'75 Bills (and that awesome 4-0 start)

'75 Bills (and that awesome 4-0 start)

Postby 74_75_78_79_ » Sat May 29, 2021 5:10 pm

Coming off two 9-5 finishes, with the latter of both being a playoff berth, things had to look optimistic for Saban's gang going into '75! Totally trouncing the Jets in the opener and then...that Week #2 convincer at the 'Burgh vs the defending-Champs! No resting on laurels, though. No, they put up two more convincers the following two weeks vs Denver and at Colts! 4-0! Neither win was close, scoring an average of 37pts in each outing! They must've by then been talking "Super Bowl" up in Buffalo! And even outside of New York state for that matter!

But then at home the following Monday Night, despite being up 14-0 early as well as OJ having another typical outing (34-for-126, 1TD), they let a bad G-men squad comeback while shutting them out the rest of the way, 17-14! And then the following week (again at home), they have the Dolphins in the palm of their hands late yet squander that very nine-point 4th Q lead thus losing, 35-30! The following week, they get back in the win-column at Shea, but by rallying heavy from 23-7 down in the 3rd against the Jets, 24-23!

Then, back at Rich (and now 5-2), they pick up where they left off against a surging Colts team by opening up a 21-0 lead in the 2nd Q! All three TDs by OJ himself and - further exemplifying what'd be his best multi-purpose year ever - two of those scores were passing plays! But Lydell & Bert would have other ideas! A Mitchell TD is the next score of the game but is then followed by Bob Chandler scoring one as well thus regaining Buffalo's 3TD-lead, 28-7, and still in the 2nd Q. But before the half, Balt would score two more TDs to cut the deficit down to seven! After a scoreless 3rd, the Colts score THREE MORE unanswered TDs for the eventual, 42-35, win!

Quite a gut-punch that had to be! But weeks later, coming off demolishing StL on the road (Braxton shining on that day with 34-for-160, 3TDs), the Bills were still in it at 7-4 going into 8-3 Miami for their rematch with them at the Orange Bowl! Phins go up 21-0 at the half, but Bills do rally! Providing yet another example of the multi-purpose-ness of his '75 season, OJ would score both a rushing and a passing TD in the second half, rushing for 96 total yards but receiving for even more at 117! However it wouldn't be enough. Bills would close the gap late making it 24-21, but only for Miami to get last laugh with another TD to finish things off, 31-21.

Yes, a few wins left on the table that year which could have turned a disappointing 8-6 into maybe a division title. But would it have really mattered once the playoffs began? The defense was obviously a liability. But that dominating 4-0 start...(with the convincer at the 'Burgh the obvious 'jewel' of it all)... to any of you who were around at the time after Week #4, were any of you thinking, maybe, "Super Bowl" this time? Or were you still in a "let's wait and see just a little while longer" state of mind?
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Re: '75 Bills (and that awesome 4-0 start)

Postby Brian wolf » Sat May 29, 2021 7:01 pm

Losing Robert James hurt the Bills defense ...
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Re: '75 Bills (and that awesome 4-0 start)

Postby SixtiesFan » Sun May 30, 2021 12:40 am

I followed the Bills closely in 1975. Their defense looked too weak for a Super Bowl contender even in the 4-0 start. The Monday Night loss at home to the Giants was a big shock. The defense killed them in the loss to the Colts. The Dolphins outscored the Bills twice and so did the Bengals in another Monday Night loss.

With some luck, they could have held on against the Colts and beaten the Dolphins one time. This would have made them 10-4, won the AFC East and given them another playoff game in Pittsburgh. To me, the notable thing about the 1975 Bills is with the other skill position players (Ferguson, Braxton, Chandler, Hill) all having good seasons, O.J. looked better all-around than he ever did.
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Re: '75 Bills (and that awesome 4-0 start)

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:35 pm

If this team does make the playoffs, they probably don't try to trade OJ Simpson to the Rams the next year.

In the draft, Buffalo needed defense, and they drafted CB Mario Clark, LB Dan Jilek, and DE Ben Williams. However, after a 2-2 start, Lou Saban was fired after a 17-14 Week 5 loss to the Jets (which caused dissension in the locker room), and Joe Ferguson missed seven games due to injury.
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Re: '75 Bills (and that awesome 4-0 start)

Postby conace21 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:08 pm

I think 1975 was OJ's best season; yes, even better than his 2,000 yards in 1973.
The Bills had the best offense in the NFL in 1975, and it wasn't particularly close. They were 25 points ahead of the next highest scoring team, and had about 400 more yards than the #2 team. OJ wasn't a great receiver (he had lousy hands) but he had seven touchdown catches among his 28 receptions, and he averaged 15 yards per catch. (Thurman Thomas was a fine receiver, but he never had seven TD receptions, even in a 16 game season.) OJ just had three touchdown receptions that year of 60-64 yards, and all three came on short passes, and OJ's running in the open field.
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