21 Buffalo Bills Rookie Quarterback Facts


The Buffalo Bills came into pro football in 1960 as one of the founding members of the American Football League.  Through the years, they have had some very good seasons and some very good players, including quarterbacks.

Here is a look at 21 interesting facts about rookie quarterbacks who have played for the Buffalo Bills.

-No rookie quarterback has thrown more interceptions for the Bills during their rookie season than Dennis Shaw did in 1970 with a total of 20.

-Five Bills quarterbacks have finished their rookie seasons with double digit interceptions:  Johnny Green (10), Joe Ferguson (10), Dan Darragh (14), Jim Kelly (17), and Dennis Shaw (20).

-In a 25-24 win over the Houston Oilers in 1960, Johnny Green became the first quarterback to have a 300 yard game for the Bills during his rookie season.

-Jim Kelly’s 83.3 quarterback rating is the highest any Bills quarterback has put up in their rookie season.

-Jim Kelly with 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 1986 and Alex Van Pelt with two touchdowns and no interceptions in 1995 are the only Bills quarterbacks who ever completed their rookie season with more touchdowns than interceptions.

-As of 2010, only two rookie quarterbacks have ever thrown four touchdown passes in a game for Buffalo.  Johnny Green did it in a 38-9 win over the Raiders in 1960 and then Trent Edwards equaled that total in 2007 in a 38-17 win over Miami.

-Johnny Green is also the only rookie quarterback to ever have a four interception game for the Bills.  He did this in a 45-28 loss to the Dallas Texans in 1960.

-Only two rookie quarterbacks have ever started every game of the year for the Bills, Jim Kelly in 1986 and Joe Ferguson in 1973.

-The highest score the Bills have ever put up in a game with a rookie quarterback at the helm is 45 points.  This first happened in 1963 in a 45-14 win over the New York Jets with Daryle Lamonica as the starter and then it happened again in 1970 in a 45-10 win over the Boston Patriots with Dennis Shaw at quarterback.

-The highest quarterback rating ever put up by a Bills rookie quarterback in a game was 137.1 in a 1963 30-28 win over the Denver Broncos.  Daryle Lamonica was the rookie quarterback during that game.

-In 1973, the Bills racked up nine wins with rookie Joe Ferguson at quarterback.  This is the most wins any rookie quarterback has led the team to.  In second place is the seven wins that Daryle Lamonica led the Bills to in 1963.

-The most losses a Bills quarterback has ever accumulated during their rookie season is 12.  This happened in 1986 when the team went 4-12 in Jim Kelly’s first season.

-The first Bills rookie quarterback to have multiple 300 yard games during a season was Dennis Shaw who did it twice in 1970.  Jim Kelly would equal that total in 1986.  No Bills rookie quarterback has ever had more 300 yard games in one season than them.

-The most touchdowns any Bills rookie quarterback has ever thrown in a season is the 22 thrown by Jim Kelly in 1986.

-The first time the Bills would win a game with a rookie quarterback playing was in their very first season, 1960.  It was a 38-9 win over the Oakland Raiders on October 23rd and Johnny Green was the quarterback for Buffalo.

-Three times in their history the Bills have played in a tie game with a rookie quarterback at the helm.  The first time was in a 28-28 game with the Patriots in 1962 with Ray Abruzzese at quarterback.  Dan Darragh was a rookie when he played quarterback for the Bills in a 1968 14-14 tie with the Miami Dolphins.  In a 17-17 tie with the Baltimore Colts in 1970, the Bills again had rookie Dennis Shaw at quarterback.

-The first rookie quarterback to start a  game for the Bills was Johnny Green in a 17-13 loss to the New York Titans in week 5 of the 1960 AFL season.

-Jim Kelly also had more attempts, completions, and threw for more yards in 1986 than any other Bills rookie quarterback ever has when he went 285 of 480 for 3,593 yards.

-Longtime Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson threw just four touchdown passes during his rookie season for the team, the first of which was caught by Larry Watkins.

-The first touchdown pass Jim Kelly threw during his career came in week one of his rookie season, went for two yards, and was caught by running back Greg Bell.

-The most sacked rookie quarterback in Bills history is Jim Kelly who was sacked 43 times in 1986.  This barely broke the previous mark that was set by Dennis Shaw in 1970 when he was sacked 41 times.

-The oldest rookie quarterback the Bills ever had was Jim Kelly who because of first playing in the USFL was 26 years old during his debut season in the NFL.

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