clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

September 27, 1970 - Bills Lose First Game Against Old NFL Team

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Former AFL teams began playing regular season games as part of the new NFL in 1970. Buffalo's NFL opener was against another former AFL team, the Denver Broncos. On this date in 1970, in front of a record crowd of 46,206 at the Rockpile, the Bills fell to the Los Angeles Rams 19-0.

Getting blanked in their first game against an old NFL team isn't the way the Bills wanted to begin play in the new league, but during the 1970 season, not much else went right for the team. With Jack Kemp retired, Buffalo was looking for a franchise QB, and 1970 second-round draft pick (30th overall) Dennis Shaw wasn't cutting the mustard.

Against the Rams, the Bills were totally outclassed in every facet of the game. They allowed twice as many yards as they gained, 364-177. They managed only 52 yards rushing despite O.J. Simpson's presence in the backfield; head coach John Rauch continued using the Juice as an offensive decoy with little success. They were penalized seven times for 90 yards and allowed five sacks. The Rams forced four turnovers, with DB Clancy Williams snagging three interceptions to lead the charge.

The lone bright spot for the Bills that day was that they only allowed one touchdown to be scored, forcing three field goals inside the red zone and another long try by Rams kicker David Ray.

The Bills would get their first win as a member of the NFL a week later against the New York Jets, but didn't beat a former NFL team all year on their way to a 3-10-1 record.