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1984 Buffalo Bills season


1984 Buffalo Bills season

1984 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Kay Stephenson
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Record 2–14
Division place 5th AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Previous season      Next season
< 1983      1985 >

The 1984 Buffalo Bills season was the 25th season for the club and its 15th in the National Football League. The team started the season with eleven consecutive losses before an upset home win over Dallas in Week Twelve.

The 1984 Bills gave up a team-record 454 points on defense, an average of more than 28 points per game.[1] The Bills gave up 30+ points eight times, and allowed fewer than 20 points in a game only three times all season.

The Bills also allowed 60 quarterback sacks, for a total of 554 yards, which were the most-ever yards-lost on sacks at the time.[2][3] The Bills' 4,341 total yards gained was second-worst in the league in 1984.[4][5] The 1984 Bills are one of only two NFL teams[6] to have been outscored by 25 points six different times during the season.[7]


Uniform Change

For the third time in team history, the Bills changed their helmets. While keeping the streaking buffalo logo from the second change, the Bills changed their helmet color from white to red. They would keep the red helmet through the 2010 season.[8] It was the Bills first major change to their helmets since changing from the "standing Bison" to the streaking buffalo before the 1974 season.

The reason for the change, according to Bills equipment coordinator Dave Hojnowski, was because Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson was color-blind. Since three of the Bills' four AFC Eastern division opponents—Miami, Indianapolis and New England—had white helmets, "it was easier for [Ferguson] to distinguish, and that’s the reason why we made the switch."[9][10] Ferguson had thrown a high number of interceptions over the previous two seasons, and coach Kay Stephenson hoped it would help the quarterback reduce them. Ironically, 1984 was Ferguson's last year with the Bills, and only year with the red helmets.

NFL Draft

Main article: 1984 NFL Draft

Notre Dame running back Greg Bell made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season; he was later traded to the Los Angeles Rams in the blockbuster three-team Eric Dickerson trade. Defensive end Sean McNanie played for the team for four of his seven NFL seasons. Punter John Kidd played his first six seasons with Buffalo; his career lasted a total of 15 seasons.

= Pro Bowler [11]
Round Pick # Player Position College
1 26 Greg Bell Running back Notre Dame
2 41 Eric Richardson Wide receiver San Jose State
3 77 Rodney Bellinger Defensive back Miami (FL)
3 79 Sean McNanie Defensive end San Diego State
3 82 Speedy Neal Running back Miami (FL)
4 95 Mitchell Brookins Wide receiver Illinois
5 128 John Kidd Punter Northwestern
6 155 Tony Slaton Center USC
7 182 Stan David Defensive back Texas Tech
8 209 Stacy Rayfield Defensive back Texas-Arlington
9 236 Leroy Howell Defensive end Appalachian State
10 236 Joe Azelby Linebacker Harvard
11 296 Craig White Wide receiver Missouri
12 323 Russell Davis Tight end Maryland



1984 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

  • President – Ralph Wilson
  • Senior Executive Vice President – Pat McGroder
  • Vice President of Administration/General Manager – Terry Bledsoe
  • Vice President of Player Personnel – Norm Pollom
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Bill Polian
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Bruce Nicholas

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Quarterbacks – John Becker
  • Running Backs – Andy MacDonald
  • Receivers – Milt Jackson
  • Tight Ends – Perry Moss
  • Offensive Line – Jim Niblack

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line – Don Lawrence
  • Linebackers – Monte Kiffin
  • Defensive Backfield – Pete Carroll

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams/Defensive Assistant – Miller McCalmon

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning Coordinator – Jim Speros


Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 2, 1984 New England Patriots L 21–17
2 September 9, 1984 at St. Louis Cardinals L 37–7
3 September 17, 1984 Miami Dolphins L 21–17
4 September 23, 1984 New York Jets L 28–26
5 September 30, 1984 at Indianapolis Colts L 31–17
6 October 7, 1984 Philadelphia Eagles L 27–17
7 October 14, 1984 at Seattle Seahawks L 31–28
8 October 21, 1984 Denver Broncos L 37–7
9 October 28, 1984 at Miami Dolphins L 38–7
10 November 4, 1984 Cleveland Browns L 13–10
11 November 11, 1984 at New England Patriots L 38–10
12 November 18, 1984 Dallas Cowboys W 14–3
13 November 25, 1984 at Washington Redskins L 41–14
14 December 2, 1984 Indianapolis Colts W 21–15
15 December 8, 1984 at New York Jets L 21–17
16 December 16, 1984 at Cincinnati Bengals L 52–21



Awards and honors

Pro Bowlers

Main article: 1985 Pro Bowl


  • Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • Bills on
  • Bills Stats on

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