1985 Buffalo Bills season

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1985 Buffalo Bills season
Head coachKay Stephenson (weeks 1-4)
(3rd season)
Hank Bullough (weeks 5-16)
(1st season)
General managerTerry Bledsoe
(Since 1984)
OwnerRalph Wilson
(Since 1959)
Home fieldRich Stadium
Results
Record2–14
Division place5th AFC East
Playoff finishdid not qualify

The 1985 Buffalo Bills season was the 26th season for the club and its sixteenth in the National Football League (NFL). It was Buffalo’s second-consecutive 2–14 season. Head coach Kay Stephenson was fired after an 0–4 start. Defensive coordinator Hank Bullough took over, going 2–10 for the remainder of the season.

Season summary[edit]

The Bills' offense was anemic: its 200 points scored is the lowest total in the 1980s,[note 1] and the lowest total in team history for a sixteen-game schedule. Having concluded that longtime starting quarterback Joe Ferguson's career was over after a spike in interceptions in the early 1980s, the Bills cut him in the offseason. (The assumption would be in error, as Ferguson would sign with the Detroit Lions and play an additional six seasons in the NFL after being released.) Ferguson's replacements, quarterbacks Vince Ferragamo and Bruce Mathison, only produced 9 passing touchdowns all season,[1] while combining for a league-high 31 interceptions.[2] Buffalo scored fewer than ten points in seven of its sixteen games. The team’s point-differential of negative-181 is the third-worst in franchise history.

Offseason[edit]

NFL draft[edit]

In 1985, the Bills used the first overall pick in the draft to select All-American defensive end Bruce Smith. Smith would dominated the late 1980s and early 1990s. Smith was an 11-time All-Pro selection, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and logged an NFL-record 200 sacks[note 2] by the end of his career.

Fourth-round pick Andre Reed, a wide receiver out of Kutztown (PA) State, would go on to be the leading receiver in Buffalo Bills history. When he retired after the 2000 season, Reed's 951 career receptions were third in NFL history behind Jerry Rice and Cris Carter.[3]

Maryland quarterback Frank Reich would become famous for quarterbacking “The Comeback”, a 1993 playoff game in which Buffalo, down 35–3 in the third quarter, would score 35 unanswered points to win 41–38 in overtime. It is the largest deficit overcome to win a game in NFL history.[note 3]

Reed played more games with the Bills, 221, than any other player. Smith was second with 217 games.[4]

1985 Buffalo Bills draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 Bruce Smith *   Defensive end Virginia Tech
1 14 Derrick Burroughs  Defensive back Memphis
2 29 Mark Traynowicz  Guard Nebraska
2 42 Chris Burkett  Wide receiver Jackson State
3 57 Frank Reich  Quarterback Maryland
3 63 Hal Garner  Linebacker Utah State
4 86 Andre Reed *   Wide receiver Kutztown State
4 112 Dale Hellestrae  Offensive tackle Southern Methodist
5 130 Jimmy Teal  Wide receiver Texas A&M
6 141 Mike Hamby  Defensive end Utah State
7 169 Ron Pitts  Defensive back UCLA
8 197 Jacque Robinson  Fullback Washington
9 225 Glenn Jones  Defensive back Norfolk State
10 253 Chris Babyar  Guard Illinois
11 282 James Seawright  Linebacker South Carolina
12 333 Paul Woodside  Placekicker West Virginia
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[5]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1985 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office
  • President – Ralph Wilson
  • Senior Executive Vice President – Pat McGroder
  • Vice President of Administration/General Manager – Terry Bledsoe
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Kay Stephenson
  • Vice President of Player Personnel – Norm Pollom
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Bill Polian
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Bob Ferguson

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Kay Stephenson
  • Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator – Hank Bullough

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive Line – Ardell Wiegandt
  • Linebackers – Monte Kiffin
  • Defensive Backfield – Dick Moseley

Strength and conditioning

[6]

Roster[edit]

1985 Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 8, 1985 San Diego Chargers L 14–9
67,597
2 September 15, 1985 at New York Jets L 42–3
63,449
3 September 22, 1985 New England Patriots L 17–14
40,334
4 September 29, 1985 Minnesota Vikings L 27–20
45,667
5 October 6, 1985 at Indianapolis Colts L 49–17
60,003
6 October 13, 1985 at New England Patriots L 14–3
40,462
7 October 20, 1985 Indianapolis Colts W 21–9
28,430
8 October 27, 1985 at Philadelphia Eagles L 21–17
60,987
9 November 3, 1985 Cincinnati Bengals L 23–17
25,640
10 November 10, 1985 Houston Oilers W 20–0
21,881
11 November 17, 1985 at Cleveland Browns L 17–7
54,478
12 November 24, 1985 Miami Dolphins L 23–14
50,474
13 December 1, 1985 at San Diego Chargers L 40–7
45,487
14 December 8, 1985 New York Jets L 27–7
23,122
15 December 15, 1985 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 30–24
35,953
16 December 22, 1985 at Miami Dolphins L 28–0
64,811

Game summaries[edit]

Week 7[edit]

1 234Total
Colts 3 330 9
• Bills 7 707 21
  • Date: October 20
  • Location: Rich Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 28,430
  • Game weather: 47 °F (8.3 °C); wind 8 miles per hour (13 km/h; 7.0 kn)

[7]

Week 10[edit]

1 234Total
Oilers 0 000 0
• Bills 10 0100 20

[8]

Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Miami Dolphins(2) 12 4 0 .750 6–2 9–3 428 320 W7
New York Jets(4) 11 5 0 .688 6–2 9–3 393 264 W1
New England Patriots(5) 11 5 0 .688 6–2 8–4 362 290 W1
Indianapolis Colts 5 11 0 .313 1–7 2–10 320 386 W2
Buffalo Bills 2 14 0 .125 1–7 2–12 200 381 L6

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This excludes the strike-shortened, nine-regular-season-game 1982 season
  2. ^ As of 2012
  3. ^ As of 2017

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1985 Buffalo Bills
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1985 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: For combined seasons, from 1920 to 2000, sorted by descending Receptions
  4. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: For combined seasons, from 1960 to 2011, playing for the Buffalo Bills, sorted by descending Games
  5. ^ "1985 Buffalo Bills draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  6. ^ 1985 Buffalo Bills Media Guide. pp. 3–21.
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-Apr-22.
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com

External links[edit]