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1966 Buffalo Bills season

1966 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Joe Collier
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field War Memorial Stadium
Record 9–4–1
Division place 1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finish Lost AFL Championship
Previous season      Next season
1965      1967

The 1966 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s seventh season in the American Football League. It was the first season for head coach Joe Collier, who had been the Bills' defensive coordinator for the previous four seasons.[1]

It ended with a loss in the AFL Championship Game to the Kansas City Chiefs, ending the team's two-year reign as AFL Champions.

The Bills allowed the fewest points in the AFL for the third consecutive year.[2] Although defensive tackle Tom Sestak hampered by a bad knee, defensive linemen Jim Dunaway and Ron McDole took a leadership position. Linebackers Mike Stratton, Harry Jacobs and John Tracey, and defensive backs George Saimes, Butch Byrd, Hagood Clarke and Tom Janik provided a strong defensive foundation.[3]

Halfback Bobby Burnett and split end Bobby Crockett joined long-time Bills running back Wray Carlton and quarterback Jack Kemp, leading Buffalo's offense to scoring 358 points,[4] second-most in the AFL in 1966. Burnett's 1,185 total yards from scrimmage were 5th in the AFL, and garnered AFL Rookie of the Year honors for Burnett.



1966 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches


Lou Saban, who had coached the Bills to consecutive AFL Championships, left the team after the 1965 season to coach at the University of Maryland.

AFL Draft

Regular season

Season standings

Eastern Division
*Buffalo Bills 9 4 1 .692 358 255
Boston Patriots 8 4 2 .677 315 283
New York Jets 6 6 2 .500 322 312
Houston Oilers 3 11 0 .214 335 396
Miami Dolphins 3 11 0 .214 213 362

Season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 4, 1966 at San Diego Chargers L 27–7
2 September 11, 1966 Kansas City Chiefs L 42–20
3 September 18, 1966 Miami Dolphins W 58–24
4 September 25, 1966 Houston Oilers W 27–20
5 October 2, 1966 at Kansas City Chiefs W 29–14
6 October 8, 1966 Boston Patriots L 20–10
7 October 16, 1966 San Diego Chargers T 17–17
8 Bye
9 October 30, 1966 at New York Jets W 33–23
10 November 6, 1966 at Miami Dolphins W 29–0
11 November 13, 1966 New York Jets W 14–3
12 November 20, 1966 at Houston Oilers W 42–20
13 November 24, 1966 at Oakland Raiders W 31–10
14 December 4, 1966 at Boston Patriots L 14–3
15 Bye
16 December 18, 1966 Denver Broncos W 38–21



Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Defensive Backs

Special Teams


AFL Championship Game

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 7 10 0 14 31
Bills 7 0 0 0 7

Kansas City Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7

January 1, 1967 at War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 42,080

The Bills went into the 1966 AFL Championship having already won the game the previous two years. Though the game was to be played in Buffalo, the visiting Kansas City Chiefs were three-point favorites, mainly because of their explosive and innovative offense led by head coach Hank Stram. The Bills were a more conventional team with a solid defensive line and a running mindset on offense.

Buffalo found no offensive rhythm in the second half, and the Chiefs closed the game out in the fourth quarter with Dawson found Chris Burford for a 45-yard gain, setting up a one foot touchdown run by rookie Mike Garrett. Garrett scored his second touchdown less than two minutes later following another Bills fumble.


  • KC – Arbanas 29 pass from Dawson (Mercer kick)
  • BUF – Dubenion 69 pass from Kemp (Lusteg kick)
  • KC – Taylor 29 pass from Dawson (Mercer kick)
  • KC – Field goal Mercer 32
  • KC – Garrett 1 run (Mercer kick)
  • KC – Garrett 18 run (Mercer kick)

Awards and Records


  • Buffalo Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • Buffalo Bills on

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