NFL – Throwback Thursday: Buffalo Stampede

14 Sep

The Buffalo Bills host the Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday as week 2 of the NFL season gets underway, and we’ll feature these 2 clubs for Throwback Thursday this week. Let’s travel back to January 20, 1991, to then Rich Stadium, for the AFC Championship game. Buffalo was attempting to reach the Super Bowl for the first time, while the Raiders, based in Los Angeles then, were looking to spoil that party.

It was never even close to being a contest. Jim Kelly led a drive that ended with a 13 yard touchdown pass to James Lofton to open the scoring, and after a Raider field goal the Bills drove downfield again and scored, this time on a 12 yard run by Thurman Thomas. The defense then got in on the action as linebacker Darryl Talley intercepted a Jay Schroeder pass and returned it 27 yards to the end zone to give his team a 21-3 lead after a quarter. The Bills didn’t let up in the second quarter either. Kenny Davis spelled Thomas at running back and scored twice on short runs, followed by another short Kelly to Lofton TD throw of 8 yards. At some point the beleaguered Raiders called what amounted to a basketball timeout to catch their breath as the vaunted no-huddle K-Gun attack of the Bills overwhelmed them. When the dust settled Buffalo held a commanding 41-3 lead at halftime.

I was in the stadium at that game, and across the field from me some fans were spelling out “Hello Tampa” in the stands. (Where the Super Bowl was to be played the next week) I saw that and immediately thought “Holy s**t, the Bills are going to the Super Bowl!” Later that day at home after the game, they showed earlier clips of workers at Tampa Stadium painting the Bills’ logo in the end zone, at halftime of the game! It was just an incredible experience.


Happy Bills’ fans with a message


Coach Marv Levy called off the dogs somewhat in the second half. The Bills scored only 10 points, on another short Davis run and a Scott Norwood field goal, to account for the final score of 51-3, launching the team to the big game. Kelly wound up throwing for 300 yards and the 2 TDs, while Thomas, although leaving the touchdown runs to Davis, racked up 199 yards of total offense. Lofton’s 2 TDs were among his 5 catches for 133 yards. The beleaguered Shroeder was intercepted 5 times by the Buffalo defense before being replaced by Vince Evans, who threw another pick. Little did the Bills and their fans know that what came next was the ultimate heartbreak of “Wide Right” by Norwood in Super Bowl XXV.


Darryl Talley scores on a pick six


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