Jim Kelly

James Edward Kelly (born February 14, 1960) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons and spent the entirety of his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills. He also played two seasons with the Houston Gamblers in the United States Football League (USFL).

Kelly was selected by the Bills in the first round of 1983 NFL draft and was taken fourteenth overall. He chose to sign with the Gamblers instead and did not play for the Bills until the USFL folded in 1986. Employing the "K-Gun" offense, known for its no-huddle shotgun formations, Kelly led one of the greatest NFL scoring juggernauts. From 1990 season to the 1993 season, he helped guide the Bills to a record four consecutive Super Bowls, although the team lost each game. (Only two other teams have gone to three straight Super Bowls, the Miami Dolphins, with Bob Griese, and the New England Patriots, with Tom Brady.)

In 2002, Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his first year of eligibility. His jersey number 12 is one of only three numbers retired by the Buffalo Bills as of 2018.

Jim Kelly
refer to caption
Kelly in 2010
No. 12
Personal information
Born:February 14, 1960 (age 59)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:226 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:East Brady (PA)
College:Miami (FL)
NFL Draft:1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14
Career history
Career highlights and awards


  • 2× USFL All-League Team (1984, 1985)
  • USFL Most Valuable Player (1984)
  • USFL Rookie of the Year (1984)
  • USFL All-Time Team
Career NFL statistics
Passer rating:84.4
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[1][2][3] and grew up about 60 miles to the northeast, in East Brady. He was a standout at East Brady High School and won all-state honors after passing for 3,915 yards and 44 touchdowns and 1 interception.[4] After his senior year, Kelly played in the Big 33 Football Classic.

Kelly also played basketball in high school, scoring over 1,000 points with six 30-plus-point games. As a senior, he led East Brady to the basketball state quarterfinals and averaged 23 points and 20 rebounds. [5]

College career

Kelly was offered a linebacker scholarship instead of quarterback to play college football at Penn State University under coach Joe Paterno.[6] He went on to play for the University of Miami, where he played an important role in helping build the program into one of the nation's best. Kelly finished his career at Miami with 406 completions in 646 attempts for 5,233 yards and 32 touchdowns; he was inducted into the university's hall of fame in 1992.[7].


Year Team Games Passing
G Rec Att Cmp Pct Yds TD Int Rate
1979 Miami 11 5–6–0 104 48 46.2 721 5 6 108.7
1980 Miami 12 9–3–0 206 109 52.9 1,519 11 7 125.7
1981 Miami 11 9–2–0 283 168 58.9 2,403 14 14 136.2
1982 Miami 11 7–4–0 115 51 63.0 585 3 1 133.4
Career 45 30–15 676 376 55.6 5,228 33 28 128.4

Professional career

Houston Gamblers

Because of fellow quarterback John Elway's well-publicized reluctance to play for the Baltimore Colts, which chose him in the 1983 NFL Draft, Kelly's agent asked whether there were any teams he would not play for. Kelly, who disliked cold weather, listed the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, and Buffalo Bills. He was pleased to see while watching the 1983 draft on television that the Bills did not select him as the 12th pick in the first round, but learned from his agent that the team had another first-round pick; the Bills chose Kelly as the 14th pick. Although Kelly at the time stated that he had expected the Bills to choose him, he later said, "You have to say those things ... I cried. (Laughs) I didn't really literally cry. I just had tears. I'm like, 'You got to be kidding me.'"[8]

Although he believed that team owner Ralph Wilson would not bring in the right players to build a championship team,[6] Kelly was resigned to playing for the Bills. While meeting with the team to negotiate his contract, however, a Bills secretary mistakenly let Bruce Allen, general manager of the rival United States Football League's Chicago Blitz, reach Kelly on the telephone; Allen persuaded Kelly to leave the meeting. Kelly later claimed that the USFL offered him his choice of teams because of the league's interest in signing quarterbacks. He signed with the Houston Gamblers, who played in the climate-controlled Houston Astrodome, and said, "Would you rather be in Houston or Buffalo?"[8]

In two seasons in Houston leading offensive coach Mouse Davis's run-and-shoot offense, Kelly threw for 9,842 yards and 83 touchdowns, completing 63% with an average of 8.53 yards per attempt with 45 interceptions. He was the USFL MVP in 1984, when he set a league record with 5,219 yards passing and 44 touchdown passes. Kelly's USFL records eclipsed those of fellow league quarterbacks Doug Williams and Steve Young. When the Houston Gamblers folded, Kelly went to the New Jersey Generals and was slated as their starting quarterback. Kelly appeared on a cover of Sports Illustrated while holding a Generals' helmet, but the league collapsed before he ever fielded a snap with the Generals.[9] Kelly remained on good terms with Generals owner Donald Trump, who provided his family with lodging during Kelly's later health issues.[10]

Buffalo Bills

Kelly finally joined the Bills (who had retained his NFL rights) in 1986 after the USFL folded. He helped lead the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl XXVSuper Bowl XXVIII) and six divisional championships from 1988 to 1995. Buffalo made the playoffs in eight of Kelly's 11 seasons as their starting quarterback. Kelly's primary 'go-to' wide receiver with the Bills, Andre Reed, ranks among the NFL's all-time leaders in several receiving categories. Kelly and Reed connected for 65 touchdowns during their career together trailing only the tandems of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison (112), Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, (87), Steve Young and Jerry Rice (85), Dan Marino and Mark Clayton (79), Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne (69), and Drew Brees and Marques Colston (68) for touchdowns by an NFL quarterback and receiver tandem.[11] Kelly, along with Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, and Scott Norwood, was the subject of the 30 for 30 film—Four Falls of Buffalo.[12]

"No-huddle offense"

Kelly ran the Bills' "K-Gun" no-huddle offense, which was a fast-paced offense named after tight end Keith McKeller, that denied opposing defenses the opportunity to make timely substitutions (the NFL later changed the rules in response to this to allow opposing defenses time to change formations under no-huddle situations, but this applied only if the offense made personnel substitutions). This offensive scheme called for multiple formation calls in a huddle, so that after each play was completed, the Bills would eschew a following huddle, instead lining up for the next play where Kelly would read the defense and audible the play. This led to mismatches and defensive communication breakdowns and, in the 1990s, established the Bills as one of the NFL's most successful and dangerous offenses, instrumental in leading Buffalo to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.



Year Team Games Passing
G Rec Att Cmp Pct Yds TD Int Rate
1984 Houston Gamblers 18 13–5–0 587 370 63.0 5,219 44 26 98.2
1985 Houston Gamblers 18 10–8–0 567 360 63.5 4,623 39 19 97.9
Career 36 23–13 1,154 730 63.3 9,842 83 45 98.0


Year Team Games Passing
G GS Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rate
1986 BUF 16 16 285 480 59.4 3,593 22 17 83.3
1987 BUF 12 12 250 419 59.7 2,798 19 11 83.8
1988 BUF 16 16 269 452 59.5 3,380 15 17 78.2
1989 BUF 13 13 228 391 58.3 3,130 25 18 86.2
1990 BUF 14 14 219 346 63.3 2,829 24 9 101.2
1991 BUF 15 15 304 474 64.1 3,844 33 17 97.6
1992 BUF 16 16 269 462 58.2 3,457 23 19 81.2
1993 BUF 16 16 288 470 61.3 3,382 18 18 79.9
1994 BUF 14 14 285 448 63.6 3,114 22 17 84.6
1995 BUF 15 15 255 458 55.7 3,130 22 13 81.1
1996 BUF 13 13 222 379 58.6 2,810 14 19 73.2
Career 160 160 2,874 4,779 60.1 35,467 237 175 84.4

Records and accomplishments

Profootballhalloffame USFL areas
Kelly's USFL jersey on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Kelly HOF jersey
Kelly's Bills jersey on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Kelly holds the 2nd all-time NFL record for most yards gained per completion in a single game (44), established on September 10, 1995 in the Bills' game against the expansion Carolina Panthers. He recorded an NFL-best 101.2 passer rating in 1990, led the league with 33 touchdown passes in 1991, and made the Pro Bowl five times (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, and 1992).

In his four Super Bowls, Kelly completed 81 of 145 passes for 829 yards and two touchdowns, with seven interceptions. His 81 completions are the fifth most in Super Bowl history behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, and Joe Montana. In Super Bowl XXVI, he set a record with 58 pass attempts, and in Super Bowl XXVIII he set a record with 31 completions (this was later surpassed).

Kelly finished his 11 NFL seasons with 2,874 completions in 4,779 attempts for 35,467 yards and 237 touchdowns, with 175 interceptions, all of which are Buffalo records excluding the interceptions. He also rushed for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns.[13]

Including his time in the NFL and USFL, he finished with over 45,000 passing yards and 320 touchdowns.[14] In 2001, the Buffalo Bills retired his number 12 jersey.[15]

On August 3, 2002, Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was enshrined during the first year he was eligible and headlined a class that also featured John Stallworth, Dan Hampton, Dave Casper, and George Allen. Fellow Hall of Fame member and former head coach Marv Levy was Kelly's presenter at the ceremony.[16]

Personal life

Jim Kelly 2010 02
Jim Kelly at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, 2010.

Kelly resides in East Aurora, New York, with his wife Jill and their daughters, Erin and Camryn. Kelly devoted much of his post-football life to his son, Hunter James Kelly, who was diagnosed with globoid-cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease) shortly after his birth on February 14, 1997 (which was Kelly's 37th birthday). Hunter died as a result of this disease on August 5, 2005, at the age of 8.[17] This loss deeply affected Kelly.

Two of Kelly's nephews, both the sons of his younger brother Kevin, have also played quarterback. Chad Kelly played college football at the Division I level for the Clemson Tigers and the Ole Miss Rebels and took part in the 2017 NFL Draft, in which he was selected last overall in the seventh round by the Denver Broncos, earning the honor of Mr. Irrelevant.[18] Casey Kelly, Chad's younger brother, is still in high school playing quarterback for national power house Mallard Creek High School and is scheduled to graduate in 2019.[19][20]

Kelly's father, Joe Kelly, died on August 21, 2017; his mother died in 1996.[21]

To honor his son, Kelly established a non-profit organization in 1997: Hunter's Hope. Kelly's advocacy on behalf of Krabbe patients has increased national awareness of the disease. He and his wife Jill founded the annual Hunter's Day of Hope, which is held on February 14, the birthdays of both Jim and Hunter Kelly. The Hunter James Kelly Research Institute was founded at the University of Buffalo in 2004, where neuroscientists and clinicians are studying myelin and its diseases. When Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, he dedicated his speech to Hunter. "It's been written that the trademark of my career was toughness," he said as he choked back tears. "The toughest person I ever met in my life was my hero, my soldier, my son, Hunter. I love you, buddy."

Kelly is a devout Christian, and has several business ventures, including Hall of Fame Life Promotions, a promotional company that is committed to donating a percentage of all of its proceeds to the Hunter's Hope Foundation. In 2011, Kelly founded Jim Kelly Inc. a company which produces the MyFanClip line of all purpose clips which bear sports team logos and other insignia. MyFanClip has licensing agreements with the NFL, MLB, NHL and NASCAR. Proceeds also benefit the Hunter's Hope Foundation.

Since 1988, Kelly has run a football camp for youths between the ages of eight to 18 at the Buffalo Bills facilities. It started with 325 campers in its first year, growing to over 500 campers a year. This camp provides teaching from experienced coaches and previous players from all over the country. Kelly also participates in various drills with the participants.

On June 3, 2013, Kelly announced that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer, in his upper jaw. He underwent surgery at a Buffalo hospital on June 7.[17] Kelly reported to news outlets shortly after his surgery that the procedure was successful and he was now cancer-free.[22] On March 14, 2014, after a follow-up test at the Erie County Medical Center, it was announced that Kelly's cancer had recurred, and that he would begin radiation and chemotherapy treatment.[23] It was announced on August 20, 2014 that doctors could no longer find evidence of cancer.[24]

On November 1, 2014, Kelly announced he had contracted MRSA within his bones, three months after being declared cancer-free. A few weeks after the announcement, Kelly said he was MRSA-free.[25]

Kelly announced in March 2018 that the cancer had returned.[26] He underwent surgery that month to remove the cancer and reconstruct his upper jaw.[27] In June 2018, it was announced that Kelly would receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2018 ESPYs.[27] In late June 2018 Kelly returned to a New York City hospital for additional surgery.

On January 18, 2019, Jill Kelly announced on Instagram that Jim was cancer free.[28]

See also


  1. ^ "Jim Kelly". NFL.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  2. ^ Buffalo Bills website Archived November 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "NFL - Players Rosters - National Football League - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  4. ^ [1] Archived November 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ http://www.piaa.org/assets/web/documents/results/Winter/Basketball/1978_A_Boys_BB.pdf
  6. ^ a b Neumann, Thomas (October 14, 2010). "Jim Kelly talks football, life, wrestling". ESPN Page 2. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  7. ^ [2] Archived November 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b "Elway to Marino". 30 for 30. Season 2. 2013-04-23. ESPN.
  9. ^ "Jim Kelly, Football, New Jersey Generals". Sports Illustrated (SI Vault). July 21, 1986. Archived from the original on March 10, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  10. ^ Fmr QB Jim Kelly: Trump 'Took Care of My Whole Family'. Fox News. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "From East Brady to Canton..." Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved November 30, 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Four Falls of Buffalo - ESPN Films: 30 for 30". espn.go.com.
  13. ^ "Jim Kelly". NFL.com. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "Hall of Famers". profootballhof.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  15. ^ "The Buffalo Bills will retire a number for only the second time". Fox Sports. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  16. ^ "2002 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Celebration Coverage". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Wawrow, John. "Former Bills QB Kelly battling cancer of the jaw". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  18. ^ "Nkemdiche has surprise TD in 76-3 win for No. 17 Ole Miss".
  19. ^ Fornelli, Tom (October 7, 2016). "WATCH: Ole Miss' Chad Kelly storms field during brawl at brother's high school game". CBS Sports. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  20. ^ "Led by another Kelly, St. Joe's triumps". The Buffalo News. September 2, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  21. ^ "Instagram post by Jim Kelly • Aug 22, 2017 at 3:10am UTC". Instagram.
  22. ^ "Jim Kelly: I'm now 'cancer-free'". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  23. ^ "Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly's cancer returns". cbc.ca. March 14, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  24. ^ "Doctor: No evidence of cancer for Jim Kelly".
  25. ^ "Report: Jim Kelly says he has MRSA infection". USA Today. November 1, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  26. ^ Mike Rodak (March 1, 2018). "Jim Kelly to begin treatments after oral cancer returns". espn.com. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Kelly to get Jimmy V Award for cancer fight". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  28. ^ Lott, Thomas (January 18, 2019). "Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly reveals he is cancer free once again". Sporting News. Retrieved January 21, 2019.

External links

1990 Buffalo Bills season

The 1990 Buffalo Bills season was the 31st for the franchise and the 21st in the National Football League. The team finished the year with a record of 13 wins and 3 losses, and first in the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. They were 8–0 at home for the second time in their franchise history. On the road, the Bills were 5–3. Buffalo qualified for their first Super Bowl appearance.

The Bills' offense was one of the best in the league; their 428 points (26.75 points per game) scored was first in the league, and since they only gave up 263 points (6th in the league), their point differential was 165 points (10.3 per game), which was the best in the NFL in 1990, as well as the best point-differential in franchise history. Buffalo's 48 offensive touchdowns (28 passing, 20 rushing) also led the league.

Defensive end Bruce Smith was named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year for 1990, recording 101 tackles, four forced fumbles, and a career-high 19 sacks.The season was chronicled on October 2, 2008 for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.

1991 Buffalo Bills season

The 1991 Buffalo Bills season was the 32nd season, and 22nd in the National Football League. The Buffalo Bills finished the National Football League's 1991 season with a record of 13 wins and 3 losses, the same record as their previous season, and finished first in the AFC East division. The Bills qualified for their second Super Bowl appearance, but lost to the Washington Redskins, 24–37.

1991 Pro Bowl

The 1991 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 41st annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1990 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 3, 1991, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,345. The final score was AFC 23, NFC 21.Art Shell of the Los Angeles Raiders led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert. The referee was Gordon McCarter.Quarterback Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning AFC team received $10,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $5,000.

1992 Buffalo Bills season

The 1992 Buffalo Bills season was the 33rd season for the team in the National Football League. The Buffalo Bills finished the National Football League's 1992 season with a record of 11 wins and 5 losses, and finished second in the AFC East division. The Bills qualified for their third straight Super Bowl appearance, but lost to the Dallas Cowboys 17–52.

1996 Buffalo Bills season

The 1996 Buffalo Bills season was their 37th in the league. The team matched their previous season's record of 10–6 and qualified for the playoffs, for the second consecutive season and eighth time in nine seasons. It was the final season for All-Pro QB Jim Kelly as he retired after the Playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Black Belt Jones

Black Belt Jones is a 1974 American blaxploitation martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse and starring Jim Kelly and Gloria Hendry. The film is a spiritual successor to Clouse's prior film Enter the Dragon, in which Kelly had a supporting role. Here, Kelly features in his first starring role as the eponymous character; is a local hero who fights the Mafia and a local drug dealer threatening his friend’s dojo.

DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball

The DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball program is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate men's basketball program of DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. The team has competed in the Big East Conference since the league's relaunch in 2013, after having been a member of the original Big East since 2005. The Blue Demons play home games at the new Wintrust Arena at the McCormick Place convention center on Chicago's Near South Side. Previously, their home court had been Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois.

Enter the Dragon

Enter the Dragon is a 1973 martial arts action film produced by and starring Bruce Lee. The film was directed by Robert Clouse, and co-stars John Saxon and Jim Kelly. It would be Bruce Lee's final completed film appearance before his death on 20 July 1973 at age 32. The film, a joint American and Hong Kong production, premiered in Los Angeles on 19 August 1973, one month after Lee's death. The film went on to gross US$90 million worldwide, equivalent to US$508 million adjusted for inflation.

The film is considered to be one of the greatest martial arts films of all time. In 2004 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Among the first films to combine martial arts action with the emerging Blaxploitation genre, its success led to a series of similar productions combining both genres.

The film's themes have also generated scholarly debate about how they reflect the changes taking place within post-colonial Asian societies following the end of World War II.

Frank Cicci Racing

Cicci Racing is an American professional stock car racing team that competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The team is owned by Frank Cicci of Elmira, New York and was last driven by Jay Sauter.

James M. Kelly (astronaut)

James McNeal "Vegas" Kelly (born May 14, 1964) is a NASA Astronaut and a retired Colonel of the United States Air Force. He twice served as pilot on Space Shuttle missions.

Jim Kelly (Kansas politician)

Jim Kelly (born August 8, 1947) is a Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing the 11th district (Independence, Kansas in Montgomery County, Kansas).

Jim Kelly (coach)

James Dennis Kelly (July 3, 1893 – July 11, 1972) was an American football, basketball and track and field coach and college athletics administrator. He coached at DePaul University and the University of Minnesota and was head coach of the United States track and field team at the 1956 Summer Olympics.

Jim Kelly (martial artist)

James Kelly Daniels (May 5, 1946 – June 29, 2013) was an American athlete, actor, and martial artist. Kelly rose to fame in the early 1970s appearing in several blaxploitation films. Kelly is perhaps best known for his role as Williams in the 1973 martial arts action film Enter the Dragon. He also had lead roles in 1974's Black Belt Jones as the title character and Three the Hard Way as Mister Keyes. Kelly died of cancer on June 29, 2013 at age 67.

Jim Kelly (sportscaster)

Jim Kelly is an American sportscaster who has worked for ESPN and CBS Sports.

List of Buffalo Bills starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. The Bills are a professional American football franchise based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The team competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The quarterbacks are listed in order of the date of each player's first start for the team at that position.

List of Super Bowl starting quarterbacks

This is a list of quarterbacks with Super Bowl starts.

Model Railroader

Model Railroader (MR) is an American magazine about the hobby of model railroading. Founded in 1934 by Al C. Kalmbach, it is published monthly by Kalmbach Publishing of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Commonly found on newsstands and in libraries, it promotes itself as the oldest magazine of its type in the United States, although it is the long-standing competitor to Railroad Model Craftsman, which - originally named The Model Craftsman - predates MR by one year.

MR is considered to be a general-interest hobby magazine, appealing to a wide range of hobbyists, rather than specializing in a particular scale, or facet of the hobby (such as prototype operations or scratch building and kitbashing). Model Railroader covers a variety of scales and modeling techniques for engines, rolling stock, right-of-way, structures, and scenery. It reviews products including ready-to-run models as well as kits, tools and supplies. The magazine presents blueprints and photographs of prototype equipment, as well as photographs of models and layouts.

A longstanding philosophy of modeling is manifest in its editorial features of layout design and operation, in which the model is viewed as a three-dimensional and temporal compression of the real world, so that, for example, the motive power, freight, trackage and scenery of a real-world railroad are formed into a layout which captures the spirit of not only the equipment and region of the railroad but also its purpose and how it operates.

The magazine is published under ISSN 0026-7341. Individual issues use the UPC 074820085486.

Super Bowl XXVI

Super Bowl XXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1991 season. The Redskins defeated the Bills by a score of 37–24, becoming the fourth team after the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers to win three Super Bowls. The Bills became the third team, after the Minnesota Vikings (Super Bowls VIII and IX) and the Denver Broncos (Super Bowls XXI and XXII) to lose back-to-back Super Bowls. The game was played on January 26, 1992, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first time the city played host to a Super Bowl.

Both teams finished the regular season with the best record in their respective conference. The Redskins posted a 14–2 regular season record, and led the league during the regular season with 485 points. Washington head coach Joe Gibbs entered the game seeking his third Super Bowl victory with the team, but with his third starting Super Bowl quarterback, Mark Rypien. The Bills finished the regular season with a 13–3 record and advanced to their second consecutive Super Bowl, largely through the play of quarterback Jim Kelly and their "K-Gun" no-huddle offense. However, their defense ranked second to last in the league in total yards allowed.

Early in the second quarter, the Redskins jumped out to a 17–0 lead from which the Bills could not recover. Washington also sacked Kelly four times and intercepted him four times. Rypien, who completed 18 of 33 passes for 292 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, was named Super Bowl MVP.

The telecast of the game on CBS was seen by an estimated 79.6 million viewers. This was the first time that a major television network successfully scheduled Super Bowl counterprogramming: Fox aired a special live football-themed episode of its popular sketch comedy show In Living Color during the halftime show.

Jim Kelly—awards and honors

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