2014 Buffalo Bills season

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2014 Buffalo Bills season
Head coachDoug Marrone
General managerDoug Whaley
OwnerMary Wilson (weeks 1-5)
Terrence Pegula (week 6-present)
Home fieldRalph Wilson Stadium
Ford Field (week 12)
Results
Record9–7
Division place2nd AFC East
Playoff finishdid not qualify
Pro BowlersMarcell Dareus, DT
Kyle Williams, DT
Mario Williams, DE

The 2014 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 45th season in the National Football League, 55th season of competition, second under head coach Doug Marrone and the first in franchise history without Ralph Wilson as owner. The Bills improved on their 6–10 record from 2013, finishing with a 9–7 record, their first winning season since 2004, but it still didn't help the team make the playoffs.

Background[edit]

Death of Ralph Wilson and sale to Terrence Pegula[edit]

Ralph Wilson, the founding owner of the Buffalo Bills, died at the age of 95 on March 25, 2014. In his will, Wilson placed the team into a trust governed by his wife, niece and two team officials, who were separately given instructions to sell the team in short order, not only to the highest bidder, but with a precondition that the team be kept in Buffalo. Three bidders stepped forward with bids: stalking horse bidder Donald Trump, the family of Buffalo Sabres owner and natural gas baron Terrence Pegula and a consortium led by musician Jon Bon Jovi and the principals of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the last of whom raised serious concerns that the team would relocate to Toronto at the first opportunity. The Pegula family was named as the winning bidder on September 9 and closed on its purchase of the team on October 8.

Cancellation of the Toronto Series[edit]

On March 5, 2014, three weeks before Wilson's death, the Bills announced the postponement of the Bills Toronto Series for one year. Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon will evaluate the series in the future, possibly to permanently cancel games in Toronto. On December 3, 2014, after six years and a 1-5 record (their only win coming in a 23-0 shutout victory against the Washington Redskins), the Bills Toronto Series was permanently cancelled.

On-field[edit]

The Bills won their first two games, a 23-20 overtime road win at Chicago (their first-ever victory at Soldier Field) and an emotionally raucous 29-10 home win against division rival Miami, a game played just days after the announcement that the Pegulas would purchase the team and keep it in Buffalo. But Buffalo lost their next two, a 22-10 loss at home against San Diego and a 23-17 loss on the road at Houston, after which Marrone benched quarterback EJ Manuel (their first round pick the previous year) in favor of journeyman Kyle Orton. In his first start as a Bill against Detroit at Ford Field, Orton threw for 308 yards as Buffalo came back from a 14-0 halftime deficit to defeat Detroit 17-14 in then-defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's first return to Detroit since being fired in the offseason, following an eventual game-winning 58-yard field goal by kicker Dan Carpenter. Buffalo would lose its next game, a 37-22 loss at home against New England before coming back from a 16-10 deficit against Minnesota to win 17-16 after Orton threw for 283 yards, two touchdowns, the second of which to rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins and connecting with tight end Scott Chandler for 18 yards to convert a 3rd-and-12 and 24 yards to convert a 4th-and-20, respectively (Orton also had an interception and a lost fumble, one of three for the Bills offense). Unfortunately for Buffalo, running backs C. J. Spiller and Fred Jackson were both injured in the first half. With running back Bryce Brown, who the Bills traded their conditional fourth-rounder that can become a third-round selection (that they had acquired in the trade that sent Stevie Johnson to San Francisco) to Philadelphia, inactive for the game and no time to find anyone to help carry the ball, running back Anthony Dixon, who the Bills signed as a free agent from San Francisco was left to carry the ball himself, with fullback Frank Summers assisting. On November 30, the Bills beat the Cleveland Browns giving them their seventh win, which not only improved on the previous season, in which they finished 6-10 for the third time since 2003 (they finished 6-10 in 2009 and 2011, the latter of which after they started 5-2), but it also gives them their best start entering December since the 2000 Buffalo Bills season, in which they finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs. With a win against the Green Bay Packers on December 14, the Bills broke a league-leading streak of nine consecutive losing seasons dating back to 2005; however, the next week's 26-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders eliminated them from playoff contention for the 15th consecutive year, continuing a league-leading drought. The team finished with a 17-9 win against the New England Patriots, who were resting the starters in preparation for a playoff run; the win was the first time the team had won at Gillette Stadium (they had lost all 12 previous attempts) and established the team's first winning season since 2004 (former head coach Mike Mularkey's first season).

Roster changes[edit]

Free agents lost[edit]

Position Player 2014 Team Notes
S Jairus Byrd New Orleans Saints Signed 6 years/$56 million
DE Alex Carrington St. Louis Rams Signed 1 year/$1.5 million
S Jim Leonhard Cleveland Browns Signed 1 year/$855,000
LB Arthur Moats Pittsburgh Steelers Signed 1 year/$795,000
OT Thomas Welch unsigned

Signings[edit]

Position Player 2013 Team Date signed Notes and references
MLB Brandon Spikes New England Patriots March 18 Signed 1 year/$3.25 million
RB Anthony Dixon San Francisco 49ers March 15 Signed 3 years/$3.5 million
OG Chris Williams St. Louis Rams March 12 Signed 4 years/$13.4 million
CB Corey Graham Baltimore Ravens March 12 Signed 4 years/$16.3 million
LB Keith Rivers New York Giants March 12 Signed 2 years/$4.05 million
CB Aaron Williams Buffalo Bills March 5 Signed 4 years/$26.01 million extension
K Dan Carpenter Buffalo Bills March 11 Signed 4 years/$9.95 million extension
TE Scott Chandler Buffalo Bills March 13 Signed 2 years/$4.75 million extension
RB Fred Jackson Buffalo Bills July 30 Signed 1 year/$2.6 million extension

2014 draft[edit]

2014 Buffalo Bills Draft
Round Selection Player Position College
1 4 Sammy Watkins Wide receiver Clemson
2 44 Cyrus Kouandjio Offensive tackle Alabama
3 73 Preston Brown Linebacker Louisville
4 109 Ross Cockrell Cornerback Duke
5 153 Cyril Richardson Guard Baylor
6 None — see draft trades below
7 221 Randell Johnson Linebacker Florida Atlantic
237 Seantrel Henderson Offensive tackle Miami
Draft trades
  • The Bills traded their original first-round selection (No. 9 overall) and their 2015 first- and fourth-round selections to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the Browns' first-round selection (No. 4 overall).
  • The Bills traded their original second-round selection (No. 41 overall) to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for the Rams' second- and fifth-round selections (Nos. 44 and 153 overall, respectively).
  • The Bills traded their original fifth-round selection (No. 149 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the Buccaneers' seventh-round selection (No. 221 overall) and a 2015 fifth-round selection.
  • The Bills traded their sixth-round selection (No. 185 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for wide receiver Mike Williams.
  • The Bills traded their original seventh-round selection (No. 224 overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange running back Bryce Brown and the Eagles' seventh-round selection (No. 237 overall). The trade also includes a conditional future draft selection, which the Eagles could receive from the Bills in either 2015 or 2016. If Brown hits undisclosed statistical rushing targets in 2014, the Eagles will receive the Bills' 2016 third-round selection, otherwise, the Eagles could receive the Bills' 2015 fourth-round selection, which the Bills conditionally acquired in a trade that sent wide receiver Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers. However, if Johnson does not meet certain statistical receiving targets with the 49ers in 2014, the trade with the 49ers will be voided, and if Brown does not meet certain statistical rushing targets with the Bills in 2014, the Bills will not have to send a future selection to the Eagles.

Staff[edit]

2014 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Head Strength and Conditioning – Eric Ciano
  • Assistant Head Strength and Conditioning – Hal Luther
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Dan Liburd

Final roster[edit]

2014 Buffalo Bills final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad


Rookies in italics
53 Active, 8 Inactive, 10 Practice squad

Schedule[edit]

Preseason[edit]

On February 27, 2014, the NFL announced that, to celebrate the induction of wide receiver Andre Reed, the Bills would play the New York Giants in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, which took place on August 3, 2014 and aired on NBC.[1] The remainder of the Bills' preseason opponents were announced on April 9, 2014.

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site NFL.com
recap
HOF August 3 vs. New York Giants L 13–17 0–1 Fawcett Stadium Recap
1 August 8 at Carolina Panthers W 20–18 1–1 Bank of America Stadium Recap
2 August 16 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 16–19 1–2 Heinz Field Recap
3 August 23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 14–27 1–3 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
4 August 28 Detroit Lions L 0–23 1–4 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap

Regular season[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site NFL.com
recap
1 September 7 at Chicago Bears W 23–20 (OT) 1–0 Soldier Field Recap
2 September 14 Miami Dolphins W 29–10 2–0 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
3 September 21 San Diego Chargers L 10–22 2–1 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
4 September 28 at Houston Texans L 17–23 2–2 NRG Stadium Recap
5 October 5 at Detroit Lions W 17–14 3–2 Ford Field Recap
6 October 12 New England Patriots L 22–37 3–3 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
7 October 19 Minnesota Vikings W 17–16 4–3 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
8 October 26 at New York Jets W 43–23 5–3 MetLife Stadium Recap
9 Bye
10 November 9 Kansas City Chiefs L 13–17 5–4 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
11 November 13 at Miami Dolphins L 9–22 5–5 Sun Life Stadium Recap
12 November 24[A] New York Jets W 38–3 6–5 Ford Field Recap
13 November 30 Cleveland Browns W 26–10 7–5 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
14 December 7 at Denver Broncos L 17–24 7–6 Sports Authority Field at Mile High Recap
15 December 14 Green Bay Packers W 21–13 8–6 Ralph Wilson Stadium Recap
16 December 21 at Oakland Raiders L 24–26 8–7 O.co Coliseum Recap
17 December 28 at New England Patriots W 17–9 9–7 Gillette Stadium Recap
Notes
  • Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
  • For the first time since 2007, the Bills did not play a game in Toronto, as the Bills Toronto Series was suspended in March 2014 and permanently canceled later that year.[3]

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: at Chicago Bears[edit]

Week One: Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears – Game summary
1 2 34OTTotal
Bills 7 10 03323
Bears 7 0 103020

at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

Game information

Week 2: vs. Miami Dolphins[edit]

Week Two: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Dolphins 0 0 10010
Bills 6 3 14629

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

Week 3: vs. San Diego Chargers[edit]

Week Three: San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chargers 7 6 7222
Bills 0 3 7010

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

Week 4: at Houston Texans[edit]

Week Four: Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 0 10 0717
Texans 0 7 10623

at NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

Game information

Week 5: at Detroit Lions[edit]

Week Five: Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 0 3 31117
Lions 7 7 0014

at Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Game information

Week 6: vs. New England Patriots[edit]

Week Six: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Patriots 0 13 101437
Bills 0 7 7822

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: October 12
  • Game time: 1:00pm EDT
  • Game weather: 55 °F (13 °C), clear & sunny
  • Game attendance: 70,185
  • Referee: Walt Coleman
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

Week 7: vs. Minnesota Vikings[edit]

Week Seven: Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Vikings 3 10 0316
Bills 0 10 0717

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

Week 8: at New York Jets[edit]

Week Eight: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 14 10 61343
Jets 0 17 0623

at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information

Week 10: vs. Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Week Ten: Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 3 0 01417
Bills 7 3 3013

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: November 9
  • Game time: 1:00pm EST
  • Game weather: 42 °F (6 °C), cloudy
  • Game attendance: 68,119
  • Referee: Brad Allen
  • TV announcers (CBS): Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

Week 11: at Miami Dolphins[edit]

Week Eleven: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 3 3 309
Dolphins 3 0 91022

at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

Game information

Week 12: vs. New York Jets[edit]

Week Twelve: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Jets 3 0 003
Bills 7 7 17738

at Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan[A]

  • Date: November 24[A]
  • Game time: 7:00pm EST[A]
  • Game weather: Played indoors (dome stadium)
  • Game attendance: 56,044
  • Referee: Pete Morelli
  • TV announcers (CBS[A]): Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

Week 13: vs. Cleveland Browns[edit]

Week Thirteen: Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Browns 3 0 0710
Bills 0 0 02626

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

This was the 1st time the Bills have had a winning record this late in the season since 2008

Week 14: at Denver Broncos[edit]

Week Fourteen: Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 0 3 01417
Broncos 7 7 10024

at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: December 7
  • Game time: 4:05pm EST/2:05pm MST
  • Game weather: 63 °F (17 °C), mostly sunny
  • Game attendance: 76,913
  • Referee: Ron Torbert
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

Week 15: vs. Green Bay Packers[edit]

Week Fifteen: Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Packers 3 7 0313
Bills 7 3 6521

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

The Bills were the only AFC East team to defeat all of their NFC North opponents. The Bills also improved their record to 6-0 against the Packers at home.

Week 16: at Oakland Raiders[edit]

Week Sixteen: Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 7 3 01424
Raiders 0 13 6726

at O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California

Game information

This loss eliminated Buffalo from playoff contention.

Week 17: at New England Patriots[edit]

Week Seventeen: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 7 10 0017
Patriots 3 3 309

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Date: December 28
  • Game time: 1:00pm EST
  • Game weather: 49 °F (9 °C), mostly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Terry McAulay
  • TV announcers (CBS): Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

This was the first time Buffalo won in New England since November 5th 2000.

Standings[edit]

Division[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(1) New England Patriots 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 468 313 L1
Buffalo Bills 9 7 0 .563 4–2 5–7 343 289 W1
Miami Dolphins 8 8 0 .500 3–3 6–6 388 373 L1
New York Jets 4 12 0 .250 1–5 4–8 283 401 W1

Conference[edit]

# Team Division W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA PD STK
Division leaders
1[a] New England Patriots East 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 468 313 155 L1
2[a] Denver Broncos West 12 4 0 .750 6–0 10–2 482 354 128 W1
3[b] Pittsburgh Steelers North 11 5 0 .688 4–2 9–3 436 368 68 W4
4[b] Indianapolis Colts South 11 5 0 .688 6–0 9–3 458 369 89 W1
Wild Cards
5 Cincinnati Bengals North 10 5 1 .656 3–3 7–5 365 344 21 L1
6 Baltimore Ravens North 10 6 0 .625 3–3 6–6 409 302 107 W1
Did not qualify for the playoffs
7[c] Houston Texans South 9 7 0 .563 4–2 8–4 372 307 65 W2
8[c] Kansas City Chiefs West 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 353 281 72 W1
9[c] San Diego Chargers West 9 7 0 .563 2–4 6–6 348 348 0 L1
10[c] Buffalo Bills East 9 7 0 .563 4–2 5–7 343 289 54 W1
11 Miami Dolphins East 8 8 0 .500 3–3 6–6 388 373 15 L1
12 Cleveland Browns North 7 9 0 .438 2–4 4–8 299 337 –38 L5
13 New York Jets East 4 12 0 .250 1–5 4–8 283 401 –118 W1
14[d] Jacksonville Jaguars South 3 13 0 .188 1–5 2–10 249 412 –163 L1
15[d] Oakland Raiders West 3 13 0 .188 1–5 2–10 253 452 –199 L1
16 Tennessee Titans South 2 14 0 .125 1–5 2–10 254 438 –184 L10
Tiebreakers[e]
  1. ^ a b New England defeated Denver head-to-head (Week 9, 43–21).
  2. ^ a b Pittsburgh defeated Indianapolis head-to-head (Week 8, 51–34).
  3. ^ a b c d Kansas City finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (Week 7, 23–20; Week 17, 19–7).
    Houston finished ahead of Kansas City and Buffalo based on conference record.
    Kansas City finished ahead of Buffalo based on head-to-head victory (Week 10, 17–13).
    San Diego finished ahead of Buffalo based on head-to-head victory (Week 3, 22–10).
  4. ^ a b Jacksonville finished ahead of Oakland based on record vs. common opponents (1–4 to 0–5).
  5. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.

Fist bump controversy[edit]

After a touchdown by Denver Broncos' running back CJ Anderson during the December 7 game, two officials acknowledged the call through the use of a fist bump.[6][7] The move was seen by many Bills fans and players, including defensive back Aaron Williams,[6] as an insensitive gesture, with some likening the gesture to a conspiracy.[8][9] However, the NFL responded saying the gesture was "an acknowledgment of good mechanics between the two officials involved in making the call."[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e The Week 12 game vs. the New York Jets, originally scheduled at 1:00 p.m. EST on November 23 at Ralph Wilson Stadium, was re-scheduled to November 24 at 7:00 p.m. EST and relocated to Ford Field in Detroit due to a lake-effect snowstorm that struck the Buffalo area.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patra, Kevin (February 27, 2014). "Buffalo Bills, N.Y. Giants to play in Hall of Fame Game". NFL.com. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (November 20, 2014). "Jets-Bills game moved to Detroit on Monday night". NFL.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "No Toronto in 2014." WGR. Retrieved March 5, 2014. "WGR has learned that the Buffalo Bills will not play in Toronto this season. The future of the Toronto Series is unclear. Keep it locked to WGR for details"
  4. ^ "2014 Conference Standings". NFL.com. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "2014 NFL playoff picture". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Mandell, Nina (December 8, 2014). "NFL says refs in Broncos game were celebrating correct call, not touchdown with fist bump". USA Today. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  7. ^ Breech, John (December 8, 2014). "LOOK: Two refs fist bump after Broncos TD; Bills players not happy". ESPN. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Bills fans angry at referee "fist bump" caught on camera". WIVB. December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  9. ^ Parziale, James (December 7, 2014). "Refs fist-bump after C.J. Anderson scores for Broncos, but they're not rooting for Denver". FOX Sports. Retrieved December 8, 2014.

External links[edit]