Power Ranking the 5 Best Comeback Wins of the 2011 NFL Season

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIOctober 2, 2011

Power Ranking the 5 Best Comeback Wins of the 2011 NFL Season

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    Just four weeks into the 2011 NFL season, there have already been a lot of surprises, and some of those surprises have come in the form of comeback wins.

    What's more, some of those comebacks have been mounted by some very unexpected teams, two of which ended up competing for the top spot on the shortlist.

    Without further ado, here are the top five comeback wins of the 2011 season.

Honorable Mention: San Diego Chargers 24, Minnesota Vikings 17 (Week 1)

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    The Minnesota Vikings looked like they were in firm control of this game, leading 17-7 at halftime despite poor play from quarterback Donovan McNabb.

    The Minnesota defense held Phillip Rivers and the Chargers in check for most of the first half, and Adrian Peterson looked to be controlling the game on the ground.

    But the Chargers, led by running back Mike Tolbert, came out in the second half and scored 17 unanswered points to give the unlucky Vikings their first loss.

No. 5: New York Jets 27, Dallas Cowboys 24 (Week 1)

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    A hard-fought game throughout, the Cowboys led the Jets 10-3 at half. It looked as though Dallas would come away with the victory after going up 24-10 just seconds into the fourth quarter.

    However, New York fought their way back to a 24-24 tie with a touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez to Plaxico Burress and a punt block returned for a touchdown.

    After an interception of Tony Romo by star cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Jets completed a two touchdown comeback by kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth.

No. 4: Buffalo Bills 38, Oakland Raiders 35 (Week 2)

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    A perennial bottom dweller for the past few years, the Buffalo Bills were already one of the surprise teams of the infant season with a 41-7 blasting of the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Going into halftime with the Raiders up 21-3, most thought the Bills' fast start was an anomaly. But in the second half, the Bills came out firing and trading shots with Oakland.

    The Bills scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and three in the fourth, completing their 18-point comeback by throwing a touchdown pass with 14 seconds left on the clock.

    Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a phenomenal game to spark the Bills' impressive comeback.

No. 3: Detroit Lions 26, Minnesota Vikings 23, OT (Week 3)

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    Many people jumped on the Detroit Lions bandwagon this offseason. With top draft picks Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh leading the way, it seemed as though the Lions were finally going to come together and have a special season.

    But halfway through Detroit's week three matchup with Minnesota, one can only imagine how many people were bailing on the Lions.

    Detroit was down 20-0 at half, and the Vikings' defense was dominating the Lions' offense.

    However, the Lions refused to give up. They began their comeback bid with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Johnson, and one touchdown and three field goals later, the Lions were ahead 23-20.

    The Vikings came right back and kicked a field goal to force the game into overtime, but another long pass from Stafford to Johnson set up the Lions' game-winning field goal, completing the 20-point comeback.

No. 2: Detroit Lions 34, Dallas Cowboys 30 (Week 4)

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    If the big win over the Vikings in week three wasn't enough for the Lions, how about a win over America's Team after being behind 24 points in the third quarter?

    That's right, Detroit was behind 27-3 in the third quarter.  Then, the Lions returned two Tony Romo interceptions for touchdowns to cut the lead to 27-17, and suddenly they were in the game.

    After Dallas kicked a field goal to make it 30-17, Calvin Johnson caught the first of two touchdown grabs (this is the fourth week in a row Johnson has had two touchdown catches, an NFL record) to cut the lead to six.

    A field goal and Johnson's second touchdown completed the Lions' second huge second-half comeback in a row.

    Now the Lions sit at 4-0, tied with the defending Super Bowl champs for first. If you haven't already, it's time to get on the bandwagon.

No. 1: Buffalo Bills 34, New England Patriots 31 (Week 3)

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    The Buffalo Bills continued their dream season in week three, defeating the normally-dominant New England Patriots 34-31 to improve to 3-0.

    Even though they had a letdown this week against Cincinnati, the Bills' win over the Patriots has to take the top spot.

    The Patriots been one of the best programs in the NFL while the Bills have been pathetic in recent years, so it's interesting enough that the Bills won. But the thing that made this truly impressive is that the Pats were up 21-0 in the second quarter before the furious comeback started.

    The Bills cut the lead to 21-7 with a touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Stevie Johnson and never looked back, picking Tom Brady off four times and dominating the Patriots offense from that point on.

    When the year is over, fans will look back on this game and call it one of the most impressive comebacks in NFL history.