1960 Buffalo Bills season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

1960 Buffalo Bills season
OwnerRalph Wilson
Head coachBuster Ramsey
Home fieldWar Memorial Stadium
Local radioWGR
Division place3rd AFL Eastern
Playoff finishDid not qualify

The 1960 Buffalo Bills season was the team's first season in the American Football League (AFL). Home games were played at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York. Head Coach Buster Ramsey's Bills compiled a 5–8–1 record, placing them third in the AFL Eastern Division.

Unlike most of the offensive-minded AFL, the Bills focused on defense, allowing the third-fewest points in the league (303). Their defensive line boasted Laverne Torczon and Chuck McMurtry (both of whom were 1st Team All-AFL in 1960),[1] as well as a mobile, hard-hitting middle linebacker in Archie Matsos, who was AFL All-Star in each of the three seasons he spent in Buffalo. The Bills' defense led the league in fewest passing yards allowed (2,130) and most passes intercepted (33),[2] with NFL veterans Richie McCabe and Jim Wagstaff in their secondary.[3]

The Bills' offense, however, was not as competent. The 1960 Bills had the worst passing attack in the AFL, throwing for 2,346 yards.[4] Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Tommy O'Connell started the season 1–3 before being replaced by Johnny Green. Green would go 3–3 as a starter, despite only completing 39% of his passes.[5] Richie Lucas, the Bills' first ever draft pick, was a bust, both at quarterback and at halfback,[6] throwing only 49 passes all season.[7]

The Bills did show glimmers of hope on offense, however, by showcasing running back Wray Carlton and flanker Elbert Dubenion, who would later go on to be AFL All-Stars for the Bills in the mid-1960s.


In their first season, the Bills wore silver helmets and light blue home jerseys. Their road jerseys were white with light blue letters. The team wore white pants both at home and on the road. The Bills' helmets displayed the player's number in light blue on the side where the logo would normally be (much like the Alabama Crimson Tide's helmets).[8]

The uniforms, not coincidentally, resembled those of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. grew up in Detroit, and had once been a minority owner in the Lions.


When Lamar Hunt announced formation of the American Football League in the summer of 1959, Buffalo was one of the target cities Hunt sought, based on its previous success with the Bills in the AAFC. His first choice of owner, however, turned him down; Pat McGroder (then a liquor store owner and sports liaison with the city of Buffalo) was still hopeful that the threat of the AFL would prompt the NFL to come back to Buffalo to try and stop the AFL from gaining a foothold there (as the NFL would do with teams in Minnesota, Dallas, St. Louis and later Atlanta). McGroder's hopes never came to fruition, and in 1961, he took a position in the new Bills organization.

Harry Wismer, who was to own the Titans of New York franchise, reached out to insurance salesman and automobile heir Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. to see if he was interested in joining the upstart league. (Both Wismer and Wilson were minority owners of NFL franchises at the time: Wilson part-owned the Detroit Lions, while Wismer was a small partner in the Washington Redskins but had little power due to majority owner George Preston Marshall's near-iron fist over the team and the league). Wilson agreed to field a team in the new league, with the words "Count me in. I'll take a franchise anywhere you suggest."[9] Hunt gave him the choice of six cities: Miami, Buffalo, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Atlanta, or Louisville, Kentucky; after being turned down in his effort to put a team in Miami, he consulted with Detroit media, who connected him with McGroder and The Buffalo News managing editor Paul Neville;[10][11] their efforts to lobby Wilson to come to Buffalo were successful, and Wilson sent Hunt a telegram with the now-famous words, "Count me in with Buffalo."

The Buffalo Bills were a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. After a public contest, the team adopted the same name as the AAFC Buffalo Bills, the former All-America Football Conference team in Buffalo.

1960 AFL Draft[edit]

Two Rounds of draft were held, the first round called "First Selections", the second round "Second Selections".

First Selections[edit]

Second Selections[edit]



1960 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches


1960 Buffalo Bills roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad {{{practice_squad}}}

Rookies in italics

1960 regular season[edit]

Season schedule[edit]


Week Date Opponent Result Notes Attendance
1 July 30, 1960 Boston Patriots L 28–7 First game in American Football League history
2 August 13, 1960 Denver Broncos W 31–14 Played at Aquinas Stadium in Rochester, New York
3 August 24, 1960 Oakland Raiders L 26–21

Regular season[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Game Recap
1 September 11 at New York Titans L 3–27 0–1 Polo Grounds
2 September 18 Denver Broncos L 21–27 0–2 War Memorial Stadium
3 September 23 at Boston Patriots W 13–0 1–2 Boston University Field
4 October 2 Los Angeles Chargers L 10–24 1–3 War Memorial Stadium
5 Bye
6 October 16 New York Titans L 13–17 1–4 War Memorial Stadium
7 October 23 Oakland Raiders W 38–9 2–4 War Memorial Stadium
8 October 30 Houston Oilers W 25–24 3–4 War Memorial Stadium
9 November 6 Dallas Texans L 28–45 3–5 War Memorial Stadium
10 November 13 at Oakland Raiders L 7–20 3–6 Kezar Stadium
11 November 20 at Los Angeles Chargers W 32–3 4–6 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
12 November 27 at Denver Broncos T 38–38 4–6–1 Bears Stadium
13 December 4 Boston Patriots W 38–14 5–6–1 War Memorial Stadium
14 December 11 at Houston Oilers L 23–31 5–7–1 Jeppesen Stadium
15 December 18 at Dallas Texans L 7–24 5–8–1 Cotton Bowl

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Season summary[edit]

Week 1 at Titans[edit]

Week One: Buffalo Bills (0–0) at New York Titans (0–0)
1 2 34Total
Bills 3 0 003
Titans 0 17 3727

at Polo Grounds, New York, New York

  • Date: September 11
  • Game weather: 65 °F (18 °C)
  • Game attendance: 10,200
  • Box Score

Week 2[edit]

Week 3[edit]

1 234Total
• Bills 6 700 13
Patriots 0 000 0
  • Date: September 23
  • Location: Nickerson Field
  • Game attendance: 20,732
  • Game weather: 60 °F, wind 11


Buffalo's first win in franchise history.

Week 4[edit]

Week 5[edit]

Week 6 vs Titans[edit]

Week Six: New York Titans (3–2) at Buffalo Bills (1–3)
1 2 34Total
Titans 7 3 0717
Bills 6 0 0713

at War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York

  • Date: October 16
  • Game weather: 58 °F (14 °C)
  • Game attendance: 14,988
  • Box Score

Week 7[edit]

1 234Total
Raiders 0 702 9
• Bills 14 1437 38



AFL Eastern Division
Houston Oilers 10 4 0 .714 5–1 379 285 W2
New York Titans 7 7 0 .500 2–4 382 399 L1
Buffalo Bills 5 8 1 .385 3–3 296 303 L2
Boston Patriots 5 9 0 .357 2–4 286 349 L4

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


  1. ^ "1960 AFL All-Pros - Pro-Football-Reference.com".
  2. ^ "1960 AFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics - Pro-Football-Reference.com".
  3. ^ "1960 Buffalo Bills Starters, Roster, & Players - Pro-Football-Reference.com".
  4. ^ "1960 AFL Standings & Team Stats - Pro-Football-Reference.com".
  5. ^ "Johnny Green Stats - Pro-Football-Reference.com".
  6. ^ [Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
  7. ^ Lucas was not on the team after the following season
  8. ^ "Buffalo Bills Primary Logo - American Football League (AFL) - Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page - SportsLogos.Net".
  9. ^ "Texan millions are behind the American Football League - 01.25.60 - SI Vault". October 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Buffalo Bills founder Ralph Wilson dies; Hall of Famer founded team 55 years ago".
  11. ^ Gaughan, Mark (March 26, 2014). "Father's example inspired Wilson in football and business".
  12. ^ "Buffalo Bills at Boston Patriots - September 23rd, 1960 - Pro-Football-Reference.com".
  13. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-Apr-19.