Buffalo Bills: How the teams from the 90s has impacted this team


This year’s version of the Buffalo Bills is bringing flashbacks to the teams of the early 90s.

For so long the Buffalo Bills were seen as loveable losers. That was until the 2020 season began and Buffalo looked to the past to help them in the present. Assembling their roster similar to the successful ones of the ’90s, Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have given fans a reason to “billeve” as they embark on the playoffs.

It’s no secret that the Buffalo Bills have not had the most luck when it comes to the playoffs. While four-straight Super Bowl losses would leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth, the way in which Buffalo lost makes it all that worse. The infamous “wide right” kick by Scott Norwood, losing to Washington by 12, being trampled by the Cowboys 52-17 in ’93 and again in ’94 have left fans with no hope for years. Until now.

Resembling the offense of the Buffalo Bills hay days from 1990-’94 under Jim Kelly, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has implemented some of the same schemes today. The Bills now, as opposed to their one-dimensional 2010 and onward seasons, are much more versatile. With Josh Allen playing the role of Jim Kelly, Devin Singletary being Thumam Thomas, Stefon Diggs playing Andre Reed and Zack Moss filling in for Kenneth Davis, the successful roster of the 90s seems to be playing out again in the modern-day.

Scheme wise, the style of play is also similar. While Kelly was not ever seen as a rushing quarterback, he was still able to keep plays alive; much like Allen. With Andre Reed on the outside, Kelly was able to pick apart defenses. Connecting with his favorite target so often that Reed racked up two 1,000 yard seasons between 1990-1994, much like the Allen-Diggs connection we have seen all season.

If Kelly wasn’t taking the top off of the defense, he was handing it off to Thuman Thomas. Thomas was a shifty yet downfield type of running back who could get the tough yards in a third-and-four but could also make defenders look like they were wearing skates on a first-and-ten. While the Bills have not had tremendous success out of their run game, the combination of Singletary and Moss has done the job; keeping defenses honest and setting up spectacular success in play-action.

On the defensive side of the ball, the physical play of the ’90s seems to also be replicated in the 2020 Buffalo Bills.

Leaning on players like Jerry Hughes who has assumed the role of Bruce Smith, Tremaine Edmunds filling in for the punishing Darryl Talley, Matt Milano as Cornelius Bennett and A.J. Klein as Shane Conlan, the Bills have been tough to play.

While this is true now, the beginning of the season was a completely different story as they struggled in run defense. While Buffalo was a powerhouse on offense, their defense did fall short as in both ’92 and ’94, the Bills defense ranked in the bottom half of the league in points against.

Special teams also played a vital role in the team’s Super Bowl runs. While Norwood is not necessarily seen in the same light that he was prior to missing a game-winning field goal, his efforts from ’90-’91 accompanied by Steve Christie from ’92-’94 helped Buffalo thrive. Just this season, Christie’s single-season point total was passed by rookie kicker, Tyler Bass who will be leaned on to continue his historic season.

On the other side of the team’s special teams play, both Andre Roberts and Isaiah McKenzie are have brought a new threat to the Bills that the 90s never had; a true possibility to score on every return.

The 2020 Buffalo Bills have a unique opportunity in front of them that teams prior have not had the chance to do; win. Sure last season’s Buffalo Bills were able to make it to the playoffs, but they were leaps and bounds behind the team fans see taking the field today. Led by a hungry Josh Allen who looks to take his Wild Card frustration out on a competitive Indianapolis Colts team Saturday, Buffalo is for once not an underdog in the playoffs.

This is for good reason as, since the “Hail Murray’ incident against the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo has looked more and more potent as the regular season went on. Blowing out the 49ers, Dolphins, Patriots, and giving the Steelers a good beat down has set expectations high for this club. Expectations not set since the ’90s.

Next. Keys to victory for Bills against the Colts. dark

Whether this team will continue on its seemingly destined path for deep playoff success is all incumbent on Saturday’s result. For the first time in nearly three decades, the Buffalo Bills are one of the Super Bowl favorites.