Former Bills players disappointed to be knocked out of record book but laud Vikings for historic comeback – Twin Cities

As the Vikings made a comeback on Saturday against Indianapolis, former Buffalo Bills tight end Steve Tasker watched on television at Highmark Stadium. And he texted.

Tasker is on a chain of posts with former teammates, many of whom also played for the Bills in their 1992 playoff victory over the Houston Oilers. earlier in the season included Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Cornelius Bennett, Darryl Talley and Will Wolford, and most of them were unhappy.

The Vikings set an NFL record by scoring 33 points to beat the Colts 39-36 in overtime at US Bank Stadium, and win the NFC North. They knocked off the Bills – who came back from a 32-point deficit to beat the Oilers 41-38 in overtime on January 3, 1993, at Highmark Stadium, home of longtime home of Buffalo.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Tasker kisses his son Deacon, 4, after the Bills' 37-24 loss to the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI Sunday, Jan.  26, 1992 in Minneapolis.  (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Tasker kisses his son Deacon, 4, after the Bills beat the Washington Redskins 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI Sunday, Jan. 26, 1992 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

“They look disappointed,” Tasker said Sunday of the former Bills player. “It’s like they made it known. But what are you going to do?”

Tasker, a former special teamer who is a radio analyst in Buffalo, was at Highmark Stadium before the Bills beat the Miami Dolphins 32-29 on Saturday night. Chris Mohr, the player on that 1992 team, and some team executives watched the game with him.

“I’m a little sad,” Tasker said. “It’s kind of frustrating. But good for the Vikings. They deserve a big hat tip for hanging in there and playing hard. I am happy for them. Thank them. It’s quite an achievement.”

It was a big deal among the 1992 Bills players. They were disappointed to lose their record, but appreciated the Vikings for fighting back from a 33-0 deficit.

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“I watched it and it was unbelievable,” said James Lofton, a Hall of Fame inductee who saw the game on NFL Network in a hotel room in California while preparing to be an analyst. on CBS for Sunday’s game between Tennessee and the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. “The Vikings never stopped competing and shut (the Colts) down in the second half.”

Lofton added, however, that “sometimes the record is not what it has been since we had that record in the playoffs.” Lofton pointed out the nature of the playoffs, and the Oilers are a much better team than the Colts (4-9-1), who are playing for the ropes. But he wouldn’t say the Bills have a better return.

“The comeback is better if you live in Western New York, but if you’re in Minnesota, you like what the Vikings have been doing recently,” Lofton said.

Former Bills wide receiver Don Beebe missed the first half of Minnesota’s dramatic win because he was watching his nephew play high school basketball in Chicago, where he lives. When the Vikings (11-3) started to attack in the second half, he caught wind.

“My friends started texting me and saying, ‘Hey, the record is about to be broken,'” Beebe said. “So my wife (Diana) put it on her phone and we watched the last minute of regulation and then overtime.”

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Chad Beebe with his father, Don Beebe, and mother, Diana Beebe.  (Chris Tomasson/Pioneer Press)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Chad Beebe with his father, Don Beebe, and mother, Diana Beebe. (Chris Tomasson/Pioneer Press)

Beebe agreed with Lofton that you can’t completely compare regular season games to playoff games, and so did Tasker. But Beebe, who caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Frank Reich in the game in which the Bills came back from a 35-3 deficit early in the third quarter, has a link to the Vikings which gave him mixed feelings.

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Beebe’s son, Chad Beebe, was Minnesota’s wide receiver in 2018-21, and he knew Vikings tight end Kirk Cousins. Both quarterbacks and receivers have the same rep as Mike McCartney.

“I was hoping they wouldn’t get the record for obvious reasons, but secondly, on the flip side, I’m really happy for Kirk,” Beebe said. “I’m a fan of Kirk. I am very happy that Kirk now has his name as the quarterback with the greatest comeback of all time even though he took it away from my good friend Frank Reich.

Reich was the backup that season for the Bills, but started the playoffs because Kelly was out with a knee injury. Interestingly, Reich was Indianapolis’ coach for the first nine games of the season before being fired and replaced by Jeff Saturday.

“Not only did they (the Colts) fire him, they took away Frank’s record,” Beebe said. “So they took Frank away this year.”

The Vikings beat the Colts 39-3 on Saturday, with Greg Joseph sealing the victory with a 40-yard field goal with three seconds left in overtime. In addition to breaking the NFL record for most wins, they broke the team mark that was set in 1977 against San Francisco at Metropolitan Stadium. The Vikings came back from a 24-0 deficit to win on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Kramer to Sammy White in the final minute. Both Kramer and White were at Saturday’s game.

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Cousins ​​is 4 years old with the Bills making a huge comeback. But he said he knows a lot about that game from seeing footage on the NFL Network.

“Walking on the field, when someone said it was the greatest comeback, I thought of Frank Reich (and former Houston quarterback) Warren Moon,” said Cousins, who threw for a career-high 460 yards. especially against the Colts, including having a second half in which he threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns.

Reich also threw all of his passes in the second half of the Bills’ playoff victory, the other three going to Reed. Beebe said Reich has people who remind him every day about that game, and he still hears about it all the time.

Tasker also gets frequent reminders about that game from Bills fans. He thinks there will be a similar memorial in Minnesota, even if some fans spread the truth.

“There were 70,000 people in the stands, and I joked that I met 1.2 million people who said they were there that day,” Tasker said. “And I’m sure Vikings fans are going through the same thing. It’s one of those games that as a fan of that team, you’ll wear it as a badge of honor if you were there and witnessed it. “


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