@mikerodak Don Beebe running down Leon Lett
— Reggie LeDrew (@drewdistilled) June 12, 2014
This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in team history. The past two days, we've featured Scott Norwood's "Wide Right" kick against the New York Giants, as well as the "Music City Miracle" that kept the Bills from advancing in the 1999 playoffs. Please vote for your choice as the Bills' most memorable play.
Score: Cowboys 52, Bills 17
Date: Jan. 31, 1993 Site: Rose Bowl
Is there one play that exemplifies the Buffalo Bills more than this one?
Two years after Norwood's "Wide Right" missed field goal against the Giants, the Bills were once again in the playoffs. Down 32 points in the wild-card round, they were knocked down but not knocked out. Frank Reich led Buffalo over the Houston Oilers in overtime for the NFL's greatest comeback, sparking a postseason run that found the Bills in their third consecutive Super Bowl.
This wasn't the same team, though, that nearly toppled the Giants and kept it close against the Washington Redskins the next season. The Dallas Cowboys were an offensive juggernaut and opened a 28-10 halftime lead over the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII.
Then it got worse. Down 52-17 in the fourth quarter, Reich -- who had replaced an injured Jim Kelly earlier in the game -- was sacked and fumbled. Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett picked up the loose ball and rumbled 64 yards toward the end zone.
Bills receiver Don Beebe had other ideas. One of the fastest players in the NFL, Beebe chased down Lett from behind. Lett had begun to celebrate his would-be touchdown by extending the ball out from his body, allowing Beebe to swat it away just before it crossed the goal line.
Touchback. No score. Bills ball.
The game would end shortly after, with the Bills losing their third consecutive Super Bowl. But now 21 years later, both Lett and Beebe are most known for that one play that came when the result of the game was already decided.
It fits the Bills well. Even in rough times, it's a franchise and a fan base that hasn't given up.