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This Day in Bills History, Oct. 22: Loss leads to coaching change

Oct. 22, 1961 – Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson must have known that the ups and downs of owning a professional football team would be many when he bought a franchise in the American Football League. This was one of the first big lows.

More to the point, it was one of the bad halves. The Bills traveled to Boston to play the Patriots. The game was delayed for a couple of days by the threat of a hurricane. By the time the first half was over, the Patriots led, 38-0. Boston went on to a 52-21 victory.

Bills quarterback M.C. Reynolds had a day to forget. He was 1 for 8 with two interceptions, meaning that the Patriots caught more of Reynolds’ passes than the Bills. Warren Rabb was better in relief, throwing three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. It didn’t help much.

Wilson obviously wasn’t too happy. Shortly after the loss, he hired former Patriots’ coach Lou Saban as director of player personnel. Boston had fired Saban as coach only two weeks before this game.

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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