1991 Buffalo Bills season
Head Coach Marv Levy
Home Field Rich Stadium
Record 13–3
Place 1st AFC East
Playoff Finish W AFC Divisional
W AFC Championship
L Super Bowl XXVI
Previous season Next season
1990 1992

The 1991 Buffalo Bills season was the 32nd season for the team in the National Football League. The Buffalo Bills finished the National Football League's 1991 season with a record of 13 wins and 3 losses, and finished first in the AFC East division. The Bills qualified for their second Super Bowl appearance.

The Bills No Huddle "K-Gun" offense once again dominated the league by gaining an NFL leading 6,525 yards and scoring 458 points, second only to Washington. The leaders of the offense, quarterback Jim Kelly and running back Thurman Thomas, both had the best seasons of their careers. Kelly completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 3,844 yards and a league leading 33 touchdowns, with only 17 interceptions, to give him a 97.6 passer rating. Thomas rushed for 1,407 yards, caught 62 passes for 620 yards, and scored 12 touchdowns to earn him both the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award and the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. Just like Washington, Buffalo had more than one threat in their backfield. Running back Kenneth Davis emerged as a big threat, rushing for 624 yards, catching 20 passes for 118 yards, and scoring 5 touchdowns.

The Bills also had several major weapons in their passing game. Wide receiver Andre Reed led the team with 81 receptions for 1,113 yards and 10 touchdowns, and also rushed 12 times for 136 yards. On the other side of the field, veteran wide receiver James Lofton recorded 57 receptions for 1,072 yards and 8 touchdowns to earn his 8th Pro Bowl appearance and finish the year just 55 yards short of the all time receiving record held by Steve Largent (13,089 yards). Pro Bowl tight end Keith McKeller was also a big contributor with 44 receptions for 434 yards, while receiver Don Beebe had 32 catches, 414 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Once again, the Bills offensive line was led by center Kent Hull along with Pro Bowl guard Jim Ritcher.


NFL DraftEdit

Round # Pick # Player Position College
126Henry JonesDefensive BackIllinois
254Phil HansenDefensive EndNorth Dakota State
382Darryl WrenDefensive BackPittsburg State University
4138Shawn WilbournDefensive BackLong Beach State
5166Millard HamiltonWide ReceiverClark University
6194Amir RasulRunning BackFlorida A&M
8222Brad LambWide ReceiverAnderson
9249Mark MaddoxLinebackerNorthern Michigan University
10277Tony DeLorenzoGuardNew Mexico State
11305Dean KirklandGuardWashington
12333Stephen ClarkTight EndTexas



1991 Buffalo Bills staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

  • Vice President for Football Operations/Head Coach – Marv Levy
  • Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach – Chuck Lester

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers – Walt Corey
  • Defensive Line – Chuck Dickerson
  • Defensive Backs – Dick Roach
  • Defensive Quality Control – Chuck Lester

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams – Bruce DeHaven

Strength and Conditioning



1991 Buffalo Bills roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams


Date Opponent Final Score Record
July 28, 1991 Sun. at Philadelphia Eagles W 17–13 1–0

Regular seasonEdit

  • October 21, 1991 – Jim Kelly tied a Monday Night Football record by throwing for five touchdown passes in one game. He accomplished this versus the Cincinnati Bengals.


Week Date Opponent Game Site Final Score Record TV Time Attendance
1 September 1, 1991 Miami Dolphins Rich Stadium W 35–31 1–0 NBC 4:15pm
2 September 8, 1991 Pittsburgh Steelers Rich Stadium W 52–34 2–0 NBC 1:00pm
3 September 15, 1991 at New York Jets The Meadowlands W 23–20 3–0 NBC 4:15pm
4 September 22, 1991 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Stadium W 17–10 4–0 NBC 4:15pm
5 September 29, 1991 Chicago Bears Rich Stadium W 35–20 5–0 CBS 1:00pm
6 October 7, 1991 at Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium L 6–33 5–1 ABC 9:00pm
7 October 13, 1991 Indianapolis Colts Rich Stadium W 42–6 6–1 NBC 1:00pm
8 October 21, 1991 Cincinnati Bengals Rich Stadium W 35–16 7–1 ABC 9:00pm
9 Bye
10 November 3, 1991 New England Patriots Rich Stadium W 22–17 8–1 NBC 1:00pm
11 November 10, 1991 at Green Bay Packers Milwaukee County Stadium W 34–24 9–1 NBC 1:00pm
12 November 18, 1991 at Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie Stadium W 41–27 10–1 ABC 9:00pm
13 November 24, 1991 at New England Patriots Foxboro Stadium L 13–16 10–2 NBC 1:00pm
14 December 1, 1991 New York Jets Rich Stadium W 24–13 11–2 NBC 1:00pm
15 December 8, 1991 at Los Angeles Raiders Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum W 30–27 12–2 NBC 4:15pm
16 December 15, 1991 at Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome W 35–7 13–2 ESPN 8:15pm
17 December 22, 1991 Detroit Lions Rich Stadium L 14–17 13–3 CBS 1:00pm


AFC East
view · talk · edit W L T PCT PF PA
Buffalo Bills 13 3 0 .813 458 318
New York Jets 8 8 0 .500 314 293
Miami Dolphins 8 8 0 .500 343 349
New England Patriots 6 10 0 .375 211 305
Indianapolis Colts 1 15 0 .063 143 381


AFC Divisional PlayoffsEdit

Buffalo Bills 37, Kansas City Chiefs 14
1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 0 0 7 7


Bills 7 10 7 13


at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

AFC Championship GameEdit

Buffalo Bills 10, Denver Broncos 7
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 0 0 7


Bills 0 0 7 3


at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Super Bowl XXVIEdit

The Bills became the 8th team to go scoreless in the 1st half, after the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III; the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX, and XI; the Redskins in Super Bowl VII; and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII.

The Redskins then increased their lead 24–0 just 16 seconds into the second half after linebacker Kurt Gouveia intercepted Kelly's pass on the first play of the third quarter and returned it 23 yards to the Bills' 2-yard line. One play later, Riggs scored his second touchdown of the game. The Redskins' 24–0 lead midway through the 3rd quarter is the largest shutout lead in Super Bowl history. The San Francisco 49ers had led the Cincinnati Bengals 20–0 at halftime in Super Bowl XVI.

The Bills finally got some momentum going with their next few drives. First, they drove 77 yards to the Redskins 3 yard-line, aided by a 43-yard completion from Kelly to receiver Don Beebe. Washington kept Buffalo out of the end zone, but kicker Scott Norwood kicked a 21-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 24–3. Then aided by a 29-yard pass interference penalty on Redskins cornerback Martin Mayhew in the end zone, the Bills finally scored a touchdown on their next drive with a 1-yard run by Thomas to make the score 24–10.

The two teams combined for the most points in a 3rd quarter in a Super Bowl history (24 total points: 14 for Washington and 10 for Buffalo) and the most combined in a second half (44 total points: 24 for Buffalo and 20 for Washington).

But Buffalo's hopes of a comeback faded when Washington advanced 79 yards in 11 plays on their ensuing drive, scoring on Clark's 30-yard touchdown reception to give the Redskins a 31–10 lead with 1:24 left in the third period. Then 3 plays after receiving the ensuing kickoff, Kelly fumbled the ball while being sacked by defensive back Alvoid Mays, and it was recovered by defensive end Fred Stokes. After the turnover, Washington drove to the Bills 7-yard line and increased their lead to 34–10 with Lohmiller's 25-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Then on the Bills ensuing drive, Kelly was sacked for a 9-yard loss by Stokes, threw an incomplete pass, and then threw his second interception of the game to Edwards, who returned it 35 yards to Buffalo's 33-yard line. Five plays later, Lohmiller kicked his second field goal with 11:36 left in the game to increase Washington's lead to 37–10. With the game almost completely out of reach, the Bills managed to respond with a 15 play, 79-yard drive to cut the score to 37–17 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to Metzelaars. Then, after recovering an onside kick, the Bills drove 50 yards and scored another touchdown with Beebe's 4-yard reception to make the score 37–24. But the Bills' second onside kick attempt was unsuccessful and the Redskins were able to run out the clock. From there, the Bills attempted one final pass play before time expired.

Kelly, completed 28 of a Super Bowl-record 58 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, but was sacked 4 times, intercepted four times, and lost a fumble. Thomas ran for only 13 yards on 10 carries and was limited to 27 yards on four receptions. James Lofton was the top receiver for the Bills with 7 catches for 92 yards. But Reed was limited to just 5 catches for 31 yards. Clark had seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown and Monk added seven for 113 yards. (Clark and Monk became the third pair of teammates to each have 100 yards receiving in a Super Bowl; they joined the Steelers' John Stallworth and Lynn Swann who did it in Super Bowl XIII and the Bengals' Cris Collinsworth and Dan Ross who did it in Super Bowl XVI).

Washington Redskins37, Buffalo Bills 24
1 2 3 4 Total
Redskins 0 17 14 6


Bills 0 0 10 14


at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Awards and recordsEdit

  • Led NFL in Total Yards Rushing, 2381 yards
  • Led AFC in Points Scored, 458
  • Led AFC in Yards Gained, 6252
  • Jim Kelly, NFL Leader, Touchdown Passes, 33
  • Jim Kelly, AFC Leader, Passer Rating, 97.6
  • Jim Kelly, Super Bowl record, Most Passes Attempted in a Super Bowl, 58
  • Thurman Thomas, NFL MVP
  • Thurman Thomas, UPI AFL-AFC Player of the Year
  • Thurman Thomas, NEA NFL MVP
  • Thurman Thomas, PFWA NFL MVP
  • Thurman Thomas, NFL Offensive Player of the Year
  • Thurman Thomas, 1991 All-Pro Selection
  • Thurman Thomas, NFL Combined Yards from Scrimmage Leader
  • Thurman Thomas, AFC Leader, 1,407 Rushing Yards
  • Thurman Thomas, AFC Leader, 12 Touchdowns


External linksEdit

AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Buffalo Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego Phoenix Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1991 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXVI

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