1998 Buffalo Bills Season
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1998 Buffalo Bills Season

1998 Buffalo Bills season
OwnerRalph Wilson
Head coachWade Phillips
General managerJohn Butler
Home fieldRalph Wilson Stadium
Results
Record10-6
Division place3rd AFC East
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs (at Dolphins) 17-24

The 1998 Buffalo Bills season was the team's 39th season, and 29th in the National Football League.[1] The season marked an important development in the Bills' history as a quarterback controversy would consume the whole season between Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie. It would also mark the beginning of the Wade Phillips era. The Bills improved on the previous season's output of 6-10, and finished second in the AFC East with a 10-6 record,[2] and would qualify for the playoffs only to lose in the wild card round to the Miami Dolphins.

The Bills lost their first three games of the season, all by six points or less, and looked to be headed for a losing season. After a bye in Week Four, quarterback Rob Johnson finally won his first game with Buffalo, holding on for a 26-21 win over San Francisco in Week Five. Flutie started the next eleven games, winning nine of them. The Bills had a playoff spot locked up by the final game of the season, which Johnson started and won.

The Bills played the Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the 1998 AFC Playoffs, where wide receiver Eric Moulds would set the NFL playoff record for receiving yards, with 240. The Bills would end up losing the game 24-17, as Dolphins lineman Trace Armstrong sacked Flutie on Buffalo's last drive, forcing him to fumble, and icing the game for Miami.

Offseason

The Bills, looking to upgrade the quarterback position, signed Rob Johnson, who had played for Jacksonville in 1997, and improved his stock with a win in relief of Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell. Bills general manager John Butler traded away the Bills' first- and fourth-round picks to Jacksonville for the rights to Johnson.

The Bills also signed long-time CFL quarterback Doug Flutie to back up Johnson; Flutie would end the 1998 season with the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

NFL Draft

1998 Buffalo Bills Draft
Round Selection Player Position College Notes
2 39 Sam Cowart[4] MLB Florida State
3 68 Robert Hicks OT Mississippi State
5 131 Jonathan Linton FB North Carolina
6 160 Fred Coleman WR Washington
7 198 Victor Allotey OG Indiana
238 Kamil Loud WR Cal-Poly SLO

Personnel

Staff

[5]

Roster

Regular season

The opening game for 1998 constituted the first time since 1985 that the Bills played the San Diego Chargers.[6] The reason for this is that before the admission of the Texans in 2002, NFL scheduling formulas for games outside a team's division were much more influenced by table position during the previous season.[7]

Schedule

Week Date TV Time(ET) TV Announcers Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1998 CBS 4:15pm Gus Johnson & Steve Tasker at San Diego Chargers L 16-14
64,037
2 September 13, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Ian Eagle & Mark May at Miami Dolphins L 13-7
73,097
3 September 20, 1998 FOX 1:00pm Kenny Albert & Tim Green St. Louis Rams L 34-33
65,199
4 Bye
5 October 4, 1998 FOX 1:00pm Ray Bentley & Ron Pitts San Francisco 49ers W 26-21
76,615
6 October 11, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Bill Macatee & John Dockery at Indianapolis Colts W 31-24
52,938
7 October 18, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian Jacksonville Jaguars W 17-16
77,635
8 October 25, 1998 ESPN 8:15pm Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann & Paul Maguire, and Solomon Wilcots at Carolina Panthers W 30-14
64,050
9 November 1, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Kevin Harlan & Sam Wyche Miami Dolphins W 30-24
79,011
10 November 8, 1998 CBS 4:15pm Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian at New York Jets L 34-12
75,403
11 November 15, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian New England Patriots W 13-10
72,020
12 November 22, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Gus Johnson & Steve Tasker Indianapolis Colts W 34-11
49,032
13 November 29, 1998 CBS 4:05pm Verne Lundquist, Randy Cross, and Michele Tafoya at New England Patriots L 25-21*
58,304
14 December 6, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Gus Johnson & Steve Tasker at Cincinnati Bengals W 33-20
54,359
15 December 13, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Ian Eagle & Mark May Oakland Raiders W 44-21
62,002
16 December 19, 1998 CBS 12:30pm Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian New York Jets L 17-10
79,056
17 December 27, 1998 CBS 1:00pm Gus Johnson & Steve Tasker at New Orleans Saints W 45-33
39,707

Week 1

Starting QBs: Buffalo: Rob Johnson (American football) ** Johnson left with a concussion with the Bills trailing 10-0. **

San Diego Chargers: Ryan Leaf ** 1st NFL Start **

Vegas Line: San Diego Chargers -1.5

Over/Under:41.0 (under)

Buffalo Bills (0-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-0)
1 234Total
Bills 0 077 14
• Chargers 3 0103 16


[8]

[9]

Team Category Player Statistics
Bills Passing Doug Flutie 12/20, 158 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Antowain Smith 20 carries, 54 yards
Receiving Andre Reed 7 receptions, 94 yards, 2 TD
Chargers Passing Ryan Leaf 16/31, 192 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing Natrone Means 15 carries, 57 yards
Receiving Bryan Still 6 receptions, 128 yards, 1 TD

[10]

Statistics Bills Chargers
First downs 20 14
Plays-yards 62-297 51-254
Rushes-yards 28-90 20-67
Passing yards 207 187
Passing: Comp-Att-Int 20-34-2 16-31-2
Time of possession 33:08 26:52

[11]

Week 2

Week 2 at Miami Dolphins

  • Score: L 13-7
  • Date: September 13, 1998
  • Stadium: Pro Player Stadium, Miami FL
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 73,097
  • Weather: 82 degrees, 10% chance of rain
  • TV: CBS
  • Announcers: Ian Eagle and Mark May

Week 3 vs St Louis Rams

  • Score: L 33-34
  • Date: September 20, 1998
  • Stadium: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 65,199
  • Weather: 72 degrees, sunny, wind 10 mph
  • TV: Fox
  • Announcers: Kenny Albert and Tim Green

Week 4 Bye

Week 5 vs San Francisco 49ers

  • Score: W 26-21
  • Date: October 4, 1998
  • Stadium: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 76,615
  • Weather: 50 degrees, cloudy
  • TV: Fox
  • Announcers: Ray Bentley and Ron Pitts

Week 6 at Indianapolis Colts

  • Score: W 31-24
  • Date: October 11, 1998
  • Stadium: RCA Dome, Indianapolis IN
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 52,938
  • Weather: Dome
  • TV: CBS
  • Announcers: Bill Macatee and John Dockery

Week 7 vs Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Score: W 17-16
  • Date: October 18, 1998
  • Stadium: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 77,635
  • Weather: 68 degrees, sunny
  • TV: CBS
  • Announcers: Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms

Week 8

1 234Total
• Bills 10 7103 30
Panthers 0 707 14

[12]

Week 14

First meeting of the two clubs in Cincinnati since the 1988 AFC Championship Game.

Starting QBs: Buffalo: Doug Flutie

Cincinnati: Neil O'Donnell

Vegas Line: Buffalo Bills -4.5

Over/Under: 43.0 (over)

On the first play from scrimmage, Eric Moulds became the 20th Player in Bills History With 50+ Receptions In A Season, as he caught a 55 yard reception from Doug Flutie. [13]

Buffalo Bills (7-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-10)
1 234Total
• Bills 10 1067 33
Bengals 0 1307 20


[14]

[15]

Team Category Player Statistics
Bills Passing Doug Flutie 18/30, 319 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing Antowain Smith 18 carries, 77 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Eric Moulds 9 receptions, 196 yards, 2 TD
Bengals Passing Neil O'Donnell 19/31, 168 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Corey Dillon 11 carries, 43 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Carl Pickens 8 receptions, 97 yards, 1 TD

[16]

Statistics Bills Bengals
First downs 21 15
Plays-yards 64-448 53-234
Rushes-yards 34-139 17-58
Passing yards 309 176
Passing: Comp-Att-Int 18-30-3 22-36-1
Time of possession 34:23 25:37

[17]

Week 15

Wade Wilson (American football) gets his 2nd start at QB since 1993 by head coach John Gruden. Buffalo clinches playoff berth with the win. Wade Phillips also gets his first head coaching win vs the Raiders.

Raiders (7-6) at Bills (8-5)
1 234Total
Raiders 0 777 21
• Bills 3 17177 44


Standings

AFC East
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(2) New York Jets 12 4 0 .750 416 266 W6
(4) Miami Dolphins 10 6 0 .625 321 265 L1
(5) Buffalo Bills 10 6 0 .625 400 333 W1
(6) New England Patriots 9 7 0 .563 337 329 L1
Indianapolis Colts 3 13 0 .188 310 444 L2

Playoffs

AFC: Miami Dolphins 24, Buffalo Bills 17

Awards and honors

References

  1. ^ "1998 Buffalo Bills Starters, Roster, & Players - Pro-Football-Reference.com". www.pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2008.
  2. ^ "Buffalo Bills". www.buffalobills.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2004. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro Bowl at any time in their career.
  4. ^ elected to Pro Bowl in 2000
  5. ^ 1998 Buffalo Bills Media Guide.
  6. ^ Buffalo Bills v San Diego Chargers
  7. ^ History of the NFL's Structure and Formats
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  9. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  10. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  11. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  12. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  13. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  14. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  15. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  16. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  17. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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