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Worst Moments In Bills History, No. 20: Rob Johnson Over Doug Flutie

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

This is part of our countdown of the 25 worst moments in Buffalo Bills History. Check out the complete list, as well as the 25 best moments in team history, right here.

The Buffalo Bills went 11-5 in 1999, with Doug Flutie starting the first 15 games under center. With the final wild card spot locked up and no chance of movement in the rankings, Buffalo rested several key starters in the final regular season game - including their signal-caller. Rob Johnson came in for the resting Flutie, and what happened next is the 20th-worst moment on our list.

The Bills hosted divisional rival Indianapolis in the final game of the regular season. Unlike Buffalo, the Colts still had something to play for, and could lock up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs if things went their way. Johnson had his best day to date as the quarterback of the Bills, throwing for 287 yards on 75% passing with two touchdowns to lead the Bills' backups to a 31-6 trouncing of Indy.

Here's where the controversy began. After the game, Bills head coach Wade Phillips named Johnson the starter for the playoffs over Flutie. Later, he would say that team owner Ralph Wilson forced him to do it.

In the wild card round, Johnson was starting only his second game of the season when he faced off against the Tennessee Titans. He led the Bills to a late field goal which gave them a 16-15 lead, only to see the Titans win on a crazy kickoff return. (More on that play a little later in the countdown.)

Most Bills fans wanted Flutie to start the game, and to this day don't believe Buffalo would have lost that playoff game had the diminutive leader been under center instead of his surfing counterpart.

The controversy between the two was the sixth QB battle on's Top Ten quarterback controversies: