1961 Buffalo Bills season
|1961 Buffalo Bills season|
|Head coach||Buster Ramsey|
|Home field||War Memorial Stadium|
|Division place||4th Eastern|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The Bills didn't have a winning record at any point in the season; they played their final five games of the season on the road.
The Bills had a problematic quarterback situation, with former Redskin M.C. Reynolds, second-year Bills QB Johnny Green and ex-Lion Warren Rabb all struggling at the passer position. None completed more than 46% of their passes, and only Reynolds had a winning record (2–1) and threw for more than 1,000 yards.
Punter Billy Atkins led the league in punts, with 85; he also led the league with 44.5 yards per punt. Atkins also played safety for the Bills in 1961, and led the league with 10 interceptions, and was 2nd-Team All-AFL on defense.
|1961 Buffalo Bills staff|
The Bills amassed a great deal of talent on their offensive line in the 1961 draft. Four of their first seven picks—Rice, Shaw, Barber and Bemiller, all offensive linemen—would go on to make at least one All-AFL team in the next five years. This draft would form the nucleus for the Bills' power running game over the next five years.
Rice was All-AFL as a rookie in 1961.
|2||Billy Shaw||Tackle||Georgia Tech|
|3||Art Baker||Fullback||Syracuse (from New York)|
|4||Stew Barber||Tackle||Penn State|
|11||Roy Wall||Halfback||North Carolina|
|12||Floyd Powers||Guard||Mississippi State|
|13||Tom Causey||Offensive end||Louisiana Tech|
|15||Jerry Frye||Offensive end||South Carolina|
|16||Vincent Scott||Offensive end||Maryland|
|17||Wayne Wolff||Tackle||Wake Forest|
|18||John Bodkin||Guard||South Carolina|
|19||Charley Barnes||Offensive end||NE Louisiana State|
|21||Larry Vargo||Offensive end||Detroit|
|23||William Mack||Halfback||Notre Dame|
|25||Jack Harbaugh||Halfback||Bowling Green|
|26||Lorenzo Stanford||Tackle||North Carolina A & I|
|27||Bob Allen||Offensive end||Wake Forest|
|28||Jason Harness||Offensive end||Michigan State|
|AFL Eastern Division|
|New York Titans||7||7||0||.500||3–3||301||390||L2|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
|August 8, 1961||Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL)||L 38–21||Ivor Wynne Stadium||12,000|
|1||September 10, 1961||Denver Broncos||L 22–10||War Memorial Stadium||0–1|| |
|2||September 17, 1961||New York Titans||W 41–31||War Memorial Stadium||1–1|| |
|3||September 23, 1961||Boston Patriots||L 23–21||War Memorial Stadium||1–2|| |
|4||September 30, 1961||San Diego Chargers||L 19–11||War Memorial Stadium||1–3|| |
|5||October 8, 1961||at Houston Oilers||W 22–12||Jeppesen Stadium||2–3|| |
|6||October 15, 1961||Dallas Texans||W 27–24||War Memorial Stadium||3–3|| |
|7||October 22, 1961||at Boston Patriots||L 52–21||Boston University Field||3–4|| |
|8||October 29, 1961||Houston Oilers||L 28–16||War Memorial Stadium||3–5|| |
|9||November 5, 1961||Oakland Raiders||L 31–22||War Memorial Stadium||3–6|| |
|10||November 12, 1961||at Dallas Texans||W 30–20||Cotton Bowl||4–6|| |
|11||November 19, 1961||at Denver Broncos||W 23–10||Bears Stadium||5–6|| |
|12||November 23, 1961||at New York Titans||L 21–14||Polo Grounds||5–7|| |
|13||December 3, 1961||at Oakland Raiders||W 26–21||Candlestick Park||6–7|| |
|14||December 10, 1961||at San Diego Chargers||L 28–10||Balboa Stadium||6–8|| |
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1961 Buffalo Bills
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1961 AFL Leaders and Leaderboards
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1961 AFL Pro Bowlers
- Players are identified as All-AFL if they were selected to the All-AFL at any time in their career.
- All-AFL 1961
- 8x AFL All-Star
- 5x AFL All-Star
- 4x NFL Pro Bowler for Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants || Quarterback || Wake Forest
- 1965 AFL All-Star
- Inducted into Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame (NFL) in 1989
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 369