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#TBT: Robert Smith Running with the Bills


This "Throwback Thursday" is an opportunity to look back on a Vikings running back's big day in Buffalo to open the 1997 season with help from an archived page from that was available thanks to Wayback Machine.

Robert Smith rushed 16 times for 169 yards and a touchdown, averaging a career-best 10.56 yards per carry to fuel a 34-13 victory for Minnesota.

With a narrow three-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Smith zoomed for a 78-yard touchdown to sway momentum to Minnesota.

"I have never had a run like that in the pros. It kind of was like a high school run," Smith said after the game. "The defense completely did the wrong thing, and there was no one there to make the play."

At the time, the scoring run was the second-longest in Vikings history, behind an 80-yarder by Clinton Jones against Chicago in 1969.

In addition to swaying the game, Smith's big day marked somewhat of a tide change for the running back who battled injuries early in his career. From 1993-96, Smith played in 41 games and rushed for 1,829 yards and 11 scores.

He returned from knee surgery in 1996 with the outburst to start 1997 and rushed for more than 100 yards six times that season, equaling the number of 100-plus days he had in his first four seasons combined.

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