1979 Buffalo Bills season
Head Coach Chuck Knox
Home Field Rich Stadium
Record 7-9
Place 4th in AFC East
Playoff Finish Did not qualify for playoffs
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1978 1980
The 1979 Buffalo Bills went 7-9 and finished 4th in the AFC East.

Season summaryEdit

Head coach Chuck Knox spent his second season with the Bills in 1979, improving on 1978's record by two games. The Bills were 7–6 with three games left to play, but they lost their final three games to finish with a losing record. (Even if Buffalo had won their final three games, they still would have lost the head-to-head tiebreaker to the Miami Dolphins (who finished 10–6) for the division title.)

Buffalo's loss to Miami in Week Seven was their 20th straight loss to the Dolphins, an NFL record.

The 1979 Bills were dead-last in rushing yards in the NFL, with only total 1,621 yards on the ground.[1] Buffalo's 268 points scored was 23rd of the league's 28 teams.[2]


NFL DraftEdit

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Three of Buffalo's first four picks made at least one Pro Bowl: wide receiver Jerry Butler, nose tackle Fred Smerlas, and linebacker Jim Haslett. Haslett was named 1979 AP Rookie of the Year. Smerlas made five Pro Bowls: in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 & 1988.

Defensive end Ken Johnson, center Jon Borchardt, and defensive backs Jeff Nixon and Rod Kush all played for the Bills for six years each, from 1979–1984.

= Pro Bowler [3]
Round Pick # Player Position College
1 1 Tom Cousineau Linebacker Ohio State
1 5 Jerry Butler Wide receiver Clemson
2 32 Fred Smerlas Nose tackle Boston College
2 51 Jim Haslett Linebacker Indiana (PA)
3 62 Jon Borchardt Guard Montana St.
4 83 Ken E. Johnson Defensive end Knoxville
4 87 Jeff Nixon Defensive back Richmond
5 114 Rod Kush Defensive back Nebraska-Omaha
5 116 Dan Manucci Quarterback Kansas St.
6 141 Mike Burrow Guard Auburn
7 170 Tom Mullady Tight end Rhodes College
9 226 Kevin Baker Defensive end William Penn
10 253 Dave Marler Quarterback Mississippi St.
11 279 Paul Lawler Defensive back Colgate
12 308 Mike Harris Running back Arizona St.



1979 Buffalo Bills staff
Front Office

Coaching Staff

Offensive Coaches

Defensive/Special Teams Coaches


1979 Buffalo Bills roster


Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Note: Rookies in italics



  1. 1979 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics The Bills rushed for 101.3 yards per game; the league average for rushing yards was 135.6 yards per game.
  2. 1979 Buffalo Bills
  3. Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.

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