1985 Buffalo Bills season
|1985 Buffalo Bills season|
|Head coach||Kay Stephenson (weeks 1-4)|
Hank Bullough (weeks 5-16)
|General manager||Terry Bledsoe|
|Home field||Rich Stadium|
|Division place||5th AFC East|
|Playoff finish||did 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.
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, while combining for a league-high 31 interceptions. 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.
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.
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.
|1985 Buffalo Bills draft|
|1||1||Bruce Smith * †||Defensive end||Virginia Tech|
|1||14||Derrick Burroughs||Defensive back||Memphis|
|2||42||Chris Burkett||Wide receiver||Jackson State|
|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|
|9||225||Glenn Jones||Defensive back||Norfolk State|
|11||282||James Seawright||Linebacker||South Carolina|
|12||333||Paul Woodside||Placekicker||West Virginia|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during careerMade roster|
|1985 Buffalo Bills staff|
Strength and conditioning
|1||September 8, 1985||San Diego Chargers||L 14–9|
|2||September 15, 1985||at New York Jets||L 42–3|
|3||September 22, 1985||New England Patriots||L 17–14|
|4||September 29, 1985||Minnesota Vikings||L 27–20|
|5||October 6, 1985||at Indianapolis Colts||L 49–17|
|6||October 13, 1985||at New England Patriots||L 14–3|
|7||October 20, 1985||Indianapolis Colts||W 21–9|
|8||October 27, 1985||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 21–17|
|9||November 3, 1985||Cincinnati Bengals||L 23–17|
|10||November 10, 1985||Houston Oilers||W 20–0|
|11||November 17, 1985||at Cleveland Browns||L 17–7|
|12||November 24, 1985||Miami Dolphins||L 23–14|
|13||December 1, 1985||at San Diego Chargers||L 40–7|
|14||December 8, 1985||New York Jets||L 27–7|
|15||December 15, 1985||at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 30–24|
|16||December 22, 1985||at Miami Dolphins||L 28–0|
|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|
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1985 Buffalo Bills
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1985 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: For combined seasons, from 1920 to 2000, sorted by descending Receptions
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: For combined seasons, from 1960 to 2011, playing for the Buffalo Bills, sorted by descending Games
- "1985 Buffalo Bills draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- 1985 Buffalo Bills Media Guide. pp. 3–21.
- Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-Apr-22.