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This Day in Bills History, Dec. 16: 2,000 yards for the Juice

Dec. 16, 1973 – The score of the Bills’ final game of the 1973 season has been forgotten. It didn’t help the Bills reach the playoffs. Yet it turned out to be one of the most famous games in the history of the team.

The Bills played the Jets in Shea Stadium in New York. Not only did O.J. Simpson break Jim Brown’s record for rushing yardage in a season (1,863), but he became the first player in NFL history to go past 2,000 yards. Simpson was the only player to reach that milestone in a 14-game season.

The Bills won the game, 34-14. Buffalo only had five passes on the day. Simpson ran 34 times for exactly 200 yards and a touchdown. Running mate Jim Braxton had 98 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns.

Buffalo’s victory gave them a 9-5 record for the season. It was the first time since 1966 that the Bills finished with a winning record.

And here’s a fact that has been forgotten, at least in Buffalo: This was the final game as a pro football coach of the Jets’ Weeb Eubank.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

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