Sept. 10, 1989 – Of all the moments that cemented the bond between Jim Kelly and the fans of the Buffalo Bills, this one might have been the one that provided the super glue.
The Bills were trailing the Miami Dolphins, 24-13, with only four minutes and 17 seconds left when Kelly got possession. The first strike was a 26-yard pass from Kelly to Flip Johnson with 2:50 left. Then, after a Nate Odomes interception, Kelly again moved the ball down the field. On the last play of the game, he ran a quarterback draw into the end zone from the Miami 2 to give Buffalo a heart-stopping 27-24 victory in Miami.
"You're probably wondering when I first thought we had the game wrapped up," coach Marv Levy said.
Kelly and Miami's Dan Marino put on quite a show. Kelly was 25 of 40 for 265 yards, while Marino was 25 of 38 for 255.
"Tell you what," Kelly said. "I don't think anybody in this room could have said that the Buffalo Bills were going to come back the last couple minutes and win this game. Only one person, I think, knew that, and that was myself."
"The guy is a winner," Levy said about Kelly and his first rushing touchdown in the NFL. "That's what he does – win. Maybe he's not as pretty or doesn't rack up the huge stats, but he knows how to win."
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.