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This Day in Bills History, Oct. 9: The long wait ends

Oct. 9, 1983 – Seventeen years is a long time to go between drinks, or at least Gatorade showers. That's how long the Bills went between wins in the Orange Bowl, then the home of the Miami Dolphins.

When Buffalo beat the Fish in 1966, who would have thought that the team would have to wait until 1983 to get another win there? That victory finally came on this date.

It was a classic, back-and-forth contest. Buffalo had a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, only to see the Dolphins rally and eventually go ahead in the fourth quarter. With 23 seconds left in regulation, Joe Ferguson hit Joe Cribbs with a 1-yard pass for a touchdown to tie the game at 35-35. Then Joe Danelo kicked a 36-yard field goal with 1:02 left in overtime to win it.

The Dolphins started a rookie at quarterback that day, and Dan Marino did pretty well. He was 19 of 29 for 322 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills probably figured out pretty quickly that they'd be seeing a lot of him in the years ahead. Mark Duper caught seven passes for 202 yards.

The win improved Buffalo's record to 4-2 under new coach Kay Stephenson. The Bills lost four of their last five games to miss out on the playoffs that season.

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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