It was a tough, two-horse race for the all-time best running back in the history of the Buffalo Bills, but Thurman Thomas edged out O.J. Simpson to capture the honor.
Thomas had more yards rushing, although Simpson had a better average. In the end, there were two factors that gave Thomas the edge: He was a much better receiver than Simpson, and his teams had a lot more success than O.J.'s did.
Thomas helped the Bills reach four straight Super Bowls. Simpson's teams played in one playoff game (1974 vs. Pittsburgh), and they lost it.
Thomas played for the Bills from 1988 until 1999 and gained 11,938 yards rushing for the Bills, more than any player in the club's history. He also caught 456 passes in a Buffalo uniform for more than 4,300 yards.
The former Oklahoma State star had eight consecutive seasons with more than 1,000 yards rushing for the Bills and was selected to five straight Pro Bowls. Thomas led the AFC in rushing three times. He is the only player in NFL history to lead the league in total yards from scrimmage four consecutive seasons.
Thomas was also a big part of the Bills' playoff success in the early 1990s. He scored 21 touchdowns in the postseason including scoring at least one in nine straight playoff games.
Thomas had an outstanding game in Super XXV against the New York Giants. He gained 135 yards on the ground, added 55 yards receiving on five catches and scored a touchdown.
Had his team won the game, Thomas would have been the leading candidate to win the MVP, but the Bills fell 20-19 when they missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt on the game's final play.
Thomas retired after the 2000 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
Other candidates to win the title as the Bills' best running back include O.J. Simpson and Joe Cribbs.