The American Football League and National Football League had fully merged by the time the 1970 season rolled in. That meant for the first time ever, the Buffalo Bills would get to play some NFL teams in games that counted.
The schedule-maker didn't do the Bills any favors in their first AFL-NFL matchup. The Los Angeles Rams came to town.
The Rams had plenty of talent under legendary coach George Allen. Roman Gabriel was the quarterback and the rest of the roster was littered with stars such as Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Tom Mack, Bob Brown, Jack Pardee and Richie Petitbon.
The Bills were in a rebuilding phase at that point. Their biggest addition was Al Cowlings, a defensive end who played with O.J. Simpson at Southern California.
The Rams a 19-0 win in War Memorial Stadium. Rookie quarterback Dennis Shaw of Buffalo, a second-round pick, was 13 of 18 for 143 yards but couldn't generate any points. Simpson ran 14 times for only 24 yards. Los Angeles just missed the playoff that year with a 9-4-1 record, while the Bills ended up 3-10-1.
-- Budd Bailey
Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs