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Lawless
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Greatest Comeback of all time (NFL) post #1  quote:



Analyze This: Comeback kings

(Oct. 9, 2003) -- With the Indianapolis Colts behind by three touchdowns with four minutes to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just about everyone watching last week's Monday Night Football game called it a night and stopped paying attention to the game.

Not the Colts. In less than 240 seconds, Peyton Manning & Co. scored thrice (that's three times) to push the game into overtime, where they would later win the game on a Mike Vanderjagt field goal. It has gone down as the greatest comeback victory in the shortest time span in NFL history.

So that got us thinking. We have some of the most prolific football players, coaches and analysts who chime in weekly here on NFL.com. Figuring that they've witnessed (and played in) some pretty amazing come-from-behind victories, we asked them what was the best rally they've witnessed. The responses were far-ranging, including a very special reaction by a man who knows a thing or two about great comebacks.


Old Post 10-11-2003 10:01 PM
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post #2  quote:

Marv Levy


"The Colts' comeback against the Bucs was really remarkable because it was against the best defensive team in football and the defending Super Bowl champions in such a short period of time. But naturally, I was a first-hand observer (and head coach) of the Bills' come-from-behind victory over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 playoffs. We played the game without Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Cornelius Bennett -- three of our stars -- and came back from a 35-3 deficit with around 22 minutes left in the game.

"So what was I thinking during the game? We were devastated when we found ourselves down 28-3 at halftime. Here we were, AFC champions, being humiliated at home in the playoffs. There was no great pep talk like you'd see in the movies. Halftime is only 12 minutes long; I really only had three minutes to make adjustments. The only thing I recall saying to our players was, 'You are two-time defending AFC champions. When you walk off the field 30 minutes from now, don't let anybody say that you quit or gave up.' Whether it meant anything to them or not, I don't know, but on our first possession of the second half, the ball went off of one of our tight end's hands and the Oilers ran it back for a touchdown to make it 35-3. On the kickoff, the kicker flubbed it and somehow hit one of our front five players and they nearly recovered the ball. We got it though, and we scored on the next play. Then we recovered an on-side kick, scored quickly and got back in the game. In seven minutes we scored four touchdowns and had 31 points going into the fourth quarter.

"It must have been in that team to do such a feat because just one year later during the regular season we came back from a 26-0 halftime deficit against Indianapolis, considered the third-greatest comeback of all time. Coincidentally, one man who's been a vital part of both comebacks (the Bills/Oilers and last week's Colts/Bucs) is Bill Polian. He was our GM in Buffalo at the time and now he's in charge of the Colts. Bill's a good friend, a great guy, he speaks well and has great enthusiasm. And he has two amazing comebacks to look back upon.

"I do a lot of exercising, and sometimes I'm feeling serene and my mind wanders and that pleasant thought comes back to me. It was beautiful -- a remarkable event. You have to coach for 47 years to have a few moments like that occur, and it's one that I very much treasure."


Old Post 10-11-2003 10:03 PM
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post #3  quote:

Gil Brandt


"For me, the best comeback I've ever witnessed happened in December 1972, in the Cowboys' NFC Divisional Playoff game against the 49ers at Candlestick. We were down 28-13 going into fourth, and Roger Staubach, who had been hurt and not played during the season because of a training camp injury, came off the bench to play. We were down by 15 until we kicked a 45-yard field goal to make it 28-16. Then with less than two minutes to play, we scored to make it 28-23, on-side kicked and scored again with 52 seconds remaining to give us the lead. And then we almost lost! The 49ers, with John Brodie, came back and completed a pass that would put them in field goal position, but offensive tackle Cas Banaszek was called for holding and it took them out of field-goal range. The final was 30-28 and it put us in championship game."


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post #4  quote:

Pat Kirwan


"I was at the Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game in Week 5 and there's no doubt it was one of the greatest comebacks of all time. But, the greatest comeback I ever watched was the greatest comeback in NFL history -- the Bills and the Oilers in the 1992 AFC Wild Card Game. The Bills had to go with Frank Reich, their second-string QB, and he led them from being down 35-3 to an overtime win! Reich later played for me at the Jets and we would discuss that game often. He was humble and underplayed the importance of the game, which impressed me even more.

"Interesting side note: The Oilers' defensive coordinator was the national TV halftime feature, and he was fired at the end of the game! What a way for the Bills to keep their incredible Super Bowl string alive."


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post #5  quote:

Chris Collinsworth


"I missed watching the Colts' comeback last week. I know a lot of people will say the Houston and Buffalo game was a great one, but I missed that one, too. I think I was watching a Louisville and Kentucky basketball game and didn't even bother to check back on the score. It's like that old saying, 'If a tree falls in the forest, and I'm not there, I don't hear it.' But my greatest comeback occurred during the first game that I ever played in. Seattle jumped to a 21-0 first-quarter lead. Our starting quarterback Kenny Anderson was booed off the field. Our backup, Jack Thompson, was injured so they turned to my good friend, Turk Schonert. He rallied us for a 27-21 victory that I believe helped propel us to the Super Bowl. If we get blown out by Seattle at home, I think the season would have been over right there."


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post #6  quote:

Troy Aikman


"The best one I've witnessed was Buffalo's comeback win over the Oilers. As far as the greatest comeback I was a part of, we [the Dallas Cowboys] opened the 1999 season against the Redskins. We were down 21 points with about 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. We were able to come back, force overtime and win it."


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post #7  quote:

Art Shell


"The greatest comeback I've ever seen was the one the other night. It was a very exciting game. You thought the Colts were out of it, and they got on a roll and couldn't be stopped. The best comeback I've ever been involved in was the 1976 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game the season before, and we were down by two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter of this game. We scored 17 points in the last five minutes to win the game 31-28. That game really set the tone for us, and we went on to win the Super Bowl."


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post #8  quote:

Vic Carucci


"I've had the good fortune to be on hand for three of the greatest comebacks in NFL history: The wild-card game in which the Bills stormed back from a 32-point deficit early in the third quarter to beat the Oilers 41-38 in overtime (Jan. 3, 1993); the Monday night game in which the Jets came back from a 23-point deficit late in the third quarter to beat the Dolphins 40-37 in OT (Oct. 23, 2000); and the Colts-Bucs game from Week 5. All were incredible to witness, but the Bills-Oilers game stands alone as the best because it carried the highest stakes. The losing team in the other two still would have plenty of time to recover. I'll never forget sitting in the Bills press box with other writers, taking turns on the phones at halftime (with the Oilers leading by 25 points) to make travel arrangements to cover Houston in the next round. I worked for the Buffalo News at the time and I huddled with my boss to discuss plans for end-of-the-season, clean-out-the-lockers coverage. Two other factors made that comeback so special: It was led by Frank Reich, the mild-mannered backup who started at quarterback in place of injured superstar Jim Kelly, and the game was blacked out on local television, meaning you couldn't see it in Western New York unless you had a ticket. It's amazing how large that non-sellout crowd has grown through the years."


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post #9  quote:

Boomer Esiason


"The biggest comeback I've ever seen was the Bills versus the Oilers in the 1992 playoffs. My former college roommate, Frank Reich, led a furious 32-point second half comeback. The most memorable comeback I was involved with was in 1996 against the Washington Redskins. The Arizona Cardinals won 37-34 [Esiason completed 35 of 59 for 522 yards -- third most in NFL history -- in an overtime game]. Also in 1996, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Philadelphia Eagles 36-30 after losing a nine-point lead with less than two minutes in the game. Cincinnati scored a touchdown with less than 20 seconds on the clock to win the game."


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post #10  quote:

Of course Boomer would pick games he played in. What a dork.

-HECK!


Old Post 10-31-2003 11:37 PM
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