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This Day in Bills History, Sept. 29: Grounding the Jets

Sept. 29, 1968 – It might be the single-most amazing result in the history of the Buffalo Bills, particularly in hindsight.

Let's set the scene for this game. The Bills had already lost their first three games in the 1968 season, including a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals – an expansion team playing the third game in their history.

Just to make it more interesting, the opponent at War Memorial Stadium was the New York Jets. As students of football history know, that Jets' team eventually went on to win the Super Bowl in January 1969.

The Bills stunned the Jets, 37-35. How did it happen? Start with the Bills' secondary, which returned three interceptions for touchdowns. All were at least 45 yards long, and Tom Janik took one pick 100 yards for a score. Ben Gregory had the other Buffalo touchdown, and Bruce Alford added three field goals.

New York's Joe Namath threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns that day, and also had five interceptions. New York outgained Buffalo, 427-197.

It was Buffalo's only win of the season. The Jets finished 11-3, and you probably know what happened to Namath and the his team at the end of their playoff run.

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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