1990 AFC Championship: Bills Clinch 1st Super Bowl Appearance | Raiders vs. Bills | NFL Full Game

1990 AFC Championship: Bills Clinch 1st Super Bowl Appearance | Raiders vs. Bills | NFL Full Game

>>The Raiders in the white jerseys, the Bills in the blue. As those of you who have been with us for the past half hour know, they played once before, and that’s the difference between this game being in Buffalo or in the Coliseum in Los Angeles, as the Bills, down by 10 in the fourth quarter, were able to rally. Special teams a key, and Steve Tasker, 89, helped create a couple of touchdowns. Jeff Jaeger to kick it off. Al Edwards and Don Smith are deep for Buffalo. The winner goes to Tampa and Super Bowl XXV. High, but a kick that is knocked down by the wind. On the run, it’s Don Smith. And he is covered well at the 25-yard line. Well, their most valuable player, their leader, despite a gimpy knee — and it’s a lot more sore than Kelly has indicated. Wolford, Ritcher, Hull — a Pro Bowler — Davis, and Ballard to protect him. It’s Thurman Thomas — one of the great backs in the game. Jamie Mueller — he won’t start. They’re gonna go with the three wideouts. Lofton and Reed, with McKeller. And when Mueller is out, the third wide receiver is rookie Al Edwards. Edwards to the right, Lofton and Reed to left, as they start out in the no-huddle shotgun. And give to Thurman Thomas. And he has a first down to the 37-yard line. Eddie Anderson made the tackle. No-huddle, and the Bills come out on the attack. This time, no running back, as they use a triple-right with Thomas out there. And throw to him. Another first down at the Raider 49. 13 more.>>They forced the Raiders, Dick, into a basic defense, a 2-deep defense, calling it automatically. And the Bills are getting that ball in play a lot quicker than people expected. They’re right up there ready to go. The Raiders can’t call anything other than a very basic defense.>>Same formation — triple-right. And it’s Reed now with another first down. Three plays, three first downs, and Buffalo goes from the 25 to the Raider 34.>>Jim Kelly calling these plays. He’s gonna go all out. So often, an assistant coach calling them will be much more conservative and plot things out. But Jim just goes after you. And what a difference.>>We asked him, is this the biggest game of your life? “Are you kidding,” he said. “By all means.” And here is Thomas on the inside hand-off. He gets another five to the Raider 29. 11 games, including last week against Miami, and they’ve scored eight touchdowns in the opening the drive. And they seem to be zeroing in on that 7 points early today.>>The same defense each way by the Raiders, so Kelly knows exactly what he’s getting.>>Over the middle. Open is Thomas. First down at the 20. Oh, my. Tackled by Robinson.>>Tom Benson was trying to cover Thomas that time, and he’s just not quick enough, especially on this surface that’s not the kind of thing where you get good friction. So they’re just isolating the linebackers inside, and the Raiders, at this point — you see there. Now they’re gonna have to stop play and get themselves regrouped.>>Yeah, the Raiders are gonna spend a time-out right now. Art Shell trying to stop the tide.>>The Raiders have stayed in the same automatic defense every play, with two deep safeties, short people all across the front. And the problem is that the Bill receivers crossing have left that Raider team without an ability to stay with those people. So just what the Bills wanted, the Raiders gave them.>>Dave Adolph, the defensive coordinator, and he’s seeing what Tom Olivadotti and the Miami Dolphins had to contend with last week. Boy, what a run. They start at the 25. Thurman Thomas goes 12, Thomas, 13, pass to Reed for 16, Thomas for 5, Thurman for 9 more, now they’ve taken Benson and Robinson out. No, Robinson comes back in. So does Ellison. And the throw is to McKeller, the tight end. Keith McKeller to the 11.>>The Raiders stayed in their basic defense even after a time-out. So they must feel very confident. One of their problems would be Riki Ellison, number 50, who made that stop, Riki’s strictly a run defender, and he’s sitting back in there trying to play guys that are much quicker than he is.>>Look how quickly Kelly is getting his team set up. Second and a yard. Kelly looking for 6. First time he’s pressured. Throws complete again — Thomas. And a first down, goal to go, at the 6-yard line for Buffalo.>>Kelly held his ground. He had a big push all across that front with Davis, in particular, right down his throat., He held his line until he just was able to drop the ball off at the last second.>>Edwards to the left on the tight-end side, with Lofton and Reed to the right. The give to Thomas. And he’s toppled at the 3. That’s a moral victory for the Raiders — only a 3-yard gain. Bob Golic the nose tackle, and one of the best in the league — this is his 11th from Notre Dame — made the stop. Golic, who had his chances with Cleveland twice to go to the Super Bowl denied by the Denver Broncos in the championship game. Second and goal. Kelly on that gimpy knee. Wide open. Touchdown, Andre Reed! But a flag is down. and they’re going to call it back — holding against the Bills.>>Jim Ritcher, left guard, grabbed Scott Davis at the last second. The referee just could not miss it.>>Holding, 69.>>Veteran Jim Tunney, after 31 years as one of the top officials in all of sport, announcing his retirement. This is his final game in the black-and-white of the NFL.>>Jim Ritcher the left guard right here, at the last second will hold Scott Davis. Now, you see Scott’s in pretty good position shoving back. Now there it is. Right there. At the last second, he feels he has to do it. I think he could have gotten away with just basic protection. Kelly was gonna get the ball off anyway.>>So the first score is nullified. Now second and goal. Uh-oh, a bad snap, and Kelly somehow gets out of the trouble. And throws to Lofton for a touchdown! [ Crowd cheering ] 13 yards to the veteran Lofton, one of the great players in the National Football League, and in his 13 seasons never got this far at Green Bay or with the Raiders. But now the veteran Lofton who gets the big plays lights up the board with the first 6 for Buffalo.>>Greg Townsend lost his contain on Kelly. When he saw the ball on the ground, he went in after it. And Kelly picked it up and ran right outside where he belonged.>>Scott Norwood nails the extra point, and they’re happy in Buffalo. They lead 7-0.>>All: Let’s go Buffalo.>>So the Bills lead in a hurry 7-0, as Jim Kelly dissects one of the best defenses in the league. 6 for 6 on that opening drive, and the touchdown throw to Lofton of 13 yards. Kelly, who throws a party for his teammates after every home game, trying to assure himself that it’ll be all smiles and fun about four hours from now here in Buffalo.>>Well, it was one of those broken plays, and Howie Long saw that ball on the ground, and he went in there for it, and that’s just where Kelly happened to run when he picked the ball up. It comes down to Jamie Holland. And Holland ripped at the 19-yard line by a special teams on the kickoff that is best in the league four straight years in allowing the least kickoff return yardage.>>This is the kind of thing that just breaks a game wide open. A bad snap, Kelly should be losing the ball, he’s caught. But you see 75 went in there after the ball. Now watch Lofton moving around. He makes three different moves. Washington trying to hold him. And all Lofton was trying to do was get open at the last second and be an outlet, and Kelly found him.>>Boy, is that a veteran’s play at wide receiver. Didn’t bother him by being held or anything else. He just knew that if something happened, he would be open. Jay Schroeder starts at his own 19. Steve Smith and Marcus Allen with him. And he comes out gunning. Lots of time. Down the middle to Fernandez, and a first down at the Raider 45. Not unlike that play of Game 5 of the regular season when Schroeder went to Fernandez deep over the middle.>>That’s what the Raiders like — that 20-yard pattern down the middle — and the linebackers have to get deeper and deeper. Bentley has to get back there, Conlan has to get back there. And they just can’t get that deep that quickly enough. And believe me, Schroeder showed poise there, because he had to wait on that thing for five full seconds.>>26 yards for Mervyn Fernandez who enjoyed played in the cold climes of the CFL before coming to Los Angeles — a star in the Canadian league. Play-action for Schroeder again. And wide open in Gault. And Willie Gault skids out of bounds at the Bills’ 30-yard line.>>In speaking with Al Davis last night, he said, “we have to score with these guys. We can’t expect to control the ball and keep them off the field. We’ve got to score.” And here’s a good look at Willie Gault. Straight up the field. Behind all that was a play-pass that held the linebackers just long enough for Willie to get a clean release.>>Boy, 2 plays, 50 yards for the Raiders — 26 to Fernandez, 24 to Gault.>>Well, the Raiders aren’t gonna be intimidated by that drive. They’re gonna come out with one of their own.>>Schroeder to throw again. Deflected, as it was aimed for Ethan Horton, broken up by Darryl Talley, the underrated but certainly not underappreciated linebacker of the Bills.>>The Raiders had to plan on a way to block Smith. Now you’ll see Graves, number 60, with him doing a pretty darn good job. And then getting picked right up immediately. Beautiful job by Wisniewski. Now that was the plan — to slide that pass protection towards Smith. But in doing it, Mosebar will be one-on-one with Jeff Wright the nose guard all day. The center and the nose guard are one-on-one.>>Lined up in an “I” this time is Smith and Allen. Marcus gets his first carry of the game. Talley can’t get him, but closed him down enough that Allen able to make only 5 before Bentley can make the tackle.>>Marcus was stopped there, Dick. He was stopped, and somehow he spun and got going the other way. In fact, the crowd was cheering the tackle, and he still made another 5 yards.>>Allen having trouble getting his right shoe back on,>>Tim Brown is in the game on third and 5. Brown to the right, Gault left, and Fernandez way out to the right. This big crowd chanting, cheering their Bills defense. Third and 5. And there the throw. Oh, he can’t hang on, Mervyn Fernandez, incomplete is the call. The pass was there. Fernandez unable to tuck it away. And, so, the Raiders will attempt a field goal, as Jeff Gossett comes in to hold for Jeff Jaeger.>>Well, it was there, and he just didn’t handle the ball. But both — this is gonna be a great game, Dick. These teams are really playing well, but they’re opening up everything, throwing that ball.>>It will be a 41-yard attempt by Jaeger, who is 15 for 20 on the year. Had a 49-yarder into the wind at the Coliseum last week. In the bank, so the Raiders don’t get the 7, but like the Bills, are able to score on their opening possession, 9:11 left in the first period. Watch Jaeger as he hits this field goal and loses his footing, yet still has enough power to drive it through for the 41-yard, 3-pointer. And that could be a factor as it becomes colder and more slippery. This carpet has very little fiber left. It’s 9 years old. This is the last game they’ll play on it. They’ll chop it up and sell it for charity causes or for someone’s good benefit.>>Doormats, whatever.>>And of course, if the Bills should go to the Super Bowl, it’ll bring a price. 7-3. 10 points scored in the first six minutes of the game. Another short kick. And this one goes to Al Edwards. Edwards through a crowd, and out to the 34-yard line.>>Dave Adolph had better got the adjustments in-hand during that Raider offensive drive. Adolph, the Raider defensive coordinator, had better made adjustments.>>And it’s Thurman Thomas. He gets very little, trying to duck through a hole. That’s right. They put in the extra defensive back, Garry Lewis, number 21. It was Eddie Anderson who made that last hit. And a gain of 2.>>You know, Dick, they went the entire drive that last time without Lewis. So now he’s in there — Lewis, number 21, is the coverage man.>>Out of the shotgun, and they go deep for Lofton, He’s got it! And out of bounds at the Raider 23!>>Now that was against Lionel Washington, supposedly the best coverage man for the Raiders. But Lofton still has the speed. But what a championship effort to go after that ball. That was almost a superhuman effort. He knew the stakes, and he was possessed going for that ball.>>He was 9 years old when his dad took him to Super Bowl I in the Coliseum. Kelly gets a second chance. Gonna run it. And finds shelter on the far sidelines after an 11-yard gain. Robinson chased him out of bounds.>>The defensive tackles, Howie Long and Scott Davis, are trying so hard to get to Kelly, they gave him running room between them. So this offense is extremely well-executed — Kelly, number one, a great passer, Thomas a fine runner, and these guys are caught in between. The minute they really tee off, Thurman Thomas or Kelly are gonna be running. There it is now. There it goes.>>Thomas breaking tackles. He has a touchdown! [ Crowd cheering ]>>A basic draw, and Thurman Thomas says this is his play. This is his best play. All four Raider defensive lineman were coming up the field, there was a lot of running room, and, of course, this is one of the very best running backs in football.>>Two possessions and two impressive quick marches engineered by Kelly, and Thomas with a payoff run of 12. 8:00 to go in the first quarter, and the Bills already with 14. Now, in case you were away for this NFL year and are just joining us today, you see why the Bills were the most successful offensive team in the league. They averaged nearly 27 points a game. The top scoring team against a team second-toughest to score against — touchdowns. The Raiders second only to the Giants. And Marv Levy’s team, just as they played against Miami last Sunday, are really in a wonderful groove. It just appears the Raiders, at least on those two possessions, didn’t come close to stopping them.>>Well, apparently what the Raiders practiced against wasn’t good enough. They didn’t get a good enough picture in preparation for this game, because right now, the Bills are quicker and are executing so much better. And the Raider style of getting their four defensive lineman to smash up that field and blast between people is killing them. And we’ll show you. After this kickoff, we’ll get a look at why.>>There’s Howie Long with that fractured hand. They’ve got the bandage around the thumb, as well. You wonder how much that’s hampering his All-Pro style of play. Norwood skids one low over Smith’s head. Jamie Holland. And he doesn’t get to the 25-yard line. Let’s go back to Thomas’ touchdown run.>>John Davis, the right guard, will do a fine job on Howie Long because Howie’s gonna want to stunt to the inside. And Davis will just simply wait and then turn him in. And away goes Howie. Now Lewis, the cornerback right here, should make this stop. He’s in good position to do it. And he just takes the wrong angle.>>Jim Kelly, 7 for 7, 106 yards and a touchdown in less than half this first period. Trailing 14-3, the Raiders start from their own 23. Schroeder with that deep Raider drop. And throws too tall for Fernandez over the middle.>>Well, he wanted Gault down the middle, and Kelso was in beautiful position to take it away. That’s why you saw Schroeder just wait, wait, wait, and finally run and then throw on the run and miss his guy. But he wanted the ball down the field. I think the Raiders fully realize they’re gonna have to get big chunks of yardage to hang in there in this game.>>That’s Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills. Apparently, someone with a bloody nose or a bloody hand. You also saw on the back of their helmets an added insignia for the Raiders. We’ll tell you about that in a moment. Marcus Allen. Gets away from Bruce Smith. But coming crossfield to make the hit, Leonard Smith, the safety man, after a gain of 4 or 5.>>Smith made a beautiful play. He took just the right angle to cut Marcus off. Now, Marcus’ speed is just fair to average for a running back. He makes people miss, but now here’s a look at Smith coming up the field. He’s got a good play on Marcus, and Marcus is just gonna jump right outside of him with those great instincts. But then a lack of speed hurt him from really taking advantage of it.>>Third down and 7, as Tim Brown comes in. Incomplete, and the pressure was applied by Jeff Wright, the nose tackle who chased Schroeder to the far sidelines, where his pass was errant on the run.>>He just threw that ball into the ground, Dick. He got rid of it. He didn’t want to take a chance with an interception. Good thinking, other than the fact that the Raiders haven’t even slowed the Bills down yet. And I don’t know what they can do, I really don’t, because their style of defense is playing right into the Bills’ hands.>>Jeff Gossett with a 38.6 average on the regular season, but a good net of 33-plus… to kick to Al Edwards with 10 men up front for the Bills. You got to watch this Bills club. They’re very good at going after the kicker, second, perhaps, only to Kansas City. Gossett with a high punt. Edwards at his 34. Good return out to the 46-yard line. Now let’s check that Raider defense, see if there’s any adjustments.>>See if we can –>>There is a flag down. Excuse me, Bill. Let’s check on the penalty. It’s ineligible man downfield against the Raiders. Good return by Buffalo. You’d guess — yes, they are going to decline the call.>>Well, let’s look for Garry Lewis, number 21, in that Raider defensive huddle.>>Number 84, kicking team, illegally downfield. Penalty is declined.>>If Garry Lewis, 21, is in, they’re in there to — there he comes. This is the Raider nickel defense with an extra defensive back. But this is what Kelly and Thomas ran on the last series and ran for big yardage. So the Raiders are caught in between. At some point, they’ve got to find something that works. It means maybe a Townsend or one of those guys — Davis — has to make a stop, make a sack.>>And there’s 46 in there, Torin Dorn, so they have six defensive backs in. So they’ve gone to really their dime defense — four down lineman, a linebacker, and six defensive backs. And there goes Howie Long reacting to some movement. We’ll see whether or not big Howard Ballard pulled him offside.>>That’s the best play the Raiders have had right there — that 5-yard penalty. I’m not sure yet.>>That’s right. No signal yet as to against whom. Long, who is lightning quick off the ball.>>Number 75, delayed the start of the play, False start, offense. Still first down.>>Well, both 75s — Howard Ballard, he gets the 5-yard call.>>You’ll see this right here, just a touch of movement. Right there.>>So first and 15 for Kelly, who’s 7 for 7 off the top of the game.>>Well, they’ve got their — they’re loaded up with those defensive backs, which means some of them are gonna have to make the stops on the runs. And they’re not that big a group against a guy like Thomas.>>Kelly completed his last three passes against Miami, so he’s had 10 in a row. Not this time. Almost intercepted. Lionel Washington downfield, as the pass was too high for Thurman Thomas.>>Jerry Robinson was trying to cover Thomas, and he wasn’t even close. Just a bad throw.>>Actually, that was Torin Dorn, 46, closest to the play, but he had slipped.>>Now, you see number 57 getting out there to try to make the play, and didn’t get close.>>Still no-huddle for the Bills. And there’s Andre Reed. The Pro Bowler out to the 45 of the Raiders where it will be third and a long 1. 14.>>Dick, we talked about it before the game. Everyone knew that Reed crossing the middle or Thomas coming out of the backfield was the key. And the Raiders haven’t cut them off at all. They haven’t gotten people deep enough to cut those people off.>>Part of that great draft in ’85 of wide receivers. There’s Thurman Thomas burrowing for the first down to the Raider 40-yard line. Long made the tackle. But back to Reed, from Kutztown. You had the Al Toons and Jerry Rices and Eddie Browns, and he was around until the fourth round.>>Well, you see the Raiders are all playing standing up. They’re playing against the blockers who are standing up. Thomas went underneath it.>>Thomas, one-handed catch. Boy, he can do everything. Here’s the man that leads the NFL in all-purpose yards last year, again this year. Rushing and receiving, what a package he is from Oklahoma State.>>Well, we talked about exotic defenses, defenses where there are blitzes, designed blitzes. The Raiders have yet to use one. It could very well be that it’s because of the no-huddle offense. They can’t get the call in and get it orchestrated quickly enough.>>Thomas comes out. Kenneth Davis, 23, in for the first time.>>Look at the protection, Dick.>>Incomplete, as Eddie Anderson came up to make the hit.>>The Raider defensive linemen are actually slowing down — slowing down.>>And it’s Al Edwards who is down, the intended receiver. And Anderson, who is one of the most lethal tacklers in the game, really applied a good pop.>>Looks like there was a collision he didn’t even see coming.>>Yeah, he got pinched.>>The Raider pass rushers have slowed down. Down after down, they’ve been coming up the field, and you can see them really getting just stopped in their tracks. Look at the room. Now, Townsend on the far right didn’t even get off the ball, so they’re tiring. They’re getting winded. I’m not sure they’re tiring, but that can really have a profound effect on this game, because if they get all that time, they can’t miss. You’ve got to see a blitz here sooner or later. The Raiders are gonna have to take off on these guys and just see what happens.>>Edwards being helped off. They are a little short, are the Bills, at the wide receiver position because of the injury earlier this year to Don Beebe. So it’s Steve Tasker, the special teams star who caught only two passes all year — Tasker will come in as the third wide receiver.>>Well, listen, this gives the Raider defense time to just talk things over, but the strategy’s going to have to change. In the first quarter, Dick, they’re gonna have to start gambling. It sounds ridiculous in a championship game, but in order to get there, they’re gonna have to gamble. They’ve got to slow Kelly down or disrupt what he’s doing.>>Now the 5’9″ Tasker from Northwestern goes wide right, as they attend to Edwards, with Lofton and Reed left — Reed slotted. He’s looking for Thomas and finds him. And it’s inter– Is that — yes, it is intercepted by Garry Lewis. It went right out of the hands of Thomas to Lewis who was covering him. And the Raiders get a much-needed turnover defensively from Lewis, the rookie from Alcorn State.>>It looked as though Thomas had the ball. Now, he’s not the primary receiver. You see Kelly looking around and then finding him. Oh, and then the ball comes right off his hands and right to Lewis. Well, the Raiders needed a break, Dick.>>And they take over just as Kelly had driven the Bills back into scoring position at the Raider 19.>>Looked like Thomas wanted to run with it before he actually caught it.>>Lewis, who missed several games this year with a fractured collarbone, gets his first interception of his rookie year, and it comes in a big playoff spot. Marcus Allen eats it for 2. Charging through was Leon Seals, number 96, and Cornelius Bennett.>>The two outside people just — that time, they brought six people right across the line of scrimmage. There was nowhere to go with the ball. And the penetration is there. In the first quarter, the Bills are outhitting the Raiders. They’re getting there quicker. They’re getting there quicker.>>Schroeder, who hit his first two passes. Second and 12. How’d he get out of that? Schroeder sliding, as his skills developed at UCLA and then for four years in the Toronto Blue Jay organization as a catcher.>>Well, we get a look at the great Smith. Right here, he gets inside of Graves. He’s done that all year. He’ll slant down across the face of the tackle, the guard, and even the center. You’ll see him come all the way inside of everybody. And they lose track of him. Now there was a face mask.>>Looked like there was a face mask in there, too. Third down and 6 for the Raiders.>>A blitz.>>Schroeder just does get it out. Intercepted by Darryl Talley. Talley at the 10. Talley — touchdown, Buffalo! [ Crowd cheering ] Darryl Talley from West Virginia, he had a touchdown on an interception during the regular year. The number-one tackler on this Bills defense, he said, “you know, I would have been a terrific Raider.” Well, the Raiders don’t think he’s so terrific. It’s 20-3 Buffalo.>>Schroeder didn’t even see him. He was right in the way, and Schroeder didn’t even spot him just standing there.>>Norwood has the extra point, and it’s 21-3 Buffalo on a 27-yard touchdown return by Darryl Talley.>>A combination of pressure by Smith right here — combination of pressure coming underneath again — Wisniewski this time. Now you’ll see the throw, and Talley will be right in the way of the throw. You see him standing right here, and the ball is gonna be throw right to him. So he was zoning off, Schroeder didn’t account for him.>>Showed pretty good speed. Tim Brown couldn’t bring him down from behind.>>Now, you’ll see Talley dropping right to this area and just standing there. Meanwhile, Smith put so much pressure on Schroeder, he has to move, and there’s Talley just in the way. Now I can’t tell you why Talley was there. It looked like he had someone to cover who must have been blocking, so he just dropped back and stood there right in the way. But again it’s the pressure that’s forcing Schroeder to make his decisions far too quickly, much more quickly than he’s accustomed to.>>Well, the patriotic spirit of these Buffalo fans is quite obvious in the emotions and all the pregame exercises and the Anthem, much as we saw yesterday in Chicago at the NHL All-Star Game. And the red, white, and blue of the Bills out to a 21-3 lead with 3:09 left in the first quarter — this scoring machine for Buffalo. And Marv Levy and Ted Marchibroda — we should give him credit, the offensive coordinator. What did Lofton say to us about how well-schooled the wide receivers and quarterbacks are with Marchibroda?>>Well, Marchibroda will give them a package of, let’s just say, 12 plays for their no-huddle. And they’ll have a sequence of using them. So the coach is still directly involved, but by and large, they’re pass plays.>>Scott Norwood with Clifford Hicks assisting on the hold. Down it comes to Jamie Holland. Carlton Bailey, whose father is fighting in the Gulf Crisis, makes a solid tackle on special teams.>>Smith hogtying Schroeder. Seeing the touchdown — Schroeder couldn’t see it. Smith knew first.>>Bruce Smith, the all-everything defensive lineman of the Buffalo Bills. Name a category, and Bruce’s name is usually at the top of the Buffalo list. His 19 sacks, perhaps, the most impressive, as he finished just behind the brilliant Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs for the NFL lead.>>You rarely see a defensive lineman that can dominate not only the man attempting to block him, but the next man he’s confronted with, he can still dominate. And this is, in my opinion, the best defensive player in the league today.>>How important is this possession, Bill?>>Oh, boy. They’ve just got to get first downs. They’ve got to show something right now.>>Steve Smith the fullback from Penn State. And he barrels out to the 27-yard line. Bentley along with Leonard Smith on the tackle. It was Smith there first — no relation.>>One thing that the Raider offense better do is get that Raider defense a rest. So if they can just consume some time to get the Raider defense to regroup and install or implement some of their blitzes, so when they come back out, they can stop this Bills team. So the Raiders not only have to score, but they’ve got to give that Raider defense some rest.>>7 yards for Smith on the carry — his first. And he gets it again. And with it, a first down. He ran well against the Bills in the regular season. The Raiders get their first first down rushing the football. Leon Seals made the tackle. Al Davis, former coach, general manager, and managing partner of the Raiders — he is Mr. Raider, the “win, baby, win” man, but he’s gonna have to find some real magic for his club to rally from this impressive start in Buffalo today.>>Well, in speaking with Al, he believes this team is actually a year away. He knows there’s certain facets of it that haven’t been developed as well as they will be a year from now. But, still, they’re a game away from the Super Bowl.>>Marcus is slotted left. Smith the lone running back on first down. And Smith gets it again. Hit hard, but look at the drive of Smith, who is a 240-pound fullback who used to block for D.J. Dozier with the Nittany Lions in their championship year of ’86 under Joe Paterno. Shane Conlan, his teammate at Penn State, made the tackle.>>They practiced against and scrimmaged against each other year after year. They really know each other. Good friends. But Conlan’s filled that hole and Smith’s filled it and blocked in it, so they know each other physically.>>Second and a short 5. Smith again. So Art Shell and Terry Robiskie, his offensive coordinator — figuring that they’re keying on Marcus, the passing game; let’s not risk another interception — trying the fairly rarely-used Steve Smith. There’s Robiskie, as we’re down to the final minute of this opening quarter.>>Robiskie’s being tested himself. This is his first year of calling year, of coordinating an offense. And this is obviously the biggest test he’ll have, especially down 21-3.>>Final play of the opening period. Game clock and corner clock are exactly the same. Third and 4. Schroeder guns incomplete. That wasn’t near either Fernandez or Horton. End of the first quarter — all Buffalo, 21-3. As we go the second period, let’s go back to the last play. Schroeder was looking right. Marcus Allen appeared to be wide open to the left, Bill.>>Marcus came to the outside, and Talley came out to cover him. Now, this is just what the Raiders want — when you can get that running back outside with a much bigger and less active linebacker covering him — but Schroeder had something else in mind. What worries me right this minute, Dick, Schroeder looks rattled. He’s thrown two errant passes — one interception and the last incomplete pass — and they’re going to have to settle this guy down. It’s that simple.>>So we start the second quarter. The Bills leading 21-3. And Nate Odomes will be their punt return man, as you look at Schroeder perhaps getting some counsel and comfort from upstairs from his tutor, the quarterbacks coach Mike White.>>Well, when he’s played well, they’ve won. But of course, you can say that about any quarterback on any team. But he has made the big plays, the big deep passes that Davis likes so much. But right now, he’s gonna have to complete 60% or 70%. But six in a row incomplete, and that’s trouble.>>Nate Odomes for the injured Al Edwards — a role that Odomes is not totally accustomed to since that fell in the rookie’s lap during the year. Gossett delivers a wobbly short kick to Odomes. 30. As I said…[Chuckles] Doesn’t feel all that comfortable. All he does is return almost 20 yards. Bruce Smith and the Buffalo defense doing their part. Now they’ll rest as the offense takes the field. You see his elbow apparently is cut and maybe a hand with all the blood wiping he’s got on the front of his pants. Well, Jim Kelly — on the exchange, Gossett was kicking from the line of scrimmage, the 40 in Raider territory, and with the return, Buffalo takes over on their 43.>>The Raiders have gone to a three-man line — a three-man pass rush.>>Thomas right into the arms of Golic. But, boy, he’s strong at 195, 200 pounds. He wears number 34, Thurman Thomas, because growing up in the Houston area, Thomas’ idol was the great Earl Campbell with the Houston Oilers.>>Well, Dave Adolph has put his club in a three-man line. Basically, not concerned so much about rushing the passer but coverage.>>Too much time again, and that allows Tasker to break open for a catch — a man who had only two receptions all year. That’ll be close to a first down at the Raider 47.>>No. No pressure whatsoever. And you’ve got some excellent people. Now, you’ll see the three-man line, and they bring Townsend from the outside. No, that’s Wallace from the outside. Now, here’s an underneath pattern. Again, Reed — oh, no. This is to the outside for Tasker. But all the time he needs.>>In case you’re just joining us, we’re at Rich Stadium in Buffalo. 14 minutes remain in the first half. The Buffalo Bills’, very impressively, first two possessions, two touchdown drives engineered by Kelly — nearly flawless. And Marv Levy’s team then got a touchdown from Darryl Talley on a 27-yard interception return. The Raiders on their first possession drove deep and had to settle for a 41-yard field goal by Jeff Jaeger. It is 21-3.>>Well, Art’s being tested today, no question about it. And all the adjustments now are being made by the assistant coaches, the guys that have their specific responsibilities. There’s Dave Adolph. And it’s in Dave’s hands, so to speak. He’s the guy that’s responsible for calling the defenses and deciding who should be playing and how to strategize.>>So he’s made four basic changes. He started with just the substitution look. Then he went to his whole dime package. Now he’s going with a three-man defensive line. And Thomas goes to the 41-yard line on first down. A gain of about 4.>>Right, Dick. On the initial drive, no subs. Second time around, one defensive back. Third time around, two defensive backs. Fourth time around, the three-man line. But he hasn’t blitzed yet. Maybe they just have such a fear of blitzing, and I don’t blame them. But they’re gonna have to do something like that.>>Meanwhile, Thurman Thomas shreds away. And it’s another Buffalo first down at the 31.>>And I’m sure the Raiders would much rather play against a team that lines up with two tight ends, a close flanker, and hammers at you. But this wide-open style that Marchibroda’s installed is really — they’re getting outsmarted.>>Thurman Thomas, who had 117 yards last week against Miami, bolts forward for 5 or 6 more. He preceded the Heisman winner Barry Sanders at Oklahoma State. They remain friends. In fact, he said he tried to call Barry this week. He said he normally talks to him, “but maybe Barry’s upset because I’m in the playoffs and he isn’t.” You owe him a call, Barry, if you’re watching. Here he comes again. Thurman Thomas to the 15. First down, Buffalo.>>That was a sweep out of the shotgun, in which you will see the guards pull around the corner with Thomas right in behind them, and the Raiders hadn’t seen that particular play.>>Thomas now with 71 yards and a touchdown this first half. Give it to the hot back again. Only it’s a different back — same position. It’s the former Texas twister Kenneth Davis from TCU. And he gets good yardage — nearly 6. Bob Golic with the tackle. Thurman Thomas getting a breath of air. He doesn’t like to come out. He told you that, Bill.>>Well, I don’t think he’s ever handled the ball quite this much.>>Davis again. And he does twist all the way to the 6-yard line and very close to a first down. Golic couldn’t get him down with the initial hit. Finally after 3 yards, 4 yards, Davis brought to this old carpet that will be replaced at the end of this season. Very hard, and as it gets colder, it will be very slippery. So a team with a big early advantage –>>Oh, sure. And if the weather comes in on us a little bit, that’ll eliminate the Raiders. Dick, this club, this Bills club — it just crossed my mind — is much like the 49ers in ’81. They’re playing inspired football — just inspired football. Everybody playing above their own abilities. It’s beautiful to watch.>>And their abilities aren’t bad.>>And their abilities, of course — they have some truly great players. But almost a team of destiny. I’ve heard, of course, the Bears say that few times through the years. But a team of destiny.>>Buffalo one of 10 NFL teams not to have gone to a Super Bowl game. In fact, they almost went to the first one. They played the American Football League championship game at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, but Lenny Dawson and company, Johnny Robinson, beat them here, and it was the Chiefs who played the Packers in Super Bowl I. Paul Maguire, yeah, he averaged 43 yards a punt as a backup linebacker on that Bills team.>>Well, he’s got the heft to do it. Is he still kicking around? He’s a hefty guy. He still probably could punt now if he tried.>>Third and inches. Thurman Thomas. Has a first and goal for Buffalo. Greg Townsend made the tackle. Unstoppable, has Marv Levy’s offense been these last two weeks of playoff action.>>You have to give a lot of credit to Kent Hull, the center. He’s doing a beautiful job on a fine nose man in Bob Golic.>>Time-out. 21-3 Buffalo. Boy, that’s appropriate here. They average 93 inches of snowfall. But they remind you at the Chamber of Commerce, it’s a much lighter snow. They say it’s almost 2-to-1 to Boston.>>It’s sort of a dry snow. Even though it’s three feet deep at times, very dry.>>Well, it’s not anything but pleasant today — a light snow. And first and goal, Buffalo at the 2-yard line. They come up with some heavier backs now, as Mueller comes in, the fullback, along with Thomas. They’re looking for Rolle. Kelly will run it in. Does he get there? No. They stop him right on the doorstep, as Eddie Anderson and Jerry Robinson made the hit. And Kelly okay, and you can hear the crowd. The crowd very quiet until the saw Kelly get up.>>Well, they wanted him. Those Raiders wanted him. Here, there’s their only chance to get to him. But these Bills fans remind me of the New Orleans fans. They’re the best fans in football.>>Why is that?>>Well, they’re the most positive. They’re not looking to insult or ridicule. They’re supportive of their team. They appreciate the game of football. It’s just a great football community. New Orleans, much the same.>>11th play of the drive. Second and goal at the 1/2-yard line.>>The ball is placed at the 1-foot line. Second down.>>This Raider defense is almost playing like their…>>Mesmerized.>>Mesmerized, yeah.>>Thomas and Mueller behind Kelly. They wanted throw to Butch Rolle on the last one. It’s Thomas. He’s earned it. But, boy, does he get stacked. But, no, it’s Don Smith in trying to dive over the pile, and the big eyes of Riki Ellison were focused right on him and drove him back. Might have even been a 1/2-yard loss on the play.>>Well, I just mentioned. This is the kind of football the Raiders want to play. Look at Riki Ellison over the top. The Raiders want this kind of football. If somebody will play that way, they’re pleased.>>It was Mike Harden who really got the shoulder into him with Ellison following up. So loss of 1/2 yard. It’s third and goal at the 1. Now Thomas is in with Mueller. Thurman gets the call. He’s earned it. Is he in? Not quite. They mark it shy of the goal line. Well, you lead 21-3, Bill. Fourth and inches.>>Go for it. Get the 7 points. ‘Cause that would finish the game off, for all intents and purposes. Ted Marchibroda with his game plan right in front of him, and I’d assume he’ll have a play ready if Marv Levy wants the play. Yeah, looks like he did.>>They bring out Thurman Thomas, and Don Smith goes back in. They go with the double tight ends. And now it’s the Bills that want to talk it over, with 9:04 left in the half. A commanding first-half lead for Buffalo, and they’re that far from 7 more on fourth and goal.>>It looks like they’re going — no, they’re gonna run a tight formation. My feeling would be, go right up over the top with the tailback. Right up over the top.>>Kenneth Davis is the tailback. Davis. Touchdown!>>Right in behind Willford — excuse me, Wolford, the left tackle, Ritcher, and Hull — right in behind them, and just splitting the Raiders that time.>>And a reminder that those are all brilliant blockers. Hull, a third-straight Pro Bowl appearance this year. Ritcher is regarded as perhaps one of their top linemen and has been as an 11-year veteran. And Wolford named, this week, as the Pro Bowl alternate since Anthony Munoz will be unavailable with that shoulder injury.>>Davis didn’t even have to jump, Dick. He just ran right through the line of scrimmage.>>Norwood for the extra point. Blocked. And it does not skid through. Got to the get the name of the Raider that got in there. That’s one of the few bright spots for them. That limits the Bills…>>Right now…>>…To just 6 instead of 7.>>…Whoever did that would be the MVP as of this minute.>>Here’s the touchdown by Davis.>>Great job of blocking by Ritcher. He pulled and trapped outside. Beautiful job.>>Now, let’s see who got ahold of this, because at this point…>>It looks like…>>Number 70, Scott Davis.>>Scott Davis. As far as Scott Davis is concerned, right now he’s the MVP of the Raiders with that blocked extra point.>>[ Laughs ] Marv Levy, who was a special teams coach for many years under the late George Allen, doesn’t like to see that. But he must get consolation quickly by a look at the scoreboard.>>That might have been some dramatics on his part, because he has a dominating football team.>>Well, that last drive by Buffalo — 12 plays, the last 11 of which were on the ground, as they just took it right to the Raiders.>>Well, they winded and fatigued that Raider defensive unit to the point where the Raiders were absorbing the blocks, and the Buffalo team, which is taking them on, isn’t. The one thing the Raiders take pride in.>>But it now is 27-3.>>Boy, these can be shocks. They really can, as you work all year for a championship shot like this. And so many games of this intensity can turn out this way, where one team just simply dominates, a la the Super Bowl in recent years, where one team just gets an edge, gets the momentum, and then just takes it out of the other one.>>And your point at the end of the playoff game in Los Angeles last week I thought was very poignant and insightful, and that being that the Raiders move the ball well, but they don’t score enough.>>Yeah, they just are a scoring team.>>Very short kick. Fumble by the Raiders. Who’s got it? Jamie Mueller, number 41 of Buffalo. Jamie Holland trying to catch the ball on the run, went right through the basket.>>What you attempt to do when you’re behind like this, you feel you have to make the play. Now, Jamie Holland tried to catch that running full speed right into the covering people coming right down at him. And he took his eye off the ball. Well, Mueller’s one of the real solid guys on this team. He does, sort of, all the dirty work — the blocking, the special teams.>>Well, Buffalo with a big lead. Just what they needed — another possession deep in Raider territory at the 30. Greg Townsend makes the hit on Thurman Thomas after a gain of 3. Townsend who will go to the Pro Bowl this year for the first time. Oh, look at the faces of the Raiders. They just can’t believe what’s happening to them. Under pressure, Kelly throws for Tasker. He fumbled, or is it ruled incomplete? Did not have possession is the call. Incomplete. Scott Davis, who has really emerged as an outstanding pass rusher in this his third year, number 70 for the Raiders, put the pressure on.>>Davis, to the right of our screen, is just pushing himself right through Ritcher. Beautiful job by him manhandling his guy. But Tasker almost makes a brilliant catch. It just shows you the inspiration these Bills have right now.>>Third down for Kelly. Changing the play, as he barks it out. Andre Reed, a rare drop, but a tough catch. He knew he was going to be hit quickly, and he was trying to get up the one hand to protect himself and pull it down. Townsend was blitzing on the play. Well, this is a rarity — the Bills stopped after three plays. And on comes the field goal team.>>At halftime, the Raiders are going to — well, it’s eight minutes to go in the second quarter. The Raiders are gonna somehow have to put together an offense that can control the ball and make the play. This is going to be brutal. I just feel these Bills are one of the great teams to come along.>>45-yard attempt by Norwood. And it is… No good. Wide to the right. So Norwood, whose range is just about there — he did have a 49-yarder as his longest career field goal — has missed an extra point, blocked by Davis. Gets enough leg here, but it’s wide to the right. So with 8:13 left, it remains 27-3 Buffalo. Jay Schroeder and the Raiders take over after the missed field goal. Willie Gault bumped out of bounds at the 43-yard line. Willie Gault — what a story he is. He won the gold medal as part of that record-setting 4×100 relay team in the World Championships in Helsinki in ’83, then turned pro, so missed the ’84 Olympics. ’80, of course, the boycott of the Olympic Games. He goes to the Super Bowl and wins himself a ring with the Bears. Now, after the finish of this season, he will endeavor to make the U.S.A. bobsled team. He wants another medal, an Olympic medal in a winter sport. He and Herschel Walker and Edwin Moses figure to be on the U.S.A. number-one bobsled team. Well, they’re knowledgeable here. As soon as they saw Schroeder try to bark out an audible, they raised the intensity of the crowd noise. Allen gets the first down at the 39. Shane Conlan the tackler.>>Dick, when can you think of an AFC team that’s looked this good? Do you recall the last one? I really can’t. I know the Bengals in ’81 were a top team. But this is the best AFC team I’ve seen in many, many years.>>That’s a good point. I mean, you look through the ’80s, there were some good teams that won close championship games. Ethan Horton one of the stars last week against Cincinnati. Former first-round pick as a running back from North Carolina, fights for 5 or 6. Talley and Smith make the stop.>>I think it would have been that Raider team that beat the Redskins so badly in the ’83 season. Now, that was a great Raider team, but this is the best since.>>Schroeder takes his time on second down and 5. Outside it goes to Tim Brown. And Brown, the ex-Heisman winner from Notre Dame, is to the Buffalo 46-yard line. This is the best drive since their first possession. You see on the helmets, and particularly of Steve Wisniewski, that decal. That is the 33rd Tactical Fighter Squadron decal. His brother Vince is a Major, F-16 fighter pilot and a squad leader. He brought those decals over, and the offensive lineman are wearing them today. Schroeder. He had Brown open, but in a hurry, not getting him the ball.>>Well, that was a play that Kelly made earlier on that drive going the other way for Buffalo, and Schroeder failed to make it, because he had Brown adjusting his pattern, much Lofton had done, but Schroeder bounced the ball to him.>>And Brown was really breaking into the clear with no one in that part of the field. Six minutes to go in the first half. 27-3 Buffalo. Incomplete to Horton. No flag. He thought he was hit early. Good coverage by Leonard Smith.>>The Bills came after Schroeder that time, and all he had was a hooking pattern to his tight end, which isn’t very good against the blitz, because Smith was right there with him.>>Looks like Bruce Smith comes limping out for Buffalo. We’ll keep an eye on him, as he limps to the sidelines. Third and 10. Marcus Allen in the backfield. Fernandez right. Brown and Graddy left. Wide open is Horton. But again incomplete. It might have been deflected.>>Well, Horton was slipping as he was going for the ball. And as O.J. mentioned, that side of the field, the Raiders’ side of the field, is the slippery side of the field for some reason because of drainage. Now, look, the protection’s pretty decent. He throws the ball. Oh, it’s tipped.>>It was tipped.>>But look at the slipping here. He couldn’t quite get to it. So a tipped pass and a slipping receiver.>>Jeff Wright was the man who deflected the ball. You’re looking at Bruce Smith, the All-Pro defensive lineman of the Bills, as they work on what appears to be an ankle. So Nate Odomes drifts back to the 10-yard line as Jeff Gossett prepares to punt again for the Raiders. Aims it for the sidelines. And it bounds into the end zone for the touchback. Still no word as to the injury suffered by Bruce Smith. We’re looking at some of the past plays. And here’s the last play. Didn’t have a very serious position.>>No, he’s not really moving. You see he’s lost a lot. He’s troubled right there. Earlier on in the first quarter, he came out. So he’s just got a problem that it’s enflaming every time he tries to move.>>On first down at the 20, the little screen to Thurman Thomas. Look at him pick his way. 15 yards for Thomas. And with 15 yards, that gives the Bills 261 yards in this first half. They had 300 in the first half last week against Miami. Jerry Robinson up slowly after making the tackle.>>The Raiders just didn’t read this screen. You’ll have people coming out. You see Ritcher coming out to the outside, and then Hull coming out and just picking their blocks to the outside on a quick screen pattern.>>Now Thomas on a sweep around the left side, has enough juice to get around the corner. Riki Ellison made the stop.>>Well, at this point, the Raiders are just getting outhit, outhustled, and it’s a state of mind.>>Total yardage — Thurman Thomas outdistancing the Raiders offense. They scored 27 points against Miami in the first half last week. 27 points again this week, and they’ve got almost five minutes yet to go. Thomas appears to have another first down at the 47, and the Bills now are just saying, “try to stop our run.” Here comes Kenneth Davis, and Thomas gets a hand as he comes out.>>It’s all supposition, but suppose the Bills win. Then people like Thomas and Smith and all them had better be fresh for next week.>>Kelly goes deep for Andre Reed, who did an excellent job of getting in position to try to make the catch, as the ball was thrown to the opposite side. Coverage by Terry McDaniel, an excellent corner from Tennessee.>>Well, the execution of this Bills club is something to behold. And with the excellent personnel they’ve got, they just appear to be the best I’ve seen this year.>>Kelly going deep for Tasker. Steve Tasker to the 9-yard line! Well, they underestimated his speed, Lewis and Harden. 44 yards.>>I believe Harden should have been over there. You see number 45. I believe he should have been rotating over to back up Lewis, and he just didn’t get there.>>Well, it’s easy to overlook a Tasker, who didn’t play much as a wide receiver, when you have to think about McKeller and Reed and Lofton. Don Smith comes into the backfield now. The give is to Davis. Davis to the 3-yard line. Kenneth Davis has scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. It was the next play. That completed an 80-yard Buffalo march in seven plays, and what would appear now to be, so early in the game, an insurmountable lead at 34-3.>>The Raider lineman were just stood up that time and just waded into the blockers. And Davis just split them, ran right between them, so they’re not coming off the blocks. Now it could be fatigue, could be desperation — who knows. But it’s sort of a foreboding thing to see this kind of score and them playing that way.>>You know, the most points scored against the Raiders this year by Buffalo — 38 — when the Bills scored 24 in the fourth quarter. But the Raiders were in command into that fourth quarter — a 10-point advantage at 24-14 — when Buffalo had a touchdown pass to Lofton, the Tasker blocked punt for a touchdown, and Odomes steal from Gault for a touchdown. They’ve got nearly that many in the first half today, and they’ve done it on their own. One touchdown, Darryl Talley — but the offense on their own. Talley on the intercepted pass. This time it’s Ron Brown who will return the kick. And he’s to the 30-yard line. Schroeder. Throws it right to Buffalo. This is Nate Odomes at the 30. Odomes to the 38. It’s all Buffalo today here in West New York.>>Schroeder wants to go for it all, and Gault slows down and looks back. Odomes doesn’t. So Odomes saw the ball before Gault did. Gault slowing down. Odomes speeding up and intercepting the ball.>>Well, that was the matchup when Odomes stole the ball along the sidelines for the big touchdown in the early season win over the Raiders. Odomes had only one interception all year, gets one here. At Rich Stadium in Buffalo, Thurman Thomas the workhorse for the Bills finally stopped. He had fumbled on the last play after a gain of about 9, but it was recovered by one of his teammates. That was a second and 1 call. This is the championship game. The winner goes to the Super Bowl. And Buffalo, a near record performance scoring here in a playoff game in the first half. The Washington Redskins scored 38 against the Los Angeles Rams a few years ago for the all-time mark. And Lofton trying to give the Bills the record, as he catches it inbounds at the 8-yard line.>>Lionel Washington tried to hold him at the line of scrimmage, and just lost track of him. You see Lionel is trying to hold him up rather than run with him. And once James was by Lionel, it was over.>>A flag down, apparently against the Raiders.>>That would have to be defensive holding. So… James Lofton can still run. These guys have to understand that.>>Defense. Penalty is declined. The play stands.>>Lofton, a former Raider, and of course a former Stanford player — I had a chance to coach him for a year at Stanford — a great athlete, but he hasn’t any speed. Or he’s lost some, but not a lot, but he’s physically strong. You can’t hold him up at the line of scrimmage. And Washington tried to do it, and you see what the results were.>>So the Bills have piled up 380 yards.>>Forward pass, catch is being reviewed.>>380 yards in offense. Thurman Thomas, 111 yards rushing, and Lofton with another big play.>>Oh, he got his feet easily in. Got them down four times.>>Now, James was the fourth receiver…>>Three.>>…For the Raiders and was released by the Raiders because they felt that Fernandez, Tim Brown, Willie Gault were in their eyes superior at that point in their careers. And James, as a fourth receiver, isn’t a special teams man, couldn’t do much else, so they released him, and this guy…>>Upon review, the play stands. First down.>>And this guy can certainly still play. Now, they have Sam Graddy, who doesn’t get to play that much, has got great Olympic speed. They’ve got Alexander on the IR. So they’re loaded. But Lofton can still play.>>First and goal at the 8. Lofton for a touchdown.>>Lionel Washington tried the same thing again. Still tried to muscle with James, and he can’t do it. It’s that simple. He tried to muscle with him right at the line. Take a look here. Tried to hold him up, and Lofton so experienced. He started to the outside, and then just pushed Washington past him for an easy touchdown.>>James Lofton acquired by Al Davis from Green Bay. Of course, Lofton was a number-one draft pick and could well finish number-two, maybe even number-one in reception yardage in an NFL career. Norwood hits the extra point. You’ve just seen a record-scoring first half in National Football League playoff action. 41 for Buffalo.>>We’re approaching halftime here in Buffalo, just seconds remaining. Buffalo having a record-scoring fest here in the first half — 41-3. The Raider with time running out. Three seconds, two seconds. Schroeder stops the clock, and that will give him one final play.>>Now, Bruce Smith, it’ll be interesting to see if Smith plays, if Thomas plays in the second half. Because just assume that the Bills are going to the Super Bowl in one short week, they had better be as healthy and as fresh as they can get. So you’d wonder whether Marv Levy will start pulling some of these critical guys off that field to get ready for the world championship.>>And Smith has come off the field on one occasion today limping, but he’s in there now. 41-3. Many thought this would be a classic battle against two teams that are considered two power teams, the two best teams by record and by most accounting in the AFC, but lopsided, indeed. And now it’s Schroeder running for his life. And out of bounds. And of course, that’s only on — On this day, you have to watch all of the old sports expressions. Many of them do not fit in light of the disaster in the Gulf War. It’s halftime in Buffalo.>>Welcome back to Buffalo. We’re ready for the second half kickoff. We talked about Buffalo. How about the Raiders? The most points in 32 playoff games they’ve ever allowed — 33. That was in Super Bowl II.>>Well, they’re playing a dynamite football team that’s incensed at their best, inspired, and this is one of the best teams I’ve seen in recent years. It goes down to the Bears, the Giants, and the 49ers.>>And we talk about the 49ers. You think about their game with the Giants. As this second half progresses, there will time for a lot of speculation, as the Bills need little more than to just keep the Raiders in a bit of a shell to secure their Super Bowl spot.>>Now, Dick, it’s Raider Pride. Now, they’ve spoken of their pride, their history, their heritage, and obviously the game’s out of reach. Now, how do they play football for 30 minutes just because it’s football. The stakes are gone now. It’s over now. And, so now it’s up to the Raiders to play football, related to the pride they have as an organization and as a team. And I’m sure Art Shell got that to them at halftime. And Smith is still in the ball game.>>Leading 41-3. Jay Schroeder. Ethan Horton out of bounds after a gain of about 8. Nate Odomes on the coverage.>>I’m sure Smith wants to be in the game. He’s waited all year for a game like this. Oh. A little trouble.>>A little scuffle across the way.>>A little altercation. That’ll happen, I’m sure. The frustrated Raiders are bound to have these kind of things happen, and just hope that the Bills don’t flaunt it or taunt the Raiders as this game progresses. But Smith, I’m sure, wants to play, but at some point, someone’s gonna have to have the nerve to tell him, “you’re gonna sit it out until next week.” They have to have this guy next week. He’s got to be 100% healthy.>>Schroeder. Run out of bounds at the 44-yard line.>>I don’t want to belabor Smith, but he’s not moving well, Dick. He’s not 100%. I mean, that time he was smoothly blocked by Steve Wright. He was pushed right past the play. The guy’s not 100%. Yet, he’s still in the ball game.>>Well, you remember way back in the early part of the season at Miami when Marv Levy recognized the defeat to the Dolphins pulled Smith and some other starters out, and that created that argument with Smith and the coaches. And it was that point that they had a real getting together of the team and coaches and decided, “hey, we’ve got to start focusing.” And they all credit that moment to the start of the success of this season. Schroeder will run it again. To the Buffalo 49-yard line. Let’s go back to Bruce Smith and what’s going on.>>Smith’s gonna be confronted by Steve Wright, the right tackle coming up the field. And Steve just in good position. You see Smith just… Steve’s trying to take it out on him. But Bruce just isn’t himself right this minute. And he’s not gonna get better.>>Just the start of the second half. Buffalo with a record-setting point production in the first half for a first half of any playoff game in NFL history. 41-3. Marcus Allen, who had only 10 yards rushing the entire first half, while his counterpart with the Bills, Thurman Thomas, racked up 109. Seals and Smith in on that tackle.>>It’s really the test of the character of a football team to be out of a game, totally out of a game, and still continuing to play with real intensity.>>Kirby Jackson and Tim Brown are –>>Looks like Jackson’s trying to explain himself more than confront Brown.>>First down at the Bills 44. Blitz from Jackson. And he gets him. Kirby Jackson on a corner blitz.>>Well, they brought him before, and he hadn’t quite got there. This time, Schroeder had a pass developing well down the field, so Schroeder was going to take time to get there. You’re gonna see 47 coming on the left of the screen. No one there to block him, naturally, and Schroeder wasn’t looking to that side, and, so he just didn’t see him coming.>>Well, and occupying two blockers to stop Bruce Smith. That really gives Jackson an open avenue, doesn’t it?>>Sure.>>Screen to Allen up the middle. He has some moves. Allen finally ducks out of bounds at the 35-yard line close to a first down. Nate Odomes, the closest Bill.>>At this point, the Raiders are playing good, solid football and attempting to execute and move the ball. Obviously the game’s out of reach, but they’re playing football, and that’s the character of the ball club.>>Schroeder almost casual in setting up on third and 2. And Allen gets the first down straight ahead to the 32-yard line where Conlan and Seals wrap him up. Are you shocked? You heard Will McDonough say at halftime that — he called this the greatest offensive performance in a first half that he can ever remember. Would put it in that category?>>Well, you have to say that because everything has worked. Their running game, their passing game, their spontaneous plays — everything has worked.>>The Raiders got their only points — a field goal — on their first possession. Schroeder on top, has a man. It’s Fernandez. Intercepted! Mark Kelso ducks in front, and Kelso from William & Mary picks it off.>>Kelso coming back from a broken leg.>>Suffered against the Raiders in their game 5 of the season. He’s a ballhawk, took it right away from Fernandez. Oh, the mighty Bills continue. And with the interception, an Academic All-American at William & Mary, Mark Kelso. Quality person, who when he broke his leg against the Raiders, had some children here as his guests. And while — had the presence while they were carting him off to make sure someone took care of the kids. And the ground game now of Buffalo will certainly be their inspiration, as they start at the 5-yard line. And Thurman Thomas, he, too, like Smith, how far do you go with Thomas with a big lead when you’ve got Don Smith and Kenneth Davis to run the ball?>>Well, it’s so early in the second half, but at some point soon, they should play other people just by that remote chance there’d be an injury that would cost them the opportunity to win a Super Bowl.>>Kelly stays with the no-huddle, and with 21 seconds on the play clock, he runs another ground play to Thomas. Bob Golic trips him up just shy of the 15 where it’ll be third and 2.>>You know, Dick, I think that Marv Levy or one of his staff would signal in to huddle up, use the clock, wind that clock down. The game’s over with, wind it down. That can avert injury, and in a sense, it’s sort of a sportsmanlike thing to do. Hard to believe I’d say that about a Raider defense, but that’s the case.>>On third down, Thomas at the 15. That’ll be very close. Townsend wraps him up. But they’re running plays with still 15-to-20 seconds left on the play clock.>>Well, they’re thirsting for a big win, and here are the kind of things that can start. John Davis is limping right now. And Glenn Parker, it looks like. Glenn wants to get in there and replace him.>>Time-out for the measurement.>>But the coaches’ minds on the Buffalo staff now have to be thinking “Giants or San Francisco” in the kind of plays they call.>>But isn’t there that natural — I mean, you guys all have it, that natural ultra-conservatism. You don’t want to admit — even though you’ve got what seems to be an impossible lead, you don’t want to admit the game is over yet. You’re gonna wait till the fourth quarter. You never know. A couple of fumbles, they make a big play –>>Yeah, right.>>You know, it’s down 19-0 in the ninth inning, a couple of errors, four or five walks, you know, eight or nine home runs, we’re right back in this thing.>>Well, here’s rootin’-tootin’ Rick Tuten to punt for the first time. He kicked only once last week against Miami. Replaced John Kidd who went plan B to San Diego. Tuten from Florida State delivering from his 5. And gets a short one away to Tim Brown. And Brown returns to the 42 of Buffalo. 10 minutes left in the third. Buffalo 41-3. Welcome back to Rich Stadium in Buffalo where these great fans. You see the…>>Defensive line going over the adjustments that they’re still trying to make. But one thing I noticed as he was talking, was that he was talking about playing good, solid football. “You’re doing okay.”>>After the punt, Schroeder takes over at the Buffalo 43. Been intercepted three times today. He gets the come-back pattern to Mervyn Fernandez to the Buffalo 30 and a first down. So Schroeder — and we give too much credit and too much blame on that position, but they all understand it comes with the territory. But Schroeder had only three interceptions the last six games of the year, including last week. Three today against Buffalo.>>Well, that time — what they’re trying to do now is get outside the pass rush. And they did, although the blitz came from Leonard Smith, number 46, again. But the Raiders are now trying to get outside that blitz and then find somebody.>>From the looks of Schroeder’s jersey, Smith’s had a hand on him. Marcus Allen. Inside the 25-yard line. Talley and Wright made the tackle. Well, that Jeff Wright doesn’t get a lot of calls, but with all the attention given to Bruce Smith, Jeff Wright’s in your face most of the day. There’s the marks from — appears to be from Smith.>>We were talking about Kelso a few minutes ago. Marv Levy thinks he’s the ultimate in free safeties. Every skill, every technique, the knowledge he has, is extremely high on Kelso.>>Underneath. Incomplete to Fernandez who knew James Williams was coming. Williams the number-one pick of the Bills this year from Fresno State. And Kelso, he plays a deep centerfield though, doesn’t he?>>I like Kelso, but I just don’t put him in the same category as Ronnie Lott. I just don’t do that. I think Kelso’s a fine field general that’ll clean up. But the great free safety is a Ronnie Lott who can do everything.>>Kelso has what appears to be an oversized helmet. That’s for some extra padding. Third down and 6.>>Blitz.>>And they get it to Allen. Fights to the 21, but that’ll leave him shy of the first down by a considerable. Kelso made that tackle. Art Shell, who has brought respectability –>>Well, Raiders on fourth down without a huddle. Now, that’s interesting. Normally you’d huddle the team if you’ve got a fourth down play.>>Into the end zone to Willie Gault, and flags go down, as Gault and Nate Odomes were parrying down that far sideline.>>Well, it’s might easy to criticize a team that’s down 41-3, but that was fourth down. You’d think you’d huddle up and come up with the best possible play. I guess they got a little fortunate there. Defensive holding.>>Against Odomes, which will give the 5-yard penalty and a first down.>>Holding, defense, number 37. 5 yards. First down.>>Odomes down the field with Gault. Gee, I don’t know. That looked pretty clean to me.>>First down at the 16. James Williams, the rookie, calls time, and Mervyn Fernandez, you could see his reaction. He thought he had a clean shot at a touchdown. They worked on Cornelius Bennett on the Bills sideline. He just winced in some pain as they worked on what looks like the index finger. 41-3 — this is the closest the Raiders have been to the Bills goal line. At the 16, first down. It’s to Gault. Intercepted and dropped by Williams who made a beautiful cut. He and Odomes with a shot at it. No, it was Odomes who had an opportunity to come up with his second interception today.>>Well, they’re going to double Gault. You see the safety came right up over the top to the right of the screen.>>Oh, was that read well.>>So that was Leonard Smith who was there. So two people on Gault. [ Crowd chanting “Schroeder” ]>>Schroeder, who hears his name being called from the fans, gets it to Tim Brown inside the 10. The fans ragging Jay Schroeder a bit here, who’s had a three-interception day and 3-point day while his counterpart Kelly has feasted.>>Look at Smith right here. Two people just knocking him all over the field because he’s tired and apparently has a knee problem.>>Schroeder is 13 for 27 today, 150 yards. Third down and about 2 1/2. Marcus Allen. And he appears to have the first down at the 5. Oh, does anyone make more interesting definitive moves right at the hand-off? I mean, he gives himself an option to go so many different places with that first step of his.>>Well, he’s got the quickest feet, and for a guy his size, you wouldn’t expect that.>>That was an example. He saw that he was pinned in, and then he made the quick move straight ahead for a yard gain. Seals and Talley with the tackle.>>That’s the one great asset that O.J. Simpson has had throughout his career ’cause he could see so much. And Marcus has the same trait. He can see so much happening in front of him. He can almost read those blocks before they occur. And rarely either one of those guys were ever wrong on where they decided to run.>>Same talent, same number. And Allen was likened to — Oops. Bruce Smith. Somebody blow a whistle before Smith takes the hand-off. He’s done about everything else this year.>>Encroachment, 78, defense. Half the distance to the goal line.>>Well, Bruce Smith gets the call — half the distance — down to the 2-yard line. Jim Kelly staying warm, so apparently he will come back and quarterback, as we move to the 6-minute mark in the third quarter. 6:00 to go, and it’s a 41-3 Buffalo advantage. Marcus Allen and Schroeder collide. And Schroeder actually made the tackle on his running back, as he stumbled forward to the line of scrimmage.>>Looks as though Schroeder wanted to get Marcus the ball as deep as he could in the backfield to allow Marcus to cut back. And you can see the collision.>>Actually with his right leg, he tripped up Allen. See the right leg right there. Announcement by Jim Tunney that number 66 Steve Wright is an eligible receiver, as he lines up on the left side. Third and goal. Wide open is the man in blue, Leonard Smith. Oh, my. Schroeder under pressure threw the ball, and the only man close to it was a Buffalo Bill — Leonard Smith. Thank you very much. Leonard Smith with the interception. Boy, the Bills are sky high. He joins Kelso and Talley, who returned one 27 yards for a touchdown, and Nate Odomes. Four interceptions against Schroeder. Many of them of the easy variety. Kelly still in there. Throwing some more, and gets it to Keith McKeller, the tight end, who was a project by the Bills who really has blossomed. He was a Jacksonville State of Alabama basketball player, played only one year of college football. They’ve been patient with him, and now in his third season, Jim Kelly says, “you know, he’s just another one of my real threats.” He says, “I used to have Thomas. Then I had Reed and Thomas. Then I had Reed, Thomas, and Lofton. Now I got Reed, Thomas, Lofton, and McKeller.” And as the Raiders have found out, and the Miami Dolphins did, whom do you not defend?>>He is a super athlete, a real athlete, and still learning. He’ll be better next year and the next year and the next year.>>Thurman Thomas. And he gets out to about the 39-yard line.>>Well, we see the Bills huddling up now, taking more time off the clock.>>Well, what a terrible way to end the season. Schroeder, who had a great start, then he had that November slump where he didn’t throw a touchdown, then he rallied his team, had 11 touchdowns only two interceptions the last five games of the regular season, and then you finish your year and have a disastrous day like this.>>Well, I’m sure of the fact that he just wants to get out on the field again and erase whatever he can of this performance. Hit one or two passes — something.>>You see it’s very pleasant today. Schroeder’s perspiring. Temperature still around 32. Jamie Mueller played his college ball at Atchison, Kansas, at Benedictine College, was a third-round pick back in ’87.>>When the play a two-back offense, Mueller is an excellent combination with Thomas because Mueller serves the same purpose as Steve Smith of the Raiders does. An excellent blocker, a good receiver if the occasion arises. But a good solid blocker. On the other hand, the Bills are doing fine with a three-receiver offense, and that’s what I think you’ll see next week.>>Now using the huddle and using the clock. Third down and 3. McKeller again. He can motor. And he’s down to the 36-yard line of Los Angeles. Jerry Robinson tagged him.>>Jerry Robinson trying to cover him, and at the same time, play against the run. And no question, Jerry’s lost a step. And McKeller, a younger, quicker man, just outruns him crossing the field.>>Well, these Bills, as you know in the regular season late, were impressive in a 17-13 win against the Giants at the Meadowlands. That was the game in which Kelly was hurt, and Phil Simms of the Giants. So they’ve shown that they can beat the Giants on the Giants’ home field. One would wonder, should the 49ers win later, how the Bills would match up. And we’ll talk to my partner Bill Walsh about that. Thurman Thomas. Boy, did he get the blocks like he wanted on that play. He has a first down at the 21.>>We were talking about Jamie Mueller. What a beautiful block he made to spring Thomas. He just at the proper time, he made a beautiful block on the strong safety and sprung him. That’s the combination you want. Look at Mueller, number 41, going inside-out. Great job. Destroyed Mike Harden. And that’s not an easy block because it’s made with a lot of space around both people.>>And a hand in the background for Thomas who comes out — has 138 yards today and a touchdown, had 117 against Miami. You can almost write in 100-yard days for this guy. He had almost 1,300 rushing during the regular season. Davis.>>Ooh! Mueller again.>>Oh, did he level…>>Lionel Washington was decked.>>…The corner. Mueller just destroyed Washington on the corner.>>He reminds me of Tom Rathman of the 49ers, very much so. Lookit. Washington knows he’s in trouble.>>Timber!>>Geez. And Washington really couldn’t do much about it. He had to hold his ground.>>So Mueller getting a chance to play. And one of the notes under his name, as you look and peruse through all the comments about the Bills’ players, Mueller — and it’s just a one-word sentence, “blocks.”>>[ Laughs ]>>Exclamation point, exclamation point. Second down, short 6. Mueller gets a chance to carry. He said, “hey, I’d rather block. But no one can tackle me.” Finally the fourth man, Terry McDaniel, Eddie Anderson gets him to the turf. A loss of a yard.>>That’s the — You need the kind of guys to — You need the kind of guys that will block. And you’ll hear a little sound involved with it. This is being right on the scene. [ Crowd “ohhs” ] [ Whistle blows ]>>Well, the sound was from the crowd reacting to that block. Third down. Clock running, and Kelly really consuming some time now with just 19 seconds left in this third quarter. Third and 8. Lofton again! Down at the 1-yard line. They’re not going to give him the hat trick. That would have been number 3. Lofton disappointed. Oh, he’s had a touchdown catch in every playoff game. This is his fifth — had a couple with Green Bay. End of the quarter, and the Bills will start on the 1-yard line. Jim Kelly stays in. This is the first play of the final quarter. And that, much to the relief of the Los Angeles Raiders, as Kelly — it’s a matter of to whom do they want to give the score. Well, Kenneth Davis has another easily. So Davis, who scored four touchdowns rushing on the entire season, has three today. So Lofton sets up the hat trick, and it’s Davis who puts on the fedora.>>It’s gonna be a tough off-season for the raiders.>>Flag. Unsportsmanlike conduct is the call. Couldn’t hear referee Jim Tunney, but one would guess it is — well, let’s not guess. It was thrown in the end zone. Could have been for the end zone celebration, or it could have been for a late hit. Norwood makes it 48-3 Buffalo. Well, there are generations here in Buffalo, those who were cheering this team on before Bruce Smith was welcomed to this world, who have waited for a day like this. The Buffalo Bills are on their way to their first Super Bowl opportunity. And the AFC, apparently, is going to send a very good team. Norwood… to Ron Brown at the 7. The Olympic gold medalist is to the 38-yard line. Make it the 37. Darryl Talley has intercepted Schroeder — the fifth interception — to tie a playoff record. Talley, who returned one for 27 yards, sets it up at the L.A. 27. And just moments ago, Scott Norwood, in a 48-3 game, is sent in and kicks a 39-yard field goal to make it 51-3. The Schroeder interception ties an NFL playoff mark, as you look at Talley who has one of the five interceptions. Meanwhile, going back to Kenneth Davis’ touchdown, his third, that also ties a playoff mark. You put Kenneth Davis in the same sentence with Larry Csonka who had three touchdowns against the Raiders in 1973. And now the Raiders are close to having the most points ever scored in any game against a Raider defense — 55. That has happened two times. San Diego did it once against them, and then I think you go way back to the AFL days early on to find the other time.>>I think we’re gonna get Vince Evans. I think that’s the day for Schroeder. And I hate to see this guy, who’s had a great season, after almost in humiliation leave a game. But Art Shell has decided, it looks like, to go with Vince Evans. And, uh… maybe Vince can move the ball a little bit, anyway.>>And speaking of records now, the 51 points scored by Buffalo ties the AFL/AFC championship record. San Diego Chargers in ’63 scored 51 points against the Boston Patriots. So this has been a day to remember for those who have longed to forget some of the terrible days here in Buffalo for these great football fans. You just have to be so pleased for them that their moment has arrived, even though it comes in conditions that are tempered and sobered by more important happenings. But for a few hours here in Buffalo, these fans have enjoyed a team at its best. Well, the Eastern champions, the Buffalo Bills, who played in the championship game at home — the last time they were in the championship — back in the AFL days 25 years ago prior to the first Super Bowl when Kansas City beat them, went on to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. And a 9-year-old man, a young boy from Los Angeles with his dad — James Lofton was there at the Coliseum. He said, “that’s the closest I’ve been to a Super Bowl.” And his two touchdown catches and one more catch that put the ball on the 1-yard line is one of the many big stories for Buffalo today. Oh, the sports section won’t be big enough in Buffalo. They’ve got a lot to report on. Vince Evans is the new quarterback for the Raiders. And he gives to Napoleon McCallum. Napoleon McCallum, who after playing at Navy, of course, served as an Ensign, returned to the Raiders as a First Lieutenant and has so many buddies, friends, men that he was their officer. He had did a tour in the Persian Gulf himself. So McCallum gets a chance to carry, and he picks up about, close to 5.>>One of the reasons that Schroeder’s on the bench is Darryl Talley intercepted two passes. Darryl dropped into the zone defense a couple of times and completely fooled Schroeder. Schroeder threw the ball right to him.>>The boo in the background, the announcement — Greg Bell, who gets his first carry. Of course, Bell a former Bill, had some 1,000-yard seasons here. That’s his first rush today. He was just activated yesterday when Bo Jackson injury became apparent, at least, and acknowledged by the Raiders that he could not play today. So Bell, acquired from the Los Angeles Rams where he had back-to-back 1,000-yard years, gets his first chance in front of the former home folks.>>I’m sure this isn’t what he had in mind.>>So it’s Bell and McCallum, and Vince Evans the quarterback. Evans to Graddy. And, oh, that one was in a crowd of blue. Shane Conlan the closest Bill.>>Graddy was open. Vince just had to throw the ball far enough. But Talley, an excellent player, an all-around player, does everything very, very well, a team leader, today he freed up somehow in a zone defense and just stood there and the ball came right to him. And the Raiders apparently didn’t anticipate that form of pass coverage or something.>>He has a brother of course, also in the NFL with Cleveland, John a tight end. They grew up in Cleveland. Greg Bell vaulting through the middle to the 36-yard line.>>Dick, I can recall the 49ers losing a playoff game to the Giants 49-3, utterly humiliated, only to come back and win the world championship a couple years later. So those who are viewing this that are Raider fans, you’ll feel badly for a while, but the Raiders will be back. They’ll learn from this.>>The Raiders will host Buffalo next year — or this year in the ’91 regular season. Third down… call it a long 4. And Evans scrambling out of bounds, the former Bear quarterback, and he’s close to a first down. Well, Ralph Wilson in his 31st season, part of the original American Football League teams that were organized in 1960. And we talked to Thurman Thomas two days ago, and I said, for who are you gonna be most happy if you go to the Super Bowl — a friend, family, or whatever? He said, “you know who I’m gonna be most happy for? I’m gonna be happy for Mr. Wilson.” He’s really made a commitment the last couple of years. There were times where money was a little tighter. He’s gone and he’s spent the money. He’s kept the good players. He’s got Kelly signed to a long-term major contract. And Mr. Wilson, all your compatriots and friends in the NFL are pleased for your season’s success. Evans, who has always been a running quarterback, gets about 11 more to the Buffalo 46-yard line where Shane Conlan chases him out of bounds.>>It’s really going to be critical for the Bill team, coaches, everyone to maybe have a dinner out tonight and relax and enjoy it. But tomorrow, getting on that plane and going to the ultimate game, the Super Bowl, and to be very confident and positive, but not so euphoric and cocky that they’ll overlook the NFC team. And that can happen with just one week between games. It’ll be most difficult for the Bills, their first time in the Super Bowl, to go down with that media hype and all the attention they’ll get. They’re really gonna have to show some maturity to live through it and do well.>>And here’s Greg Bell. That will be a major difference between whoever wins in the game later. The Bills have never been through the Super Bowl experience, while the Giants have and certainly the 49ers have become accustomed to it. So that will weigh as a definite plus for the NFC entrant into that Super Bowl XXV.>>Especially, Dick, with one week. Just five short days, and they’ll be in Tampa tomorrow in the crush of the media. When do you get your game plan? Marv Levy was asking you, “when do you get your game plan together?”>>Well, this is all new to me. They’re going to have to try to get it done — it’ll have to be very simple. Of course, the Bills might not need much of a game plan, the way they’ve been playing football. But the pressures that lurk on you are there to behold.>>Greg Bell from Evans. And Bell running hard and knocked out of bounds inside the 25-yard line. Well, in that regard, the Giants would really be the team that Bills fans would be cheering for because, one, they know that they can beat the Giants — or at least they have — and, two, there’s a game plan already developed for the Giants. You just refine that. But the 49ers, a whole different matter.>>Yeah, you’re so right. That would be totally different. The Giants have the same problems, in a sense, that the Raiders have had all year — playing excellent football, at times great football, but not doing a lot of scoring. They’re winning 17-14, 24-21, those kinds of games. And the Bills are so efficient now on offense, they’re scoring so often that the Giants could have a heck of time with them.>>Greg Bell, he’s running as if he’s trying to quiet every one of the fans here that booed. Although, he is running against many second-liners now. Bentley and John Hagy, now in at safety, make the tackle. Mike Lodish is in for Bruce Smith, Gary Baldinger for Jeff Wright, Mark Pike playing for Leon Seals, so a whole new front three for the Bills in there. Carlton Bailey in at linebacker. Two new safeties in Hagy and Drane. James Williams in at a corner. So Marv Levy now giving all of his players a chance. It’s first down Los Angeles at the 12-yard line. If you’re just joining us, the score is — and listen carefully — Buffalo 51, Los Angeles 3. Again flushed out of the pocket is Vince Evans. And out of bounds at the 11. Kirby Jackson.>>People have had a poor will with the National Football League draft system, the idea of parity related to the scheduling and the draft, but this is a demonstration — the Buffalo Bills — that there is a way that you can rebuild. Unfortunately, it means losing a lot of games, because for years, the Bills have done very, very poorly and drafting very, very early. But in the meantime, they’ve assembled a lot of great talent, and they’ve made a dramatic turnaround through the NFL system of drafting and scheduling.>>Mr. Wilson — there’s only one player that was even born when he gave birth to the Bills in the AFL in ’60, and that was James Lofton. Evans. Knocked away by Williams, intended for Graddy. It might have been Jamie Holland. Yes, it was Holland over there.>>The Bills do have some true superstars in football. Now this is a good play down the field. Holland doesn’t — the ball is just thrown behind him by Evans. But the Bills do have true superstars in that defense unit. And, of course, Kelly now brings an absolute premier quarterback. This team is comparable, I believe, to the Bears, to the Giants, to the 49ers in recent years.>>Well, they got Bennett. Talley has been going to the Pro Bowl with Conlan and Bennett and Smith off the defense. Kelly, Reed, Thomas, Tasker, and now Wolford, as well. Oh, they’ll call him for grounding. Yep, there goes the flag. He threw it away. And Tunney was right there to toss the yellow flag.>>Intentional grounding, number 11.>>Vince Evans is naturally gonna go to his right if he can.>>Carlton Bailey makes the play.>>But when you look at the Bills a year ago after losing a playoff game and missing the championship game, missing the Super Bowl naturally, to have come back in that one year — and so much of it is psychological and the team had to mature. And all of us felt, so many people, that the team just wasn’t mature enough maybe ever to be big winners. Well, this year, after that shocker, that loss to Miami, they’ve matured, they’ve come back, they play as a unit, all of the strife’s behind them. This is a good team. And Marv Levy’s had a lot of patience with this team, too.>>He’s a lot stronger than a lot of people thought, including his own players, after that Miami game. He said, “I’m taking charge here,” and that was backed up by Bill Polian and owner Ralph Wilson, and the players got the message. Fourth down for the Raiders. And nothing for Evans to do but unload, as the Bills take over. And the back line defense is as hungry as the first-teamers. 5:57 to go. They don’t want the field to be ripped up. Of course, fans knowing this is the last game, some may have some design on their own patchwork piece.>>The police and the crowd may be the most competition we’ll see all day.>>There goes Carwell Gardner, a rookie from Louisville. Look at him fly. And flags go with it. Garry Lewis makes the tackle.>>I’m sure there will be maybe into the thousands of fans that are gonna try to outsmart that security around the field.>>Well, add a face mask.>>Face mask, number 51, defense. It’s a 15-yard penalty.>>A major on Aaron Wallace that will take the Bills even deeper into Raider territory as they go for all the records. That’s 499 yards in offense. Thanks to Elliot Kalb, Kerry Howler, Joe Costanzo for their statistical work and research. Michael Gluck and Steve Solomon from Buffalo — what admirable restraint. Their team just beating up on the Raiders, finally going to the Super Bowl, and they’ve hardly breathed a deep sigh. They’re real fans. And, of course, they’re part of us all season long — John… our coordinating producer, John Gonzalez calling all the shots, and they’ll have many for you as this game winds down, as you’ll see the joy in Buffalo — the faces of players and fans and coaches. That’s Don Smith for short yardage. The Bills driving for more with a 51-3 lead.>>Well, the one team in the NFL that can match up with the Bills offensively with their passing game are the San Francisco 49ers. The Bills won’t have the ball as often, because the 49ers will control it with their passing game. The 49ers are old pros. A lot of them are very young players, but they really have the poise and experience in big games. So I don’t believe the 49ers will be as awed by the press and the forces that worked on you at the Super Bowl site as this team. They’re much more mature. And they’ll throw effectively against anybody. On the other hand, I’ll tell you, Dick. This Bill team is much like our 49er team of 1981. It just has super momentum going into the Super Bowl and full of confidence and enthusiasm. So the 49ers, if they’re there, are gonna be really hard-pressed to stay with this Bill team.>>Third down. And for Buffalo, Frank Reich for Don Smith. And finally wrapped up by Riki Ellison after Bob Golic had the foot in there. Marv Levy. Pat Paulsen’s stand-in. I think Pat Paulsen would really work better in this situation.>>Marv has no idea what’s coming. He’s probably got some all-weather gear on. That might help.>>A Phi Beta Kappa and a man with Rhodes Scholar qualities from Coe College. Might be interesting to see if he’ll offer some Shakespearean Marv.>>You know, Marv and I worked together. He hired me. I was a high-school coach, and Marv hired me to coach at the University of California at Berkeley.>>What year was that?>>Uh, that was — please, Dick.>>No, I’m just curious.>>That was 1960. And Marv and I, along with a lot of other good coaches, took Cal to the very bottom of the Pac-8 at the time. But it’s sure great to see Marv finally have the national success that he deserves.>>His fifth year, he’ll be 62. He’s been an alphabet coach, Levy — NCAA, USFL, CFL, NFL, NBC, ESPN. He’s an alphabet guy.>>[ Laughs ]>>Levy, I think with that twinkle, he might be suspicious, or just too happy or giddy on that sideline.>>You know, this is Jim Tunney’s last game.>>Oh, we mentioned that in the first half, that after 31 years, Tunney will retire. Make it official. Tuten, right on cue. And it is Tasker saving it. And it’ll finally be downed. And then picked up. It’s a live ball. And Elvis Patterson, the veteran, picks it up, which you can do, and returns it out to the 18-yard line. 2:36 to go. Better put on the rain gear, Marv. It’s coming. The greatest year for the Bills about to end. The greatest runner for Bills — over 2,000 yards, the first man to do it in 1973, O.J. Simpson.>>Well, Dick, I’m here with my old boss Ralph Wilson. It’s been 31 years you’ve owned this football team. You won a couple of AFL championships. But now you’re going to the Super Bowl. Is there any way you can express how you’re feeling right now?>>Well, of course, O.J., it’s a great thrill after all those years to see the team go to the Super Bowl. They played hard all year, and I’m very proud of them as all the fans are.>>It was the second game of the year, I guess, after you lost in the Miami game, you came down and you supported Marv Levy and Bill Polian and said, “anybody was expendable if they didn’t do what the coaches said,” and that seemed to get this team’s attention and turned things around for you.>>Well, I don’t want to take the responsibility for that, but they did turn around after the Miami game — or got better I should say — and they played hard all year. They’ve been really determined this year, as evidenced out here today.>>Any predictions on the Super Bowl?>>Pardon me?>>Any predictions on the Super Bowl?>>You know, O.J., you can’t drag me into that. [ Both laugh ] It’ll be a great game, and the team will play hard.>>Okay, congratulations, Ralph. Back to you, Dick.>>All right, O.J., and there’s O.J., part of the Hall of Fame, of course, here with the Bills. He and his Electric Company in the ’70s not good enough, though, to have this kind of success for the team. Greg Bell wrapped up after a short gain by Carlton Bailey. And here it comes. [ All cheering ] Just like the snow in Buffalo, it’s a lot lighter than the stuff they pour on you in Boston and other places. Two minutes to go. We talked many times about the relationship between a quarterback and his coach and how intimate that is, how important it is. Look at Kelly as the setup man. “Hey, coach, now I just want to talk to you about something. If you notice how this game has developed, maybe look out over here, Coach. Yeah, there it is — over there. Now, wait, wait, over here. Right over there. That’s it. Right there.” Then he holds him. What a guy. What a guy. Coach and quarterback — it works every time. [ Laughs ] Well, this is the time to enjoy it all. They ever do that to you? I don’t remember you ever being doused.>>We didn’t have enough liquid on the sidelines.>>Two minutes to go. The throw to Graddy. Almost intercepted by Ray Bentley with the score 51-3. 1:54 to go. Look at that crowd and look at Kelly’s smile. But part of this story — 80,000 fans here in Buffalo. The score is 51-3. It’s around 30 degrees and snowing. Game’s been over for about 2-1/2 hours. Evans out of bounds at the 45. And you search the crowd, and it’s tough to find any barren spots. So many places that people would be fighting to get to their cars and out of here, and look at this crowd. Each fan enjoying it to the final play. They don’t want to miss a play. They all want to cheer together. This is a whole part of the state of New York, a city of Buffalo trying to celebrate as one in 1:45. Intercepted by Bentley. The sixth of the game. Watch out. He’s an ex-Chippewa from Central Michigan. Oh, they ran him down at the 31-yard line. 1:34 to go. We’re back in Buffalo. Bills have the ball again with a 51-3 lead on a record-setting sixth interception by the Buffalo defense in the playoffs. Stay with us. We’re going to get the reactions of losers and winner. And of course, the losing dressing room never a delight, but I’m sure there will be someone, if time permits, that’ll offer comments. But it certainly will be exciting to share with the Bills fans and players their comments after the end of this game.>>I’ve never seen anything like this ever in football. As you pointed out, Dick, everybody — they’re all here. I don’t think anyone’s left this stadium. We’re right above one of the tunnels where people would leave. No one has walked through that tunnel.>>You know, the pictures are much more brilliant than anything we can say the rest of the way. 1:19 to go. Congratulations, Buffalo. The AFC wishes you well in the Super Bowl. [ Crowd cheering ] [ All shouting ] [ Crowd chanting “Let’s go, Bills” ] [ Crowd cheering ] [ Crowd roars ]>>502 yards for the winners. 51-3, Buffalo represents the AFC in Super Bowl XXV.

100 thoughts on “1990 AFC Championship: Bills Clinch 1st Super Bowl Appearance | Raiders vs. Bills | NFL Full Game

  1. 6:23 Jim Kelly 13-yard TD pass to Lofton

    12:19 Jaeger 41-yard Field Goal

    13:55 Kelly to Lofton Big Pass

    15:03 Thurman Thomas 12-yard TD Run

    26:20 Kelly Intercepted by Lewis

    28:46 Darryl Talley 27-yard Pick 6

    47:37 Davis 1-yard TD Run

    53:20 Scott Norwood Misses 45-yard Field Goal Wide Right

    1:00:32 Kelly 44-yard Pass to Tasker

    1:06:34 Kelly 8-yard TD Pass to Lofton

    1:26:27 Schroeder Picked Off by Leonard Smith

    11:33:40 Davis 1-yard TD Run

    1:55:10 Bills Gatorade Shower

  2. This game would have been in LA, had the Raiders not gave up a two score lead on a SNF game early in the year on TNT. A blocked punt for a TD and Gault was stripped of the ball BOTH lead to 14 points and a win for the Bills. Bo Jackson plays in this game and we win and beat the Giants in SB XXV.

  3. If only if only the won the next game!! ? But what a scoring display by Da Bills in this championship game.

  4. Going to Buffalo in January – or at least it seemed like it in those days – was 20 degrees colder than anywhere else. You can tell by the obviously bowed field… but I remember teams actively complaining about how playing in Buffalo was like going to another universe back then. Nutty crowd, but sub-human conditions to play football and the Bills were so built to play in it.

  5. I agree with Bill Walsh. The 90-91 Bills team were one of the best AFC teams ever. Offense, defense, coaching and fanbase all on point. The only flaw and undoing was Norwood's kicking.

  6. @peterskilg – no more hofs, but every year we had 12-13 pro bowlers. The whole offensive line, darryl talley, cornelius bennet, henry jones, nate domes

  7. This is a tough game to watch if you're a Raider fan. I remember watching this game in absolute horror. It just kept getting worse. A complete nightmare.

  8. Even though the BILLS couldn't win the Super Bowl they were still rock solid in those days and one of the greatest teams ever

  9. I think the 7 turnovers that the Raiders had made the Bills defense look better than they were. The week before the Bills beat the Dolphins 44-34. A solid win but not a blowout. Plus the Bills gave up 430 total yards. Maybe the Bills were somewhere between this game and the Miami game. A very good team. But not a great team.

  10. kelly was overly confident with the play calling. i remember watching him play live in my childhood, and getting goosebumps every play because as a fan you just knew he was going to get it done. he could play like that practically all season, playoff games but in every Superbowl, he pumped the breaks.

  11. Parcells was a genius nobody had an answer for this bills team. Everybody thought buffalo would beat the giants by like 20 points. This was an amazing buffalo team and after this game I thought they were gonna easily beat the giants, but the giants found a way to shut down that offense, and they were the only team to solve that offense.

  12. 4 straight Super Bowl losses ………….damn that's gotta suck . You go 4 straight years through the off-season, reg season, playoffs………..4 straight Super Bowls and nothing but a measly AFC Championship to show for it . Its hard to make the playoffs 4 straight years ……… Its almost impossible to get past Elway and Marino for the 4 years . 4 straight Super Bowls !!!!! And lose all 4 !!! Most impressive stat in NFL history.

  13. 53:22 Wide right!

    Also, why the hell did they cut away for a Gulf War Update? Didn’t they have CNN back then? I’m glad that would never happen today. Save that crap for the news channels.

  14. As always had seasons tickets even though lived in Binghamton. Remember the extensive searches at gates because of fears of attacks because of Gulf Crisis. 51 to 3 are you kidding me! The biggest party and the biggest rush a sports fan can imagine as 80k plus fans cried in happiness.

  15. I remember after this beat down, I was really hoping for a Buffalo Super Bowl win, especially when later in the day, the 49ers lost to the Giants. I was so heartbroken a week later when Norwood missed that kick.

  16. I will NEVER forget this day. Ever. It was our Super Bowl victory, so to speak. For the entire week, it was like Christmas in Buffalo. Still makes me smile.

  17. This is my first time seeing this game, I was pounding Sand in Kuwait for this game, thank you for putting this on youtube !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though we lost 4 bowls, I bet it would of been 4 wins if Upper management didn't get in the way of play calling after the half. All 4 bowls the Bills were beating the opposing team until after the half. Upper management made Kelly go to the normal offense changing the game entirely.

  18. There is at least one team in each division that has not won the Super Bowl yet. There are 13 NFL franchises that have not won a Super Bowl. The Bengals, Bills, Browns, Cardinals, Chargers,, Falcons, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, Texans, Titans and Vikings have not won a Super Bowl in their history

  19. Other than the birth of my children and getting married these AFC Championship home games were the best days of my life. Unforgettable memories being there.

  20. Everyone talks about how Buffalo never won a Super Bowl, which is true, but everyone overlooks the fact they went to FOUR straight Super Bowls. I have always been a Bronco fan since 83 and I played all 4 of my years in high school, but, all the pros made it to the pros. Anyone who criticizes and condemns the Bills for losing 4 straight are straight up losers themselves. They made it. Which team did you play for in the NFL???

  21. 7-3. Ends up 51-3. Dominance. By the way, Thurman Thomas AND Barry Sanders in the same backfield at Oklahoma State…SMH Plus Thurman Thomas and Kenneth Davis in the Bills backfield✊🏻✊🏻✊🏻

  22. Steve Tasker had 44 receiving yards in the entire 1990 season and had 45 yards in one pass play in this game

  23. Bills deserve more credit, they dominated the AFC those years. Damn tough to beat at home, i think they went on a stretch were they only lost like 4 or 5 games in 4 years at home. Too bad they didnt have home field advantage in the SB

  24. 44:40 That is the moment where you see why Thurman Thomas was so good.

    He faked the handoff and dived over the OLine to try to sell it for Kelly. Sure, they didn't get the TD on that play but Thurman played for the team, not for himself.

  25. I absolutely hated how Fernandez and Gault would just fall down after receptions or dive at a ball they could’ve just caught with their hands. Any of those first 2 receptions cpislvr resulted in running after the catch 20 more yards or even a TD.

    That’s what Al gets for going after track guys as opposed to ballers

  26. Bill Walsh saying this is going to be a great game is cringeworthy. A one sided ass thrashing if ever there was one.

  27. I guess(super bowl 25) its too easy to say the best team doesn't always win. on this day the bills win by 48 the giants by 2.

  28. I was there in End Zone seats opposite the tunnel seats. I remember Kelly fumbled a Shot Gun snap around the 15 yard line. He calmly picked it up and threw a Touchdown. Why couldn't they play like this in any of their Super Bowl appearances? I don't know if it was the first Touchdown pass but could be wrong. 51-3 a Glorious Win!

  29. Could've been worse – imagine if Ralph Wilson hadn't loaned the Raiders $400,000 back in the early 60's…..

  30. Damn the '90 Bills is one of the greatest teams of all-time, and that's coming from a Giants fan!

  31. Just let the Raiders win and you won't have to suffer through four years of Super Bowl disappointment.

  32. And the Bills DOMINATE a Raider team that had NO TALENT other than Bo Jackson. I am a HUGE Bills fan. However I am VERY impressed by how Raider coach Art Shell could do SO MUCH with so LITTLE. EVEN when Bo Jackson broke his hip the week before against Cincinnati.

  33. About all the Raiders did was show up for the game and that was about it. Good to hear retired coach Bill Walsh as commentator/analyst here. The game was pretty much decided by the end of the first quarter.

  34. If the Bills make it to the Superbowl again I'll root for them even if they beat my team (Broncos) to get there.

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