Micah Hyde sealed the Buffalo Bills’ 31-21 victory over the Miami Dolphins in a wild way. With the Dolphins attempting an onside kick trailing 24-21 late in the fourth quarter, Hyde leaped high into the air, caught the attempt, and raced 45 yards for his first career kickoff return touchdown (and third career touchdown overall).
When Hyde scored on the onside kick, it made us wonder whether that had ever happened before in Buffalo history. As our friend Jeff Hunter tweeted, it’s not only not the first time that it’s happened, it’s actually not even the first time it’s happened in Bills’ history.
The last time a player recovered an onside kick and returned it for a touchdown was December 19, 2010, when Indianapolis Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler did it against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The touchdown was the only score in Hagler’s five-year career.
Of the eleven times an onside kick has been returned for a touchdown since the AFL-NFL merger, the Bills have been the team to do it not once, not twice, but thrice. In 1970, Greg Jones did it against the Boston Patriots, sealing Buffalo’s third and final win in a miserable 3-10-1 campaign. Hyde did it today. The last time it happened in Bills’ history was on December 19, 1999.
Buffalo won its ninth game of the year that day, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 31-21. They were leading 24-21 late in the fourth quarter when Cardinals kicker Chris Jacke attempted an onside kick that strong safety Henry Jones scooped and returned 37 yards for a touchdown. There is video of the play on YouTube, but all I could find was this clip that looks like it was filmed during the blizzard game in 2017.
The touchdown for Jones was the fourth of five career scores during his time with the Bills. The 1999 team went on to win 11 games, qualifying for the playoffs. Unfortunately, we all remember how that season ended.