvey Johnson
Johnny Rauch
1969 - 1970
Joe Collier
1966 - 1968
Lou Saban
1962 - 1965
Buster Ramsey
1960 - 1961

Retired Numbers

#12 Jim Kelly

Hall of Fame Members

Billy Shaw
1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
O.J Simpson
1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Joe DeLamielleure
1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
Jim Kelly
1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
Marv Levy
1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
James Lofton
1989, 1990, 1991, 1992