1972 Buffalo Bills Season
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1972 Buffalo Bills Season

1972 Buffalo Bills season
OwnerRalph Wilson
Head coachLou Saban
Home fieldWar Memorial Stadium
Results
Record4-9-1
Division place4th AFC East
Playoff finishDid not qualify

The 1972 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 3rd season in the National Football League, and the 13th overall. It was also their last season at War Memorial Stadium which had been their home field since the franchise started in 1960.

Season summary

The 1972 season also marked the return of former Bills coach Lou Saban,[1] who had previously led the team to two AFL Championships.

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,[2] the second-most in the league.[3]

Despite losing two starting offensive lineman - center Bruce Jarvis and guard Jim Reilly--in the season opener,[4] O. J. Simpson still led the league in rushing with 1,251 yards.[5]

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.[6] Furthermore, Buffalo's defense gave up 377 points (23.5 per game), the third-most in the NFL in 1972.[7]

Offseason

NFL Draft

1972 Buffalo Bills draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 Walt Patulski  DE Notre Dame
2 27 Reggie McKenzie[8]  G Michigan
4 79 Randy Jackson  RB Wichita State
5 105 Leon Garror  DB Alcorn A&M
5 108 Bob Penchion  G Alcorn A&M
8 183 Paul Gibson  WR UTEP
10 235 Maurice Tyler  DB Morgan State
13 313 Eddie Moss  RB Southeast Missouri State
14 340 Karl Salb  DT Kansas
      Made roster    +   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[9]

Personnel

Staff/Coaches

Roster

Regular season

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.[12]

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 September 17 New York Jets L 24-41 0-1 War Memorial Stadium Recap
2 September 24 San Francisco 49ers W 27-20 1-1 War Memorial Stadium Recap
3 October 1 Baltimore Colts L 0-17 1-2 War Memorial Stadium Recap
4 October 8 New England Patriots W 38-14 2-2 War Memorial Stadium Recap
5 October 15 at Oakland Raiders L 16-28 2-3 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Recap
6 October 22 at Miami Dolphins L 23-24 2-4 Orange Bowl Recap
7 October 29 Pittsburgh Steelers L 21-38 2-5 War Memorial Stadium Recap
8 November 5 Miami Dolphins L 16-30 2-6 War Memorial Stadium Recap
9 November 12 at New York Jets L 3-41 2-7 Shea Stadium Recap
10 November 19 at New England Patriots W 27-24 3-7 Schaefer Stadium Recap
11 November 26 at Cleveland Browns L 10-27 3-8 Cleveland Stadium Recap
12 December 3 at Baltimore Colts L 7-35 3-9 Memorial Stadium Recap
13 December 10 Detroit Lions T 21-21 3-9-1 War Memorial Stadium Recap
14 December 17 at Washington Redskins W 24-17 4-9-1 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap

[13]

Season summary

Week 1

Week 2

1 234Total
49ers 3 737 20
• Bills 0 6714 27

[14]

Week 13 vs Lions

Standings

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Miami Dolphins 14 0 0 1.000 8-0 11-0 385 171 W14
New York Jets 7 7 0 .500 6-2 6-5 367 324 L2
Baltimore Colts 5 9 0 .357 4-4 5-6 235 252 L2
Buffalo Bills 4 9 1 .321 2-6 2-9 257 377 W1
New England Patriots 3 11 0 .214 0-8 0-11 192 446 L1

Awards and honors

References

  1. ^ Saban had coached the Bills from 1962-1965 before leaving for the University of Maryland
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: O. J. Simpson
  3. ^ Behind the Giants' Ron Johnson, Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1972 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards
  4. ^ Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition, p. 234, Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
  5. ^ It was Simpson's first of four rushing titles over the next five seasons.
  6. ^ Out of 26 teams, Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1972 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1972 NFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics
  8. ^ 1973 All-Pro Team
  9. ^ Buffalo Bills 1972 NFL Draft
  10. ^ Wallace, William N. (October 17, 1972). "Morrall perfectly cast as Griese's substitute". New York Times. p. 51.
  11. ^ "Broncos deal end to Bills". Schenectady Gazette. (New York). Associated Press. October 17, 1972. p. 28.
  12. ^ 100 Things Dolphins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, Armando Salguero, Triumph Books, Chicago, 2020, ISBN 978-1-62937-722-3, p.3
  13. ^ 1972 Buffalo Bills Schedule
  14. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Nov-27.

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