In case you missed it over the weekend, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2014. I figured this would be a fun article to do as a way to remember one of the Bills greats: a look back at the 1990 AFC divisional playoff game between the Bills and the Miami Dolphins.
In a scoreless first quarter, the Bills are facing 2nd & 9 from Miami's 40-yard line. Paul Maguire, who did color commentary for the game, has just finished telling us that Jim Kelly calls every play and does not look to the sideline for signals. Buffalo lines up for the play with its "K-Gun" personnel on the field: James Lofton (top), Reed (slot) and Al Edwards (bottom) at receiver, Thurman Thomas at running back and Keith McKeller at tight end.
The route combination that Reed scores on is something that is still very common today: the shallow cross concept. One receiver runs a drag, while the other runs an in-route behind it. The two routes can come from the same side of the field, or from different sides. Here, the Bills run it from the same side.
The Dolphins are in Cover 0 here and bring six pass rushers, so they're in man coverage across the board. That means Reed is singled up against our old friend Louis Oliver.
Kelly knows where he is going the whole way. He waits for Reed to make his break and hits him in stride.
Once Andre gets the ball, he outruns everyone and scores from 40 yards away. This, as we've already discussed, is what made Reed great.
Sometimes it's easy to forget how good these guys really were. Hopefully we can have a return to the glory days sometime soon. For now, we'll have to settle for watching one of the greats be inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 2. Congrats, Andre!