On January 27, 1991, the Buffalo Bills took on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Florida. The game would be a very memorable showdown that went down to the wire. The Giants led by Head Coach Bill Parcells put up an impressive 13-3 record in the regular season. only to lose starting quarterback Phil Simms in week 15 of the season to a leg injury then suffered a major blow when they lost rookie running back Rodney Hampton in the divisional round of the playoffs. With those injuries it looked like they might slow down the the team, but that wouldn't be the case. Jeff Hosteler a career backup quarterback stepped in under center and 33 year old running back Ottis Anderson took over in the backfield. The Giants team also had an impressive defense that included linebacker Lawrence Taylor who helped the team finish first in the league on defense. The Bills under Head Coach Marv Levy also had a 13-3 regular season and featured Jim Kelly at quarterback, Thurman Thomas in the backfield along with a Andre Reed and Don Beebe at wide receiver the offense would have a remarkable year scoring 428 points leading the entire NFL in offense. The team also had some pretty notable names on the defensive side of the ball like Bruce Smith, Darryl Talley, and Cornelius Bennett. They were truly one of the most dominant teams in the league at the time.
The Giants looked dominant when they came out after the half. Hostelter led his team on a 14 play, 75 yard drive that included a crucial third down conversion a huge 24 yard field goal by Anderson. Then an absolutely great effort by wide receiver Mark Ingram, who broke multiple tackles on another third down conversion. After even another third down conversion from Hostetler deep in Bills territory Ottis Anderson scored from one yard out and gave his team a 17-12 lead. When the Bills took over on offense things continued to unravel for the team, to the point that they found themselves facing a 4th and 25, which forced them to punt from their own 38. Their punter Rick Tuten put the ball up in the air and it only traveled 20 yards giving the Giants a short field as they started form their own 42. Momentum shifted back toward Buffalo when New York attempted to convert on 4th and 2. Hostetler handed off to Anderson and Bruce Smith stuffed him for a two yard loss, it gave Buffalo an opportunity that wouldn't be wasted as they headed into the fourth quarter. The Bills stormed down the field, going 63 yard in just four plays, with almost half of those yards coming on a 31 yard touchdown run by Thurman Thomas. The Bills led 19-17 but this one was far from over. The Buffalo defense was being stretched thin with their offense working so fast, they could barely catch their breathe before they were back on the field trying to stop the Giants offense. While the Bills worked quickly the Giants put together another long drive. This time it was a 14 play, 74 yard drive that stalled out in the redzone, but still led to a field goal for the Giants. With New York up 20-19 they forced a Buffalo punt and took back over before having to punt the ball back to their opponents. With just 2 minutes and 16 seconds left on the clock, the Bills took over at their own ten yard line. They tried desperately to put themselves in field goal range. Kelly scrambled twice for a gain of nine yards, then Thurman Thomas ran the ball on a draw play out of the shotgun formation for 22 yards, converting on 3rd and 1. A quick strike to Reed and another run by Kelly put the Bills in Giants territory. Kelly hooked up with tight end Keith McKellar then Thomas ran it another 11 yards, that put them at the Giants 29, Kelly spiked the ball with just 8 seconds left on the clock and the offense had put themselves in position to win the game with a field goal. Scott Norwood stepped up for the 47 yard attempt and had plenty of distance in his kick but it sailed wide right of the goalpost and the New York Giants were Super Bowl Champions.
Video from the final minutes of the game: