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Saban had a new offensive philosophy for Buffalo in 1972: in his first three seasons, former number one overall pick O. J. Simpson had only carried the ball an average of 161 times per season. Saban rushed Simpson 292 times in 1972, the second-most in the league.
Although the Bills had a potent, yard-gaining rushing attack, they could not put enough points on the scoreboard, scoring only 257 points (18.3 per game) all season, 19th in the league. Furthermore, Buffalo's defense gave up 377 points (23.5 per game), the third-most in the NFL in 1972.
In his fourth NFL season, running back O. J. Simpson gained over 1,000 yards rushing for the first time. The 24-23 loss on October 22 to the Miami Dolphins, who would finish with a perfect season, was the closest margin of victory for the Dolphins.