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Revisiting Super Bowl XXVIII: Bills lost fourth straight 20 years ago today

Revisiting Super Bowl XXVIII: Bills lost fourth straight 20 years ago today Marv Levy's Bills dropped their fourth straight Super Bowl on this day 20 years ago in Atlanta. (Associated Press)

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The Bills made history in Super Bowl XXVIII by becoming the only NFL team to appear in four consecutive championship games. That feat has never been repeated. The third time wasn't the charm for the Bills in the Super Bowl, but now they had another shot at the title against the defending champions Dallas Cowboys.

The Bills were confident. Jim Kelly was on a late-season roll, and the players were determined not only to win but to not be tagged as losers together with the Vikings and Broncos, who had also lost four Super Bowl games, but not consecutively. The Cowboys themselves were cherishing this opportunity to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and victory would place them among the only three elite teams that had won four Super Bowls up to that point in time. 

The outcome at the Georgia Dome that day was a game of two halves, with the Cowboys riding over the Bills in the second half to a 30-13 victory as Buffalo threw away a 13-6 first-half lead. 

From the archives:

Game preview stories:

  • Peter Bell

    It still hurts. After the Giants, the Bills ran into 3 of the best teams ever put on a football field. How could their luck be that bad?

  • PondScumLawyer

    Those years are best forgotten. The repeated Superbowl debacles solidified Buffalo's reputation as a dreadful, dysfunctional city, not deserving of winning such a title.

    • Jesse Czelusta

      Such a stock negative answer. Everyone just has stock, generic, get anywhere comments. Positive or negative. Why bother?

  • Guest

    Yeah, lets not remember this stuff... The news and the people of Buffalo are amazing, constantly living in the past.. How about being a responsible news syndicate and HAMMERING the Bills and ownership over missing the playoffs since 1999... the news should've been laying it on thick to the ownership and management over the years instead of writing feel good warm and fuzzy stories about past successes, and maybe the people of the region would've smartened up and temporarily abandoned the team and hit the team where it hurts, the pocketbook by not buying tickets... .... Simply astounding.

    • JP Fitzpatrick

      I'm pretty sure 90% of Tim Graham and Bucky Gleason's and 100% of Jerry Sullivan's articles hammer ownership within an inch of their lives (ok in Wilsons defense thats a realllllly thin line)

  • Jeff in Chicago

    who would want to do this? what reader is saying, "yeah, i'm actually feeling pretty good today in the middle of one of the coldest winters in recent memory; anything out there that could blow it? hey, how about that; the News has put together all the Bills articles commemorating the blow out super bowl loss that signified the end of an era. awesome! ok day, prepare to suck!"

  • Archibald Sauerbrun

    The Bills should have beaten the Giants in SB 25. That was their game to win and they screwed it up. Too much partying off the field most likely to blame. All they had to do was put 30 points on the board by halftime, the Giants didn't have the fire power to catch up with that. But instead, they blew it!

  • Ari M. Eden

    The people of Buffalo should be proud of this awesome accomplishment. I don't care if they lost all 4 games. It's still an amazing feat that nobody accomplished before or after the Bills. If you want something to really be embarrassed about, look at Buffalo's sad history since this era of AFC dominance, now that's depressing. Anyone with an ounce of football knowledge knows what an incredible feat going to 4 straight SBs really is, and I'm glad the Bills have at least seen HOF acknowledgement with Levy, Kelly, etc. Reed should be next. Hope these comments aren't reflective of most in Buffalo. Geez, if you guys don't keep that team's spirit alive nobody else will.

  • Gerald Von Zeller

    Whew, I'm exhausted just reading this. Does a review have to be as circuitous or convoluted as the movie it criticizes for being the same?

    Paragraphs, or sentences, 9, 10, and 11 are so oddly written that they lack cohesion. Certainly paragraph 11 needs to start with a noun, not a contracted pronoun. It took three readings of it before I realized that Mr. Simon had gone back to writing about Gone Girl and was not still writing about Laura. The first words probably should have been, at the very least: It's Fincher's ending...

    Unless Mr. Simon is still writing about Laura, which means I really haven't figured out what he's referring to.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.