ORCHARD PARK NY - NOVEMBER 28: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers greets John Elway before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 28 2010 in Orchard Park New York. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
The birth of the "K-Gun" offense is said to have taken place on this date in 1990. Jim Kelly and the 9-2 Buffalo Bills were hosting the 7-4 Philadelphia Eagles when, on their first offensive series of the game, the team didn't huddle.
The K-Gun offense, named after agile tight end Keith McKeller who made it possible, was an up-tempo, no-huddle attack designed to keep the defense on their heels. After every play, the Bills would line up on the ball and Kelly would make the play calls at the line of scrimmage. The main difference between Buffalo and the rest of the league's no huddle was the Bills ran it as their base offense for extended periods of time, no matter the game clock situation. In this way, Kelly could constantly adjust his personnel to take advantage of deficiencies in the defense, but also wear out the opposing defenders.
Using the new offense, Kelly had the single best quarter in his Hall of Fame career. He went eight for eight for 229 yards and three touchdowns. James Lofton (63 yards), Andre Reed (56), and Thurman Thomas (4) all caught touchdowns in the opening stanza, and a Scott Norwood field goal made it 24-0 after only 15 minutes.
The Eagles came right back in the second period, scoring 16 points to pull within a missed extra point of the Bills in the third quarter. Two Scott Norwood field goals gave Buffalo a 30-23 win.
On the day, Kelly was 19 of 32 with 334 yards, the three touchdowns, and an interception. He had three passes over 50 yards and Lofton caught two of them - the 63-yard score and a 71-yard bomb.