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2000 Buffalo Bills season

2000 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Wade Phillips
General manager John Butler
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Ralph Wilson Stadium
Record 8–8
Division place 4th AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers 4
Previous season      Next season
< 1999      2001 >

The 2000 Buffalo Bills season was the 41st season for the team in the National Football League. The Bills total offense ranked 9th in the league, and their total defense ranked 3rd in the league.[1] It was the first time since the 1987 season that long time Bills members Bruce Smith, Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas were not on the team together. Smith and Reed had signed with the Redskins, while Thurman Thomas signed with the Dolphins. The Buffalo Bills finished in fourth place in the AFC East and finished the National Football League's 2000 season with a record of 8 wins and 8 losses. The Bills season was defined by the quarterback controversy between Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson.

The 2000 season marked a turning point in Buffalo's history. From this season to present, the Bills did not make the playoffs. After the season ended, general manager John Butler left the team to take the same position with the San Diego Chargers.

Special teams futility

Head coach Wade Phillips was fired shortly after the season by owner Ralph Wilson. Wilson cited Phillips's refusal to fire special teams coach Ronnie Jones. (Football statistics site Football Outsiders calculates that the 2000 Bills had the worst special teams unit of any single-season team from 1993–2010.)[2] Said Wilson at the time, "“Buffalo special teams’ record was among the worst in the National Football League last season. ... I felt we needed a change and that my request was reasonable … I did not want to release Wade but his refusal left me with no option.”[3]

Said Football Outsiders of Buffalo's special teams in 2000, "Could special teams possibly be that negative? Oh, yes. They could. The 2000 Buffalo Bills had the worst special teams of any team in any season for which [Football Outsiders has] data. I would not be shocked if they had the worst special teams of all time, except maybe for some expansion teams in the sixties and seventies. Everything about special teams was horrible for the Bills that year, but Steve Christie was the biggest black hole among a galaxy of sucking black holes. ... Christie's average kickoff went only 55.6 yards, 7.5 yards less than the league average. And the bad kickoffs didn't just come late in the season in Buffalo's usual snow and wind. ... On the season, 18 of his kickoffs went for 50 yards or less. No other kicker had more than 10 kicks that short. ... Buffalo allowed opponents kick returns worth 22 points more than the league average ... So the average opposing drive after a Buffalo kickoff started at the 37-yard line. Wow."[4]

Buffalo hired Tom Donahoe to become the new general manager the following season. Donahoe hired Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to be the head coach in 2001, a season in which the rebuilding team struggled to a 3–13 record.

NFL Draft

Main article: 2000 NFL Draft
Round Pick # Player Position College
1 26 Erik Flowers Defensive End Arizona State
2 58 Travares Tillman Free Safety Georgia Tech
3 89 Corey Moore Linebacker Virginia Tech
4 121 Avion Black Wide Receiver Tennessee State
5 156 Sammy Morris Fullback Texas Tech
6 194 Leif Larsen Defensive End Texas-El Paso (UTEP)
7 233 Drew Haddad Wide Receiver Buffalo
7 251 DaShon Polk Linebacker Arizona





Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Regular season

Quarterback controversy

Flutie led the Bills to a 10–5 record in 1999 but, in a controversial decision, was replaced by Rob Johnson for the playoffs by coach Wade Phillips, who later said he had permission from Bills owner Ralph Wilson to do so. The Bills lost 22–16 to the eventual AFC Champion Tennessee Titans in a game that has become known for the Music City Miracle, where the Titans scored on the penultimate play of the game – a kickoff return following the Bills' apparent game-clinching field goal. After the season had ended, Flutie was named the Bills' backup and only played late in games or when Johnson was injured. Despite getting his chances in December to help the team, Flutie was unable to get the team key wins in December, sealing his fate as a casualty to a roster cut.


Week Date Opponent Result Location Record Attendance
1 September 3, 2000 Tennessee Titans W 16–13 Ralph Wilson Stadium
2 September 10, 2000 Green Bay Packers W 27–18 Ralph Wilson Stadium
3 September 17, 2000 at New York Jets L 27–14 The Meadowlands
4 Bye
5 October 1, 2000 Indianapolis Colts L 18–16 Ralph Wilson Stadium
6 October 8, 2000 at Miami Dolphins L 22–13 Pro Player Stadium
7 October 15, 2000 San Diego Chargers W 27–24 Ralph Wilson Stadium
8 October 22, 2000 at Minnesota Vikings L 31–27 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
9 October 29, 2000 New York Jets W 23–20 Ralph Wilson Stadium
10 November 5, 2000 at New England Patriots W 16–13 Foxboro Stadium
11 November 12, 2000 Chicago Bears W 20–3 Ralph Wilson Stadium
12 November 19, 2000 at Kansas City Chiefs W 21–17 Arrowhead Stadium
13 November 26, 2000 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 31–17 Raymond James Stadium
14 December 3, 2000 Miami Dolphins L 33–6 Ralph Wilson Stadium
15 December 11, 2000 at Indianapolis Colts L 44–20 RCA Dome
16 December 17, 2000 New England Patriots L 13–10 Ralph Wilson Stadium
17 December 23, 2000 at Seattle Seahawks W 42–23 Husky Stadium

Week 1: Tennessee Titans

1 2 34Total
Titans 0 6 0713
Bills 0 7 3616

at Ralph Wilson Stadium

  • Date: September 3
  • Game time: 8:20 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 70°F, wind 7 mph
  • TV: Box Score


Week 2: vs. Green Bay Packers

1 234Total
Packers 0 0108 18
Bills 0 10107 27
  • Source:


AFC East
Miami Dolphins 11 5 0 .688 323 226
Indianapolis Colts 10 6 0 .625 429 326
New York Jets 9 7 0 .563 321 321
Buffalo Bills 8 8 0 .500 315 350
New England Patriots 5 11 0 .313 276 338

Awards and records

  • Ruben Brown, AFC Pro Bowl Selection,[6]
  • Sam Cowart, AFC Pro Bowl Selection,[6]
  • Bob Kalsu's name was added to the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame[7]
  • Eric Moulds, AFC Pro Bowl Selection,[6]
  • Ted Washington, AFC Pro Bowl Selection,[6]


  • Bills on Pro Football Reference

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