Important Dates in Bills History: December 26, 1965. Bills win 2nd AFL title

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Important dates in Bills history presented by M&T bank helps fans understand what's important. In the NFL, nothing is more important than winning the championship. At the conclusion of the 1965 season, the Bills won their second consecutive title.

The Bills won their first AFL championship on December 26, 1964 when they beat the San Diego Chargers 20-7. One year later, again on December 26, they returned to the title game to square off against the Chargers a second time. The blanked the Chargers 23-0 for their second straight and most recent championship.

Defense led the way for the Bills in that game. They held the Chargers to 223 total yards and forced two turnovers—both were interceptions of quarterback John Hadl—in the shutout. The biggest highlight from the game for the Bills also came from the defensive side. Cornerback Butch Byrd picked off a Hadl pass in the second quarter and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown. That score put the Bills up 14-0.

The Bills first touchdown came earlier in the second quarter. Quarterback Jack Kemp connected with tight end Ernest "Big Hoss" Warlick for an 18-yard score. After the team took a 14-0 lead into halftime, kicker Pete Gogolak converted three field goal tries in the second half to build the lead up to 23-0.

Kemp led the offense that day for the Bills, completing eight of 19 passes for 155 yards, one touchdown and on interception. Starting running back Wray Carlton picked up 63 yards on the ground on 16 carries Warlick had thirty-five yards on three catches in addition to the touchdown.

The championship on December 26, 1965 is Buffalo's most recent title, and players from that season recall it fondly. Center Al Bemiller, who was inducted into the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in November 2015, called the two titles his best football memories at the induction ceremony.

"The greatest memories are when we won the championships," he said. "Every one of those days, every one of those years were fantastic." 

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