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The 1998 Buffalo Bills season was the team's 39th season, and 29th in the National Football League.[1] The season marked an important development in the Bills’ history as a quarterback controversy would consume the whole season between Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie. It would also mark the beginning of the Wade Phillips era. The Bills improved on the previous season's output of 6–10, and finished second in the AFC East with a 10–6 record,[2] and would qualify for the playoffs only to lose in the wild card round to the Miami Dolphins.

1998 Buffalo Bills season
Head coachWade Phillips
General managerJohn Butler
OwnerRalph Wilson
Home fieldRalph Wilson Stadium
Results
Record10–6
Division place3rd AFC East
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs (at Dolphins) 17–24

The Bills lost their first three games of the season, all by six points or less, and looked to be headed for a losing season. After a bye in Week Four, quarterback Rob Johnson finally won his first game with Buffalo, holding on for a 26–21 win over San Francisco in Week Five. Flutie started the next eleven games, winning nine of them. The Bills had a playoff spot locked up by the final game of the season, which Johnson started and won.

The Bills played the Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the 1998 AFC Playoffs, where wide receiver Eric Moulds would set the NFL playoff record for receiving yards, with 240. The Bills would end up losing the game 24–17, as Dolphins lineman Trace Armstrong sacked Flutie on Buffalo's last drive, forcing him to fumble, and icing the game for Miami.

Contents

OffseasonEdit

The Bills, looking to upgrade the quarterback position, signed Rob Johnson, who had played for Jacksonville in 1997, and improved his stock with a win in relief of Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell. Bills general manager John Butler traded away the Bills' first- and fourth-round picks to Jacksonville for the rights to Johnson.

The Bills also signed long-time CFL quarterback Doug Flutie to back up Johnson; Flutie would end the 1998 season with the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

NFL DraftEdit

= Pro Bowler [3]
Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
2 39 Sam Cowart[4] Middle linebacker Florida State
3 68 Robert Hicks Offensive tackle Mississippi State
5 131 Jonathan Linton Fullback North Carolina
6 160 Fred Coleman Wide receiver Washington
7 198 Victor Allotey Offensive guard Indiana
7 238 Kamil Loud Wide receiver Cal-Poly SLO

PersonnelEdit

StaffEdit

1998 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Wade Phillips
  • Assistant to the Head Coach – Max Bowman

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

[5]

RosterEdit

1998 Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad {{{practice_squad}}}


Rookies in italics

Regular seasonEdit

The opening game for 1998 constituted the first time since 1985 that the Bills played the San Diego Chargers.[6] The reason for this is that before the admission of the Texans in 2002, NFL scheduling formulas for games outside a team's division were much more influenced by table position during the previous season.[7]

ScheduleEdit

Week Date TV Time Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1998 CBS 4:00 pm ET at San Diego Chargers L 16–14
64,037
2 September 13, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET at Miami Dolphins L 13–7
73,097
3 September 20, 1998 FOX 1:00 pm ET St. Louis Rams L 34–33
65,199
4 Bye
5 October 4, 1998 FOX 1:00 pm ET San Francisco 49ers W 26–21
76,615
6 October 11, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET at Indianapolis Colts W 31–24
52,938
7 October 18, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET Jacksonville Jaguars W 17–16
77,635
8 October 25, 1998 ESPN 8:15 pm ET at Carolina Panthers W 30–14
64,050
9 November 1, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET Miami Dolphins W 30–24
79,011
10 November 8, 1998 CBS 4:15 pm ET at New York Jets L 34–12
75,403
11 November 15, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET New England Patriots W 13–10
72,020
12 November 22, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET Indianapolis Colts W 34–11
49,032
13 November 29, 1998 CBS 4:15 pm ET at New England Patriots L 25–21*
58,304
14 December 6, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET at Cincinnati Bengals W 33–20
54,359
15 December 13, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET Oakland Raiders W 44–21
62,002
16 December 19, 1998 CBS 12:30 pm ET New York Jets L 17–10
79,056
17 December 27, 1998 CBS 1:00 pm ET at New Orleans Saints W 45–33
39,707

Game summariesEdit

Week 1

  • Date: September 6, 1998
  • Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA
  • Start Time: 4:15ET/1:15PT
  • Attendance: 64,037
  • Weather: 73 degrees, sunny
  • TV: CBS
  • Announcers: Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker

Week 2

  • Date: September 13, 1998
  • Stadium: Pro Player Stadium, Miami FL
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 73,097
  • Weather: 82 degrees, 10% chance of rain
  • TV: CBS
  • Announcers: Ian Eagle and Mark May

Week 3

  • Date: September 20, 1998
  • Stadium: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 65,199
  • Weather: 72 degrees, sunny, wind 10 mph
  • TV: Fox
  • Announcers: Kenny Albert and Tim Green

Week 4 Bye

Week 5

  • Date: October 4, 1998
  • Stadium: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 76,615
  • Weather: 50 degrees, cloudy
  • TV: Fox
  • Announcers: Ray Bentley and Ron Pitts

Week 6

  • Date: October 11, 1998
  • Stadium: RCA Dome, Indianapolis IN
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 52,938
  • Weather: Dome
  • TV: CBS
  • Announcers: Bill Macatee and John Dockery

Week 7

  • Date: October 18, 1998
  • Stadium: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Start Time: 1PM ET/10AM PT
  • Attendance: 77,635
  • Weather: 68 degrees, sunny
  • TV: CBS
  • Announcers: Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms

Week 8Edit

1 234Total
• Bills 10 7103 30
Panthers 0 707 14

[8]

StandingsEdit

AFC East
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(2) New York Jets 12 4 0 .750 416 266 W6
(4) Miami Dolphins 10 6 0 .625 321 265 L1
(5) Buffalo Bills 10 6 0 .625 400 333 W1
(6) New England Patriots 9 7 0 .563 337 329 L1
Indianapolis Colts 3 13 0 .188 310 444 L2

RosterEdit

PlayoffsEdit

AFC: Miami Dolphins 24, Buffalo Bills 17Edit

1 2 34Total
Bills 0 7 7317
Dolphins 3 3 81024

at Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Florida

Awards and honorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1998 Buffalo Bills Starters, Roster, & Players - Pro-Football-Reference.com". www.pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
  2. ^ "Buffalo Bills". www.buffalobills.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2004. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  3. ^ Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro Bowl at any time in their career.
  4. ^ elected to Pro Bowl in 2000
  5. ^ 1998 Buffalo Bills Media Guide.
  6. ^ Buffalo Bills v San Diego Chargers
  7. ^ History of the NFL’s Structure and Formats
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com