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''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional
American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. ...

American football
team based in the
Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area The Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area is a metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same ad ...
. They compete in the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any s ...
(NFL) as a member club of the league's
American Football Conference The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of the two Athletic conference, conferences of the National Football League (NFL), the highest professional level of American football in the United States. This conference currently contains 16 team ...
(AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Highmark Stadium in
Orchard Park, New York Orchard Park is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin ...
. Founded in 1960 as a charter member of the
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a re ...
(AFL), they joined the NFL in
1970 Events January * January 1 ** Unix time epoch reached at 00:00:00 UTC. * January 5 – The 7.1 1970 Tonghai earthquake, Tonghai earthquake shakes Tonghai County, Yunnan province, China, with a maximum Mercalli intensity scale, Mercalli i ...
following the
AFL–NFL merger The AFL–NFL merger was the merger of the two major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players o ...
. The Bills' name is derived from an
All-America Football Conference The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven pl ...
(AAFC) franchise from Buffalo that was in turn named after western frontiersman
Buffalo Bill William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, bison Bison are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice an ...

Buffalo Bill
. Drawing much of its fanbase from
Western New York Western New York (WNY) is the westernmost region of the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primari ...

Western New York
, the Bills are the only NFL team that plays home games in that state. The franchise is owned by
Terry Terry is both a masculine and feminine given name, derived directly from French Thierry Thierry is a French language, French male given name, derived from the Germanic languages, Germanic "Theodoric". It is the cognate of German language, German "D ...
and
Kim Pegula Kim S. Pegula (née__NOTOC__ A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname, the given name or to the entire name. Where births are required to be officially registered, the entire name ent ...
, who purchased the Bills after the death of original owner
Ralph Wilson Ralph Cookerly Wilson Jr. (October 17, 1918 – March 25, 2014) was an American businessman and sports executive. He was best known as the founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American foo ...
in 2014. The Bills won consecutive AFL Championships in
1964 Events * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day marks t ...
and
1965 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
, the only major professional sports championships from a team representing Buffalo. After joining the NFL, they became perennial postseason contenders during the late 1980s and 1990s. Their greatest success occurred between 1990 and 1993 when they appeared in a record four consecutive
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
s; an accomplishment often overshadowed by them losing each game. From 2000 to 2016, the Bills endured the longest active playoff drought of the four major North American professional sports, making them the last NFL franchise and the last in the four leagues to qualify for the postseason in the 21st century. They returned to consistent postseason contention by the late 2010s, had their first playoff win since 1995 during the 2020/2021 season, although the Bills have not returned to the Super Bowl. Alongside the
Minnesota Vikings The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport ...
, their four Super Bowl losses are the most among NFL franchises that have not won the championship.


History

The Bills began competitive play in 1960 as a charter member of the
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a re ...
led by head coach
Buster Ramsey Garrard Sliger "Buster" Ramsey (March 16, 1920 – September 16, 2007) was an American football player for the College of William and Mary and Chicago Cardinals. He was the first head coach of the American Football League, AFL's Buffalo Bills. ...
and joined the NFL as part of the
AFL–NFL merger The AFL–NFL merger was the merger of the two major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players o ...
in 1970. The Bills won two consecutive American Football League titles in
1964 Events * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day marks t ...
and
1965 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
with quarterback
Jack Kemp Jack French Kemp (July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009) was an American politician and a professional gridiron football player. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party from New York, he served as United States Secretary of ...
and coach
Lou Saban Louis Henry Saban (October 13, 1921 – March 29, 2009) was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport include ...
, but the club has yet to win a league championship since. Once the
AFL–NFL merger The AFL–NFL merger was the merger of the two major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players o ...
took effect, the Bills became the second NFL team to represent the city; they followed the
Buffalo All-Americans Buffalo, New York Buffalo is the List of cities in New York (state), second-largest city in the United States, U.S. state of New York (state), New York and the largest city in Western New York. 's census estimates, the city proper population ...
, a charter member of the league. Buffalo had been left out of the league since the All-Americans (by that point renamed the Bisons) folded in 1929; the Bills were no less than the third professional non-NFL team to compete in the city before the merger, following the Indians/Tigers of the early 1940s and an earlier team named the Bills, originally the Bisons, in the late 1940s in the
All-America Football Conference The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven pl ...
(AAFC). Following the AFL–NFL merger, the Bills were generally mediocre in the 1970s, but featured All-Pro running back O. J. Simpson. After being pushed to the brink of failure in the mid-1980s, the collapse of the
United States Football League The United States Football League (USFL) was an American football league that played for three seasons, 1983 through 1985. The league played a spring/summer schedule in each of its active seasons. The 1986 season was scheduled to be played in the ...
and a series of highly drafted players such as
Jim Kelly James Edward Kelly (born February 14, 1960) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players ...
(who initially played for the USFL instead of the Bills),
Thurman Thomas Thurman Lee Thomas (born May 16, 1966) is an American former professional football Football is a family of team sport A team is a
Bruce Smith Bruce Bernard Smith (born June 18, 1963) is an American former professional football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their g ...
and Darryl Talley allowed the Bills to rebuild into a perennial contender in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, a period in which the team won four consecutive AFC Championship Game, AFC Championships; the team nevertheless lost all four subsequent
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
s, records in both categories that still stand. The rise of the division rival
New England Patriots The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC East, East division ...
under
Bill Belichick William Stephen "Bill" Belichick (; born April 16, 1952) is an American professional American football, football coach who serves as the head coach#National Football League, head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football Leagu ...

Bill Belichick
and
Tom Brady Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes a ...

Tom Brady
, along with numerous failed attempts at rebuilding in the 2000s and 2010s, helped prevent the Bills from reaching the playoffs in seventeen consecutive seasons between 2000 and 2016, a 17-year drought that was the longest active playoff drought in all major professional sports at the time. It was broken when the Bills secured a wild-card berth on December 31, 2017. On October 8, 2014,
Buffalo Sabres The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A conta ...
owners Terry and Kim Pegula received unanimous approval to acquire the Bills during the NFL owners' meetings, becoming the second ownership group of the team after team founder
Ralph Wilson Ralph Cookerly Wilson Jr. (October 17, 1918 – March 25, 2014) was an American businessman and sports executive. He was best known as the founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American foo ...
. Under head coach Sean McDermott, the Bills returned to the AFC Championship for the first time since 1995 in 2021, losing to the
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC West, West division. The t ...

Kansas City Chiefs
24–38.


Logos and uniforms

For their first two seasons, the Bills wore uniforms based on those of the
Detroit Lions The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit. The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) NFC North, North division. The team plays its home games ...
at the time. Ralph Wilson had been a minority owner of the Lions before founding the Bills. The team's original colors were Honolulu blue, silver and white, and the helmets were silver with no striping. There was no logo on the helmet, which displayed the players' numbers on each side. In
1962 Events January * January January is the first month of the year in the Julian calendar, Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day. ...
, the standing red bison was designated as the logo and took its place on a white helmet. In 1962, the team's colors also changed to red, white, and blue. The team switched to blue jerseys with red and white shoulder stripes similar to those worn by the Buffalo Bisons AHL hockey team of the same era. The helmets were white with a red center stripe. The jerseys again saw a change in
1964 Events * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day marks t ...
when the shoulder stripes were replaced by a distinctive stripe pattern on the sleeves consisting of four stripes, two thicker inner stripes and two thinner outer stripes all bordered by red piping. By
1965 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
, red and blue center stripes were put on the helmets. The Bills introduced blue pants worn with the white jerseys in
1973 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day mar ...
, the last year of the standing buffalo helmet. The blue pants remained through
1985 The year 1985 was designated as the International Youth Year The year 1985 was proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Youth Year (IYY). It was held to focus attention on issues of concern to and relating to youth. The proclama ...
. The face mask on the helmet was blue from
1974 Major events in 1974 include the aftermath of the 1973 oil crisis and the resignation of United States President The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public ...
through 1986 before changing to white. The standing bison logo was replaced by a blue charging one with a red slanting stripe streaming from its horn. The newer emblem, which is still the primary one used by the franchise, was designed by aerospace designer Stevens Wright in 1974. In
1984 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day m ...
, the helmet's shell color was changed from white to red, primarily to help Bills quarterback
Joe Ferguson Joseph Carlton Ferguson Jr. (born April 23, 1950) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. Early years Ferguson played high school football in Shreveport, Louisiana, Shreveport, Louisiana, for Woodlawn High Sc ...
distinguish them more readily from three of their division rivals at that time, the
Baltimore Colts Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city prope ...
, the
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...

Miami Dolphins
, and the
New England Patriots The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC East, East division ...
, who all also wore white helmets at that point. Ferguson said "Everyone we played had white helmets at that time. Our new head coach Kay Stephenson just wanted to get more of a contrast on the field that may help spot a receiver down the field." (The Patriots have worn silver helmets since 1993, the Colts have since been realigned to the
AFC South The American Football Conference – Southern Division or AFC South is one of the four division Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics), the inverse of multiplication *Division algorithm, a method for computing t ...

AFC South
, and in
2019 2019 was designated as International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six pr ...
the
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...
have since switched back to green-colored helmets, after playing 20 years with white ones.) In
2002 2002 was designated as the International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains. Events January * January 1 ** The Treaty on Open Skies, Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially enters ...
, under the direction of general manager
Tom Donahoe Tom Donahoe is the senior director of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles. Previously, he was General manager (American football), general manager of the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. Biography Donahoe was born and ...
, the Bills' uniforms went through radical changes. A darker shade of blue was introduced as the main jersey color, and nickel gray was introduced as an accent color. Both the blue and white jerseys featured red side panels. The white jerseys included a dark blue shoulder yoke and royal blue numbers. The helmet remained primarily red with one navy blue, two nickel, two royal blue, two white stripes, and white face mask. A new logo, a stylized "B" consisting of two bullets and a more detailed buffalo head on top, was proposed and had been released (it can be seen on a few baseball caps that were released for sale), but fan backlash led to the team retaining the running bison logo. The helmet logo adopted in 1974—a charging royal blue bison, with a red streak, white horn and eyeball—remained unchanged. In 2005, the Bills revived the standing bison helmet and uniform of the mid-1960s as a throwback uniform. The Bills usually wore the all-blue combination at home and the all-white combination on the road when not wearing the throwback uniforms. They stopped wearing blue-on-white after
2006 2006 was designated as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification and the International Asperger syndrome, Asperger's Year. Events January * January 1 – Russia cuts the shipment of natural gas to Ukraine over a Russia–U ...
, while the white-on-blue was not worn after
2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical YearImage:IHY logo.png, 200px, right The International Heliophysical Year is a United Nations, UN-sponsored scientifically driven international program of scientific collaboration to unde ...
. For the
2011 season Eleven or 11 may refer to: *11 (number), the natural number following 10 and preceding 12 * one of the years 11 BC, AD 11, 1911, 2011 Literature *Eleven (novel), ''Eleven'' (novel), a 2006 novel by British author David Llewellyn *''Eleven'', a 1 ...
, the Bills unveiled a new uniform design, an updated rendition of the 1975–83 design. This change includes a return to the white helmets with "charging buffalo" logo, and a return to
royal blue Royal blue is a deep and vivid shade of blue Blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory In the visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting i ...
instead of
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...
. Buffalo sporadically wore white at home in the 1980s, but stopped doing so before their Super Bowl years. On November 6, 2011, against the New York Jets, the Bills wore white at home for the first time since 1986. Since 2011, the Bills have worn white for a home game either with their primary uniform or a throwback set. The Bills' uniform received minor alterations as part of the league's new uniform contract with
Nike Nike often refers to: * Nike (mythology) In Greek mythology, Nike (; grc, Νίκη, lit=victory, Ancient Greek phonology, ancient: , Modern Greek phonology, modern: ) was a goddess who personified victory in any field including art, music, war, a ...
. The new Nike uniform was unveiled on April 3, 2012. On November 12, 2015, the Bills and the New York Jets became the first two teams to participate in the NFL's Color Rush uniform initiative, with Buffalo wearing an all-red combination for the first time in team history. A notable use of the Bills' uniforms outside of football was in the 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, when the
United States men's national junior ice hockey team The United States men's national junior ice hockey team represents the United States at the IIHF World U20 Championship. The team has won 5 world junior championships (2004, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2021). Many talented National Hockey League, NHL prospe ...
wore Bills-inspired uniforms in their outdoor game against Team Canada on December 29, 2017. On April 1, 2021, the team announced they will wear white face masks during the upcoming season and beyond. This is due to the popular support for them.


Rivalries

The Bills have rivalries with their three
AFC East The American Football Conference – Eastern Division or AFC East is one of the four Division (sport), divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). There are currently four teams that reside in the ...
opponents, and also have had occasional or historical rivalries with other teams such as the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (a former divisional rival),
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC West, West division. The t ...

Kansas City Chiefs
, Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans,
Cleveland Browns The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Spor ...
, and
Dallas Cowboys The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport p ...

Dallas Cowboys
. They also play an annual preseason game against the
Detroit Lions The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit. The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) NFC North, North division. The team plays its home games ...
.


Divisional rivalries


Miami Dolphins

This is often considered Buffalo's most famous rivalry. Though the Bills and
Dolphins Dolphin is a common name of aquatic mammals within the infraorder Cetacea Cetaceans (from la, Cetus (mythology), cetus, lit=whale, from grc, κῆτος, translit=Cetus (mythology), kētos, lit = huge fish, sea monster) are aquatic mamma ...

Dolphins
both originated in the
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a re ...
, the Dolphins did not start playing until 1966 as an expansion team while the Bills were one of the original eight teams. The rivalry first gained prominence when the Dolphins won every match-up against the Bills in the 1970s for an NFL-record 20 straight wins against a single opponent (the Bills defeated the Dolphins in their first matchup of the 1980s). Fortunes changed in the following decades with the rise of
Jim Kelly James Edward Kelly (born February 14, 1960) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players ...
as Buffalo's franchise quarterback, and though Kelly and Dolphins quarterback
Dan Marino Daniel Constantine Marino Jr. (born September 15, 1961) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of e ...
shared a competitive rivalry in the 1980s and 1990s, the Bills became dominant in the 1990s. Things have since cooled down after the retirements of Kelly and Marino and the rise of the New England Patriots, but Miami remains a fierce rival of the Bills, coming in second place in a recent poll of Buffalo's primary rival, and the two teams have typically been close to each other in win-loss records. Miami leads the overall series 61–50–1 as of 2019, but Buffalo has the advantage in the playoffs at 3–1, including a win in the 1992 AFC Championship Game.


New England Patriots

The rivalry with the
New England Patriots The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC East, East division ...
first started when both teams were original franchises in the
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a re ...
prior to the NFL-AFL merger. During the tenure of quarterback
Tom Brady Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes a ...

Tom Brady
in New England, the Patriots dominated the AFC East, including the Bills. The Bills-Patriots rivalry in particular had become lopsided as the Patriots were 32–3 against the Bills with Brady starting under center. This has led many fans and players in the 2000s and beyond to replace the Dolphins with the Patriots as Buffalo's most hated rival. The Bills have fared well against
Bill Belichick William Stephen "Bill" Belichick (; born April 16, 1952) is an American professional American football, football coach who serves as the head coach#National Football League, head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football Leagu ...

Bill Belichick
without his former franchise quarterback, however. While Brady was suspended for
deflategate Deflategate was a National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football Sports league, league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the America ...
, the Bills shut out the Pats 16–0. After Brady left for
Tampa Bay Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor A harbor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the ...
in 2020, the Bills swept the Patriots, including a 38–9 statement win at
Gillette Stadium Gillette Stadium is a stadium in the northeastern United States, located in Foxborough, Massachusetts Foxborough is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, about southwest of Boston, northeast of Pr ...

Gillette Stadium
. Overall, largely thanks to Brady, the Patriots lead the series 76–45–1 as of 2020. The rivalry is also notable in that numerous players, including
Drew Bledsoe Drew McQueen Bledsoe (born February 14, 1972) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players ...
,
Doug Flutie Douglas Richard Flutie (born October 23, 1962) is an American former American football, football quarterback whose professional career spanned 21 seasons. He played 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), eight seasons in the Canadian ...
,
Lawyer Milloy Lawyer Marzell Milloy (born November 14, 1973) is an American former professional football Football is a family of team sport A team is a safety Safety is the state of being "safe", the condition of being protected from harm or o ...
,
Brandon Spikes Brandon Spikes (born September 3, 1987) is a former American football linebacker. He played college football for the University of Florida, was recognized as an All-American twice and was a member of two BCS National Championship teams. He was dr ...
, ,
Chris Hogan Christopher Hogan is an American actor and comedian, most notable for his membership in the recurring cast of comedians on '' MADtv'' and for the character of Aubrey Pitman, one of Dick Solomon's students, on '' 3rd Rock from the Sun''. Early ...

Chris Hogan
,
Mike Gillislee Michael B. Gillislee Jr. (born November 1, 1990) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven pla ...

Mike Gillislee
and have played for both teams at some point in their careers.


New York Jets

The Bills and Jets were both original AFL teams, and both represent the state of
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
, though the Jets (since 1984) actually play their games in
East Rutherford, New Jersey East Rutherford is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of ...

East Rutherford, New Jersey
. While the rivalry represents the differences between
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
and
Western New York Western New York (WNY) is the westernmost region of the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primari ...

Western New York
, it has historically not been as intense as the Bills' rivalries with the Dolphins and Patriots, and the teams' fanbases either have grudging respect or low-key annoyance for each other when the teams are not playing one another. Oftentimes the Bills-Jets rivalry has become characterized by ugly games and shared mediocrity, but it has had a handful of competitive moments. The series heated up recently when former Jets head coach
Rex Ryan Rex Ashley Ryan (born December 13, 1962) is an American former American football, football coach and analyst. Ryan was formerly the head coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL), and also held various c ...

Rex Ryan
became the Bills' head coach for two seasons, and has become notable again as Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Jets quarterback
Sam Darnold Samuel Richard Darnold (born June 5, 1997) is an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a r ...

Sam Darnold
, both drafted in the same year, maintain a friendly rivalry with one another. Buffalo leads the series 65–56 as of 2020, including a playoff win in 1981.


Other rivalries


Tennessee Titans

The
Tennessee Titans The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) AFC South, South division, and pla ...
(formerly the
Houston Oilers Houston ( ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities pro ...
) share an extended history with the Bills, both teams being original AFL clubs in 1960 and rivals in that league's East Division before the AFL-NFL merger. Matchups were intense in the 1990s with quarterback
Warren Moon Harold Warren Moon (born November 18, 1956) is an American former gridiron football Gridiron football,
Warren Moon
leading the Oilers against Jim Kelly's Bills. Memorable playoff moments between the teams include The Comeback, in which the
Frank Reich Frank Michael Reich Jr. (; ; born December 4, 1961) is an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven playe ...
-led Bills overcame a 35–3 deficit to stun the Oilers 41–38 in 1992, and the Music City Miracle, in which the now-Titans scored on a near-last-minute kickoff return with a controversial
forward pass In several forms of football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), ...
to beat the Bills 22–16 in 1999. The Music City Miracle was notable for being Buffalo's last playoff appearance until 2017. The Titans currently lead the series 29–19.


Jacksonville Jaguars

In recent years, bitterness has emerged between the Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had handed Buffalo its first playoff loss in Bills Stadium in 1996. Both teams occupy two of the smallest media markets in the NFL. After years of concurrent bottom feeding in the late 2000s and early 2010s, this rivalry has emerged after former Bills head coach
Doug Marrone Douglas Charles Marrone (born July 25, 1964) is an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a ...
, who had quit on the team after the 2014 season, was hired as a coaching assistant for Jacksonville and rose to become the Jaguars' head coach. Since then, the series has featured a Bills loss to the Jaguars in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
, an ugly, low-scoring playoff game in 2017, trash talk from former Jaguars players such as
Jalen Ramsey Jalen Lattrel Ramsey (born October 24, 1994) is an American football cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida State Seminoles football, Florida State and was drafted by the ...
, and a brawl between the teams in Buffalo in 2018.


Cleveland Browns

Though the Bills and
Cleveland Browns The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Spor ...
are in different divisions and did not start playing each other until after 1972, match-ups between the two teams occasionally get heated up due to the proximity and similarity between the cities of Buffalo and Cleveland, though the teams' fanbases otherwise share a mutual respect. As with the Bills–Jets rivalry, the Bills and Browns often share bad luck and have seen their share of ugly games, including a 6–3 Browns win in which the winning quarterback only completed 2 of 17 passes. However, there have been other occasions when both teams have been competitive such as in the 1980s and most recently in 2007 and 2014. The rivalry also gained heat when former Bills safety
Donte Whitner Donte Demetrius Whitner Sr. (born July 24, 1985) is a former professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams ...

Donte Whitner
was with the Browns. The Browns currently lead the series 13–9, including a playoff win in 1990, though the Bills have outscored the Browns in the series. The Browns shared a rivalry with the Bills' predecessors in the
All-America Football Conference The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven pl ...
, playing them twice in the AAFC playoffs before becoming one of three AAFC teams to join the NFL. The Bills were not selected to join the NFL and folded with the rest of the AAFC, leaving Buffalo without professional football until the current Bills were formed in 1959.


Kansas City Chiefs

The Bills and the
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC West, West division. The t ...

Kansas City Chiefs
were also original teams in the AFL and have had a long history against each other, despite never being in the same division. This rivalry heated up recently as the Bills and Chiefs met in consecutive years from 2008 to 2015, and again in 2017. Despite a 2-year hiatus in the rivalry, two high-profile matchups occurred between the Bills and Chiefs in 2020, including the AFC Championship game, which Kansas City won 38–24 to advance to its second straight Super Bowl appearance. Buffalo currently leads the series 26–23–1, which has included four playoff meetings, three of which were AFL/AFC championship games. Prior to the 2020 game, Kansas City won the 1966 AFL Championship game that determined the AFL's (later AFC) representative in the first Super Bowl, going on to face the
Green Bay Packers The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Spo ...

Green Bay Packers
, while Buffalo defeated Kansas City in the 1993 AFC championship game to advance to its fourth straight Super Bowl appearance.


Playoffs

* 1963 AFL Eastern Division Playoff:
Boston Patriots Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formall ...
26,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
8 * 1964 AFL Championship:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
20,
San Diego Chargers The professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of ...
7 * 1965 AFL Championship:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
23,
San Diego Chargers The professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of ...
0 * 1966 AFL Championship:
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectang ...
31,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
7 * 1974 Divisional Playoffs:
Pittsburgh Steelers The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport S ...
32,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
14 * 1980 Divisional Playoffs:
San Diego Chargers The professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of ...
20,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
14 * 1981 Wild Card Game:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
31,
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...
27 * 1981 Divisional Playoffs:
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectan ...
28,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
21 * 1988 Divisional Playoffs:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
17,
Houston Oilers Houston ( ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities pro ...
10 * 1988 AFC Championship:
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectan ...
21,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
10 * 1989 Divisional Playoffs:
Cleveland Browns The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Spor ...
34,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
30 * 1990 Divisional Playoffs:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
44,
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
34 * 1990 AFC Championship:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
51,
Los Angeles Raiders LOS, or Los, or LoS may refer to: Science and technology * Length of stay, the duration of a single episode of hospitalisation * Level of service (transportation), Level of service, a measure used by traffic engineers * Level of significance, a ...
3 *
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Super Bowl XXV
:
New York Giants The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) NFC East, East ...
20,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
19 * 1991 Divisional Playoffs:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
37,
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectang ...
14 * 1991 AFC Championship:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
10,
Denver Broncos The Denver Broncos are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
7 *
Super Bowl XXVI Super Bowl XXVI was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, f ...
:
Washington Redskins The Washington Football Team is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
37,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
24 * 1992 AFC Wild Card Game:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
41,
Houston Oilers Houston ( ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities pro ...
38OT * 1992 AFC Divisional Playoffs:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
24,
Pittsburgh Steelers The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport S ...
3 * 1992 AFC Championship:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
29,
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
10 *
Super Bowl XXVII Super Bowl XXVII was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any ...
:
Dallas Cowboys The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport p ...
52,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
17 * 1993 Divisional Playoffs:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
29,
Los Angeles Raiders LOS, or Los, or LoS may refer to: Science and technology * Length of stay, the duration of a single episode of hospitalisation * Level of service (transportation), Level of service, a measure used by traffic engineers * Level of significance, a ...
23 * 1993 AFC Championship:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
30,
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectang ...
13 *
Super Bowl XXVIII Super Bowl XXVIII was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American footb ...
:
Dallas Cowboys The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport p ...
30,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
13 * 1995 Wild Card Game:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
37,
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
22 * 1995 Divisional Playoffs:
Pittsburgh Steelers The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport S ...
40,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
21 * 1996 Wild Card Game:
Jacksonville Jaguars The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Spo ...
30,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
27 * 1998 Wild Card Game:
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
24,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
17 * 1999 Wild Card Game:
Tennessee Titans The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) AFC South, South division, and pla ...
22,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
16 * 2017 Wild Card Game:
Jacksonville Jaguars The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Spo ...
10,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
3 * 2019 Wild Card Game:
Houston Texans The Houston Texans are a professional American football team based in Houston, Texas. The Texans compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) AFC South, South division, and play their ...
22,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
19OT * 2020 Wild Card Game:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
27,
Indianapolis Colts The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular Americ ...
24 * 2020 Divisional Playoffs:
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
17,
Baltimore Ravens The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport ...
3 * 2020 AFC Championship:
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectang ...
38,
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
24 ''Playoff record: 16 wins, 18 losses.''


Notable players


Retired numbers

The Buffalo Bills have retired three numbers in franchise history: No. 12 for
Jim Kelly James Edward Kelly (born February 14, 1960) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players ...
, No. 34 for
Thurman Thomas Thurman Lee Thomas (born May 16, 1966) is an American former professional football Football is a family of team sport A team is a
Bruce Smith Bruce Bernard Smith (born June 18, 1963) is an American former professional football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their g ...
. Despite the fact that the Bills have only retired three jersey numbers in franchise history, the team has other numbers no longer issued to any player or in reduced circulation. ;Reduced circulation: * 44 Elbert Dubenion, WR, 1960–1968 * 66 Billy Shaw, OG, 1961–1969 * 83 Andre Reed, WR, 1985–1999 ''(Lee Evans III wore No. 83 by special permission)'' Since the earliest days of the team, the number 31 was not supposed to be issued to any other player. The Bills had stationery and various other team merchandise showing a running player wearing that number, and it was not supposed to represent any specific person, but the 'spirit of the team.' In the first three decades of the team's existence, the number 31 was only seen once: in 1969, when reserve running back Preston Ridlehuber damaged his number 36 jersey during a game, equipment manager Tony Marchitte gave him the number 31 jersey to wear while repairing the number 36. The number 31 was not issued again until 1990 when first round draft choice James (J.D.) Williams wore it for his first two seasons; it has since been returned to general circulation, with safety Dean Marlowe wearing the number in 2019. Number 32 had been withdrawn from circulation, but not retired, after O. J. Simpson. Former owner
Ralph Wilson Ralph Cookerly Wilson Jr. (October 17, 1918 – March 25, 2014) was an American businessman and sports executive. He was best known as the founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American foo ...
insisted on not reissuing the number, even after Simpson's O. J. Simpson murder case, highly publicized murder case and later O. J. Simpson robbery case, robbery conviction. The number was placed back into circulation in 2019 with Senorise Perry wearing the number that year. Number 15 was historically only issued sparingly after the retirement of
Jack Kemp Jack French Kemp (July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009) was an American politician and a professional gridiron football player. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party from New York, he served as United States Secretary of ...
, but was later returned to general circulation. Receiver John Brown (wide receiver), John Brown wears the number as of 2019. Number 1 has also only rarely been used, for reasons never explained. While there is no proper explanation, Tommy Hughitt was a player-coach for the early Buffalo (NFL), Buffalo teams in the New York Pro Football League and NFL from 1918 to 1924 and was both a major on-field success and a fixture in Buffalo culture after his retirement as a politician and auto salesman. Hugitt was reported to wear number 1 during this time. Kicker Mike Hollis, who played one season for the Bills in 2002, was the most recent to wear the number in the regular season. It went 17 years without being reissued before David Sills V, David Sills was assigned it during the 2019 preseason. Before this, kickers Efren Herrera wore number 1 in 1982 and Benny Ricardo in 1976. Number 1 has only been worn for three seasons during the entire Bills' history, all by kickers for a single season.


Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Distinguished Service Award Recipients


Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame


Pro Football Hall of Fame


All-time first round draft picks


Recent Pro Bowl selections


Coaching staff


Head coaches


Current staff


Current roster


Radio and television

The Buffalo Bills Radio Network is flagshipped at WGR, AM 550 in Buffalo, owned by Entercom. John Murphy (announcer), John Murphy is the team's current Sports commentary, play-by-play announcer; he was a color commentator alongside, and eventually succeeded, longtime voice Van Miller after Miller's retirement at the end of the 2003 NFL season. Mark Kelso serves as the color analyst. The Bills radio network has approximately seventeen affiliates in upstate New York and one affiliate, CJCL 590AM (The Fan) in Toronto. As of early 2012, it is composed mostly of WGR, Entercom's sister stations WCMF (96.5 FM) and WROC-AM 950 in Rochester, and a fleet of independent AM and FM stations across upstate New York from Jamestown east to Albany. Previous flagship Citadel Broadcasting was purchased by Cumulus Media, who in turn ceased carrying Bills games at the end of the 2011 season, leaving the network without affiliates in Syracuse, Binghamton, and Erie. (The Syracuse affiliations were later picked up by Galaxy Communications.) In 2018, the team signed an agreement with Nexstar Media Group to carry Bills preseason games across its network of stations in the region. As of 2020, WIVB-TV serves as the flagship station of the network, which includes WJET-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania, Erie, WROC-TV in Rochester, New York, Rochester, WSYR-TV in Syracuse, New York, Syracuse, WUTR in Utica, New York, Utica, WETM-TV in Elmira, New York, Elmira and WIVT in Binghamton, New York, Binghamton. Steve Tasker does color commentary on these games; the play-by-play position is rotated between Andrew Catalon and Rob Stone (sportscaster), Rob Stone. WROC-TV reporter Thad Brown is the sideline reporter. Since 2008, preseason games have been broadcast in High-definition television, high definition. Beginning in the 2016 season, as per a new rights deal which covers rights to the team as well as its sister National Hockey League, NHL franchise, the
Buffalo Sabres The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A conta ...
, most team-related programming, including studio programming and the coach's show, was re-located to MSG Western New York—a joint venture of MSG and the team ownership. Preseason games will continue to air in simulcast on broadcast television. In the event regular season games are broadcast by ESPN, in accordance with the league's television policies, a local Buffalo station simulcasts the game. From 2014 to 2017, WKBW-TV held the broadcast rights to that contest, with the station having won back the rights to cable games after WBBZ-TV held the rights for 2012 and 2013.


Training camp sites

* 1960–1962 Roycroft, Roycroft Inn, East Aurora, New York * 1963–1967 Camelot Hotel, Blasdell, New York * 1968–1980 Niagara University, Lewiston, New York * 1981–1999 State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, New York * 2000–present, St. John Fisher College, Pittsford (village), New York, Pittsford, New York Source:


Mascots, cheerleaders and marching band

The Bills' official mascot is Billy Buffalo, an eight-foot tall, anthropomorphic blue American bison who wears the jersey "number" BB. The Bills currently do not have National Football League cheerleading, cheerleaders. The Bills operated a cheerleading squad named the Buffalo Jills from 1967 to 1985; from 1986 to 2013, the Jills operated as an independent organization sponsored by various companies, most recently by Citadel Broadcasting. The Jills suspended operations prior to the 2014 season due to legal actions. The Bills and Jills are currently involved in a legal battle, in which the Jills allege they were employees, not independent contractors, and are seeking back pay. Complicating matters is that Citadel's buyer, Cumulus Media, declared bankruptcy and sought to discharge its remaining Bills-related debts in January 2018. The Bills are one of six teams in the NFL to designate an official marching band or drumline (the others being the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Football Team,
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...
, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks). Since the last game of the 2013 season, this position has been served by the Stampede Drumline, known outside of Buffalo as Downbeat Percussion. The Bills have also used the full marching bands from Attica High School, the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University at home games in recent years. The Bills have several theme songs associated with them. The most popular is a variation of the Isley Brothers hit "Shout (The Isley Brothers song), Shout", recorded by Scott Kemper, which served as the Bills' official promotional song from 1987 through 1990s. It was officially replaced circa 2000 with "The Power of the Bills", although "Shout" remains in usage today. It can be heard at every Bills home game following a field goal or touchdown and at the end of the game if the Bills win. The Bills' unofficial fight song, "Go Bills", was penned by Bills head coach Marv Levy in the mid-1990s on a friendly political wager, friendly wager with his players that he will write the song if the team won a particular game.


Supporters

The "Bills Backers" are the official fan organization of the Buffalo Bills. It has over 200 chapters across North America, Europe and Oceania. Also notable is the "Bills Mafia'", a collection of Bills fans organized via Twitter beginning in 2010; the phrase "Bills Mafia" had by 2017 grown to unofficially represent the broad community surrounding and encompassing the team as a whole, and players who join the Bills often speak of joining the Bills Mafia. Outsiders often treat the Bills' fan base in derogatory terms, especially since the 2010s, in part because of negative press coverage of select fans' wilder antics. In 2020, the Bills filed to trademark the "Bills Mafia" name. Bills fans are particularly well known for their wearing of Zubaz zebra-printed sportswear; so much is the association between Bills fans and Zubaz that when a revival of the company opened their first brick-and-mortar storefront, it chose Western New York as its first location. They are also well known for jumping off of elevated surfaces (often cars or Recreational vehicle, RVs) into folding tables during the pre-game Tailgate party, Tailgate. Despite their known boisterous behavior, Bills fans have also been noted for their generosity; after the Bills received help in breaking their 17-year playoff drought on a last-minute Cincinnati Bengals victory, Bills fans crowdfunding, crowdfunded the charities of Bengals players Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd (American football), Tyler Boyd with hundreds of thousands of dollars as a gesture of thanks. Also in 2020, following a November 8 upset win over the Seattle Seahawks led by one of the best career performances by quarterback Josh Allen, news emerged that Allen had elected to take the field after having been given the option to sit out the contest as he had received news of his grandmother's death only the night before. Fans showed support for their team and community by donating nearly $700,000.00 to the Oishei Children's Hospital, an organization supported by Allen throughout his time in Buffalo. Following the Bills' defeat of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2020–21 NFL playoffs and an injury to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson late in that game, Bills fans crowdfunded his favorite charity, Blessings in a Backpack. The Bills are one of the favorite teams of ESPN announcer Chris Berman, who picked the Bills to reach the Super Bowl nearly every year in the 1990s. Berman often uses the catchphrase "No one circle the wagons, circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!" Berman gave the induction speech for Bills owner
Ralph Wilson Ralph Cookerly Wilson Jr. (October 17, 1918 – March 25, 2014) was an American businessman and sports executive. He was best known as the founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American foo ...
when Wilson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. The Bills were also the favorite team of late NBC political commentator Tim Russert, a South Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, South Buffalo native, who often referred to the Bills on his Sunday morning talk show, ''Meet the Press''. (His son, Luke Russert, Luke, is also a notable fan of the team.) CNN's Wolf Blitzer, also a Buffalo native, has proclaimed he is also a fan, as has ''CBS Evening News'' lead anchor and Tonawanda native Jeff Glor and United States Secretary of Labor, DNC Chairman Tom Perez. ESPN anchor Kevin Connors is also a noted Bills fan, dating to his time attending Ithaca College. Actor Nick Bakay, a Buffalo native, is also a well-known Bills fan; he has discussed the team in segments of ''NFL Top 10''. Character actor William Fichtner, raised in Cheektowaga, New York, Cheektowaga, is a fan, and did a commercial for the team in 2014. In 2015, Fichtner also narrated the ESPN ''30 for 30'' documentary on the Bills' four Super Bowl appearances, "Four Falls of Buffalo". Former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders (an in-law to former Bills kicker Todd Schlopy) has professed her fandom of the team. Actor Christopher McDonald, who was raised in Romulus, New York, is a fan of the team. Persons notable almost entirely for their Bills fandom include Ken "Pinto Ron" Johnson, whose antics while appearing at every Bills home and away game since 1994 earned enough scrutiny that his tailgate parties were banned from stadium property on order of the league; John Lang, an Elvis impersonator who carries a large guitar that he uses as a billboard; Marc Miller, whose professional wrestling promo-style interview with WGRZ prior to
Super Bowl XXVII Super Bowl XXVII was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any ...
(distinguished by the line "Dallas is going down, Gary!" and picked up at the time by ''The George Michael Sports Machine'') was rediscovered in 2019; and Ezra Castro, also known as "Pancho Billa," a resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex who wore a large sombrero and lucha mask in Bills colors. Castro was diagnosed with a spinal tumor that had metastasized in 2017; he was invited on stage during the 2018 NFL Draft to read one of the Bills' selections. Castro died May 14, 2019.


In popular culture

Several former Buffalo Bills players earned a name in politics in the late 20th century after their playing careers had ended, nearly always as members of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party. The most famous of these was quarterback
Jack Kemp Jack French Kemp (July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009) was an American politician and a professional gridiron football player. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party from New York, he served as United States Secretary of ...
, who was elected to United States House of Representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives from
Western New York Western New York (WNY) is the westernmost region of the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primari ...

Western New York
in 1971—two years after his playing career ended and remained there for nearly two decades, serving as the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States under Bob Dole in 1996 United States presidential election, 1996. Kemp's backup, Ed Rutkowski, served as county executive of Erie County, New York, Erie County from 1979 to 1987. Former tight end Jay Riemersma, defensive tackle Fred Smerlas and defensive end Phil Hansen (American football), Phil Hansen have all run for Congress, though all three either lost or withdrew from their respective races. Quarterback
Jim Kelly James Edward Kelly (born February 14, 1960) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players ...
and running back
Thurman Thomas Thurman Lee Thomas (born May 16, 1966) is an American former professional football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goa ...
have also both been mentioned as potential candidates for political office, although both have declined all requests to date.


See also

* List of American Football League players * Major professional sports teams of the United States and Canada, Major North American professional sports teams


Notes


References


External links

*
Buffalo Bills
at the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any s ...
official website
Voices of Oklahoma interview with former tight end Reuben Gant
June 16, 2010 {{Authority control Buffalo Bills, American football in Buffalo, New York American Football League teams American football teams in New York (state) National Football League teams Pegula Sports and Entertainment American football teams established in 1960 1960 establishments in New York (state) Western New York