Great Games: Thurman Thomas – 1991 vs. The Miami Dolphins


The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins have had a long history featuring some great games. How each team was doing didn’t seem to matter as a Dolphins team going through a down year could still beat a Bills team that was riding high, and vice versa. In September of 1991, the Buffalo Bills defeated the Miami Dolphins by the score of 35-31. This came right in the middle of the Bills run of four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

The Dolphins scored first on a 43 yard touchdown pass from Dan Marino to Mark Clayton. Running back Mark Higgs scored in the second quarter giving the Dolphins a 14-0 lead before a 54 yard touchdown pass from Jim Kelly to Andre Reed put Buffalo on the board. Miami opened the second half with a short field goal and looked to be in control with the score 17-7. Buffalo then scored two consecutive touchdowns, the first a 3 yard pass from Frank Reich to Butch Rolle and the second a 50 yard pass from Jim Kelly to Thurman Thomas. the Dolphins came back and retook the lead with a second Marino to Clayton touchdown pass. The Bills then scored two consecutive touchdowns again, this time on the ground, the first by Carwell Gardner and the second by Thurman Thomas. Miami’s final touchdown of the day was a Dan Marino to Mark Duper 3 yard pass that pulled them within four points and left the score at 35-31.

Thurman Thomas had one of his best games ever that day. Yes, he had rushed for more yards in a game before. Yes, he had caught more passes and accumulated more passing yards in a game before. He had even scored more touchdowns in a game than he did on that September day at home against the Dolphins.

But, what he hadn’t done in one game before was rush for more than 100 yards and catch more than 100 yards worth of passes. He finished the game with 25 carries for 165 yards and one touchdown, and 8 receptions for 103 yards and one touchdown. Those would be great stats for two different players on most teams, but that was all Thurman Thomas on that day.

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