The Buffalo Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999, and a big part of the reason is that they have not had a franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly. However, current quarterback Tyrod Taylor is hoping to change that trend.
Taylor had a breakout season in his first year with the Bills last year. The former sixth round selection is a real dual threat, as he has a strong enough arm to beat teams through the air and is elusive in the open field – Taylor finished second among quarterbacks with 568 rushing yards. The 27-year-old completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,035 yards for 20 touchdowns along with six interceptions. He finished the campaign with the NFL’s No. 7 rating (99.4) and No. 7 in raw QBR.
While Taylor had an excellent campaign in 2015, he will have to continue to progress to be considered among the best quarterbacks in Bills’ history. Taylor recently signed a six-year extension worth $92 million on Aug. 12.
The rest of the article will look at the best and worst quarterbacks in franchise history.
- Jim Kelly (1986-1996)
Kelly is unquestionably the best quarterback in franchise history. The NFL Hall-of-Famer, using the K-Gun offense, led the Bills to four Super Bowls and produced a 101-59 overall record. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and was named First Team All-Pro in 1991.
- Joe Ferguson (1973-84)
Ferguson has played the most games at quarterback in franchise history with 164, producing the second most wins (77) and fourth best winning percentage (.472). He has the most rushing yards (1,174) among Bills’ quarterbacks.
Ferguson completed 52.4 percent of passes for 29,817 yards along with 196 touchdowns and 209 interceptions for his career. He ranks in the top-50 in NFL history in passes completed (47th), passing yards (44th) and passing TD’s (43rd). He also had 24 game-winning drives (33rd) and 20 comebacks (24th).
- Jack Kemp (1962-1969)
Kemp appeared in 88 games for the Bills, winning 43 games while suffering 31 losses and one tie. He was selected to the Pro Bowl six times and was tabbed as an All-Pro First Teamer in 1965.
Kemp only completed 46.5 percent of his passes for 15,134 yards, 77 touchdowns and 132 interceptions. He is fifth in franchise history in rushing yards among quarterbacks.
- Doug Flutie (1998-2000)
Flutie played in just 39 games for Buffalo — making 30 starts — but he has the highest winning percentage among franchise quarterbacks with at least 20 starts as he had a 21-9 record. Flutie was named to the 1998 Pro Bowl after leading the Bills to a 7-3 record as a starter and helping them to the playoffs. He was also named the AP Comeback Player of the Year in 1998.
- Drew Bledsoe (2002-04)
Bledsoe was not the quarterback that he was when he was with the New England Patriots. Still, Bledsoe managed to put up some nice numbers in three campaigns with the Bills.
In 38 games in Buffalo, Bledsoe was 23-25 with a 59.1 completion percentage as he threw for 10,151 yards along with 55 touchdowns and 43 interceptions. The 2002 Pro Bowler led three fourth comebacks and five game-winning drives. He also played two seasons in Dallas.
Honorable mention: Ryan Fitzpatrick (2002-04), Trent Edwards (2007-10), Rob Johnson (1998-2001)
Five Worst Quarterbacks
5.Bruce Mathison (1985)
Mathison appeared in 10 games with seven coming as starts in 1985. He was 1-6 in games he started, completing 49.6 percent of his passes (113-for-228) for 1,635 yards. Mathison threw four touchdown passes along with 14 interceptions for a 53.5 quarterback rating.
- Vince Ferragamo (1985)
1985 was a disastrous season as the Bills finished the campaign 2-14. Ferragamo began the season behind center but was benched in favor of Bruce Mathison, after a 1-8 start.
In his lone season with the team, Ferragamo completed 149-of-287 passes (51.9 percent) for 1,677 yards with five touchdowns and 17 picks in 10 games overall. He averaged 167.7 passing yards per game, 5.8 yards per attempt, and finished with a 50.8 rating.
3.Tom Flores (1967-1969)
Flores played in 17 games, starting four, in a little over two seasons with the Bills. He finished with a 1-2-1 record but only completed 36.5 percent of his passes (27-of-74) for 271 yards. Flores also didn’t have any touchdown passes, though he was picked off nine times and had a 9.3 rating.
2.Gary Marangi (1974-76)
Marangi’s only three years in the NFL came with the Bills. Marangi started seven of his 19 appearances, compiling a 0-7 record. He completed 104-of-283 passes for 1,373 yards along with 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Maragini averaged 72.3 yards a game and a 36.1 rating.
All seven of Marangi’s starts occurred during the 1976 campaign, where he completed 82-of-232 (35.3 percent) passes for 998 yards with seven touchdowns and 16 picks that season.
1. Dan Darragh (1968-70)
Darragh appeared in 17 games, including 11 starts, during his three-year stint in Buffalo (only three NFL seasons of his career). Darragh finished with a 1-11 record as he completed 42.9 percent of his passes for 1,353 yards. He tossed four touchdown passes and 22 interceptions (7.9 percent rate). Darragh averaged a measly 79.6 yards per game and had a 30.4 career rating.
Honorable Mention: Dennis Shaw (1970-73), Alex Van Pelt (1995-2003), M.C. Reynolds (1961), James Harris (1969-1971)
Do you agree with the selections?
[Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/ AP Photo]