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2002 Buffalo Bills season

 

2002 Buffalo Bills season

2002 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Gregg Williams
General manager Tom Donahoe
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Ralph Wilson Stadium
Results
Record 8–8
Division place 4th AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season      Next season
< 2001      2003 >

The 2002 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s forty-third season.

The Bills acquired quarterback Drew Bledsoe from the New England Patriots on draft weekend in exchange for Buffalo's first round pick in the 2003 draft. (The Bills would regain that first round pick via a sign-and-trade of Peerless Price, coming off a breakout season, to the Atlanta Falcons for Atlanta's first round pick after the 2002 season.) Bledsoe brought instant credibility to Buffalo's inept passing game; the Bills' offense scored the 6th most points in the AFC in 2002, after having scored the fifth fewest in the entire league the previous season.

Offseason

NFL Draft

Main article: 2002 NFL Draft

The Bills infamously drafted Mike Williams, an offensive tackle from Texas with the #4 overall pick of the draft, with University of Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie still available. Williams spent only four seasons with the team. The Sporting News named Williams as the #4 biggest NFL draft bust from 1989–2008.[1]

Round Pick # Player Position College
1 4 Mike Williams Tackle Texas
2 36 Josh Reed Wide Receiver LSU
2 61 Ryan Denney Defensive End BYU
3 97 Coy Wire Safety Stanford
5 139 Justin Bannan Defensive Tackle Colorado
6 176 Kevin Thomas Cornerback UNLV
7 215 Mike Pucillo Center Auburn
7 249 Rodney Wright Wide Receiver Fresno State
7 251 Jarrett Ferguson Running Back Virginia Tech
7 260 Dominique Stevenson Linebacker Tennessee

Personnel

Staff

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result TV Time Attendance
1 September 8, 2002 New York Jets L 37–31 CBS 1:00pm
72,751
2 September 15, 2002 at Minnesota Vikings W 45–39 CBS 4:15pm
64,047
3 September 22, 2002 at Denver Broncos L 28–23 CBS 4:15pm
75,359
4 September 29, 2002 Chicago Bears W 33–27 FOX 1:00pm
72,780
5 October 6, 2002 Oakland Raiders L 49–31 CBS 1:00pm
73,038
6 October 13, 2002 at Houston Texans W 31–24 CBS 1:00pm
70,120
7 October 20, 2002 at Miami Dolphins W 23–10 CBS 1:00pm
73,180
8 October 27, 2002 Detroit Lions W 24–17 FOX 1:00pm
72,710
9 November 3, 2002 New England Patriots L 38–7 CBS 1:00pm
73,448
10 Bye
11 November 17, 2002 at Kansas City Chiefs L 17–16 CBS 1:00pm
77,951
12 November 24, 2002 at New York Jets L 31–13 CBS 1:00pm
78,745
13 December 1, 2002 Miami Dolphins W 38–21 CBS 1:00pm
73,287
14 December 8, 2002 at New England Patriots L 27–17 CBS 1:00pm
68,436
15 December 15, 2002 San Diego Chargers W 20–13 CBS 1:00pm
61,838
16 December 22, 2002 at Green Bay Packers L 10–0 CBS 1:00pm
64,106
17 December 29, 2002 Cincinnati Bengals W 27–9 CBS 1:00pm
47,850

Standings

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
z (4) New York Jets 9 7 0 .563 4–2 6–6 359 336 W2
New England Patriots 9 7 0 .563 4–2 6–6 381 346 W1
Miami Dolphins 9 7 0 .563 2–4 7–5 378 301 L2
Buffalo Bills 8 8 0 .500 2–4 5–7 379 397 W1

Notable games

Drew Bledsoe debuted as Bills quarterback against the team that knocked him out of the 2001 season. Bledsoe led the Bills to a 10–0 lead in the second quarter but a 98-yard kick return by Chad Morton set off a Jets rally that tied the score at 17 at the half. The Jets snatched two Bledsoe INTs and took a 31–24 lead late in the fourth, but Bledsoe led the Bills down field and a 29-yard touchdown throw to Eric Moulds in the final half-minute forced overtime. Morton returned the opening kick of overtime 96 yards for the game-winning score and a 37–31 final for the Jets.

Bledsoe threw for 463 yards in Buffalo's second straight overtime game. A huge kick return by D'Wayne Bates set up a two-yard Randy Moss touchdown catch in the third quarter, but this was immediately answered with a 90-yard Charlie Rogers kick return touchdown. A 29-yard Bates touchdown put the Vikings up 26–23, but Doug Brien missed the PAT, and did so again after a Derrick Alexander touchdown for the Vikings. The game lead tied or changed 12 times as the game went on. After Mo Williams ran in a touchdown with 30 seconds remaining, Bledsoe completed a pass to Peerless Price that set up a 54-yard Mike Hollis field goal on the final play of regulation. With the score tied at 39 Hollis missed another long FG try in the extra quarter, but the Bills defense forced a Vikings punt, and in the final five minutes of OT Bledsoe found Price at the Minnesota 30-yard line for a 48-yard touchdown and a 45–39 Bills win. Bledsoe became only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw a touchdown in overtime in three games; coincidentally, he'd beaten the Vikings in 1994 on a touchdown in overtime while quarterbacking the Patriots.

The Bills opened this game with a Peerless Price touchdown catch from Drew Bledsoe. The Bears responded when Mike Brown recovered a fumble and ran it back 62 yards for a tying score. The Bills opened a 17–7 lead in the second until Jim Miller found David Terrell for a five-yard touchdown. An exchange of field goals left the two teams tied at 20 by the fourth quarter, then Bledsoe and Miller traded touchdowns – a one-yard Dave Moore catch for Buffalo followed by a John Davis three-yard catch for Chicago. Mike Hollis missed a 39-yard field goal try and the game went to overtime, where Bledsoe finished it barely two minutes in with a 26-yard score to Travis Henry and a 33–27 Buffalo win.

References

External links

  • Buffalo Bills on Pro Football Reference

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