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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Only the beginning

     September 1, 1991 -- This was a heck of a way to start a football season.

     The Bills turned in a fabulous performance in outscoring the Dolphins, 35-31, before 80,252 in Rich Stadium. The statistical highlights were many.

     Start with Jim Kelly's day. He was supposedly out for the game after a third quarter ankle injury. But he came back to throw for a career-high 381 yards.

     "It's going to take a lot more than a bummed ankle to keep me out of the game," he said. "This is something I've prepared for all my life. I thought maybe if I can take the field and direct this team, well, this is my club and I'm going to do it."

     Kelly was a big reason why the Bills put up a team-record 583 net yards. The old mark was 565, set against Houston in 1964. He had plenty of help. Thurman Thomas became the first player in Bills' history to have 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in the same game (165 on 25 attempts, 103 on eight catches).

     In addition, Thomas and wide receiver Andre Reed (11 receptions for 154 yards) became the first two Buffalo players to reach the 100-yard receiving mark in the same game of the regular season since 1970 (wide receiver Marlin Briscoe had 145 and fullback Wayne Patrick had 121, also against Miami).

--- Budd Bailey

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