With eight seconds remaining in the game, Norwood's Buffalo Bills trailed the New York Giants by a single point. They chose to try a 47-yard field goal, which would win the game and the championship for the Bills. However, 47 yards was considered near the limit of Norwood's kicking range, particularly on a grass field, according to comments during the original game broadcast. Bills head coach Marv Levy also noted that fewer than 50% of such attempts succeeded. In fact, during that season, Norwood was 1 of 5 for field goal attempts of more than 40 yards on grass, with his 1 success being 41 yards.
The kick sailed right of the uprights and the field goal attempt failed.
The Bills were given their first of four consecutive Super Bowl losses, and this loss was the closest the team got as the next three Super Bowls ended with the Bills losing by thirteen or more all three times. The city of Buffalo had not won a major sports championship since 1965 (the third-longest such streak of futility for any city that has at least two major sports franchises, after San Diego (1963) and Cleveland (1964)), so Norwood's unsuccessful attempt had even greater significance.
Norwood himself would kick for one more season with the Bills before being replaced by Steve Christie for the 1992 season. While Norwood's career would largely be associated with the miss, many Bills fans still ranked him highly for the totality of his accomplishments with the team and his character before and after Super Bowl XXV, which paralleled the city of Buffalo's industrial decline and its resurgence by diversification and cleaning up.