The 1990 Buffalo Bills were a team destined for great things following close playoff losses in 1988 and 1989. After a 2-1 start where they lost to division rival Miami, Buffalo was going up against the reigning AFC Champion Denver Broncos in Week 4.
By the end of the third quarter, Buffalo was in a world of hurt. They were down 21-9, and the offense was sputtering. On this day, the Bills' defense and special teams would step up in a big way.
The Broncos lined up for a 24-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter that would have given them a three possession lead in the days before the two point conversion. But instead of a chip shot three points, Cornelius Bennett picked up a blocked field goal out of the air and raced 80 yards for his first career touchdown.
After the kickoff, another batted ball turned into a Buffalo interception that Leonard Smith returned for a touchdown. Though Scott Norwood's extra point attempt was blocked, the Bills still held a 22-21 lead without their offense even taking the field.
Denver's problems went from bad to worse when on the ensuing drive, John Elway fumbled a shotgun snap on his own four-yard line. Bennett was once again in the right place at the right time and fell on the ball. Kenneth Davis' touchdown and the extra point gave Buffalo 20 points in 77 seconds, with their offense playing only one snap.
9:10 remained on the clock, though, and the Broncos went on to score a late TD with just under a minute and a half remaining. Since the two-point conversion wasn't a rule until 1994, they had to settle for only one point and a 29-28 deficit. The onside kick almost worked, bouncing high over the heads of the kick return team, but Pete Metzelaars jumped through the wall of Broncos to snatch the ball and seal the win.
The Bills were outgained on offense by a margin of 410 to 197 yards, but found a way to win. That win was crucial to Buffalo clinching the AFC East and homefield advantage in the AFC playoffs. The Bills didn't lose another game, and clinched the AFC's top seed with a 24-14 win over the Dolphins in the penultimate game of the year. When Miami and Buffalo met in the playoffs, it wasn't in Florida where the Bills had fallen to the Dolphins in September. Instead, it was at home in Orchard Park.