November 22, 1981 -- It qualifies as one of the most dramatic finishes in Bills' history.
The 6-5 Bills had fallen behind the 2-9 Patriots, 17-13, in the final seconds. Matt Cavanaugh had hit Don Hasselback with a 2-yard touchdown pass just after the two-minute warning. The game looked over. Then Joe Ferguson hit Roland Hooks with a long pass to get the ball to the New England 36.
OK, there was a heartbeat, but a faint one. Then Ferguson threw a long pass toward the end zone ... which was deflected by the Patriots' Mike Hawkins ... into the waiting arms of Hooks for a game-winning touchdown.
Bills win, 20-17. Fandemonium, as someone once said. (OK, I should give credit to Van Miller.)
Hooks finished with six receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 13 times for 45 yards. Nick Mike-Mayer had two field goals for Buffalo.
The Bills, buoyed by the win, won their next three games to move to 10-5, and they made the playoffs for the second straight year.
So remember, never leave a game too early.
-- Budd Bailey