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This Day in Bills History, Nov. 2: O.J. goes the distance

Nov. 2, 1975 – The Bills and Jets get together tonight for a Thursday night game in New Jersey. These two teams played away from Buffalo back in 1975, and the outcome was a happy one for the Bills.

This was one of Buffalo’s best comebacks of that era. Jim Braxton got the Bills off to a good start by catching a touchdown pass from Joe Ferguson to open the scoring. But it was all Jets for a while from there. New York scored 23 straight points to take a 16-point lead by the time part of the third quarter had elapsed. Joe Namath had two touchdown passes in that stretch.

Buffalo came back in the third period. John Leypoldt kicked a 40-yard field goal, and Ferguson found J.D. Hill for a 28-yard scoring pass.

Still, it looked bleak for the Bills as they trailed, 23-17, in the final four minutes. The Jets missed a chance to seal the game when the lost the ball on downs. Ferguson found O.J. Simpson with a swing pass, and the Hall of Famer went 64 yards for the touchdown. Leypoldt’s extra point was the difference in a 24-23 win at Shea Stadium.

Could the Bills win tonight in a similarly exciting way? We’ll see.

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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