As originally aired on The Rochester Press Box
With an aggregate age of 25.58, Green Bay has the youngest NFL postseason roster in fifty years. And that should be a good thing for the Packers. Right? Well, as Lee Corso might tell you, “Not so fast.”
The 1974 Buffalo Bills were the last postseason team that was this young. They finished 9-5 back-to-back seasons. The O.J. Simpson years. OJ was fresh off his record setting 2000-yard season. In 1974, fifteen of the other 21 starters had three years or less NFL experience. Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure and Reggie McKenzie anchored the Electric Company offensive line. Players like Ahmad Rashad, Jim Braxton, and Tony Greene were just starting out. The quarterback was Joe Ferguson in his second season. Lou Saban had returned for another go-around as head coach. These guys were set up.
Buffalo lost in the payoffs that year to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were on their way to the first of their six Super Bowl championships. No matter. The Bills would be back. This was the beginning of something great. Until it wasn’t. Just two years later, all that promise devolved into a 2-12 train wreck. OJ was fading. Ferguson got hurt. Gary Marangi became the quarterback. Saban quit five games into the season, replaced by Jim Ringo who went 0-9. The Super Bowl run was still sixteen years off.
The point of it all, someday the stars may actually align for the Buffalo Bills. But nothing is ever assured.