30 Interesting Facts About Jim Kelly, The Best Buffalo Bills Quarterback Ever



Jim Kelly first received national attention thanks to his athletic prowess as the quarterback of the University of Miami Hurricanes in the early 1980’s. He then went on to star in the United States Football League with the Houston Gamblers and eventually the National Football League with the Buffalo Bills. Based on his abilities and his accomplishments, he would go on to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Here is a look at 30 interesting facts about the great Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills.

-Jim Kelly’s first choice for a college to go to was Penn State, but they only offered him a chance to play linebacker. He then chose the University of Miami because of the opportunity to play quarterback.

-During his senior year in high school at East Brady, Pennsylvania, Jim Kelly also starred on the basketball team. He averaged 23 points and 20 rebounds a game that year.

-Jim Kelly was born on Valentine’s Day in 1960.

-After the USFL folded, Jim Kelly would be recognized as the league’s all time leader in passing touchdowns with 83.

-Jim Kelly also holds the single season records in the USFL for passing yards (5,219) and passing touchdowns (44).

-Jim Kelly threw more touchdown passes against the New York Jets, a total of 33, than he did against any other team in the league.

-Kelly was the league leader in interceptions in the NFL in 1992 with 19.

-During his NFL career, Jim Kelly threw just one overtime touchdown pass. It happened in 1989 in a 47-41 victory over the Houston Oilers and was his fifth touchdown pass of the day. It went for 28 yards and was caught by Andre Reed.

-There have been thirteen 3,000 yard seasons in the history of the Buffalo Bills, eight of them were accomplished by Jim Kelly.

-No player caught more touchdown passes from Jim Kelly than fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame member Andre Reed. Kelly and Reed teamed up for 65 touchdowns. The player who caught the second most from Kelly was tight end Pete Metzelaars with 22.

-Jim Kelly caught two passes during his career. The first one came in 1987 and went for 35 yards. The second and final one came one year later in 1988 and was good for five yards.

-Kelly’s record in the NFL as a starter was 101-59.

-Jim Kelly was inducted into the University of Miami Hall of Fame in 1992.

-The first touchdown pass Jim Kelly ever threw in the NFL came in his first game in 1986. It was a two yarder in the first quarter of a 28-24 loss to the New York Jets and was caught by running back Greg Bell.

-In terms of touchdown passes thrown, the second quarter was Jim Kelly’s most productive quarter of play. He threw 47 touchdown passes during his career in the first quarter, 55 in the third, and 60 in the fourth. In the second quarter however, he threw 74 touchdown passes. He also added one overtime touchdown pass too.

-Jim Kelly once appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated holding a New Jersey Generals helmet. After his team, the Houston Gamblers, folded he had been slated to be the starting quarterback for New Jersey, but then the USFL would fold before that got a chance to happen.

-Jim Kelly was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft. Other quarterbacks taken ahead of him were John Elway and Todd Blackledge. Quarterbacks taken after him included Tony Eason, Ken O’Brien, Dan Marino, Jeff Christensen, Reggie Collier, Babe Laufenberg, Gary Kubiak, Tom Ramsey, Bruce Mathison, Jim Bob Taylor, Clete Casper, David Mangrum, and Scott Lindquist.

-Including Kelly, six eventual members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be drafted in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft: John Elway, Eric Dickerson, Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, and Darrell Green.

-Jim Kelly’s first 300 yard passing game came in 1986, his first year in the league, in the ninth game of the season. He completed 29 of 39 passes for 342 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. This performance came in a 34-28 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

-Jim Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Other inductees that year with him were John Stallworth, Dan Hampton, Dave Casper, and George Allen.

-When Jim Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, his former head coach, Marv Levy, was his presenter. Levy is also in the Hall of Fame.

-Kelly’s first win in the NFL as a starting quarterback came in week three of the 1986 season in a game in which the Bills defeated the Cardinals.

-Jim Kelly scored just seven rushing touchdowns during his NFL career, four of those came in the fourth quarter.

-Jim Kelly ended a season with 17 interceptions four different times, in 1986, 1988, 1991, and 1994.

-In 1996, Quinn Early caught the last touchdown pass Jim Kelly threw during the regular season in his career. It was a four yarder in the fourth quarter of a 20-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

-The last touchdown pass Kelly would throw ever came in the playoffs following the 1996 regular season. It was a 7 yarder in the first quarter of an opening round loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

-During his career, Jim Kelly threw 237 touchdown passes and had 175 interceptions. In the 17 post season games he played in, he threw 21 touchdown passes and 28 interceptions.

-In 1992, Jim Kelly combined with Steve Young in what would be just the fourth time in league history where two quarterbacks would pass for more than 400 yards in the same game. The Bills would beat the 49ers in that game by the score of 34-31.

-The longest rushing touchdown of Jim Kelly’s career went for 15 yards in the fourth quarter of a 35-21 loss to the Detroit Lions in 1994.

-In week two of 1986, his first season in the NFL, Kelly would complete an 84 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chris Burkett in a 36-33 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. This would be the longest touchdown pass of his entire NFL career.

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