Kelly didn't blink. He hit Lofton for 42 yards, McKeller on fourth-and-two for five and Edwards for 12 to move the Bills to the Miami 17, as the no-huddle continued to unsettle the Dolphins, who had never played against it for a full game. Four plays later, Thomas (32 carries for 117 yards) burst past center Kent Hull for a five-yard score. The lead was 10 again, 37-27, and Marino buckled his helmet, knowing he needed two touchdowns in the last 10 minutes.
Only Marino didn't get the chance. On the kick return Buffalo's Hal Garner cut through a seam in the Miami blocking and knocked the ball out of return man Marc Logan's grasp at the Dolphin 26-yard line. "I thought I was gone," Logan said. "I really didn't see him. He put his head right on the ball." Buffalo recovered, and 25 seconds later, Kelly put a soft touch on a pass to Reed for the 26-yard TD that clinched the victory.
"Kelly's like a Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan in this offense," Marchibroda said. "The ball's in his hands. The game's in his hands. Jimmy calls the game all by himself, and we've got the personnel now to run the offense right."
Soon, perhaps on a dry, sunny field in Tampa, far south of the NFL's version of the North Pole, the rest of the world may get to see this offense. It's a new decade, and a new team is giving new hope to the AFC.