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This Day in Bills History, Oct. 20: Thomas breaks Simpson's record

Oct. 20, 1996 – It's difficult to upstage a game-winning field goal in the final seconds. Thurman Thomas just about accomplished that feat on this date.

Yes, Steve Christie kicked a 47-yard field goal with 10 seconds left. That gave the Bills a 25-22 win over the Jets. But Thomas had the day's biggest moment.

Thomas claimed the Bills' record for most rushing yards in a career during the game. He had 97 yards on the day to move his total to 10,218. He passed Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson, whose record had lasted 19 years.

"It means a lot to me," Thomas said. "I think a lot of people in Buffalo probably thought that record was out of reach. But I'm proud of what I've been able to do with one football team.

"To pass somebody like that, who's in the Hall of Fame, it hasn't hit me now. Maybe it'll hit me tomorrow, and I'll realize what I've done in my career with the Buffalo Bills."

Thomas previously had broken Simpson's record for career rushing touchdowns, career rushing attempts, 100-yard games and touchdowns.

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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