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1985 Buffalo Bills season

1985 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Kay Stephenson
Hank Bullough
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Record 2–14
Division place 5th AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Previous season      Next season
< 1984      1986 >

The 1985 Buffalo Bills season was the 26th season for the club and its 16th in the National Football League. It was Buffalo's second-consecutive 2-14 season. Head coach Kay Stephenson was fired after an 0-4 start. Defensive coordinator Hank Bullough took over, going 2-10 for the remainder of the season.

The Bills' offense was anemic: it's 200 points scored is the lowest total in the 1980s,[1] and the lowest total in team history for a 16-game schedule. Bills quarterbacks Vince Ferragamo and Bruce Mathison only produced 9 passing touchdowns all season,[2] while combining for a league-high 31 interceptions.[3] Buffalo scored fewer than 10 points in seven of its 16 games. The team's point-differential of negative-181 points is the third-worst in franchise history.


NFL Draft

Main article: 1985 NFL Draft

In 1985, the Bills used the first overall pick in the draft to select All-American defensive end Bruce Smith. Smith would dominated the late 1980s and early 1990s. Smith was an 11-time All-Pro selection, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and logged an NFL-record 200 sacks[4] by the end of his career.

Fourth-round pick Andre Reed, a wide receiver out of Kutztown (PA) State, would go on to be the leading receiver in Buffalo Bills history. When he retired after the 2000 season, Reed's 951 career receptions were third in NFL history behind Jerry Rice and Cris Carter.[5]

Maryland quarterback Frank Reich would become famous for quarterbacking "The Comeback," a 1993 playoff game in which Buffalo, down 35-3 in the third quarter, would score 35 unanswered points to win 41-38 in overtime. It is the largest deficit overcome to win a game in NFL history.[6]

Reed played more games with the Bills, 221, than any other player. Smith was second with 217 games.[7]

= Pro Bowler [8] = Hall of Famer
Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
1 1 Bruce Smith[9] Defensive End Virginia Tech
1 14 Derrick Burroughs Defensive Back Memphis
2 29 Mark Traynowicz Guard Nebraska
2 42 Chris Burkett Wide Receiver Jackson State
3 57 Frank Reich Quarterback Maryland
3 63 Hal Garner Linebacker Utah State
4 86 Andre Reed[10] Wide Receiver Kutztown State
4 112 Dale Hellestrae Tackle Southern Methodist
5 130 Jimmy Teal Wide Receiver Texas A&M
6 141 Mike Hamby Defensive End Utah State
7 169 Ron Pitts Defensive Back UCLA
8 197 Jacque Robinson Fullback Washington
9 225 Glenn Jones Defensive Back Norfolk State
10 253 Chris Babyar Guard Illinois
11 282 James Seawright Linebacker South Carolina
12 333 Paul Woodside Kicker West Virginia



1985 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 – Bob Ferguson

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Line – Ardell Wiegandt
  • Linebackers – Monte Kiffin
  • Defensive Backfield – Dick Moseley

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning Coordinator – Rusty Jones


Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 8, 1985 San Diego Chargers L 14–9
2 September 15, 1985 at New York Jets L 42–3
3 September 22, 1985 New England Patriots L 17–14
4 September 29, 1985 Minnesota Vikings L 27–20
5 October 6, 1985 at Indianapolis Colts L 49–17
6 October 13, 1985 at New England Patriots L 14–3
7 October 20, 1985 Indianapolis Colts W 21–9
8 October 27, 1985 at Philadelphia Eagles L 21–17
9 November 3, 1985 Cincinnati Bengals L 23–17
10 November 10, 1985 Houston Oilers W 20–0
11 November 17, 1985 at Cleveland Browns L 17–7
12 November 24, 1985 Miami Dolphins L 23–14
13 December 1, 1985 at San Diego Chargers L 40–7
14 December 8, 1985 New York Jets L 27–7
15 December 15, 1985 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 30–24
16 December 22, 1985 at Miami Dolphins L 28–0

Game summaries

Week 10

1 234Total
Oilers 0 000 0
• Bills 10 0100 20




Awards and honors


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

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