1990 Buffalo Bills season

31st season in franchise history, first Super Bowl appearance

1990 Buffalo Bills season
OwnerRalph Wilson
General managerBill Polian
Head coachMarv Levy
Home fieldRich Stadium
Results
Record13–3
Division place1st AFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Dolphins) 44–34
Won AFC Championship (vs. Raiders) 51–3
Lost Super Bowl XXV (vs. Giants) 19–20
Pro Bowlers
10
  • QB Jim Kelly
  • RB Thurman Thomas
  • WR Andre Reed
  • C Kent Hull
  • OT Will Wolford
  • DT Bruce Smith
  • ILB Shane Conlan
  • OLB Cornelius Bennett
  • OLB Darryl Talley
  • ST Steve Tasker
AP All-Pros
5

The 1990 Buffalo Bills season was the 31st for the franchise and the 21st in the National Football League. The team finished the year with a record of 13 wins and 3 losses, and first in the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. They were 8–0 at home for the second time in their franchise history.[1] On the road, the Bills were 5–3. Buffalo qualified for their first Super Bowl appearance.

The Bills' offense was one of the best in the league; their 428 points (26.75 points per game) scored was first in the league, and since they only gave up 263 points (6th in the league), their point differential was 165 points (10.3 per game), which was the best in the NFL in 1990, as well as the best point-differential in franchise history.[2] Buffalo's 48 offensive touchdowns (28 passing, 20 rushing) also led the league.

Defensive end Bruce Smith was named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year for 1990,[3] recording 101 tackles, four forced fumbles, and a career-high 19 sacks.[4]

The season was chronicled on October 2, 2008 for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.

Offseason

NFL Draft

1990 Buffalo Bills draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 16 James Williams  Cornerback Fresno State
2 42 Carwell Gardner  Fullback Louisville
3 69 Glenn Parker  Guard Arizona
4 100 Eddie Fuller  Running back LSU
6 154 John Nies  Punter Arizona
7 166 Brent Griffith  Guard Minnesota–Duluth
7 170 Brent Collins  Linebacker Carson–Newman
7 181 Fred DeRiggi  Defensive tackle Syracuse
8 208 Marvcus Patton  Linebacker UCLA
9 238 Clarkston Hines  Wide receiver Duke
10 265 Mike Lodish  Defensive tackle UCLA
11 292 Al Edwards  Wide receiver Northwestern State
      Made roster  

[5]

Personnel

Staff

1990 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office
  • President – Ralph Wilson
  • Vice President of Administration/General Manager – Bill Polian
  • Assistant General Manager/Director of Pro Personnel – Bob Ferguson
  • Director of Player Personnel – John Butler
  • Assistant Director/Collegiate Scouting – A. J. Smith
  • Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach – Chuck Lester

Head coaches

  • Vice President for Football Operations/Head Coach – Marv Levy

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers – Walt Corey
  • Defensive Line – Chuck Dickerson
  • Defensive Backs – Dick Roach
  • Defensive Quality Control – Chuck Lester

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning Coordinator – Rusty Jones

Roster

1990 Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve lists


Practice Squad

*Note: Rookies in italics

Regular season

Bruce Smith set a club record with 19 sacks. Smith also had 101 tackles.

  • September 24, 1990 – Thurman Thomas rushed for 214 yards versus the New York Jets. It was the second highest total in the history of Monday Night Football.
  • Bruce Smith had 8 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 hurries in the Bills 30–23 victory over Philadelphia.
  • Bruce Smith had 9 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 pressures in the Bills victory over Indianapolis.

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance
1 September 9, 1990 Indianapolis Colts W 26–10 1–0 Rich Stadium
78,899
2 September 16, 1990 at Miami Dolphins L 7–30 1–1 Joe Robbie Stadium
68,142
3 September 24, 1990 at New York Jets W 30–7 2–1 Giants Stadium
69,927
4 September 30, 1990 Denver Broncos W 29–28 3–1 Rich Stadium
74,393
5 October 7, 1990 Los Angeles Raiders W 38–24 4–1 Rich Stadium
80,076
6 Bye
7 October 21, 1990 New York Jets W 30–27 5–1 Rich Stadium
79,002
8 October 28, 1990 at New England Patriots W 27–10 6–1 Sullivan Stadium
51,959
9 November 4, 1990 at Cleveland Browns W 42–0 7–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
78,331
10 November 11, 1990 Phoenix Cardinals W 45–14 8–1 Rich Stadium
74,904
11 November 18, 1990 New England Patriots W 14–0 9–1 Rich Stadium
74,729
12 November 25, 1990 at Houston Oilers L 24–27 9–2 Houston Astrodome
60,130
13 December 2, 1990 Philadelphia Eagles W 30–23 10–2 Rich Stadium
79,320
14 December 9, 1990 at Indianapolis Colts W 31–7 11–2 Hoosier Dome
53,268
15 December 15, 1990 at New York Giants W 17–13 12–2 Giants Stadium
66,893
16 December 22, 1990 Miami Dolphins W 24–14 13–2 Rich Stadium
80,325
17 December 30, 1990 at Washington Redskins L 14–29 13–3 RFK Stadium
52,397

Game summaries

Week 1 vs. Colts

Week One: Indianapolis Colts (0–0) at Buffalo Bills (0–0)
1 2 34Total
Colts 3 0 7010
Bills 3 13 01026

at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: September 9
  • Game time: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 59 °F (15 °C)
  • Game attendance: 78,899
  • Referee: Gerald Austin
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Donovan and Cris Collinsworth
  • Box Score, Box Score
Game information

First quarter

Second quarter

  • BUF – Butch Rolle 3-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick), 5:14. Bills 10–3.
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 31-yard field goal, 1:58. Bills 13–3.
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 37-yard field goal, 0:08. Bills 16–3.

Third quarter

Fourth quarter

  • BUF – Scott Norwood 47-yard field goal, 6:08. Bills 19–10.
  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 6-yard run (Scott Norwood kick), 1:37. Bills 26–10.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 2

1 234Total
Bills 0 007 7
• Dolphins 0 1677 30

The Bills offense never got rolling and were soundly defeated on the road, 30–7, to their rival Miami Dolphins.

Week 3

1 234Total
Bills 7 1337 30
Jets 7 000 7
  • Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com
Scoring summary
1NYJBrad Baxter 1-yard run (Pat Leahy kick)Jets 7–0
1BUFKenneth Davis 1-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)Tie 7–7
2BUFButch Rolle 2-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)Bills 14–7
2BUFScott Norwood 48-yard field goalBills 17–7
2BUFScott Norwood 42-yard field goalBills 20–7
3BUFScott Norwood 27-yard field goalBills 23–7
4BUFKeith McKeller 6-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)Bills 30–7

Week 4

1 234Total
Broncos 7 777 28
• Bills 0 3620 29
Scoring summary
Q1DENHumphrey 1 yard run (Treadwell kick)DEN 7–0
Q2DENSewell 3 yard run (Treadwell kick)DEN 14–0
Q2BUFNorwood 37 yard field goalDEN 14–3
Q3BUFSmith 12 yard run (kick failed)DEN 14–9
Q3DENWinder 3 yard run (Treadwell kick)DEN 21–9
Q4BUFBennett 80 yard blocked field goal return (Norwood kick)DEN 21–16
Q4BUFSmith 39 yard interception return (kick failed)BUF 22–21
Q4BUFDavis 2 yard run (Norwood kick)BUF 29–21
Q4DENNattiel 7 yard pass from Elway (Treadwell kick)BUF 29–28

The Bills avenged their 1989 Monday Night defeat against the defending AFC Champion Broncos. The Broncos rushed for 208 yards, led 21–9 after three quarters, and held Jim Kelly and the offense to just 197 yards of offense, but the pivotal play of the game erupted in the fourth on a touchdown return of a blocked Bronco field goal by linebacker Cornelius Bennett. The Bills then scored on a John Elway interception and ultimately won 29–28.

Week 5

1 234Total
Raiders 7 377 24
• Bills 0 7724 38
  • Date: October 7
  • Location: Rich Stadium
  • Game start: 7:30 PM EST
  • Game attendance: 80,076
  • Game weather: 71 °F (22 °C); wind 16 mph
  • Referee: Red Cashion
  • TV announcers (NFL on TNT): Skip Caray and Pat Haden

The Bills, on Sunday Night Football, trailed 24–14 in the fourth quarter before erupting to 24 points to defeat the then-unbeaten Los Angeles Raiders, 38–24. Among the fourth quarter scores were a blocked punt by Steve Tasker, returned by J.D. Williams, where Skip Caray burst into saying "They've done it again, they've done it again!" referencing the prior weeks block of a field goal for a TD return vs Denver....and a fumble return by Nate Odomes.

Week 7

1 234Total
Jets 7 1433 27
• Bills 0 1776 30
  • Date: October 21
  • Location: Rich Stadium

For the third straight game the Bills erased a two-score gap for the win. The Jets led 21–7 in the second quarter and 24–17 in the third, but Kelly's 60-yard score to James Lofton tied the game entering the fourth quarter. Jamie Mueller's touchdown catch then won it, 30–27.

Week 8

1 234Total
• Bills 7 7130 27
Patriots 0 307 10

The Bills beat the Patriots 27-10 at Foxboro Stadium, known as Sullivan Stadium at the time.

Week 9

1 234Total
• Bills 7 7721 42
Browns 0 000 0

The Bills avenged last season's playoff loss by destroying the Cleveland Browns in their own stadium 42–0.

Week 10

1 234Total
Cardinals 7 070 14
• Bills 0 21024 45
  • Date: November 11
  • Location: Rich Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 PM EST
  • Game attendance: 74,904
  • Game weather: 37 °F (3 °C) ; wind 27 mph
  • Referee: Bob McElwee
  • TV announcers (CBS): Dick Stockton and Merlin Olsen

The Bills welcomed the NFC East team Phoenix Cardinals to an extremely windy Rich Stadium, and defeated them 45–14.

Week 11

1 234Total
Patriots 0 000 0
• Bills 7 007 14
  • Date: November 18
  • Location: Rich Stadium
  • Referee: Johnny Grier
  • Television network: NBC

The Bills, led by 209 yards on the ground (including an 80 yard Thurman Thomas TD run), shut out the Patriots 14-0 at Rich Stadium.

Week 12

1 234Total
Bills 7 737 24
• Oilers 7 677 27
  • Date: November 26
  • Location: Astrodome
  • Game weather: Indoors (dome)
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers (ABC): Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf

A year after Buffalo's epic 47–41 win at the Astrodome they returned there at 9-1 to face the 5–5 Oilers on Monday Night Football. This time the Oilers made sure there would be no comeback as Warren Moon and Lorenzo White authored 425 combined yards of offense and three touchdowns. Kelly managed two touchdowns and a pick as the Bills fell 27–24 to their former division foe.

Week 13

Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) at Buffalo Bills (9-2)
1 234Total
Eagles 0 1670 23
• Bills 24 033 30
Scoring summary
Q1BUFJames Lofton 63 yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)BUF 7–0
Q1BUFScott Norwood 43 yard field goalBUF 10–0
Q1BUFAndre Reed 56 yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)BUF 17–0
Q1BUFThurman Thomas 4 yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)BUF 24–0
Q2PHIKeith Jackson 18 yard pass from Randall Cunningham (kick failed)BUF 24–6
Q2PHIRoger Ruzek 32 yard field goalBUF 24–9
Q2PHIFred Barnett 95 yard pass from Randall Cunningham (Roger Ruzek kick)BUF 24–16
Q3PHIKeith Byars 1 yard pass from Randall Cunningham (Roger Ruzek kick)BUF 24–23
Q3BUFScott Norwood 21 yard field goalBUF 27–23
Q4BUFScott Norwood 45 yard field goalBUF 30–23

The Bills opened the game in the no-huddle offense and used it the whole game. The Bills went up 24–0 in the 1st qtr and eventually won the game 30–23.[6][7]

Week 14

1 234Total
• Bills 14 737 31
Colts 0 070 7
  • Date: December 9
  • Location: Hoosier Dome Indianapolis
  • Game start: 1:00 PM EST
  • Game attendance: 53,268
  • Game weather: Dome
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers (NBC): Marv Albert and Paul Maguire

Week 15

1 234Total
• Bills 7 703 17
Giants 7 330 13

The Bills pulled out a close win this Saturday afternoon, in a game in which both starting quarterbacks went down with injuries. Jim Kelly, and New York QB Phil Simms, with the latter being out for the season.

1 2Total
{{{Visitor}}} {{{V1}}} {{{V2}}} 0
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Scoring summary
Q17:58NYGOttis Anderson 1 yard rush (Matt Bahr kick)NYG 7–0
Q16:30BUFAndre Reed 6 yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)TIE 7–7
Q214:09BUFThurman Thomas 2 yard rush (Scott Norwood kick)BUF 14–7
Q2NYGMatt Bahr 23 yard field goalBUF 14–10
Q3NYGMatt Bahr 22 yard field goalBUF 14–13
Q4BUFScott Norwood 29 yard field goalBUF 17–13

Week 16

1 234Total
Dolphins 0 077 14
• Bills 0 7107 24
  • Date: December 23
  • Location: Rich Stadium
  • Referee: Red Cashion
  • TV announcers (NBC): Marv Albert and Paul Maguire

The Bills, under backup quarterback Frank Reich, defeated the Miami Dolphins and wrapped up the AFC East title. Reich connected with James Lofton and Andre Reed for touchdowns, ultimately winning 24–14 despite fourteen penalties to five for Miami.

Week 17

1 234Total
Bills 0 077 14
• Redskins 3 6317 29
  • Date: December 30
  • Location: RFK Stadium
  • Referee: Dale Hamer
  • TV announcers (NBC): Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy

Bills Head Coach Marv Levy decided to rest his starters for the playoffs, dropping the final game of the season in Washington, 29–14. The Bills finished with their best record in team history at 13 wins 3 losses.

Standings

AFC East
  • view
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W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(1) Buffalo Bills 13 3 0 .813 7–1 10–2 428 263 L1
(4) Miami Dolphins 12 4 0 .750 7–1 10–2 336 242 W1
Indianapolis Colts 7 9 0 .438 3–5 5–7 281 353 L1
New York Jets 6 10 0 .375 2–6 4–10 295 345 W2
New England Patriots 1 15 0 .063 1–7 1–11 181 446 L14

[8]

Playoffs

AFC Divisional Playoffs

Miami Dolphins (12–4) at Buffalo Bills (13–3)

1 2 34Total
Dolphins 3 14 31434
Bills 13 14 31444

at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Game time: Saturday, January 12, 1991. 12:30 pm EST
  • Game weather: 31 °F (−1 °C), light snow
  • Game attendance: 77,087
  • Referee: Bob McElwee
  • TV announcers (NBC): Marv Albert and Paul Maguire
  • Box Score
Game information

First quarter

  • BUF – Andre Reed 40-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)
  • MIA – Pete Stoyanovich 29-yard field goal
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 24-yard field goal
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 22-yard field goal

Second quarter

  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 5-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)
  • MIA – Mark Duper 64-yard pass from Dan Marino (Pete Stoyanovich kick)
  • BUF – James Lofton 13-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)
  • MIA – Dan Marino 2-yard run (Pete Stoyanvich kick)

Third quarter

  • MIA – Pete Stoyanovich 22-yard field goal
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 28-yard field goal

Fourth quarter

  • MIA – Roy Foster 2-yard pass from Dan Marino (Pete Stoyanovich kick)
  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 5-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)
  • BUF – Andre Reed 26-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)
  • MIA – Tony Martin 8-yard pass from Dan Marino (Pete Stoyanovich kick)

Passing

  • MIA – Dan Marino 23/49, 323 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
  • BUF – Jim Kelly 19/29, 339 yards, 3 TD, INT

Rushing

  • MIA – Sammie Smith 21 att, 99 yards
  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 32 att, 117 yards, 2 TD

Receiving

  • MIA – Mark Duper 3 rec, 113 yards, TD
  • BUF – James Lofton 7 rec, 149 yards, TD

Despite being a close score, the Bills never trailed in this classic Jim Kelly versus Dan Marino shootout. The weather, steady light snow, had crews occasionally come out to shovel off the 10- and 5-yard lines. Despite the conditions, both team offenses were explosive. In the end, after winning the AFC East crown from the Dolphins a few weeks earlier, the Bills also ended the 'Fins season in a game which had 78 combined points.

AFC Championship Game

Los Angeles Raiders (13–4) at Buffalo Bills (14–3)

1 2 34Total
Raiders 3 0 003
Bills 21 20 01051

at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Game time: Sunday, January 20, 1991. 12:30 pm EST
  • Game weather: 35 °F (2 °C), rain/light snow
  • Game attendance: 80,325
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh
  • Box Score
Game information

First quarter

  • BUF – James Lofton 13-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)
  • LA – Jeff Jaeger 41-yard field goal
  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 12-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)
  • BUF – Darryl Talley 27-yard interception return (Scott Norwood kick)

Second quarter

  • BUF – Kenneth Davis 1-yard run (kick failed)
  • BUF – Kenneth Davis 3-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)
  • BUF – James Lofton 8-yard pass from Jim Kelly (Scott Norwood kick)

Fourth quarter

  • BUF – Kenneth Davis 1-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 39-yard field goal

Passing

  • LA – Jay Schroeder 13/31, 150 yards, 5 INT
  • BUF – Jim Kelly 17/23, 300 yards, 2 TD, INT

Rushing

  • LA – Greg Bell 5 att, 36 yards
  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 25 att, 138 yards, TD

Receiving

  • LA – Mervyn Fernandez 4 rec, 57 yards
  • BUF – James Lofton 5 rec, 113 yards, 2 TD

The Bills shredded the Raiders, limiting quarterback Jay Schroeder to 13 of 31 completions for 150 yards and intercepting him 5 times, while also holding running back Marcus Allen to just 26 yards on 10 carries. The Raiders offense clearly missed running back Bo Jackson, who suffered what would turn out to be a career-ending injury the week before in a win against the Cincinnati Bengals. On offense, the Bills amassed 502 total yards, including 202 yards on the ground. Running back Thurman Thomas rushed for 138 and a touchdown while also catching 5 passes for 61 yards, while running back Kenneth Davis tied an AFC playoff record with 3 rushing touchdowns. Buffalo also set an NFL playoff record by scoring 41 points in the first half. Bills quarterback Jim Kelly threw for 300 yards and two touchdown passes to wide receiver James Lofton, who finished the game with 5 receptions for 113 yards. Thomas recorded a 12-yard touchdown run, while Davis scored from 1 yard, 3 yards, and 1 yard out. Linebacker Darryl Talley returned one of his two interceptions 27 yards for a touchdown.

Super Bowl XXV

1 2 34Total
Bills 3 9 0719
Giants 3 7 7320

at Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida

  • Date: January 27, 1991
  • Game time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Game weather: 62 F, wind 8 mph
  • Referee: Jerry Seeman
  • Box Score
Game information

First quarter

  • NYG – Matt Bahr 28-yard field goal
  • BUF – Scott Norwood 23-yard field goal

Second quarter

  • BUF – Don Smith 1-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)
  • BUF – Safety, Bruce Smith tackled Jeff Hostetler in end zone
  • NYG – Stephen Baker 14-yard pass from Jeff Hostetler (Matt Bahr kick)

Third quarter

  • NYG – Ottis Anderson 1-yard run (Matt Bahr kick)

Fourth quarter

  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 31-yard run (Scott Norwood kick)
  • NYG – Matt Bahr 21-yard field goal

Passing

  • BUF – Jim Kelly 18/30, 212 yards
  • NYG – Jeff Hostetler 20/32, 222 yards, TD

Rushing

  • BUF – Thurman Thomas 15 att, 135 yards, TD
  • NYG – Ottis Anderson 21 att, 102 yards, TD

Receiving

  • BUF – Andre Reed 8 rec, 62 yards
  • NYG – Mark Ingram 5 rec, 74 yards

To counteract the Bills' no-huddle offense, the Giants' strategy was to use a power running game utilizing O.J. Anderson, aided by quarterback rollouts, bootlegs, and play-action fakes. As tight end Mark Bavaro later recalled, "[w]e came out with three tight ends, fat slobs picking you up and moving you and letting you tackle O.J., if you could."[9] This enabled them to take time off the clock and limit Buffalo's possessions. The Giants set a Super Bowl record for time of possession with 40 minutes, 33 seconds, including 22 minutes in the second half. On defense, New York wanted to be physical with Buffalo's wideouts, and play with extra defensive backs to concentrate on stopping the Bills passing game, while conceding the running game.

The contrast in strategies was evident during the first period. After forcing the Bills to punt on the opening drive of the game, the Giants consumed 6:15 off the clock by marching 58 yards in 10 plays to score on a 28-yard field goal from Matt Bahr. In that drive, New York ran five rushing plays and five passing plays. But the Bills struck right back on their ensuing possession with a five-play, 66-yard drive that took 1:23 off the clock, including a tipped 61-yard completion from quarterback Jim Kelly to receiver James Lofton that set up Scott Norwood's 23-yard field goal to tie the game at 3–3.

After forcing the Giants to punt on their ensuing possession, the Bills' offensive strategy started to work to perfection. Kelly led the Bills on a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive that consumed 4:27 and moved the ball so effectively that the team never faced a third down. Kelly completed six consecutive passes (four to Andre Reed) for 62 yards, and running back Don Smith capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run to give Buffalo a 10–3 lead. Smith's 1-yard touchdown run was his only carry of the game and the last carry of his career. Reed's 5 first quarter receptions were a Super Bowl record.

After trading punts, the Giants were pinned at their own 7-yard line. On second down, defensive lineman Bruce Smith sacked quarterback Jeff Hostetler in the end zone for a safety, increasing the Bills' lead 12–3. On the play, Smith had a chance to force a fumble since Hostetler was holding the football with only his throwing hand. But to his credit, Hostetler held the ball away from Smith, helping to ensure that only 2 points would be surrendered.

The Bills started out on their next drive with great field position following the free kick, but were forced to punt after 3 plays. Taking the ball at their own 13-yard line with 3:43 left in the second quarter, the Giants abandoned their long drive strategy and employed a quick strike attack of their own. Hostetler led the Giants 87 yards, scoring on a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stephen Baker with just 25 seconds left in the half to cut New York's deficit to 12–10.

The Giants then opened the third quarter and resumed their original game strategy by driving 75 yards in 14 plays to score on Ottis Anderson's one-yard touchdown run, taking their first lead of the game since their opening possession at 17–12. The drive consumed a Super Bowl record nine minutes and 29 seconds, and included four successful third down conversions. The highlight was a 14-yard pass to wide receiver Mark Ingram on 3rd down and 13 yards to go. Ingram caught a short pass and broke five Buffalo tackles to get the first down and keep the drive alive.

After forcing Buffalo to punt on their ensuing possession, New York drove to the Bills' 35-yard line. But on fourth and two, Smith tackled Anderson for a 2-yard loss. Buffalo then took over and stormed down the field, advancing 63 yards in just four plays and scoring on a 31-yard burst from running back Thurman Thomas on the first play of the fourth quarter, regaining the lead at 19–17. Thomas' fourth-quarter touchdown run marked 1,000 points scored in Super Bowl history (1,001 with the extra point).

However, before the Bills' defenders had a chance to catch their breath, they found themselves back on the field trying to contain another long Giants drive. This one went for 14 plays and 74 yards, half of which came off passes from Hostetler to tight end Mark Bavaro, and took another 7:32 off the clock. The Bills managed to halt the drive at their own 3-yard line when linebacker Cornelius Bennett broke up Hostetler's third down pass, but Bahr kicked his second field goal to give New York a 20–19 lead.

On the Bills' ensuing possession, they could only advance to their own 41-yard line before having to punt, enabling the Giants to take more time off the clock. The Bills finally forced New York to punt and took the ball at their own 10-yard line with 2:16 remaining. Kelly then led them down the field with a mix of scrambles, short passes, and Thomas runs. Buffalo drove to the Giants' 29-yard line, setting up Norwood for a 47-yard field goal attempt with eight seconds left. However, his kick barely sailed wide right, sealing New York's victory with 4 seconds left.

Player stats

Thurman Thomas

Thomas led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage for the second consecutive season. His 1,297 yards led the AFC and was second in the NFL to Barry Sanders. Thomas had at least 100 total yards in 10 of the Bills 16 games. After gaining 219 total yards versus the New York Jets, Thomas was named AFC offensive player of the week. Note: Rush = Rushing Yards; REC = Receiving Yards

Game Rush Rec Total
Indianapolis 84 61 145
Miami 23 37 60
New York Jets 214 5 219
Denver 36 25 61
LA Raiders 67 47 114
New York Jets 5 0 5
New England 136 9 145
Cleveland 58 65 123
Phoenix 112 0 112
New England 165 5 170
Houston 54 32 86
Philadelphia 53 39 92
Indianapolis 76 91 167
New York Giants 60 65 125
Miami 154 29 183
Washington 0 22 22
Defense
[1]




CB
Kirby Jackson
James Williams


CB
Nate Odomes
Offense
[2]
WR
James Lofton
LT LG C RG RT
Will Wolford Jim Ritcher Kent Hull John Davis Howard Ballard
TE
Keith McKeller
WR
Andre Reed
QB
Jim Kelly
RB
Thurman Thomas
FB
Jamie Mueller
Special Teams
PK Scott Norwood
P Rick Tuten
KR Don Smith
PR Al Edwards


Awards and records

References

  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 262.
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference: 1990 Buffalo Bills
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1990 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics.
  4. ^ Pro-football-reference.com: Bruce Smith.
  5. ^ "1990 Buffalo Bills Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "Official Site of the National Football League". Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  7. ^ "BillsZone – by Bills fans for Bills fans". Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  8. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 292
  9. ^ O'Donnell, Chuck. Mark Bavaro: the former Giants tight end remembers being on pins and needles as Buffalo's Scott Norwood lined up for his ill-fated field goal in Super Bowl 25, Football Digest, June 2005, accessed May 9, 2007.

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