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This Day in Bills History, Sept. 23: It's tough to lose if the other team doesn't score

Sept. 23, 1960 – The Buffalo Bills had lost the first two games in their initial season of 1960. Then they figured out a football truism – it's tough to lose if the other team doesn't score.

The Bills pitched a shutout on a Friday night in Boston, beating the Patriots by a score of 13-0. Carl Smith scored the first Buffalo touchdown, with it coming on a 58-yard screen pass. The extra point was blocked, but Wray Carlton supplied some breathing room with a 2-yard run.

There was no scoring in the second half. Buffalo's defense recorded seven turnovers. Four different players had interceptions in the first shutout in AFL history.

"Laverne [Torczon] and I had to be the pass rushers," said defensive end Mack Yoho in the book "Rockin' the Rockpile." "We had Chuck McMurtrey at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds at one tackle, and Jim Sorey at the other tackle, and they were marvelous run tackles."

When the game ended, the Bills did a little celebrating ... only to get a lecture from general manager Dick Gallagher. He thought the team should save the cheers for something bigger, like a championship. That would have to wait.

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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