1995 Buffalo Bills season

1995 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Marv Levy; Elijah Pitts (interim until Levy recovered from prostate cancer surgery)
General manager John Butler
Owner Ralph Wilson
Home field Rich Stadium
Record 10–6
Division place 1st AFC East
Playoff finish Won Wild Card Playoffs (Dolphins) 37–22
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Steelers) 21–40

The 1995 Buffalo Bills season was the 36th season for the club and its 26th in the National Football League.

After suffering a losing season the previous season, the 1995 Bills won the AFC East, and made the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons. They would defeat the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Game in Don Shula's final game as an NFL head coach. The following week they lost to the eventual AFC Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Miami playoff win represents the last time to date that the Bills have won a playoff game.

In his first season with the team, defensive end Bryce Paup was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Paup led the NFL with 17.5 sacks, the fourth-highest single-season total of the 1990s.[1]

During the season, head coach Marv Levy would undergo successful treatment for prostate cancer; with assistant Elijah Pitts filling in as interim coach until Levy returned after a three-game absence.[2]


NFL Draft

Main article: 1995 NFL Draft
= Pro Bowler [3]
Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
114Ruben Brown[4]GuardPittsburgh
245Todd CollinsQuarterbackMichigan
376 Marlon KernerCornerbackOhio State
396Damien CovingtonLinebackerNorth Carolina State
4109Ken IrvinCornerbackMemphis
4113Justin ArmourWide receiverStanford
4131Tony ClineTight endStanford
5144John HolecekLinebackerIllinois
6185Shannon ClavelleDefensive tackleColorado
7221Tom NüttenCenterWestern Michigan
7244Darick HolmesRunning backPortland State



1995 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office
  • President – Ralph Wilson
  • Executive Vice President/General Manager – John Butler
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Marv Levy
  • Director of Pro Personnel – A. J. Smith
  • Director of Player Personnel – Dwight Adams

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Marv Levy
  • Assistant Head Coach – Elijah Pitts
  • Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach – Chuck Lester

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive Coordinator – Wade Phillips
  • Defensive Line – Dan Sekanovich
  • Linebackers – Ted Cottrell
  • Assistant Linebackers – Chuck Lester
  • Defensive Backs – Dick Roach

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning


Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance TV Time
1 September 3, 1995 at Denver Broncos L 7–22 0–1 Mile High Stadium
TNT 8:00ET
2 September 10, 1995 Carolina Panthers W 31–9 1–1 Rich Stadium
FOX 1:00ET
3 September 17, 1995 Indianapolis Colts W 20–14 2–1 Rich Stadium
NBC 1:00ET
4 Bye
5 October 2, 1995 at Cleveland Browns W 22–19 3–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
ABC 9:00ET
6 October 8, 1995 New York Jets W 29–10 4–1 Rich Stadium
NBC 1:00ET
7 October 15, 1995 Seattle Seahawks W 27–21 5–1 Rich Stadium
NBC 1:00ET
8 October 23, 1995 at New England Patriots L 14–27 5–2 Foxboro Stadium
ABC 9:00ET
9 October 29, 1995 at Miami Dolphins L 6–23 5–3 Joe Robbie Stadium
NBC 4:00ET
10 November 5, 1995 at Indianapolis Colts W 16–10 6–3 RCA Dome
NBC 1:00ET
11 November 12, 1995 Atlanta Falcons W 23–17 7–3 Rich Stadium
FOX 1:00ET
12 November 19, 1995 at New York Jets W 28–26 8–3 The Meadowlands
NBC 4:00ET
13 November 26, 1995 New England Patriots L 25–35 8–4 Rich Stadium
NBC 1:00ET
14 December 3, 1995 at San Francisco 49ers L 17–27 8–5 Candlestick Park
15 December 10, 1995 at St. Louis Rams W 45–27 9–5 Trans World Dome
NBC 1:00ET
16 December 17, 1995 Miami Dolphins W 23–20 10–5 Rich Stadium
NBC 1:00ET
17 December 24, 1995 Houston Oilers L 28–17 10–6 Rich Stadium
NBC 1:00ET


AFC East
(3) Buffalo Bills 10 6 0 .625 350 335 L1
(5) Indianapolis Colts 9 7 0 .563 331 316 W1
(6) Miami Dolphins 9 7 0 .563 398 332 W1
New England Patriots 6 10 0 .375 294 377 L2
New York Jets 3 13 0 .188 233 384 L4



Thurman Thomas, RB Jim Kelly, QB Andre Reed, WR Don Beebe, WR Bruce Smith, Delaware Bryce Paup, Delaware Hugh Jaynis, TE


AFC Wild Card Game

Buffalo Bills 37, Miami Dolphins 22
1 2 34Total
Dolphins 0 0 02222
Bills 10 14 31037

at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

In Buffalo's first playoff game since losing the Super Bowl two seasons ago, the Bills handled Miami easily. Although Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino completed 33 out of 64 passes for 422 yards, the Bills jumped to a 27–0 lead going into the fourth quarter, and rushed for an NFL playoff record 341 yards. It would be the final game of Don Shula's coaching career with the Dolphins. As of 2015, this was the last time that the Bills won a playoff game.

AFC Divisional Playoff

Pittsburgh Steelers 40, Buffalo Bills 21
1 2 34Total
Bills 0 7 7721
Steelers 7 16 31440

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh

Running back Bam Morris scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Steelers stopped the Bills from coming back. Pittsburgh jumped to a 20–0 lead by the second quarter with running back John L. Williams's 1-yard touchdown, quarterback Neil O'Donnell's 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ernie Mills, and two field goals by Norm Johnson. However, Buffalo running back Thurman Thomas scored a 1-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds left in the first half. But Johnson made a 34-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give the Steelers a 23–7 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Johnson added a 39-yard field goal before Bills tight end Tony Cline caught a 2-yard touchdown reception. With 11:23 left in the game, Thomas scored on a 9-yard touchdown reception to cut the lead, 26–21. But Pittsburgh then marched 76 yards to score on Morris' 13-yard touchdown run. Linebacker Levon Kirkland then intercepted a pass to set up Morris' 2-yard score with 1:58 remaining to clinch the victory. Bruce Smith was inactive for the game because he had a 106-degree fever; Smith wanted to play but the Bills' medical staff said no.

Awards and honors


  1. Pro-Football-Reference.com: For single seasons, from 1990 to 1999, sorted by descending Sacks.
  2. http://articles.latimes.com/1995-10-17/sports/sp-57829_1_marv-levy
  3. Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
  4. 9x pro bowler, 1996–2003
  5. "Administration, coaches and staff". 1995 Buffalo Bills Media Guide. pp. 5–26.
  6. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 291
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