|49ers P Andy Lee wouldn't mind not having to punt against the Bills on Sunday. (US Presswire)|
For 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman, Week 2 of the 1992 season wasn't a game that he recalled off hand. It took a peek at the box score for Rathman, then a 49ers fullback, to get brought up to speed on what was one of the most unique games in NFL history.
San Francisco quarterback Steve Young threw for 449 yards and ran for 50, Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly threw for 403 yards and Rathman scored a touchdown, but the Bills' 34-31 win is best remembered as something else: The only game in NFL history without a punt.
“To say you played in the only game in NFL history with no punts is something,” Rathman said. “I didn't even realize that was the case.”
“Obviously, they were two powerful offenses with Jim Kelly being the quarterback of their offense,” Rathman said. “A lot of weapons on offense. Both teams were very difficult to stop, and I think the bottom line was they were executing.”
Punter Andy Lee needed a history lesson on the game as well.
“That sounds like a fun game. All holding, no punting?” Lee said. “Well, actually if the other team isn't punting either, that might not be so good.”
Upon learning 49ers kicker Mike Cofer missed a pair of field goals in the game -- without word on how good the holds were -- Lee changed his tune.
“Never mind, then,” he said. “We'd have to get that right.”
Lee has never played a game in his nine-year NFL career without having to punt. He's had two games with just one punt, and he went the 2007 season with just one game with less than five.
In 20 years since the game with no punts, the 49ers and Bills have traded off wins in their five meetings with the latest being a 10-3 49ers road win in 2008.