5. September 7, 2003 Buffalo 31 New England 0

“Let me be clear about this. They hate their coach.” -Tom Jackson, September 14, 2003, on Bill Belichick

"It feels good," said Milloy. "But it feels good in a positive way, not in a personal vendetta way. I could be sitting up here and throwing out names and sticking it to them, but they know."
Milloy made a big impact as a starter, despite having three days to learn the playbook. He forced an interception, recorded a sack and got in on five tackles.

To say that Drew Bledsoe got the best of Tom Brady on this day would be an understatement. Tom Brady wasn't even the top QB on the Patriots in the opener against the Bills. Backup QB Rohan Davey completed three of six passes for 31 yards and a QB rating of 56.5. Tom struggled all day, completing only 14 of 29 for 123 yards and four interceptions. The Bills registered two sacks, and Tom finished with a QB rating of 20.4.

The Bills took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a one yard run by Travis Henry. In the second quarter, the second tally was a 37 yard TD interception run by 350 lb. DT Sam Adams. He also sacked QB Tom Brady in his first game in a Buffalo uniform.

Buffalo QB Drew Bledsoe had an easy day against his former teammates. Drew was 17 for 28 for 215 yards and a TD. Revenge was sweet for Lawyer Milloy and Drew Bledsoe. According to Bledsoe, "We were both pretty happy with the win." Try ecstatic.

Tom Brady summed up the loss: "From the first play on, it was Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo."

When Drew Bledsoe was later signed by the Dallas Cowboys, he expressed bitterness with the Bills for the release, stating "I can't wait to go home and dress my kids in little stars and get rid of the other team's [Buffalo's] stuff."
Time heals most wounds. According to Drew Bledsoe, "on fan support, Green Bay is #1 and Buffalo is #2. The rest of the teams are not even close."

4. September 6, 1992 Buffalo 40 Los Angeles 7

The Buffalo Bills seemed to start fast each season following a devastating Super Bowl loss. One of the real fan favorites, Darryl Talley would rally the crowd right away, and last year's frustrations would be forgotten.

RB Thurman Thomas had short TD runs of ten, one and six yards in the first half to build an early 21-0 lead against the Rams. The Buffalo defense treated Rams QB Jim Everett unkindly with three sacks and four interceptions. The lone score for the Rams was a 12 yard TD pass from Everett to RB Robert Delpino. QB Jim Everett would finish with a QB rating of 33.9.

The Buffalo offense ran the ball 33 times for 207 yards. RB Thurman Thomas had 103 yards, and finished his short day of work with his fourth TD in the third quarter. QB Jim Kelly was 13 of 19 for 106 yards and two TD's. Jim's backup, Frank Reich was six of 11. Frank would play a key role in relieving the injured Jim Kelly, later in the season.

The win was payback for the October 16, 1989 loss to the Rams at Rich Stadium in Buffalo. The Bills had lost on a 78 yard TD pass from QB Jim Everett to WR Flipper Anderson. The Rams had fumbled five times. Buffalo had outgained the Rams by 200 yards, but wasted several golden opportunities.

3. January 3, 1993 Buffalo 41 Houston 38 OT

Dave Seminara, NYTimes:
The score was not the lone reason for pessimism. The Bills were playing without Jim Kelly, their franchise quarterback; linebacker Cornelius Bennett, the N.F.L.’s defensive player of the year; and running back Thurman Thomas, the offensive player of the year, who injured his hip early in the third quarter. And the Oilers had crushed Buffalo, 27-3, the week before.

The improbable comeback was propelled by two botched kicks, a shanked punt, a bobbled snap and a noncall by the officials. A short kickoff set up a 50-yard scoring drive by Buffalo that cut the lead to 35-10. Then Bills kicker Steve Christie recovered his own kickoff — Marv Levy, then Buffalo’s coach, still insists the play was a flub and not a planned onside kick.

It was a relativley warm day in Buffalo at 34 degrees. Houston had the game in control, leading 28-3 at the half. The first series of the third quarter had the Oilers widening the lead on a 58 yard interception return by CB Bubba McDowell. Many fans headed for the exits.

The stars were aligned as the shorthanded Bills took advantage of Houston errors in forcing overtime at 38. WR Andre Reed caught 8 passes for 136 yards and three second half TD's. QB Frank Reich cemented his legend as "the comeback kid." Reich had led his University of Maryland team to a shocking comeback win in the Orange Bowl against the University of Miami. Reich had replaced the starter, Stan Gelbaugh with Maryland trailing, 31-3. Five second half TD passes produced a 42-40 win.

An interception by Buffalo CB Nate Odomes on the first drive in overtime gave the Bills the ball in Houston territory. On the interception, Houston WR Haywood Jeffires grabbed the facemask of Odomes, resulting in a 15 yard penalty. The ball was placed at at the Houston 20 yard line. Following two short runs into the line, K Steve Christie booted a 32 yard field goal for the win.

2. January 20, 1991 Buffalo 51 Los Angeles 3

The weather was unseasonably warm at 38 degrees for the 1991 AFC Championship game in Buffalo. Bills:
What was predicted to be a back-and-forth heavyweight title fight turned out to be a first-round knockout laugher. By the end of the first quarter, the rout was in full effect and the Raiders had no clue what hit them. Buffalo raced out to a 14-3 lead on a 13-yard touchdown reception by James Lofton and a 12-yard touchdown run by Thurman Thomas. Darryl Talley put the exclamation point on the first quarter with 27-yard interception returned for a touchdown. Buffalo led 21-3 at the end of the first quarter, never looked back and left the Raiders in the dust.

The Bills were seven points favorites for the AFC championship game. With a trip to its first Super Bowl appearance on the line, Buffalo compiled 502 yards of total offense, 202 on the ground. RB Thurman Thomas accounted for 138 yards on 25 carries, and caught six passes for 61 yards. QB Jim Kelly threw for 300 yards on 17 of 23 passing, and two TD's.

On defense, the Bills intercepted Los Angeles QB Jay Schroeder five times. Jay would complete only 13 of 31 pass attempts for 150 yards, and a QB rating of 17.6. QB Vince Evans would fare no better than Jay. Vince would throw one interception, and complete only two of eight passes. His QB rating was 1.04. The one bright spot for the Raiders was that they only committed two penalties on the afternoon.

In their prior two meetings in Buffalo, the Bills had scored 38 points, followed by 37 against the Raiders.
In the game at Rich Stadium on December 11, 1988, the Bills rushed for 255 yards, including 106 from Thurman Thomas. The Bills won easily, 37-21.

The Los Angeles offense gave away the October 7, 1990 matchup with four turnovers that led to easy Buffalo scores. The Raiders held the ball for 40 minutes, but surrendered 24 points in the fourth quarter in a 38-24 defeat.

In closing, to the fans of Buffalo, every guy has probably stood up here in all of these Hall of Fame jackets and said they probably have had the best fans in the world supporting them. I'm here to say that's hogwash. No fans are like my fans, like Bills fans. You were all out there freezing, spending hard earned money to cheer us on. You guys are the best.

1. September 8, 1991 Buffalo 52 Pittsburgh 34

In the home opener, QB Jim Kelly went to work to give the Bills an early lead. Buffalo opened with a 53 yard TD strike from Kelly to WR James Lofton. The lead would build to 24-3 before a late second quarter Pittsburgh TD run of 56 yards by RB Barry Foster trimmed the lead to 24-10 at the half.

Jim Kelly would be intercepted by Pittsburgh LB Bryan Hinkle. Bryan picked off the Kelly pass and ran 57 yards for the score. Following a Buffalo scoring drive which resulted in a 14 yard TD pass from Jim Kelly to WR Andre Reed, Steeler's CB Rod Woodson intercepted a second Kelly pass. This led to a short scoring run of one yard by RB Warren Williams.

Two fourth quarter TD passes from Jim Kelly to WR Don Beebe gave Buffalo an insurmountable 52-27 lead. Jim would throw four TD passes to Don Beebe as part of a record setting day. Jim would complete 31 of 43 passes for 363 yards and six TD's. His QB rating was 117.5 in the shellacking of the hated Pittsburgh Steelers.

It was all the more sweeter for the Pittsburgh native.

The Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly showed his support by wearing Talley's No. 56 jersey while waving the team's flag during player introductions before Buffalo's home game against Cleveland on Sunday. Kelly, who has battled numerous bouts of cancer, knows first hand the work of the Buffalo fans.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 12/27/2014 08:07:00 AM Edit

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