Bills Victory Thursday Night Would End Primetime Drought
It's been a long time since the Buffalo Bills last won a prime-time game. They have lost their 11 straight games at night.
It's no wonder they have become an irrelevant franchise; over the past decade, they've lost every time they have played in front of a national audience at night
In 11 such games, they've been embarrassed, blown-out and heartbroken. But when was the last game Buffalo did win in prime time? Here's a look at Buffalo's history since its last prime-time victory.
2009: Thursday Night—Jets 19, Bills 13
The last time the Bills played in prime time, they "hosted" the Jets in Toronto. Anyone can see that playing in Toronto is for Buffalo, at best, a neutral field, if not a ninth road game.
It was Buffalo's first ever game on the NFL Network. Perry Fewell was the interim head coach, taking over for Dick Jauron who had been fired earlier in the season.
The Jets won a rather boring game that night. As seen in the picture, Brad Smith was returning kicks for the Jets then and was not yet wasting a roster spot on the Bills.
2009: Monday Night—Patriots 25, Bills 24
The Bills didn't waste any time in 2009 giving Buffalo a heartbreaking loss.
In Week 1, the Bills led 24-13 in the fourth quarter when New England cut the lead to 24-19.
Leodis McKelvin made himself a hated man in Buffalo when he fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The Patriots recovered and scored the game-winning touchdown. McKelvin has never won back the fans after that fumble.
2008: Monday Night—Browns 29, Bills 27
The last prime-time game at Ralph Wilson Stadium came on a Monday Night against the Browns.
The Bills were one of the only teams that could make Brady Quinn look like an NFL quarterback.
Remember in 2008, Buffalo started 5-1. They were on a three-game losing streak and looked to move to 6-4 with a win over Cleveland. Trent Edwards got the offense to the Cleveland 34-yard line with 1:03 left.
Instead of staying halfway aggressive, Dick Jauron chose to run Marshawn Lynch three times to give Rian Lindell a 47-yard kick. Lindell missed with 38 seconds left, leaving Buffalo feeling like its magical season had already ended.
2007: Sunday Night—Patriots 56, Bills 10
New England was undefeated and this game was flexed to prime time.
The Bills had their opportunity to be the team to end the Patriots undefeated season and they were going to do it with the entire country watching…
That thought didn’t last as long as a chicken wing-eating contest. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense was an unstoppable machine, scoring touchdowns on each of its first seven drives.
If New England wanted to score 100 points, they could have.
2007: Monday Night—Cowboys 25, Bills 24
Out of all the losses the Bills have had over the last 12 years, this one was the worst.
And to add insult to injury, this most unbelievable of losses came at the hands of a Wade Phillips-coached team.
The Bills were up 17-7 after two defensive scores and led 24-13 following a Terrence McGee kick return. The victory looked like it was meant to be for Buffalo. However, Trent Edwards was picked off at the 5-yard line, giving Dallas life.
Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a touchdown with 24 seconds but the Cowboys missed the two-point conversion. Dallas then recovered the ensuing onside kick, the Bills defense didn't guard the sidelines and Nick Folk kicked a 53-yard field to give the Cowboys the win.
Buffalo fans had to watch ESPN replay 50 times Jerry Jones celebrating in the visiting owner's booth.
2005: Saturday Night—Broncos 28, Bills 17
The Mike Mularkey era was coming to an end in 2005 when the Broncos came to Buffalo. Denver had the best record in the AFC that year (13-3), and Jake Plummer was an MVP candidate.
Buffalo never stood a chance in this game.
2005: Sunday Night—Patriots 21, Bills 16
Bills fans may remember this game as the Tedy Bruschi game.
Bruschi was returning to football after a stroke earlier in the year. While it was a great story, ESPN appeared to forget that there was a football game going on, given how much focus was paid to Bruschi's return to action.
The Bills had a 16-7 lead in the fourth quarter, but New England pulled the game out after two Corey Dillon touchdowns.
2004: Sunday Night—Patriots 29, Bills 6
This was the usual Patriots butt-whipping and the entire country got to see it.
See if this sounds familiar: Buffalo dropped to 3-6 after a loss at New England and had an easy schedule down the stretch. 2004 sounds a lot like 2012.
The Bills won their next six games before losing to Pittsburgh's backups when they needed the game to make the playoffs. Maybe Buffalo can rattle off a similar winning streak this season.
2003: Sunday Night—Chiefs 38, Bills 5
This was another game in which the Bills lost a game to a superior opponent. Buffalo actually scored the first points of the game with a safety.
Kansas City was the best team in the AFC that year with a 13-3 record. They went to 8-0 after this victory over the Bills.
2003: Sunday Night Dolphins 17, Bills 7
A Miami Dolphins team coached by Dave Wannstedt ran Ricky Williams 42 times against the Bills. This shows how unimaginative Wannstedt is as a coach.
Williams had 383 rushes in 2002 and 392 rushing attempts in 2003. Soon after the '03 season, Williams went on his hiatus to a tent in Australia.
2001: Sunday Night—49ers 35, Bills 0
We have reached the first year of the Greg Williams era in Buffalo.
The Bills roster had been stripped down from its glory days and was on its way to a 3-13 season in 2001
Hey, at least they got a high draft pick.
And that draft pick turned out to be Mike Williams, who Buffalo thought would be a fit at left tackle. Williams became the first of many draft busts for the Bills in the last decade. Unfortunately, when lists come out ranking the NFL's biggest draft disappointments, Williams never gets the recognition he so richly deserves.
2001: Thursday Night—Bills 13, Jaguars 10
That's right, the last time the Bills won in prime time was a Thursday Night game in Jacksonville.
The AP led the game recap with this: "Rob Johnson moved the Bills 48 yards to set up a 46-yard field goal by Jake Arians with 1:03 remaining and help young, rebuilding Buffalo beat hapless Jacksonville 13-10 Thursday Night."
Some guy named Jake Arians had the last game-winning points for the Bills in a prime-time game.
If the Bills defeat the Dolphins this Thursday, they can end this losing streak. If not, the Bills will be 3-7 and looking at a meaningless six games to close out the season.