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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

No Punt Game
Aerial view of Candelstick Park in San Francisco, California LCCN2011632125.tif
Candlestick Park, the site of the game
1234 Total
BUF 310147 34
SF 71770 31
DateSeptember 13, 1992
StadiumCandlestick Park, San Francisco, California
RefereeRed Cashion
Attendance64,053
TV in the United States
NetworkNBC
Announcers

The No Punt Game was a National Football League game held between the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers on September 13, 1992 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The game is notable for being the first game in NFL history not to feature a single punt by either team, as the Bills and 49ers, led by quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Steve Young, respectively, combined for 1,086 total yards of offense, with both quarterbacks passing for over 400 yards.[1][2] Promoted as a potential Super Bowl matchup, the No Punt Game featured several players now enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Kelly, Young, Andre Reed, James Lofton, Jerry Rice, Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith, and is now remembered as one of the greatest games ever played.[3]

Background

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, ESPN anchor Chris Berman regularly predicted for seven consecutive years through his alter ego, "The Swami", that the Bills and 49ers would match up during Super Bowl; one or the other – but never both – made it during that span.[4] Likewise, this game was promoted as a "potential Super Bowl preview" by television announcers Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy.[5]

The starting quarterbacks for the two teams, Steve Young and Jim Kelly, had both played in the United States Football League before joining the NFL. During a 1985 game between Young's Los Angeles Express and Kelly's Houston Gamblers, Los Angeles jumped to a 33–13 lead, but the Gamblers came back under 574 passing yards from Kelly, winning 34–33 in what is now called "The Greatest Game No One Saw", due to ABC deciding to air the New Jersey Generals game as the sole USFL game to be broadcast that week.[6] By 1992, Kelly had become entrenched as the Buffalo Bills' franchise quarterback, while Young was substituting for injured 49ers starter Joe Montana.[7] Buffalo had appeared in the previous two Super Bowls, while San Francisco had missed the playoffs for the first time in nine years despite finishing 10–6 the previous season.

Game summary

The game started slowly, with neither team scoring on their opening possession, due to San Francisco kicker Mike Cofer missing a 33-yard field goal and Jim Kelly getting strip-sacked by the 49ers defense on the ensuing Bills drive. After that, all other drives in the first half aside from a Bills kneeldown at the end resulted in a score. Much like the aforementioned USFL Game, Young's 49ers jumped to an early lead over Kelly's Bills, leading 24–13 after halftime. However, Buffalo would respond with two unanswered touchdown passes from Kelly to tight end Pete Metzelaars, the latter of which occurred after Bills defender Bruce Smith forced 49ers running back Keith Henderson to fumble. The 49ers would retake the lead with their own long touchdown pass from Young to receiver John Taylor. After both quarterbacks threw interceptions on the next two drives, Kelly marched the Bills 72 yards in the 4th quarter, culminating with an 11-yard Thurman Thomas touchdown run to retake the lead 34–31. The 49ers had one last chance to tie or take the lead, but Cofer missed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide-right with 1 minute remaining, allowing Buffalo to kneel out the clock and claim victory.

In addition to neither 49ers punter Klaus Wilmsmeyer nor Bills punter Chris Mohr being called to punt, a first in NFL history, several other offensive milestones were reached in the game. Young and Kelly became just the third pair of NFL quarterbacks to each surpass 400 yards passing in a game, combining for 852 passing yards. This was the only game in 1992 to feature any 400-yard passers.[5] 4 receivers topped 100 yards during the game, and 18 plays went for more than 20 yards, with 5 of those surpassing 40 yards.[7] Bills cornerback Nate Odomes was later quoted saying "You saw two of the finest offensive teams on the field today, and two not-so-good defensive teams." Likewise, 49ers linebacker Mike Walter quipped, "I feel as a defensive guy that I have to go over and apologize to the offensive guys." Despite the perceived lack of defensive play, both teams were able to force three turnovers on each other.[7]

Box score

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 3 10 14734
49ers 7 17 7031

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

  • Date: September 13
  • Game time: 4:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: 65 °F (18 °C), relative humidity 60%, wind 13 mph
  • Game attendance: 64,053
  • Referee: Red Cashion
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy
  • References: [8][9]
Game information

Starting lineups

Buffalo Position San Francisco
Offense
James Lofton WR SE John Taylor
Will Wolford LT Steve Wallace
Jim Ritcher LG Guy McIntyre
Kent Hull C Jesse Sapolu
Glenn Parker RG Roy Foster
Howard Ballard RT Harris Barton
Andre Reed WR FL Jerry Rice
Thurman Thomas RB Ricky Watters
Jim Kelly QB Steve Young
Steve Tasker FL TE Brent Jones
Don Beebe FL FB Tom Rathman
Defense
Phil Hansen LE Pierce Holt
Jeff Wright NT Michael Carter
Bruce Smith RE Dennis Brown
Darryl Talley ROLB LCB Eric Davis
Cornelius Bennett LOLB RCB Don Griffin
Kirby Jackson DB SS Merton Hanks
Kurt Schulz DB FS Dana Hall
Nate Odomes RCB LOLB Tim Harris
James Williams LCB LILB Mike Walter
Henry Jones SS RILB Bill Romanowski
Mark Kelso FS ROLB John Johnson
Source:[9]

Officials

  • Referee: Red Cashion (#43)
  • Umpire: Dave Hamilton (#42)
  • Head Linesman: Sid Semon (#109)
  • Line Judge: Charles Stewart (#62)
  • Back Judge: Dick Creed (#61)
  • Side Judge: Tom Fincken (#47)
  • Field Judge: John Robison (#46)

Aftermath and legacy

Buffalo and San Francisco both finished the season strong following the game, but would both see their seasons end at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, the eventual Super Bowl champions. The 49ers would only lose one more game in the regular season, finishing with a 14–2 record and the number 1 seed in the NFC, but lost in the NFC Championship Game to Dallas 30–20. Buffalo would finish second in the AFC East with an 11–5 record and the number 4 seed in the AFC. In the playoffs, the Bills overcame a 35–3 lead by the Houston Oilers in the AFC Wild Card Game, now known as "The Comeback", to win 41–38. Buffalo would make it to the Super Bowl, but lost to Dallas 52–17.

Since the "No Punt Game", the only other regular season games in NFL history with zero punts by either team both came in 2014: during week 4 as the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 38–17,[10] and in week 8, as the New Orleans Saints beat the Packers 44–23.[11] A no-punt game occurred during the 2003–04 NFL playoffs as the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 38–31 in the Divisional round.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ "ESPN Classic - No punt intended as Bills, 49ers get offensive". www.espn.com. Archived from the original on 2020-10-07. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  2. ^ "Catch the infamous "No Punt Game" from '92 on Sunday". News 4 Buffalo. 2020-08-25. Archived from the original on 2020-08-26. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  3. ^ Chase Stuart (7 October 2012). "San Francisco sets record in Chris Berman's mythical Super Bowl". footballperspective.com. Archived from the original on 9 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b Skurski, Jay (2016-10-16). "Remembering 1992's legendary Bills-49ers 'No Punt Game'". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on 2020-10-07. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  5. ^ Werner, Barry (2020-02-23). "'The Greatest Game No One Saw,' which featured Jim Kelly and Steve Young, turns 35". Touchdown Wire. Archived from the original on 2020-09-18. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  6. ^ a b c Maiorana, Sal (2020-07-28). "Maiorana's Memories: NFL history was made in the Bills-49ers no punt game of 1992". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  7. ^ "Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers - September 13th, 1992". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2020-06-11. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  8. ^ a b Play-by-play Archived 2020-09-22 at the Wayback Machine from Pro Football Hall of Fame website
  9. ^ Kaberon, Eli (October 30, 2014). "By The Numbers: Bye Week". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Breech, John (2014-10-27). "Packers-Saints combine for 0 punts, third no punt game in NFL history". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on 2020-10-07. Retrieved 2020-09-22.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 July 2021, at 01:01
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