8 Buffalo Bills Facts


The Buffalo Bills originally joined the American Football League (AFL) in 1960, and would become a member of the National Football League following the AFL-NFL merger nearly a decade later. The Bills are a franchise with a very storied history, but one filled with heartbreak. Today, the Buffalo Bills play in the AFC East with their rival New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

Here are eight fascinating facts about the Buffalo Bills.

    1. The Buffalo Bills are the only team to appear in and lose in four straight Super Bowls. (source) In the 1990s, the Buffalo Bills were one of the best teams in the National Football League. The Bills were so dominant, in fact, that the franchise punched their ticket to four straight Super Bowl appearances. However, Buffalo lost all four of those games in very dramatic fashion. All four losses were to NFC East teams, as the Bills lost to the New York Giants (20-19), the Washington Redskins (37-24) and then the Dallas Cowboys in back-to-back years, with final scores of 52-17 and 30-13. It’s been nearly thirty years since that last Super Bowl appearance, and the Buffalo Bills have not returned to the NFL’s biggest game of the year since.
    1. OJ Simpson was the first Buffalo Bills player to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (source) Imagine being a Hall of Fame calibur professional athlete and having that not be what you’re remembered most by in the public eye, but here we are. OJ Simpson was the first overall selection of the 1969 NFL Draft, and would go on to play running back for the Bills from 1969 through 1977 NFL season, followed by two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He finished his NFL career with 11,236 rushing yards, and the 1973 NFL MVP Award winner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
    1. The Buffalo Bills were the last team to qualify for the NFL playoffs in the 21st century. (source) The Buffalo Bills suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Tennessee Titans in the 1999 NFL playoffs, in a game known today as the “Music City Miracle.” It wouldn’t be until the 2017 season that the Bills return to the playoffs, where they suffered a first round loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 10-3. This nearly twenty year drought was the longest in the National Football League at the time, and marked the Buffalo Bills as the last team to make the playoffs in the 21st century.
    1. Bruce Smith holds the Buffalo Bills sack record with 200 sacks. (source) Bruce Smith played for the Bills from 1985-1999, amassing an impressive 171 quarterback takedowns, which remains the franchise record for sacks even to this day. Not only is Bruce Smith the all-time sacks leader for the Bills, but he’s the all-time leader for the National Football League as a whole, totaling 200. Following his time with the Buffalo Bills, Bruce Smith spent four seasons with the Washington Redskins, and retired following the 2003 season.
    1. In Super Bowl XXV, the Buffalo Bills became the first team to lose a Super Bowl by just one point. (source) The Buffalo Bills first Super Bowl appearance came on January 27, 1991 against the New York Giants. After Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed what could have been the game-winning field goal, Buffalo became the first team to lose a Super Bowl by a single point.
    1. The Buffalo Bills have retired the numbers of only a few players. (source) These include Bruce Smith (78), Jim Kelly (12), and Thurman Thomas (34).
    1. Despite two NFL franchises being from ‘New York,’ the Buffalo Bills are the only team in the NFL to actually play their games in New York State. (source) The New York Jets and New York Giants actually play in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
    1. The Bills team name originated via a fan contest. (source) The name Bills was suggested in 1947 as an effort to rename a then All-America Football Conference team, originally tagged as the Bisons.

These are just 8 Buffalo Bills facts. If you’re a Bills fan, do you have any more interesting tidbits to share? Let us know in the comments!


Featured image photo credit: All-Pro Reels, 2021. Originally found on Wikimedia.org. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.


This page has been updated to include more facts.

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