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This Day in Bills History, Sept. 7: Not the Dolphins' day

Sept. 7, 1980 – Ding dong, the witch is dead.

The witch, in this case, was The Streak when it comes to Buffalo Bills football. The Bills had gone 0 for the 1970s against the Miami Dolphins, losing 20 straight games. No team had done it before, and no team has done it since. Don't hold your breath for a repeat.

The Bills came into the 1980 season with hopes of improvement under coach Chuck Knox. They were tested on Opening Day by the Dolphins, as almost 80,000 filled Rich Stadium to see if Buffalo had taken a big step forward.

The Bills trailed, 7-3, after three quarters. Then Roosevelt Leaks scored on a 4-yard pass from Joe Ferguson to give Buffalo the lead. That was followed by a 2-yard run by rookie Joe Cribbs, and it was merely counting down the clock until it hit three zeroes from there. The final score was 17-7. Cribbs finished with 60 yards rushing and nine catches for 71 yards in his first game as a Bill.

Then came a wild celebration that cost the Bills some goalposts; no one was complaining. The Bills have had bigger wins in their history, but none came with as much joy as this one. Good times were finally on the horizon.

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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