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This Day in Bills History, Dec. 20: Wrapping up that first division title

Dec. 20, 1964 – Fans of the Bills of the American Football League in 1960 weren’t sure how their new favorites would do. They were a brand-new team in a brand-new league, and everyone was starting from scratch.

No doubt those fans were hoping for more from the team in its early years. The Bills missed the playoffs in 1960, 1961 and 1962. They tied for the AFL East title in 1963, but lost a playoff game to the Boston Patriots.

However, 1964 was more like it. They played the Boston Patriots to conclude the regular season with the division title again on the line, and this time they won it. The final score was 24 to 6.

Jack Kemp ran for two touchdowns, and he was 12 for 24 for an impressive 286 yards through the air. Elbert Dubenion and Glenn Bass both had more than 100 receiving yards. Buffalo had a 24-6 lead in the fourth quarter and counted down the minutes from there.

The Bills finished the season with a 12-2 record.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

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