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1965 Buffalo Bills season

1965 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Lou Saban
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field War Memorial Stadium
Record 10–3–1
Division place 1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finish Won AFL Championship
Previous season      Next season
1964      1966

The 1965 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s sixth season in the American Football League. Though they weren't as statistically dominant as the previous season, the Bills won their second consecutive AFL Championship.

Although Buffalo's offense was in the middle of the pack in 1965, it was their dominant team defense that kept them atop the league's standings. Buffalo gave up only 226 points (16.1 per game), fewest in the AFL, and one point fewer than AFL Championship runner-up San Diego.[1] The Bills' opportunistic defense led the league in interceptions, with 32, and gave up a league-low four rushing touchdowns all season.

The Bills, who had led the AFL in points, rushing yards and total yards the previous season, suffered significantly after losing star running back Cookie Gilchrist in the offseason. Statistically, the Bills dropped to 6th (out of 8) in rushing yards, and 7th in passing yards. Still, they managed to finish 3rd in the AFL in points scored, with 313 (22.3 per game).[2]

The Bills' turnover ratio was +18, best in the AFL, and fourth best in AFL history.[3] Buffalo's +87 point differential was second-best in the league in 1965.

Seven Bills made the 1965 AFL All-Star team: safety George Saimes, cornerback Butch Byrd, linebacker Mike Stratton, defensive tackle Tom Sestak, guard Billy Shaw, kicker Pete Gogolak, and quarterback Jack Kemp.[4]



1965 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches


The Bills lost All-AFL running back Cookie Gilchrist to the Denver Broncos after the 1964 season. Bills running back Wray Carlton would take over as the Bills' lead back.

AFL Draft

Regular season

Season standings

Eastern Division
Buffalo Bills 10 3 1 .769 313 226
New York Jets 5 8 1 .385 285 303
Boston Patriots 4 8 2 .333 244 302
Houston Oilers 4 10 0 .286 298 429

Season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 11, 1965 Boston Patriots W 24–7
2 September 19, 1965 at Denver Broncos W 30–15
3 September 26, 1965 New York Jets W 33–21
4 October 3, 1965 Oakland Raiders W 17–12
5 October 10, 1965 San Diego Chargers L 34–3
6 October 17, 1965 at Kansas City Chiefs W 23-7
7 October 24, 1965 Denver Broncos W 31-13
8 October 31, 1965 Houston Oilers L 19–17
9 November 7, 1965 at Boston Patriots W 23–7
10 November 14, 1965 at Oakland Raiders W 17–14
11 Bye
12 November 25, 1965 at San Diego Chargers T 20–20
13 December 5, 1965 at Houston Oilers W 29–18
14 December 12, 1965 Kansas City Chiefs W 34–25
15 December 19, 1965 at New York Jets L 14–12



Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Player stats


Player Comp Att Yds Completion % TD INT
Jack Kemp 179 391 2368 45.8 10 18
Daryle Lamonica 29 70 376 41.4 3 6


Player Att Yds Average Long TD
Wray Carlton 156 592 3.8 80 6


AFL Championship Game

1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 0 14 6 3 23
Chargers 0 0 0 0 0

Buffalo Bills 23, San Diego Chargers 0

December 26, 1965 at Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California
Attendance: 30,361


  • BUF – Warlick 18 pass from Kemp (Gogolak kick)
  • BUF – Byrd 74 punt return (Gogolak kick)
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 11
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 39
  • BUF – Field goal Gogolak 32

AFL All-Star Game

Season Date Winner Most Valuable Player(s) Site
1965 January 15, 1966
AFL All-Stars 30,
Buffalo Bills 19
Offense: Joe Namath, QB, Jets
Defense: Frank Buncom, LB, Chargers
Rice Stadium, Houston

Awards and Records

  • Lou Saban, Coach of the Year


  • Buffalo Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • Buffalo Bills on

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