Classic Bills Video of the Week: The No-Punt Game


Welcome to Classic Bills Video of the Week. Each week, I’m going to pull a classic Bills video off Youtube and give you my thoughts as I watch it.

In this week’s classic Bills video, we’re going to watch a fantastic QB battle between Steve Young and Jim Kelly as the Bills take on the 49ers in a contest from 1992. Both offenses were fantastic, as the game featured 1086 yards of total offense and (for the first time in NFL history) no punts.

My thoughts after the jump:

0:04 – Man, Steve Young was an athlete. That little pump fake before he takes off on the run was beautiful.

0:15 – The 49ers strike first as Young hits a WIDE OPEN receiver for an easy 24-yard score. Someone blew an assignment here. It’s made more embarrassing when safety Mark Kelso doesn’t really even attempt to make a touchdown saving tackle. Nice work, D.

0:35 – Kelly hits backup tight end Pete Metzelaars (remember him) for a big gain. The announcers made a point to say that he “lumbers” down the field. Anytime a slow guy makes a big gain, he either “lumbered” or “rumbled” down the field in announcer-speak.

1:10 – Remember when we used to have to actually wait to get the scores from the other games in the league. Here we have NBC bragging about their “ten minute updates.” Awesome.

2:15 – Kelly hits Thurman Thomas for an easy 20-yard touchdown when the Bills go five-wide and the 49ers attempt to cover Thomas with a linebacker. It does not work.

3:08 – Thomas turns what should have been a loss (which would have led to a punt) into a 50-yard gain as he dodges a bunch of tacklers in the backfield and busts into the open field. One of the coolest things about watching these old games is regaining my appreciation for how good some of these guys were.

3:30 – Getting slammed into the dirt in these combo baseball/football stadiums can’t feel too good.

3:55 – Either the 49ers offense was amazing on this day, or the Bills secondary was absolutely awful. 49er receivers are constantly wide open.

4:55 – Thomas runs out of bounds because two guys five yards away are going to tackle him. I can’t decide if he’s brilliant (why sacrifice your body for a few yards when you already have a first down?) or a complete coward.

5:00 – “Lumbering” tight end Pete Metzelaars  makes a huge play for the Bills when he turns what should have been a 20-yard gain into a 50-yard touchdown by freaking embarrassing the 49er safety trying to cover him with an awesome juke move. It’s nice to see a Bills tight end actually making a play. Too bad it hasn’t happened in the past decade. The Bills now trail 24-20.

6:15 Metzelaars again! This time for a 30-yard score! For the record, Metzelaars only had 298 yards and six touchdowns this entire season.

7:00 – That’s just some embarrassing tackling right there. 31-27, 49ers.

7:45 – Driving deep in 49ers territory, Jim Kelly is intercepted, and it looks like the Bills are in real trouble.

8:05 – Steve Young drops the snap, but picks it up and runs for 12 yards anyway. This looks like it just might not be Buffalo’s day.

8:18 – Just kidding. Right after that, Young makes a terrible mistake, throwing it way behind an open receiver and right into the hands of Buffalo’s Nate Odomes. Too bad for Young, who really didn’t deserve to lose this one.

9:10: On fourth-and-4 with  3:37 to play at the 49er 20-yard-line, Marv Levy makes the seemingly obvious choice to go for it. (I say “seemingly” obvious choice because Dick Jauron probably would have punted in that situation. Wuss.) Levy’s faith is rewarded when Kelly stares down the rush and hits James Lofton for a first down.

9:35 – Thurman Thomas walks in basically untouched for a 11-yard touchdown. Bills up 34-31.

10:15 – A game-tying field goal goes wide right, and Buffalo wins a thriller. Probably as fun of a game as you’ll ever see.

Damn. I’m ready for football now. And fortunately, it’s going to happen soon.