Wide Right! Wide Right!
The game which started probably the four most disappointing years in Buffalo history took place on January 27, 1991. That day, in front of 73,813 people in Tampa Stadium (Tampa, Florida), the Buffalo Bills lost their first of four straight Super Bowls to the New York Giants. But what hurts the most is that they lost the game on a completely makeable field goal. The Bills just choked.
Midway through the second quarter, the Bills jumped to an early 12-3 lead, just before the Giants' quarterback Jeff Hostetler completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to receiver Stephen Backer to bring the Giants within two points. By halftime, the Bills were up 12-10.
On the initial drive of the third quarter, the Giants ate up a Super Bowl record of 9:29 off the clock in fourteen of their total 73 plays. The drive went a total of 75 yards, capped by running back Ottis Anderson running it in from a yard out for a touchdown. This long drive went going largely thanks to quarterback Jeff Hostetler, who converted on three third-down plays. On third-and-eight, he converted an 11-yard pass to running back David Megget, he converted a 14-yard pass to receiver Mark Ingram on third-and-13, and a 9-yard pass to Howard Cross on third-and-four. New York now had a 17-12 lead late in the third quarter.
On the opening play of the fourth quarter, Buffalo's running back, Thurman Thomas, ran in a 31-yard touchdown, to help Buffalo recapture the lead at 19-17. A while later, New York's kicker, Matt Bahr gave his team a 20-19 lead with a 21-yard field goal.
Now, there were only seconds remaining in the game. Buffalo had the ball. The Bills brought out their kicker, Scott Norwood. It was do or die for him. If he made this 47-yard field goal, Buffalo would be crowned as Super Bowl champs, and he would be the hero in Buffalo. If he missed it, he would go home with his head down, and be the zero in Buffalo, too ashamed to even walk down the street. With a chance to win the game, Norwood attempted the field-goal, but unfortunately, it sailed wide right.
A large reason for the success of the New York Giants was their ball-control offense. They had possession of the ball for a Super Bowl record of 40 minutes and 33 seconds, leaving the Bills with the ball for only 19:27 seconds (less than eight of those minutes came in the second half). The Giants' quarterback, Hostetler, completed 20 of 32 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown. The Bills' running back Thurman Thomas got 190 total yards (135 on the ground, and 55 in the air). But MVP honors went to the Giants' running back, Ottis Anderson, who rushed 21 times, for 102 yards. The Giants won their second Super Bowl in five years.