Inside The Bills

Orton ties team record

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2014 – 12:32 pm

It will matter little to Kyle Orton knowing his indifference toward individual statistics, but the Bills quarterback tied a team record in Sunday’s loss at Denver.

Orton tied the team record for most completions in a game. He was 38-57 passing for 355 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also had a rushing touchdown. His 38 completions tied a team record that is held by Joe Ferguson, who had 38 completions in an October game against the Dolphins in 1983.

Orton also set a record for most pass attempts in a game with his 57 throws in the game. That eclipsed the previous record of 56, also held by Ferguson in that exact same Miami game back in 1983.

For Orton the 57 attempts matched his personal single-game high and his 38 completions were a new personal best for him. His previous completion high was 37 in a 2010 game against Indianapolis while he was with the Broncos.

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Fitz ties team record

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2011 – 9:41 pm

Ryan Fitzpatrick tied a team mark Sunday by hitting 10 different receivers with passes in the game against the Titans.

It was just the fourth time that’s happened in team history and the first time since Sept. 8, 1985 when Vince Ferragamo used 10 receivers in a game against San Diego.

Joe Ferguson did it in 1984 against the Jets and Johnny Green and Tommy O’Connell teams up to do it against the L.A. Chargers in 1960.

Fitz also became the third QB in team history to have back-to-back seasons of 20 touchdown passes joining Jim Kelly (1989-92, 1994-95) and Joe Ferguson (1980-81).

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Fitz could match team mark

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2011 – 11:45 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick with a touchdown pass or two could be in select company among Bills QBs in team history.

With one touchdown pass today against Cincinnati, Fitzpatrick will join Jim Kelly (1989, 1992), Joe Ferguson (1981) and Drew Bledsoe (2002) as the fourth Bills QB with 10 or more passing touchdowns in the first four games of a season.

If he throws two today, he’ll tie Jim Kelly for the most in the first four games of a season with 11, which Kelly did back in 1991.

Obviously three touchdowns passes by Fitz today and it’s a new team record for the first four games in the season.

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Fergie not color blind

Posted by Chris Brown on June 27, 2011 – 1:30 pm

Last week we published a story about the Bills helmet color change from white to red in 1984 being tied to then Bills QB Joe Ferguson. On the whole that was accurate. However, the assertion that the Wall of Famer was color blind was not.

Joe Ferguson is not color blind at all. Having corresponded and apologized to him personally for the inaccuracy of the story Joe re-hashed how the whole myth of him being color blind started.

“The color blind parts all came from the media,” Ferguson told “At the time of the change of colors we were in a down time with the team and the media was looking for anything to write. Everyone we played had white helmets at that time. Our new head coach Kay Stephenson just wanted to get more of a contrast on the field that may help spot a receiver down the field.”

So while the helmet color change was predicated on improving completion percentage and reducing interceptions, which obviously involve the quarterback, Ferguson’s ability to distinguish colors was and always has been fine. We’ve since revised the story on to correct the inaccuracies.

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Kelly color blind like Fergie

Posted by Chris Brown on June 24, 2011 – 8:14 pm

Leading up to the 2011 uniform unveiling Friday night was an untold uniform story on about how the club changed the helmet color to help then quarterback Joe Ferguson to better distinguish his receivers from the opposition. Bills HOF QB Jim Kelly had heard this story, and what’s ironic is he too is color blind.

“I’m color blind and I’ve never had any problems with it even though we had red helmets when I played,” said Kelly. 

Kelly said instead of looking at helmets, he distinguished his teammates from the opposition by looking at the jerseys.

“You’re always in dark jerseys and light jerseys and I’ve never had any problems with that,” he said. “Maybe that’s just something somebody brought up and it just went from one person to the other.”

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Fergie helped by helmet change?

Posted by Chris Brown on June 23, 2011 – 7:52 am

With the story completely true that the Bills’ helmet change from white to red in 1984 was made primarily to help quarterback Joe Ferguson better distinguish his receivers due to color blindness, some still wonder after the 2-14 campaign that year if it made a big difference.

The stats would seem to indicate so as Ferguson’s INT total decreased from 25 in 1983 to 17 in 1984. But some that remember that season wonder how much it helped.

“I don’t know if it did Fergie any good, but it was something to talk about,” said Bills long time beat reporter for the Courier-Express and Buffalo News Larry Felser. “They obviously felt it was worth it.”

Some that covered that era of Bills football however, sympathize with Ferguson’s situation with the talent he had around him at the time.

“I think Joe Ferguson with any other team could’ve won some Super Bowls with a lot of the other clubs as far as I’m concerned,” said Bills long time radio voice Van Miller. “He had a great arm and used to be criticized for hanging his head when he came off the field, but he was truly a great passer. A great guy and the players loved him.”

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Kirwan: Bills take CB, QB

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2011 – 1:42 pm’s Pat Kirwan just put together his newest two-round mock draft and he’s got Buffalo taking a cornerback followed by a quarterback.

Kirwan has Buffalo taking LSU CB Patrick Peterson third overall after he has Marcell Dareus and Da’Quan Bowers going to Carolina and Denver. Here’s his line of reasoning for the pick.

Patrick has Charles Woodson-like qualities as well as terrific return skills. With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, the Bills can afford to wait until the second round for a quarterback. With Tom Brady in the division, the Bills need a shutdown cornerback.

Then in round two he has Buffalo taking QB Ryan Mallett. This might be the first time I’ve seen Mallett predicted for the Bills in round two. Former Arkansas and Bills QB Joe Ferguson offered this comment on Ryan Mallett to

“Ryan Mallett has got all the talent,” Ferguson said. “He’s 6’7” and weighs about 250 and has a very strong arm. His mobility is the negative that he may have, but there have been a lot of great quarterbacks that couldn’t run around very much and played the game a long time, like Dan Marino. He’s got that caliber arm. Depending on the team he goes to if they can help him with a good running game and a good defense I think he’ll be a good quarterback.”

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Fergie on Newton

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2011 – 12:24 pm

Former Bills QB Joe Ferguson saw an awful lot of Cam Newton this past season. The former Arkansas Razorback signal caller follows the SEC closely and could only be impressed by what Newton brought to the table.

“I think he was probably the most dominating player in college this year that helped a team that was an average football team and made them into a great football team and they won a championship,” said Ferguson. “I don’t know where he’s going to go. I’ve heard that Buffalo is looking at him. I don’t know if he’ll be ready to play for three or four years, but he’s a great athlete and will help somebody down the road.”

Ferguson isn’t sure that Newton would be able to help an NFL club right away with the adjustments he’d have to make to the pro game, but believes in time he’ll be successful.

“I just see a desire to win and compete. You can see by the way he plays on the field how he loves to compete. That’ll be his biggest asset to start with. If he goes with a team that’s a good football team he’ll help them quick, but if he goes to a mediocre football team then it’ll be down the road just like everybody else.”

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Fergie likes Newton for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2011 – 10:53 am

Former Bills QB Joe Ferguson appearing on WHTK earlier this week offered his take on whether the Bills should consider Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton with the third overall pick.

“The quarterback is the guy in this league now and I think Cam Newton is a special, special player,” said Ferguson. “There’s no doubt about that. I’ve watched him on TV doing his workouts and he is something special as far as the way he can throw the football and potentially run the ball. If Buffalo can get him then I think it would be a great move for them to solidify that position for several years hopefully. Who knows what’s going to happen with those first few picks, but there are some great players out there this year and I’m sure the Bills will pick according to what they need.”

Ferguson also provided an update on his health and said he is still cancer free.

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Bills former QB Kemp has cancer

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2009 – 7:54 pm

The Associated Press is reporting that former Bills QB Jack Kemp has cancer. The report does not say what form of cancer Kemp is dealing with as he appears to be in the early stages of addressing the disease.

He plans to continue working so the hope obviously is his physicians have caught this in the very early stages. We’ll have more details as they become available.

Kemp is the second former Bills quarterback to be struck with cancer. Joe Ferguson was afflicted with stage four Burkitt’s Lymphoma and beat that, along with pneumonia, so hopefully Kemp is as successful as Ferguson in fighting his cancer.

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