Today, July 16th, is 716 Day. Of course, 716 is Buffalo’s area code, so it seems fitting to write about the Buffalo Bills on 716 Day. Below you’ll find the 7 best Bills games that I’ve seen in my lifetime, followed by 16 of the best Buffalo Bills that I’ve had the chance to see personally.
7 Best Games I’ve Ever Seen
All seven of these games probably should have come from the Super Bowl years, but I did add one game from the early 2000s.
1. The Comeback Game
This is probably the greatest game in Bills history. The game was blacked out locally but I remember watching this game at my aunt’s house, thanks to a satellite dish the size of a pool. Buffalo, led by backup QB Frank Reich, came back from 32 points down to defeat the Oilers 41-38.
2. 1990 AFC Championship
This game was an absolute blowout. Buffalo defeated the Los Angeles Raiders 51-3 on their way to their first Super Bowl.
3. 1991 AFC Championship
One year after blowing out the Raiders, the Bills defeated the Denver Broncos 10-7 in a defensive battle. It wasn’t the prettiest of games and the Bills actually knocked John Elway out of the game, but they did enough to hold onto the win.
4. 1990 AFC Divisional Round Game
One week before blowing out the Raiders, the Bills found themselves in a shootout against the Dolphins. Buffalo’s greatest rivalry during my childhood was with Miami, so they needed to be mentioned somewhere on the list. Buffalo went on to defeat the Dolphins by the score of 44-34.
5. No Punt Game
The Bills took on the 49ers in a game in which no punts were recorded early in the 1992 season. Buffalo won the game 34-31.
6. 1993 AFC Championship
On their way to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl, the Bills took on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills won the game 30-13 behind Thurman Thomas’ 186 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
7. Bills 31-0 Win vs. Patriots
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have made defeating the Bills look easy in their respective careers, but there was one game in which Brady and Belichick were outmatched. Buffalo held Brady to 123 yards passing and the future Hall of Fame QB threw four interceptions against the Bills. Perhaps the most memorable play of the game was Sam Adams’ 37-yard interception return for a touchdown. A photo of his TD was featured on Sports Illustrated the following week.
16 Best Players I’ve Ever Seen
This list is strictly based upon their time with the Bills. For that reason, a player like James Lofton doesn’t make the cut. Keep in mind, this is just a personal list and after the top seven, the list is no longer in a specific order.
1. Bruce Smith
Not much needs to be said about Smith. Out of his 200 career sacks, 171 came with the Bills. He could play the pass and run well and opposing teams had to gameplan against him weekly.
2. Jim Kelly
No Bills quarterback in my lifetime has come close to being as good as Kelly. Kelly ran Buffalo’s K-Gun offense flawlessly and helped lead the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls.
3. Thurman Thomas
The former league MVP could do it all. Thomas was one of the league’s most elusive backs and was dangerous as a receiver. The running back was also a great blocker.
4. Andre Reed
Reed, Buffalo’s most recent Hall of Fame player, was Kelly’s favorite target during the heyday of the team. Reed could stretch the field, but he wasn’t afraid to go across the middle of the field.
5. Kent Hull
Hull never received the national praise that he deserved during his career. In my book, Hull is a Hall of Fame caliber player and he was vital to running Buffalo’s K-Gun offense.
6. Darryl Talley
Talley was the heart and soul of the Super Bowl Bills defenses. Talley could attack the quarterback and drop into coverage. He was also terrific against the run.
7. Cornelius Bennett
Bennett is another underappreciated Bills player and he deserves to be on Buffalo’s Wall of Fame. The linebacker is fourth all-time in Bills sack history with 52.5 sacks.
8. Steve Tasker
Tasker is another player that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Not only is Tasker Buffalo’s best special teams player of all-time, you could argue that he’s the NFL’s greatest special teams player ever. Special teams players don’t get the respect they deserve, but Tasker is a player who deserves to be in Canton at some point.
9. Eric Moulds
Moulds is the first player who on the list who didn’t come from the Super Bowl Bills teams. He is second all-time in Bills history in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns despite having lackluster QB play. One can only imagine what his numbers would have looked like if he had a strong QB throughout his time with the Bills.
10. Ruben Brown
Brown made the Pro Bowl in eight of nine seasons with the Bills. His stellar play earned him respect and recognition around the NFL.
11. Jim Ritcher
Ritcher is another Bills player from the Super Bowl years. The offensive lineman made 167 starts in his career with the Bills from 1980-1993.
12. Kyle Williams
There are Bills currently on the team that could make this list in the future, but for now only Kyle Williams belongs. Despite that fact that he’s a defensive tackle, Williams has 35.5 sacks in his career with Buffalo, this is good for seventh all-time in team history. In addition to being a terrific pass rusher, Williams has been a force on the interior against the run.
13. Aaron Schobel
Schobel is second all-time in Bills history. He had 78 sacks during his time in Buffalo and was a terrific player on some pretty bad teams. Schobel had eight-plus sacks in six of his nine seasons with the Bills.
14. Phil Hansen
Hansen is third all-time in sacks for the Bills. He registered 61.5 sacks with Buffalo. He started his career in 1991 during Buffalo’s heyday and played with the team all the way to 2001.
15. Henry Jones
Jones spent 10 seasons in Buffalo and had one Pro Bowl season in 1992. He was a ten year starter with Buffalo.
16. Nate Odomes
In seven seasons with Buffalo, Odomes started in 107 games and recorded 26 interceptions. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and the team’s top cornerback during their Super Bowl years.
Bills fans, what are the seven best games that you’ve personally seen? Who are the 16 best Bills players that you’ve had the chance to watch in your lifetime? Share your thoughts in the Rockpile Forum!