Comments on: Guest Post: Quarterbacks and fourth quarter comebacks, Part I football, statistics, and football statistics (and other stuff) Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:52:58 +0000 hourly 1 By: Scott Kacsmar Tue, 02 Feb 2010 04:35:45 +0000 Brad, the Elway link on the HOF website is not written by the HOF. Notice it says the source is from the Denver Broncos themselves on that page, so it's no more neutral than the Miami one.

I did not make any guess in adding games to his total. The facts and sources are there. All games count.

As far as Elway's losses being closer, well we know Marino played, on average, with worse defenses than Elway did in their careers. I count 10 more starts in Marino's career where his team allowed 30+ points (a difficult situation to win a game under) compared to Elway's. Without doing the math, those 10 games alone should get the percentages closer. Also I see 4 more 40+ point games in Marino's career compared to Elway's. Considering Marino has 41 games where they allowed 34+ and Elway had 24 such games, it's safe to say the average 30+ pt game for Marino was even harder to overcome than it was for Elway.

I think no matter how you look at it, Marino did a better job of having his team ahead in the 4th quarter than Elway did. Whether the rest of the team finished as well, that's another debate.

By: Brad Mon, 25 Jan 2010 10:36:50 +0000 Scott,

Very interesting article.

I've often wondered how many times the great comeback quarterbacks had someone else come back on them. You didn't address that directly in your article, but in a later post, you say you were able to verify 48 games the Dolphins lost in which Marino had the ball in the 4th or OT at a tie or 1-score deficit, and in 24 of these, Marino was ahead at some point in the 4th. You say you were able to verify 52 games the Broncos lost in which Elway had the ball in the 4th or OT, tied or behind by one score, and in only 14 of them Elway was ahead at some point in the fourth.
What that really means is that teams came back on Marino 10 more times than they came back on Elway. The games you mention in which the Dolphins or Broncos were ahead at some point in the 4th, 24 for Marino, 14 for Elway, does not only include games like the famous Chiefs-Broncos (10-17-1994) game, in which Elway came back on the Chiefs, and then the Chiefs came back on him, it includes games in which the Dolphins or Broncos were LEADING at the beginning of the 4th, and lost. And the rest of the games you verified, 24 for Marino, 38 for Elway, do not only include games where they had the whole 4th quarter to get one score, and couldn't get it done, they also include games where they had to score on every 4th quarter possession just to get close.
Also, according to, Elway lost 89 games (including playoffs). the 52 close Bronco games you verified are 58% of those losses. Marino lost 103 (again, including playoffs). The 48 Dolphin games you verified are only 47% of his losses. So while Elway's losses were usually very close, Marino's losses tended to be a bit more lopsided.

I have to take issue with the way you added what you say is Marino's first game-winning drive. You say "It is not known what 13 games a few sources have listed as the games Marino led a game-winning drive to break a tie, but I’m guessing they are missing one from his rookie season against the 49ers." First of all, you don't name these "few sources." They may not be counting the same games, they may not be counting the same way, or they may be flat-out wrong. Second, you can't use a guess to add to his total.

Your numbers for Marino come from a Dolphins website (among others, apparently), while your numbers for Elway come from the Hall of Fame website, a neutral source. I think that speaks for itself.

By: scott Wallace Sat, 10 Oct 2009 17:20:29 +0000 Is there any source that is counting comebacks for this season 2009?

By: Scott Kacsmar Wed, 16 Sep 2009 21:20:11 +0000 Led, I know what you mean but in each case there was only one game like that for Marino and Elway. And it still would not effect the number of comebacks they had as they each completed a TD drive (Elway had two) before getting hurt in those games. It would change the number of game-winning drives had you decided to credit the backup, but the comebacks wouldn't change.

By: LedTexan Sun, 30 Aug 2009 14:04:21 +0000 Great article about two of my all-time favorite quarterbacks. The only issue I have with your list are the games where Marino and Elway left with injuries. I don't think they should get credit for those, much as that may suck. With all the variables that can happen on any play (INT, fumbles, sacks) you can't say for sure that they would have finished off those drives, and therefore, I think it was correct to leave those off their respective lists. Just MO, tho. Nicely researched and written article. Thanks.

By: TONY Mon, 24 Aug 2009 22:49:58 +0000 I've been saying this for years. We old timers knew that Marino was the real King of the Comeback. I suspect they pushed Elway because Marino was already so marketable, he didn't need it. Either way they were both impressive.

The site also exposes Favre for being the fraud he is (Fraud=Hype./ I've been saying that for years too.

Great article guys. You're the best there is.

Thank you,


By: Julius Tue, 11 Aug 2009 06:28:13 +0000 Ok. This guy is a total hack. He's not data-mining, but rather absolutely lying or misleading.

He lists Oct 20th, 1985 as a game that should not have been counted as a 4th quarter comeback for John Elway.

Well guess what, IT NEVER WAS TO BEGIN WITH!

Using his HOF link, which he posted himself, you can clearly see the game was never mentioned in the official list.

[editor's note: he never said it was listed at the HoF link. In fact, he specifically said it wasn't. Read it again.]

By: Scott Kacsmar Sat, 08 Aug 2009 21:55:37 +0000 Go to part II

By: scott Sat, 08 Aug 2009 13:35:11 +0000 Where was roethlisberger on the list? He has 18 4th quarter comebacks in 52 career games.

By: Scott Kacsmar Fri, 07 Aug 2009 05:04:14 +0000 Correction: Marino had 2 more wins in anywhere from 0-8 FEWER opportunities.