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August 12, 1995: Bills Win First NFL Game In Toronto

If you don't like the Bills Toronto Series, today is the anniversary of the team's first steps into that city. On August 12, 1995, the Buffalo Bills defeated the Dallas Cowboys 9-7 in an American Bowl game in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was the first NFL game ever played in Toronto.

The Bills won on a Steve Christie field goal in the fourth quarter.  After Jim Kelly was on the field for nine plays quarterback Rick Strom played the majority of the game and was relieved by Alex Van Pelt who led the winning drive.

The American Bowl series was held between 1986 and 2005, and brought America's brand of football to foreign countries. London hosted the first three games, and one game each year for the first eight. Tokyo was next to join in 1989, hosting a game on and off until the series ended. Berlin, Montreal, Barcelona, Mexico City, Monterrey, Vancouver, Sydney, Osaka, Dublin, and Toronto hosted at least one game as well.

During the American Bowl series, the Bills went 2-2 on foreign soil. In 1991, they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles at  Wembley Stadium in London. 1993 saw the Bills fall to the Minnesota Vikings 20-6 in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. The Bills beat the Cowboys 9-7 in Toronto in 1995 before falling to the Green Bay Packers in 1997 in a game also played at the Sky Dome.

When the NFL began playing regular season games in foreign markets beginning in 2005, the league discontinued the pre-season series.

In 2008, the team began the "Bills Toronto Series," where eight games over five years were to be played in the Rogers Centre. The package includes one regular season game per year, along with a pre-season game every other year, over a five-year period.

To read more about the game, the Buffalo News also looked back this morning.