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New Era Field

New Era Field, originally Rich Stadium and later Ralph Wilson Stadium, is a stadium in Orchard Park, New York, a suburb south of Buffalo. Opened in 1973, it is the home of the Buffalo Bills.

Fun Facts:

The Buffalo Bills were a founding member of the American Football League (AFL) that was formed in 1960 and would merge with the NFL in 1970.

Jim Kelly’s first NFL touchdown pass, his first TD pass with the Bills, was caught by running back Greg Bell.

When Ryan Fitzpatrick hooked up with Terrell Owens on a 98 yard touchdown pass in 2009, it was the first 90+ yard touchdown pass given up by the Jacksonville Jaguars ever.

In 1991, Thurman Thomas became the first Bills player to ever gain more than 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game.

Tyrod Taylor was the fifth quarterback to throw a TD pass to Percy Harvin during his NFL career.  Prior to that he’d caught touchdown passes from Brett Favre, Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, and Geno Smith.

The Buffalo Bills were the first team to appear in four consecutive Super Bowls.
The cheerleaders of the Buffalo Bills are known as the Buffalo Jills.

The longest NFL touchdown pass of Doug Flutie’s career came with the Bills in 1998 when he connected with Eric Moulds on an 84 yard touchdown pass.

During the 1982 and 1983 seasons, the Bills wore solid red socks as part of their uniform.  This would be the only year they ever did so.

In a 52-34 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1991, Jim Kelly became the first Bills quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in one game.

The oldest Buffalo Bills quarterback to ever have a 300 yard game is Doug Flutie.  In 2000, at the ripe old age of 38, he completed 20 of 25 passes for 366 yards in a 42-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Sammy Watkins had four 100 yard receiving games as a rookie with the Bills in 2014.  He gained 117 yards against the Dolphins, 122 against the Vikings, 157 against the Jets, and 127 against the Broncos.

The first Buffalo Bills running back to ever gain 1,000 yards in a season was Cookie Gilchrist in 1962.

Running back O.J. Simpson ran for more 100 yard games during the 1970’s than anyother player with 41.

The first, and through 2010 only, NFL game ever to be played in San Antonio, Texas featured the New Orleans Saints hosting the Buffalo Bills.  The Saints had been displaced due to Hurricane Katrina and San Antonio was utilized as an alternate home field site.

Jim Kelly threw more touchdown pass against the New York Jets, a total of 33, than he did against any other team in the league.

Three different Buffalo football franchises, including the current Buffalo Bills, have played Thanksgiving Day games.  All of those appearances though have been as the away team.

Drew Bledsoe has the distinction of throwing for the most passing yards in a Buffalo Bills loss.  In a 49-31 loss to the Oakland Raiders in 2002, Bledsoe completed 32 of 53 passes for 417 yards.

Four different running backs had 1,000 yard seasons for the Bills during the 2000’s:  Travis Henry (2002, 2003), Willis McGahee (2004, 2005), Marshawn Lynch (2007, 2008), and Fred Jackson (2009).

The first time LeSean McCoy carried the ball in a Buffalo Bills uniform saw him lose six yards in the 2015 season openter against the Colts.

Joe Ferguson was the first Buffalo Bills quarterback to put up a 3000 yard season.  He did this in 1979.  Two years later, in 1981, he would become the first quarterback in team history to have two 3000 yard seasons.  No Bills quarterback has more 3000 yard seasons though than Jim Kelly who had eight by the time he retired in 1995.

The first Buffalo Bills quarterback to throw for 300 yards in the first game of the season was Dennis Shaw who went 18 of 30 for 353 yards in the 1971 season opener, a loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Andre Reed caught 65 career touchdown passes from Jim Kelly, that is nearly three times as many as the second place player, Pete Metzelaars, did with 22.

Jim Kelly’s last regular season touchdown pass was caught in 1996 by Quinn Early.  His last overall touchdown pass was caught later that year in the playoffs by Thurman Thomas.

No Buffalo Bills player has had more 1,000 yard rushing seasons for the team than Thurman Thomas with eight.

With 101 career victories as a starter, Jim Kelly is the winningest quarterback in Buffalo Bills history.

With the Giants and the Jets both playing their home games in New Jersey, the Bills are the only team to play home games in the state of New York.

The first quarterback Mario Williams sacked after joining the Buffalo Bills was Brandon Weeden of the Cleveland Browns in 2012.

Before the start of the 1986 season, the Buffalo Bills had signed former Colts quarterback and gambling addict Art Schlichter. He played in one preseason game but was cut shortly after the team signed future hall-of-fame quarterback Jim Kelly.

In running back Thurman Thomas’s career with the Buffalo Bills he caught an impressive 472 passes, very impressive for a player who only caught two passes in his entire college career at Oklahoma State.

Bills quarterback Jack Kemp was an announcer during Super Bowl II while he was still an active player in the league, becoming the first active player to contribute to the broadcasting of a Super Bowl.
Bills quarterback Jim Kelly averaged 23 points and 20 rebounds a game playing basketball during his senior year in high school.

Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson came out of retirement in 1995 at the age of 45 years old to play one season with the San Antonio Texans of the Canadian Football League.
Bills running back O.J. Simpson was the first running back to gain over 2,000 yards in one season of play in the NFL.

Running back O.J. Simpson was named NFL Player of the Year in 1972 and 1973.

O.J. Simpson was under consideration for the lead role in the move “The Terminator”. One reason he didn’t get the part was that producers thought audiences wouldn’t buy him as a menacing character because of his “nice guy” image.

Running back Thurman Thomas is the only player in NFL history to lead the league in total yards from scrimmage four consecutive years.

The first player to sack Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor after he joined the team was Rob Ninkovich of the Patriots in the second game of the 2015 NFL season.

Team owner Ralph Wilson was a minority owner in the Detroit Lions when he decided to pursue an AFL team.

There was an earlier incarnation of the Buffalo Bills in the old All-American Football Conference that played from 1946 to 1949, the current Bills have no relation to that earlier team.

Over the course of the 1964 and 1965 seasons, the Buffalo Bills had a streak of 17 consecutive games without allowing a rushing touchdown.

In 1973, O.J. Simpson would set the league record for rushing yards in a season (later broken by Eric Dickerson) when he rushed for over 2,000 yards.

When Jim Kelly was elected to the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame after a stellar career with the Buffalo Bills, he became the first former USFL player to be inducted.

Former Quarterback Jim Kelly is the all-time career Touchdown record holder in the USFL with 83 Touchdowns in three years of play.

Though drafted in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, Quarterback Jim Kelly would not play for the Bill until 1986 because of his time in the USFL.

The famously successful “K-Gun” offense run by Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jim Kelly was not named for Kelly, but was named for Tight End Keith McKeller.

In a 1992 Wild Card game against the Houston Oilers, the Bills would be down 35-3 early in the third quarter, backup Quarterback Frank Reich would then lead the Bills to the greatest comeback in NFL history, beating the Oilers 41-38 in overtime.

The first visiting team to ever win a playoff game in Buffalo was the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the year 2000, all-time great Buffalo Bills players Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed were all cut by the team.

When founded, the Buffalo Bills team colors were light blue, white, and silver.
It was the 1962 season in which the Buffalo Bills changed their team colors to red, white, and blue.

During the time of the USFL, the Birmingham Stallions had on their roster at the same time former Bills Running Back Joe Cribbs and future Bills Kicker Scott Norwood.
In the 1980’s the Buffalo Bills used their first round draft pick on a Running Back three different times; Booker Moore in 1981, Greg Bell in 1984, and Ronnie Harmon in 1986. In 1988, the year the Bills had no first round selection, they drafted future Hall-of-Famer Thurman Thomas in the second round.

In 1984, the Bills changed their helmets from white to red.

Famous Buffalo Bills Head Coach Marv Levy was at one time the Head Coach of the Chicago Blitz of the USFL.

Ralph Wilson, longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills, first tried to get his AFL franchise located in Miami; when the city of Miami turned him down he placed it in Buffalo, New York.

The Buffalo Bills were the only original AFL team to play all of their home games in the same stadium during their entire time in the AFL, from 1960 through 1969 all Bills home games were in War Memorial Stadium.

In 1961, with the Oakland Raiders in danger of folding due to financial difficulties, Bills owner Ralph Wilson loaned the Raiders $400,000 to help them continue operations.
The first player inducted into the Buffalo Bills wall of fame was Running Back O.J. Simpson in 1980; there wouldn’t be a second player inducted for five years when former Quarterback Jack Kemp joined Simpson in 1984.

During the 1990s, the Buffalo Bills used 5 first round draft picks on Defensive Backs (James Williams, Henry Jones, Thomas Smith, Jeff Burris, and Antoine Winfield).
Lou Saban had two separate stints as Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills, from 1962 to 1965 and then again from 1972 to 1976.

As of 2007, former Bills Offensive Guard Billy Shaw is the only member of the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame to have never played in the NFL. Shaw played his entire career in the American Football League and had retired before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
The first officially retired Buffalo Bills jersey was #12 for Jim Kelly. Although not retired, no one has worn the numbers of Thurman Thomas (#34), Andre Reed (#83), or Bruce Smith (#78) since they left the team.

In no relation to the current team, there was a Buffalo Bills team that played as part of the All-American Football Conference (AAFC) from 1946-1949.

Hall-of-Fame Offensive Lineman Joe DeLamielleure began and ended his career with the Buffalo Bills, in the middle he played a few seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

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