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December 15, 1965: Jack Kemp Named AFL MVP

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On this date in 1965, the Associated Press released their regular season awards for the American Football League. Jack Kemp was awarded the league's Player of the Year trophy, and six Buffalo Bills were named to the All-Star team.

Kemp joined the Bills in 1962 and nailed down the starting job from the moment he arrived. He had been an All-Star in 1961 with the San Diego Chargers, and again in 1963 and 1964 in Buffalo. In '65, Kemp led the Bills to the best mark in the AFL - and was named MVP as a result, even though he did not lead the league in any passing category. The Bills were seventh in the eight-team league in passing yards on the season, and eighth in passing touchdowns.

In addition to the Player of the Year award, the AP also announced the AFL All-Star team lineup. Joining Kemp were CB Butch Byrd, S George Saimes, DT Tom Sestak, OG Billy Shaw, and LB Mike Stratton.

Of the six, only Byrd is not a member of the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame. The defense led the AFL in scoring that season behind the play of four all-stars, and forced a whopping 57 turnovers, including 32 interceptions.

The next day, Bills head coach Lou Saban was declared AFL Coach of the Year by the AP.

The awards were announced before the season was finished, and the Bills - having already clinched the best record in the AFL and home field advantage for the championship - lost the next Sunday to fall to 10-3-1.