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Buffalo continues its comeback tradition

Posted by Chase Stuart on September 26, 2011

The most famous comeback in history happened in Buffalo. The second largest comeback in regular season history occurred inside of Rich Stadium. The largest comeback in the NFL last season came via the right arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick. And now, Orchard Park was the site of another record, as the Bills became the first team to ever come back from 18+ deficits to win in consecutive weeks.

From 2002 to 2010, 22 teams overcame a deficit of 18 points or more to win a game. So far this season, the Bills have come from 18 and 21 points back to win in consecutive weeks. At the same time, the Vikings lost 17 and 20 point leads to Tampa Bay and Detroit. Jason Lisk thinks the craziness might continue, thanks to the ridiculous passing numbers so far this season (more to come on this in a future post).

From 1945 to 2010, there were 126 games where the winning team was trailing by more than 17 points at some point in the game. While the Bills became the first team to win consecutive games after trailing by 18+ points, six other teams did that feat twice over the course of a season. In '96, Bill Parcells' Patriots did the trick against his former and future employer, and in the same stadium: New England trailed the Jets 21-0 in week 11 and the Giants 22-0 in week 17, but ended up winning both games. The '95 Colts came up one play shy of the Super Bowl, but began their never-say-die ways earlier in the season. Indianapolis won two divisions games 27-24, after trailing 24-3 in both games against the Jets and Dolphins. In 1983, the Falcons trailed the (you guessed it) Jets and Packers 21-0 over the course of five weeks, but won both games by six points.

On the other side of things, it's hard to envision a more anxiety-inducing three weeks than weeks six through eight of the 1987 season for Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay scored three first quarter touchdowns against the Chicago Bears, although failed to convert the PAT following the third touchdown. Tampa extended the lead to 26-14 in the third quarter, but ultimately fell 27-26. The next week, the Tampa defense held the Packers off the scoreboard in the first half. The Bucs extended the lead to 23-3 in the 4th quarter, before Green Bay scored two more touchdowns. Tampa held on for the victory. Then, against the Cardinals, the Buccaneers took a 28-3 lead into the fourth quarter. But the Cardinals scored four fourth quarter touchdowns to win the game, 31-28. Remember, folks: for every great comeback, there's an equal and opposite stomach punch.

year Tm Opp wk H/R PF PA PF_bc PA_bc Margin Notes
1992 BUF HOU 18 H 41 38 3 35 -32 Wildcard round
1980 SFO NOR 14 H 38 35 7 35 -28
1997 BUF IND 4 H 37 35 0 26 -26
1987 STL TAM 8 H 31 28 3 28 -25
2002 SFO NYG 18 H 39 38 14 38 -24 Wildcard round
1992 RAM TAM 14 R 31 27 3 27 -24
1988 RAI DEN 4 R 30 27 0 24 -24 Monday Night
1982 RAI SDG 3 H 28 24 0 24 -24 Monday Night
1979 HOU CIN 4 R 30 27 0 24 -24
1979 DEN SEA 4 H 37 34 10 34 -24
1977 MIN SFO 12 H 28 27 0 24 -24
1974 MIA NWE 14 H 34 27 0 24 -24
1960 DEN BOS 6 H 31 24 0 24 -24 AFL
1959 PHI CRD 5 R 28 24 0 24 -24
1957 DET BAL 4 H 31 27 3 27 -24
1946 PHI WAS 5 R 28 24 0 24 -24
2000 NYJ MIA 8 H 40 37 7 30 -23 Monday Night
1991 PHI CLE 11 R 32 30 0 23 -23
1988 PHO SFO 10 H 24 23 0 23 -23
1985 MIN PHI 13 R 28 23 0 23 -23
1984 NWE SEA 3 H 38 23 0 23 -23
1982 GNB RAM 1 H 35 23 0 23 -23
1978 HOU NWE 11 R 26 23 0 23 -23
1996 NWE NYG 17 R 23 22 0 22 -22 Saturday
1952 RAM GNB 3 R 30 28 6 28 -22
2010 PHI NYG 15 R 38 31 3 24 -21
2010 BUF CIN 11 R 49 31 7 28 -21
2009 DET CLE 11 H 38 37 3 24 -21
2009 NOR MIA 7 R 46 34 3 24 -21
2008 TAM KAN 9 R 30 27 3 24 -21
2006 TEN NYG 12 H 24 21 0 21 -21
2006 SDG CIN 10 R 49 41 0 21 -21
2005 MIA BUF 13 H 24 23 0 21 -21
2005 STL HOU 12 R 33 27 3 24 -21
2003 TEN ATL 12 R 38 31 0 21 -21
2003 IND TAM 5 R 38 35 0 21 -21 The Sheriff
2002 NWE CHI 10 R 33 30 6 27 -21
2000 OAK IND 2 R 38 31 0 21 -21
1999 WAS CAR 4 H 38 36 0 21 -21
1999 NWE IND 2 H 31 28 0 21 -21
1999 ARI PHI 1 R 25 24 0 21 -21
1999 DAL WAS 1 R 41 35 14 35 -21
1998 SFO IND 7 H 34 31 0 21 -21
1997 PIT BAL 6 R 42 34 0 21 -21
1996 NWE NYJ 11 R 31 27 0 21 -21
1996 SFO CIN 8 H 28 21 0 21 -21
1995 CIN MIN 17 H 27 24 3 24 -21
1995 IND MIA 6 R 27 24 3 24 -21
1995 IND NYJ 2 R 27 24 3 24 -21
1993 PHI NYJ 5 R 35 30 0 21 -21
1990 WAS DET 9 R 41 38 14 35 -21
1989 GNB NOR 2 H 35 34 0 21 -21
1987 NOR CIN 14 R 41 24 3 24 -21
1987 BUF MIA 6 R 34 31 0 21 -21
1985 PIT BUF 15 H 30 24 0 21 -21
1984 DAL NOR 8 H 30 27 6 27 -21
1983 ATL GNB 13 H 47 41 0 21 -21
1983 ATL NYJ 8 R 27 21 0 21 -21
1983 SDG SEA 6 H 28 21 0 21 -21
1982 DEN RAM 6 R 27 24 0 21 -21
1981 OAK SEA 13 R 32 31 3 24 -21
1981 CIN SEA 1 H 27 21 0 21 -21
1979 OAK NOR 14 R 42 35 7 28 -21 Monday Night
1978 NYJ DEN 10 R 31 28 7 28 -21
1975 BAL BUF 8 R 42 35 0 21 -21
1969 NOR SFO 10 H 43 38 0 21 -21
1965 WAS DAL 11 H 34 31 0 21 -21
1965 MIN SFO 6 R 42 41 0 21 -21
1957 RAM GNB 8 R 31 27 3 24 -21
1953 SFO CHI 4 R 35 28 0 21 -21
1953 PIT CRD 3 H 31 28 7 28 -21
1949 CRD RAM 11 R 31 27 3 24 -21
1949 NYY NYG 7 R 31 24 0 21 -21
1949 NYG CRD 6 R 41 38 7 28 -21
1948 RAM DET 5 R 34 27 0 21 -21
1945 NYG PHI 9 H 28 21 0 21 -21
2006 CHI ARI 6 R 24 23 0 20 -20 "TAWWTTW"
2002 NOR CHI 3 R 29 23 0 20 -20
1995 SEA DEN 15 R 31 27 0 20 -20
1994 NWE MIN 11 H 26 20 0 20 -20
1992 MIN CHI 5 H 21 20 0 20 -20
1989 PHI WAS 2 R 42 37 0 20 -20
1988 PHI DAL 8 H 24 23 0 20 -20
1987 CHI TAM 6 R 27 26 0 20 -20
1983 DAL WAS 1 R 31 30 3 23 -20 Monday Night
1966 CLE NYG 12 H 49 40 14 34 -20
1958 BAL SFO 10 H 35 27 7 27 -20
1957 DET SFO 13 R 31 27 7 27 -20 Division round
1953 SFO RAM 2 H 31 30 0 20 -20
1950 NYG BAL 9 R 55 20 0 20 -20
2006 BAL TEN 10 R 27 26 7 26 -19
2001 CHI SFO 7 H 37 31 9 28 -19
1983 DEN BAL 15 H 21 19 0 19 -19
1982 BUF MIN 2 H 23 22 0 19 -19 Thursday Night
1970 NYG WAS 9 H 35 33 14 33 -19
1965 RAM CHI 2 H 30 28 9 28 -19 Saturday
2008 SDG KAN 15 R 22 21 3 21 -18
2006 CLE OAK 4 R 24 21 3 21 -18
2006 IND NWE 20 H 38 34 3 21 -18 Championship round
2005 PHI KAN 4 R 37 31 6 24 -18
2004 HOU TEN 12 H 31 21 3 21 -18
2002 CLE NYJ 8 R 24 21 3 21 -18
2001 BUF CAR 13 H 25 24 6 24 -18
2001 NOR STL 7 R 34 31 3 21 -18
1998 STL BUF 3 R 34 33 10 28 -18
1997 SEA OAK 16 R 22 21 3 21 -18
1997 CIN ARI 1 H 24 21 3 21 -18
1996 CIN BAL 10 R 24 21 3 21 -18
1996 IND DAL 3 R 25 24 3 21 -18
1995 PIT CIN 12 R 49 31 3 21 -18
1994 MIA NYJ 13 R 28 24 6 24 -18
1994 SDG DEN 1 R 37 34 6 24 -18
1992 PHO WAS 5 H 27 24 6 24 -18
1986 WAS SDG 3 R 30 27 3 21 -18
1985 MIA CLE 17 H 24 21 3 21 -18 Division round
1981 SEA PIT 10 H 24 21 3 21 -18
1980 ATL STL 10 R 33 27 6 24 -18
1977 BAL NWE 14 H 30 24 3 21 -18
1977 BAL MIA 4 H 45 28 10 28 -18
1973 WAS NYG 12 H 27 24 3 21 -18
1972 DAL SFO 15 R 30 28 3 21 -18 Division round
1971 MIA PIT 9 H 24 21 3 21 -18
1967 NOR ATL 11 H 27 24 3 21 -18
1965 GNB DET 5 R 31 21 3 21 -18
1963 NYG BAL 1 R 37 28 3 21 -18
1955 SFO DET 4 R 27 24 6 24 -18

This entry was posted on Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 8:59 pm and is filed under Trivia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.