September 13, 1992: Buffalo Bills vs. San Francisco 49ers
Historical Game of the Week
By Ken Crippen
- Professional Football Researchers Association
Published: November 23rd, 2008
September 13, 1992
Buffalo Bills 34
San Francisco 49ers 31
The Buffalo Bills were coming off their second straight Super Bowl defeat when they started their 1992 season. Both Buffalo and San Francisco were 1-0 after the first week. The immortal Joe Montana was no longer the quarterback, but future Hall of Famer Steve Young had taken over the team was successful. With Jim Kelly and Steve Young battling it out, the fans knew that they were in for a shootout. They were not disappointed.
The Bills had the ball first and started to move. The drive would end when Tim Harris recovered a Jim Kelly fumble. The 49ers were now in possession and started to drive. Young tossed a 23-yard pass to Odessa Turner for the first score of the game. The Buffalo Bills started in a four-receiver set, which gave Steve Tasker his first start of his professional career. The Bills drove deep into 49er territory, but were only able to come out with a Steve Christie field goal. Both teams continued as the game saw scoring on the next six consecutive possessions.
In the end, the offensive firepower of both teams racked up an impressive 1,086 yards of total offense, which was the fourth highest in NFL history. Jim Kelly passed for 403 yards, which made him the first Buffalo Bills quarterback to break the 400-yard mark. Steve Young kept pace and ended the game with 449 yards passing. Both quarterbacks had three touchdowns to their credit. Nate Odomes summed up the game as follows, “You saw two of the finest offensive teams on the field today, and two not very good defensive teams.”
The Bills went on to an 11-5 record for the season to tie the Miami Dolphins for the divisional title. The Dolphins had the tie-breaker, so Buffalo made the playoffs as a wildcard. First up, was a rematch with the Houston Oilers. The Bills met the Oilers in the final week of the season and lost 27-3. The rematch was one for the history books, as the Bills came back from a 32-point deficit to win 41-38 in overtime. This victory propelled Buffalo past Pittsburgh 24-3 and Miami 29-10, en route to their third straight Super Bowl appearance. The 49ers went on to a 14-2 record, but lost 30-20 to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Conference Championship Game.