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Why was Thurman Thomas so ineffective in the last 3 Super Bowls?


JohnNord
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3 hours ago, 13 Second Prevent Defense said:

Bruce hid it, he did not lose it.  Bruce admitted it in his HOF speech!

I think he was being facetious.

 

One of the great questions Bills fans will always have.....why did they really trade Daryle Lamonica, How hard did the Bills party prior to the Super Bowls,  and who "moved" Thurman helmet.  I have heard claims it was the pre-game ceremony that moved it and didn't put it back in the same place.  Just like the last 13 second disaster in KC....who was responsible, who made the call to kick off and who if any players missed their assignment.

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57 minutes ago, dpberr said:

For as much as I love the Bills, my conspiracy theory of those latter Super Bowl teams was that the team, despite its success, was one that was getting out of control, with multiple players with serious and/or growing substance abuse issues - booze, weed, whatever, to deal with the pain and pressure of being an NFL football player.

 

A week of partying and entertainment before the game was too much vacation time away from the guiderails that exist in Buffalo - family, especially.  

 

If the Bills stayed in Buffalo until the night before the game, or even the day of, I suspect those games would have had wildly different outcomes.   

Dallas was a bunch of church boys who never partied and certainly didn't smoke crack.  That was their secret sauce.

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3 hours ago, mjt328 said:

 

I don't agree with this.  At all.  I've never agreed with the premise the NFC was somehow superior to the AFC in those days.

Both conferences had the same rules, pulled from the same crop of players, and played each other all throughout the season.

The streak of Super Bowl wins was mostly a statistical anomaly, and a coincidence.

 

The Bills did great in the regular season against the NFC teams, and regularly beat the powerhouses like Dallas and San Francisco.  

They could handle everybody in the NFL...until they reached the Super Bowl.  They always seemed to save their worst performances for that game.  And there are multiple reasons.

 

In Super Bowl XXV (as many have pointed out), the Bills were cocky and arrogant.  They were the vastly superior team, but they did a terrible job with preparation.  Many have pointed out they partied too hard.  When the Giants came up with a unique gameplan, they failed to adjust.  Buffalo lost this game because of stupid mistakes, missed tackles and simply being overconfident.

 

In Super Bowl XXVI, the Bills and Redskins were very evenly matched on both sides of the ball.  The big difference was that Washington was more smash-mouth and Buffalo was more finesse.  The refs let the teams get very physical, which favored the Redskins.  Our offensive players (especially Kelly and Thomas) were an absolute mess that entire game.  

 

In Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, I'll agree the Cowboys were better.  They whipped us the first time.  And in the second, I think our players were absolutely crushed by the pressure of possibly losing again.  They had that game in their control until Thurman's fumble, and then it was like their confidence just disappeared.

 

 

 

 

 

I agree that I think it was overstated how much better the NFC was than AFC. The NFC did win the great majority of the SBs for a long time. But, that just means their top team was better than the AFC top team. If you look at the NFC Conf Championship games, when those were close, the SB was close (even if the NFC won). When it was a blow out, the SB was a blow out. So, I'd conclude that the SB winner was far and away the best team for those blowout years and the AFC champion was consistently evenly matched with the NFC runner up.

 

So far as the four losses, I hate to admit it but I have to agree that the Bills were outcoached in XXV. I saw an article the other day called "The Other 13 Seconds" which was about 13 seconds before the Giants punted that it took before we decided to call TO. For the other three (including XXVI), the NFC team was the better, more physical team. I don't think we were very well matched with the Redskins so need to disagree with you on that point.

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18 hours ago, Marv Levy said:

Thurmanator was hands down MVP of SB25! But they had to give it to Giants RB Ottis Anderson, who carried the ball 21 times for 102 yards and one touchdown. All because of Wide Right.

 

And some folks are not gonna like this statement, but I lay blame on Jimbo for wide right. He played that last offensive series like crap, thus forcing Norwood to kick a 47 yarder and not a chip shot! Dammit all to hell.

Oh Marv, don’t deflect all the blame from yourself now! 🥴

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17 hours ago, machine gun kelly said:

John, the answer from my memory is more simple than you think, but highlights the idiocy of Marv and Marchibroda or arrogance of Kelly if they were letting him still call plays.

 

Its simple, BB played 8 back to stop our powerhouse, no huddle passing offense.  He knew he’d have to allow rushing yards in order to stop Andre, Loftin and Beene.  He knew Kelly would destroy the Giants secondary so it’s either give up the run, or the pass.

 

The stupidity on our coaches is we should’ve figured this out fast and ran the hell out of the ball 25 times in the first half.  BB would’ve had to adjust especially if we gashed them for 2 touchdowns and adjusted To at least 6 back and then we would’ve overpowered their defensive secondary.  It was the only SB we were superior as a team and should’ve won.

 
Norwood took the fall, but it wasn’t his fault.  It was our coaches by biblical proportions.  I hate talking about it as we should have had one trophy.  We were resilient and kept coming back, but we’re outmatched.  I can accept those crappy losses, but the Giants will always burn a little.

 

Thanks for the stinging memory.  How about we think about this year as that is a positive future.

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That Bills team should have won the 1st and 4th Super Bowls. 

 

They were by far the better team for the first one. In the 4th they were dominating the game and Aikman was so concussed he didn't know where he was. That first Thurman fumble was like popping the balloon. 

 

If not for that, it could likely have been 20-6 Bills in the 3rd quarter with a Dallas QB who couldn't see straight and the Bills starting to feel some confidence and play with some swagger. Instead, it was suddenly 13-13 and "here we go again!" type mentality. 

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30 minutes ago, Jauronimo said:

Dallas was a bunch of church boys who never partied and certainly didn't smoke crack.  That was their secret sauce.

They did.  Michael Irvin's history strongly suggests it.  

 

Just handled the lifestyle better, perhaps, or were able to hold it together for big games.  

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16 hours ago, JohnNord said:

The thing is…Thurman didn't just struggle.  He had among his worst game on those Super Bowls.  Also, look at Kenneth Davis’ stats.  He his numbers are not great but they also aren’t as bad as Thurman.  Yes there could be reasons for that like garbage time but it’s just surprising to see one of the best players perform so poorly in those games

They were outmatched for sure but take a look at Davis’ stats compared to Thurman. 


It was not a nice looking drive at all.  Kelly looked a bit rattled and confused by the defense and he had to resort to short stuff to move down the fields. 

Davis was not a patient runner, Thurman was. Our line was outmatched by the Redskins and Cowboys. Probably even the Giants, but they played 1-2 lineman the whole game. We didn't have a bad line either, it was just the NFC has some powerhouse defenses in that era. We also didn't apply much threat of a passing game in any of them. I don't blame Thurman all that much for the losses. We were the better team in one of the four. In that game Thurman was a stud. About 4-5 different things could of happened and we win the first one including giving Thurman the ball more. 

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Just now, dpberr said:

They did.  Michael Irvin's history strongly suggests it.  

 

Just handled the lifestyle better, perhaps, or were able to hold it together for big games.  

I know, I was kidding.  All these guys party.  I don't think it helped but I don't think its the smoking gun as to why the Bills lost 4 straight super bowls.  

 

I think they beat themselves against the Giants and got out coached, played superior opponents the next two, and when they faced the Cowboys a second time they were gripping the bat too tight carrying the pressure of three straight losses and fell apart at the first sign of adversity.  

 

 

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19 hours ago, Augie said:

He wasn’t going up against a Bill Belichick the Great Almighty defense? 

 

Hmmmm……

 

Jimbo, just hand him the ball and we WIN! 

 

Jimbo took it as a challenge from Belichick and wasn't backing down. All he had to do was hand it to Thurman more and we likely would have won SB25.

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1 hour ago, RoyBatty is alive said:

I think he was being facetious.

 

One of the great questions Bills fans will always have.....why did they really trade Daryle Lamonica, How hard did the Bills party prior to the Super Bowls,  and who "moved" Thurman helmet.  I have heard claims it was the pre-game ceremony that moved it and didn't put it back in the same place.  Just like the last 13 second disaster in KC....who was responsible, who made the call to kick off and who if any players missed their assignment.

sarcasm.............who is being facetious now?

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54 minutes ago, CA OC Bills Fan said:

I agree that I think it was overstated how much better the NFC was than AFC. The NFC did win the great majority of the SBs for a long time. But, that just means their top team was better than the AFC top team. If you look at the NFC Conf Championship games, when those were close, the SB was close (even if the NFC won). When it was a blow out, the SB was a blow out. So, I'd conclude that the SB winner was far and away the best team for those blowout years and the AFC champion was consistently evenly matched with the NFC runner up.

 

Agree completely.

 

Over the 13-year NFC streak (1985-1997), the two top franchises in the NFL were easily the 49ers and Cowboys. 

They accounted for 7 of those Super Bowl wins, and both are considered among the greatest dynasties to play the sport.

 

The next best team during that same time period was almost certainly the Bills.  At a distant #4, it would probably be the Broncos.  

Those two AFC teams also happened to account for 7 of those Super Bowl losses.

 

Outside of San Francisco and Dallas, the two conferences were very evenly matched.  And even then, 49ers and Cowboys didn't seem quite as dominant during the regular season.  They just knew how to turn it up at the most important time... 

 

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As has been said, Thurman's stats may have been inflated (if you can call it that) by Belichick's defense playing pass all the way.

 

The next two SBs Washington & Dalls blew us out in the first half so in the second half we would have gone pass heavy downfield.

 

In the last SB against Dallas we were ahead at the half by Thurman's fumble returned for a TD changed the momentum.

 

Also the word was out that the way to slow down the K-Gun was to play keep-away; that is, run, run & run some more.  Our D had difficulty stoppong the run.  All this means fewer offensive plays for us so fewer opportunities to put that ball in Thurman's hands.

 

Football is a team game: you win or lose as a team and this is, I think illustrated by the Bill's SB losses.

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The Bills offensive line was so banged up in that Denver conference Championship that TE Pete Metzelaars was forced to play tackle late in the game.

 

Redskins SB, Injuries really hurt that years team at the end of that season. Jim Kelly was sacked 5x and concussed. Threw 4 INTs. Washington went up 17-0 in the first half. 

 

What made Buffalo so potent those glory years was that they would get a lead and unleash that fierce pass rush...not play from behind!  Again though, Buffalo simply couldn't stop the run.

 

In 1991, 14-2 Washington had the #1 offense in points and #4 in yards that season. Their defense was #2 in points allowed, #3 in yards allowed. 

 

Meanwhile, Buffalo had the #2 offense in points scored and were #1 in yards. Their defense ranked 19th in points allowed, 27th in yards allowed in 1991!! Buffalo was 6th and 8th respectively in 1990.

 

Washington was just a much better team on defense that season. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, PromoTheRobot said:

 

Jimbo took it as a challenge from Belichick and wasn't backing down. All he had to do was hand it to Thurman more and we likely would have won SB25.

 

Yep, and sometimes when someone is giving you something, you say thank you, and you just TAKE IT! 

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1 hour ago, Nihilarian said:

The Bills offensive line was so banged up in that Denver conference Championship that TE Pete Metzelaars was forced to play tackle late in the game.

 

Redskins SB, Injuries really hurt that years team at the end of that season. Jim Kelly was sacked 5x and concussed. Threw 4 INTs. Washington went up 17-0 in the first half. 

 

What made Buffalo so potent those glory years was that they would get a lead and unleash that fierce pass rush...not play from behind!  Again though, Buffalo simply couldn't stop the run.

 

In 1991, 14-2 Washington had the #1 offense in points and #4 in yards that season. Their defense was #2 in points allowed, #3 in yards allowed. 

 

Meanwhile, Buffalo had the #2 offense in points scored and were #1 in yards. Their defense ranked 19th in points allowed, 27th in yards allowed in 1991!! Buffalo was 6th and 8th respectively in 1990.

 

Washington was just a much better team on defense that season. 

 

I would throw in again the turnover battle too. Besides the defense benefiting from playing from ahead, after SB25 Buffalo couldn't get out of their own way with turnovers which continually wrecked them. SB28 is kind of a microcosm of this as in the second half the two Bills turnovers directly went to two Cowboy TD's one of which tied the game and the other led to Dallas going up 27-13 early in the 4th quarter pretty much icing it at that point.

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21 hours ago, eball said:

Bill Burr GIF by The Roku Channel

 

Exactly.  I have my own opinion but what good is it obsess over it (I'd say the same to the "13 seconds" crowd.

 

Let's enjoy THIS team for awhile 

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