1966 Buffalo Bills season

The 1966 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s seventh season in the American Football League. It was the first season for head coach Joe Collier, who had been the Bills' defensive coordinator for the previous four seasons.[1]

1966 Buffalo Bills season
Head coachJoe Collier
OwnerRalph Wilson
Home fieldWar Memorial Stadium
Division place1st AFL Eastern
Playoff finishLost AFL Championship
(Chiefs, 31–7)

It ended with a loss in the AFL Championship Game to the Kansas City Chiefs, ending the team's two-year reign as league champions. The score was 31-7 during the time.

The Bills allowed the fewest points in the AFL for the third consecutive year.[2] Although defensive tackle Tom Sestak hampered by a bad knee, defensive linemen Jim Dunaway and Ron McDole took a leadership position. Linebackers Mike Stratton, Harry Jacobs and John Tracey, and defensive backs George Saimes, Butch Byrd, Hagood Clarke and Tom Janik provided a strong defensive foundation.[3]

Halfback Bobby Burnett and split end Bobby Crockett joined long-time Bills running back Wray Carlton and quarterback Jack Kemp, leading Buffalo's offense to scoring 358 points,[4] second-most in the AFL in 1966. Burnett's 1,185 total yards from scrimmage were 5th in the AFL, and garnered AFL Rookie of the Year honors for Burnett.



1966 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

Final roster

1966 Buffalo Bills roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Note: Rookies in italics


Lou Saban, who had coached the Bills to consecutive AFL Championships, left the team after the 1965 season to coach at the University of Maryland.

AFL Draft

Regular season

Season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Attendance
1 September 4 at San Diego Chargers L 27–7 0–1–0
2 September 11 Kansas City Chiefs L 42–20 0–2–0
3 September 18 Miami Dolphins W 58–24 1–2–0
4 September 25 Houston Oilers W 27–20 2–2–0
5 October 2 at Kansas City Chiefs W 29–14 3–2–0
6 October 8 Boston Patriots L 20–10 3–3–0
7 October 16 San Diego Chargers T 17–17 3–3–1
8 October 23 Bye
9 October 30 at New York Jets W 33–23 4–3–1
10 November 6 at Miami Dolphins W 29–0 5–3–1
11 November 13 New York Jets W 14–3 6–3–1
12 November 20 at Houston Oilers W 42–20 7–3–1
13 November 24 at Oakland Raiders W 31–10 8–3–1
14 December 4 at Boston Patriots L 14–3 8–4–1
15 December 11 Bye
16 December 18 Denver Broncos W 38–21 9–4–1


AFL Eastern Division
Buffalo Bills 941.6926–2358255W1
Boston Patriots 842.6675–1–1315283L1
New York Jets 662.5004–3–1322312W1
Houston Oilers 3110.2141–7335396L8
Miami Dolphins 3110.2142–5213362W1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Game summaries

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

1 234Total
Dolphins 3 7014 24
Bills 21 2737 58


Week 10

1 234Total
Jets 0 030 3
Bills 0 0014 14



Buffalo Bills roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

K-Booth Lusteg


AFL Championship Game

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 7 10 0 14 31
Bills 7 0 0 0 7

Kansas City Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7

January 1, 1967, at War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 42,080

The Bills entered the AFL championship game seeking their third consecutive title. Though the game was played in Buffalo, the visiting Kansas City Chiefs were three-point favorites, mainly because of their explosive and innovative offense led by head coach Hank Stram. The Bills were a more conventional team with a solid defensive line and a running mindset on offense.

Buffalo found no offensive rhythm in the second half, and the Chiefs closed the game out in the fourth quarter with Dawson found Chris Burford for a 45-yard gain, setting up a one-foot touchdown run by rookie Mike Garrett. Less than two minutes later, Garrett scored a second touchdown following another Bills fumble.


  • KC – Arbanas 29 pass from Dawson (Mercer kick)
  • BUF – Dubenion 69 pass from Kemp (Lusteg kick)
  • KC – Taylor 29 pass from Dawson (Mercer kick)
  • KC – Field goal Mercer 32
  • KC – Garrett 1 run (Mercer kick)
  • KC – Garrett 18 run (Mercer kick)

Awards and Records


  1. Collier would coach the Bills for three seasons: 1966–1968
  2. Pro-Football-Reference: 1966 AFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics
  3. Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition, p.108, Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
  4. 25.6 per game
  5. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-Jan-06.
  6. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Jan-24.
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