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1987 Buffalo Bills season

 

1987 Buffalo Bills season

1987 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Marv Levy
General manager Bill Polian
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Results
Record 7–8
Division place 4th AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season      Next season
< 1986      1988 >

The 1987 Buffalo Bills season was the 28th season for the club and its 18th in the National Football League.

On October 31, 1987, the Los Angeles Rams traded Eric Dickerson to the Indianapolis Colts in a three team trade involving the Bills. The Rams sent Dickerson to the Colts for six draft choices and two players. Buffalo obtained the rights to Cornelius Bennett from Indianapolis. Buffalo sent running back Greg Bell and three draft choices to the Rams, while Indianapolis added Owen Gill and three of their own draft picks to complete the deal with the Rams.[1] Adding Bennett to the team helped to form the nucleus for a strong young defensive unit that would become the core of Buffalo's later Super Bowl teams.

Offseason

NFL Draft

Main article: 1987 NFL Draft

Buffalo's first two draft picks—linebacker Shane Conlan and defensive back Nate Odomes—would later go on to make to have a great deal of impact on Buffalo's defense. Conlan was named 1987 Defensive Rookie of the Year; he would be selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls, from the 1988-1990 seasons. Odomes would be selected to consecutive Pro Bowls in 1992 and 1993.

Another impactful rookie, Cornelius Bennett, was drafted by Indianapolis in 1987, before being traded to Buffalo.

= Pro Bowler [2]
Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
1 8 Shane Conlan Linebacker Penn State
2 29 Nate Odomes Defensive Back Wisconsin
2 33 Roland Mitchell Defensive Back Texas Tech
3 60 David Brandon Linebacker Memphis
3 78 Jamie Mueller Running Back Benedictine
4 109 Leon Seals Defensive End Jackson State
7 171 Kerry Porter Running Back Washington State
[3]

Personnel

Staff

1987 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

  • President – Ralph Wilson
  • Vice President of Administration/General Manager – Bill Polian
  • Director of College Scouting – John Butler
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Bob Ferguson
  • National Scout – Norm Pollom
  • College Scout – A. J. Smith

Head Coaches

  • Vice President for Football Operations/Head Coach – Marv Levy
  • Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach – Chuck Dickerson

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers – Walt Corey
  • Defensive Line – Ted Cottrell
  • Defensive Backs – Dick Roach
  • Defensive Assistant – Chuck Lester

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams – Bruce DeHaven

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning Coordinator – Rusty Jones

[4]

Regular season

Cornerback Nate Odomes was the youngest starting defensive player in the NFL. It was also his rookie season.

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 13, 1987 New York Jets L 31–28
76,718
2 September 20, 1987 Houston Oilers W 34–30
56,534
September 27, 1987 at Dallas Cowboys canceled
3 October 4, 1987 Indianapolis Colts L 47–6
9,860
4 October 11, 1987 at New England Patriots L 14–7
11,878
5 October 18, 1987 New York Giants W 6–3
15,737
6 October 25, 1987 at Miami Dolphins W 34–31
61,295
7 November 1, 1987 Washington Redskins L 27–7
71,640
8 November 8, 1987 Denver Broncos W 21–14
63,698
9 November 15, 1987 at Cleveland Browns L 27–21
78,409
10 November 22, 1987 at New York Jets W 17–14
58,407
11 November 29, 1987 Miami Dolphins W 27–0
68,055
12 December 6, 1987 at Los Angeles Raiders L 34–21
43,143
13 December 13, 1987 at Indianapolis Colts W 27–3
60,253
14 December 20, 1987 New England Patriots L 13–7
74,945
15 December 27, 1987 at Philadelphia Eagles L 17–7
57,547

Game summaries

Week 1

Week 2

1 234Total
Oilers 3 14310 30
• Bills 3 10021 34

[5]


Standings

Roster

Player stats

Passing

Note: Comp = Completions; ATT = Attempts; TD = Touchdowns; INT = Interceptions

Player Games Comp Att Yards TD INT Rating
Jim Kelly 12 250 419 2798 19 11 83.8
John Kidd 12 0 1 0 0 0 39.6
Dan Manucci 3 7 21 68 0 2 3.8
Brian McClure 1 20 38 181 0 3 32.9
Mark Miller 1 1 3 9 0 1 2.8
Robb Riddick 6 1 1 35 0 0 118.7
Willie Totten 2 13 33 155 2 2 49.4
[6]

Rushing

Player Games Attempts Yards Avg TD
Ronnie Harmon 12 116 485 2
Jamie Mueller 12 82 354 2
Carl Byrum 13 66 280 0
Robb Riddick 6 59 221 5
Ricky Porter 9 47 177 0
Jim Kelly 12 29 133 0
[6]

Receiving

Player Games Number Yards Avg TD
Chris Burkett 12 56 765 13.7 4
Andre Reed 12 57 752 13.2 5
Ronnie Harmon 12 56 477 8.5 2
Pete Metzelaars 12 28 290 10.4 0
Trumaine Johnson 12 15 186 12.4 2
[6]

Defense

Note: FR = Fumble Recoveries; TCKL = Tackles; INT = Interceptions; TD = Touchdowns

Player Games Sacks Forced Fumbles FR Tckl INT Yards TD
Shane Conlan 12 0.5 1 0 114 0 0 0
Bruce Smith 12 12.0 3 0 2 0 0 0

Special Teams

Note: FGA = Field Goals Attempted; FGM = Field Goals Made; FG% = Field Goal Percentage; XPA = Extra Points Attempted; XPM = Extra Points Made; XP% = Extra Points Percentage

Player Games FGA FGM FG % XPA XPM XP %
Scott Norwood 12 15 10 66.7 31 31 100
Todd Schlopy 3 5 2 40 2 1 50
[6]
  • Punting
Player Games Punts Yards Long Blocked Avg. yards
John Kidd 12 64 2495 67 0 39.0
Rick Partridge 3 18 678 52 1 37.7
[6]

Awards and honors

Defensive Rookie of the Year[7]

AFC Pro Bowl selections

Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player

  • Bruce Smith

All-Pros

Main article: 1987 All-Pro Team

First Team

Second Team

  • Shane Conlan, Linebacker

References

  • Bills on Pro Football Reference
  • Bills on jt-sw.com
  • Bills Stats on jt-sw.com

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