NFL Rally Time: Biggest Comebacks in NFL History


By: Nathan Chandler

6 Min Quiz

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

Nothing is more frustrating than watching your favorite NFL team get squashed by the competition. And nothing is more thrilling than watching your team rally from insurmountable deficits to win an improbable victory. How much do you know about the NFL's greatest comebacks?

Which team is responsible for the game simply known as "The Comback," the biggest rally ever in the NFL?

The Buffalo Bills were down by 32 soul-crushing points in a 1993 playoff game. Then they fired up a rally that enshrined the game in NFL lore known as "The Comeback."


Which team did the Bills beat during "The Comeback" game?

Houston, then known as the Oilers, gained the worst kind of legend during their 1993 playoff meltdown. The Oilers gave up 28 points in the third quarter.


Who was QB during the huge Bills comeback?

Frank Reich led The Comeback by throwing four TD passes to just one interception. Warren Moon threw for four TDs, too, but the Oilers couldn't hold on in overtime.


In 2003, QB Anthony Wright led which team to an unlikely overtime victory over Seattle?

The Ravens were down 41-24 with just seven minutes left in the game…but NFL footnote Wright led Baltimore to an unreal comeback that tied the game. Baltimore won 44-41 in overtime.


In September of the 2016 season, the Chiefs mounted their biggest comeback versus which team?

The 2016 Chiefs won numerous games by the skin of their teeth. QB Alex Smith led a 21-point comeback versus the Chargers. The Chiefs later won the AFC West.


Which team is responsible for the biggest comeback in NFC playoff history?

In 2003, the 49ers were down 38-14 with just 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Jeff Garcia led the 49ers on a furious charge, with three TD passes that helped San Francisco win 39-38.


What mistake did the Giants make at the very end of their meltdown in the 2003 playoff game versus the 49ers?

The Giants still had a chance to win on the last play of the game. But a newly-signed long snapper botched the snap and New York's field goal attempt went off the mark.


During the 2014 playoffs, the Colts managed to rally versus the Chiefs. In the second half, by how many points were the Colts trailing Kansas City?

The Colts were down by 28 points but the Chiefs defense looked helpless against Colts QB Andrew Luck, who shredded Kansas City in the second half. The Colts won 45-44.


In that fateful 2014 playoff meltdown versus the Colts, how many points did the Chiefs score after halftime?

The Chiefs offense scored 13 points, including a TD to open the second half. But the Kansas City defense let the Colts offense score over and over again, leading to a legendary Chiefs nightmare.


In October 2014, by how many points did the Browns trail the Titans before starting to rally?

In October 2014, the Browns trailed the Titans by 25 points. In the second half, the Browns used a blocked punt to ignite a charge that resulted in a 29-28 victory.


In 1997, QB Jim Harbaugh was at the helm of a team that relinquished a huge lead and then lost. For which team was Harbaugh playing?

Harbaugh led the Colts to a 26-0 lead during a 1997 game versus the Bills. But the Colts offense went stagnant and the Bills used three TDs from running back Antowain Smith to power their way to victory.


Who was the QB for the Bills during that frantic 1997 comeback versus Harbaugh's Colts?

If you asked, "Who's Todd Collins," you're like most typical football fans. Only Bills followers remember Collins, who never lived up to his hype in Buffalo.


Which Cowboys QB stepped in as a replacement during the 1972 divisional playoff game versus the 49ers?

Roger Staubach was a Cowboys star but had been injured much of the season. When Morton struggled, Staubach stepped in and led Dallas to a come-from-behind win.


What happened during Staubach's first drive late in the third quarter in that amazing 1972 playoff game?

Staubach had an uninspiring start -- he fumbled the ball away to the 49ers. But San Francisco couldn’t capitalize, leaving the door open to an exciting Dallas comeback.


Near the end of the 1974 season, the Dolphins came back from a 24-point deficit to beat which team?

The Patriots scored three TDs in the first quarter … but then the Dolphins got mad. Miami scored 17 points in the second quarter en route to a 34-27 victory.


What was especially strange about Miami's unlikely comeback against the Patriots?

The Dolphins had already secured the division title, so they weren't even playing their starters. The team's backup QB, Earl Morrall, led the comeback charge.


In a December 1980 game versus the 49ers, the Saints led 35-7 at halftime. How many points did New Orleans score in the second half?

The Saints were destroying the 49ers at halftime but didn’t score a single point after the break. San Francisco, led by Joe Montana, scored four straight TDs and then kicked a field goal to win.


In 2006, the Bears rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat the Cardinals in spite of which fact?

Who needs offense? The Bears defense scored three TDs in the final 15 minutes of the game to seal a 24-23 victory.


In 1977, QB Tommy Kramer was a backup on which team when he led a tremendous comeback versus the 49ers?

The Vikings were down 24-7 against San Francisco when the fourth quarter began. Tommy Kramer sprang off of the bench to throw three TD passes in a 28-27 Minnesota victory.


Which team is responsible for the biggest comeback victory ever by a road team?

In 2014, the Browns were down by 25 points at Tennessee. Cleveland scored 19 points in the second half to pull ahead and win.


Even though the Browns rallied and won, Tennessee actually outgained Cleveland in total yards.

Tennessee had 410 total yards on the day -- the Browns had 460. Browns QB Brian Hoyer threw for 285 yards and three TDs to bring Cleveland back for the win.


In 1957, Detroit QB Bobby Lane helped the Lions win a furious comeback against which legendary quarterback?

Johnny Unitas was the star QB for the Colts during this famous game, which the Colts led by 24. Layne threw two TD passes in the second half to lift the Lions to a 31-27 win over Baltimore.


In 2003, Peyton Manning led the Colts to an unbelievable fourth quarter victory against Tampa Bay by scoring how many TDs in the final five minutes?

Tampa Bay was up 35-14 with five minutes on the clock. Then Manning torched the Buccaneers for three TDs to tie the game … which the Colts won in overtime.


In 1987, QB Neil Lomax led which team to an incredible comeback against Tampa Bay?

Lomax led a mediocre St. Louis team to a crazy comeback versus Tampa Bay. The kicker? Tampa Bay was a terrible team and the Cardinals should never have been trailing in the game.


At the beginning of that 1987 game, what was the score at the beginning of the fourth quarter?

The Cardinals were down 28-3 and had no business being in the game. But by the time the clock expired, St. Louis had won 31-28 thanks in large part to Lomax's three TD passes.


J.T. Smith played a huge role in that amazing Cardinals comeback. What position did he play?

J.T. Smith played wide receiver and caught two TD passes thrown by Neil Lomax. The Cardinals also returned a Tampa Bay fumble for a touchdown.


In 1979, QB Craig Morton jumpstarted the Broncos, who were trailing by 24 points to Seattle. How long did it take Morton to score three TDs in the third quarter?

Morton needed just 150 seconds of game time to score three TDs. His quick scores sent the Seahawks reeling and Denver won 37-34.


Washington led Philadelphia by 24 points at halftime in a 1946 game. How many turnovers did Washington have at the end of the contest?

Washington had a huge lead, but six turnovers helped Philadelphia get back into the game. Philadelphia won 28-24.


In 1959, a QB named Norm Van Brocklin led which team to an unlikely victory against the Bears?

Van Brocklin was a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Eagles during this 1959 game. The Eagles were blanked in the first half but scored four TDs after the break to win 28-24.


In 2000, the Jets were responsible for generating a comeback that earned which nickname?

The Jets were getting crushed during a Monday night game. Then Jets QB Vinny Testaverde helped New York come back from a 30-7 deficit in a game called the "Monday Night Miracle." Testaverde threw for 5 TDs and 3 interceptions.


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