NFL Week 9: 10 Best Comeback Wins Through the First Half of the Season
The first eight weeks of the NFL season have been an absolute treat to football fans. Even with an 120-day lockout that was supposed to be a black-and-blue for the sport, the NFL and its players have hit the ground running without skipping a beat.
There has been quite a few surprise teams that are making some noise in their division and trying to remain in the playoff hunt for the rest of the season. These sleeper teams have participated in some of the best games of the season thus far.
Where there is a great game there is usually an impressive comeback behind it. And this has been the case in many of these games as we head into Week 8 of the season.
Although there will be many more memorable games to come, let's take a look at the ten best comeback wins from Weeks 1-8 of the 2011 NFL season.
Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
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I know, I know—the Kansas City Chiefs got a comeback win against an Indianapolis Colts team that has been downright pathetic all year, but a comeback from 17 points down against any NFL team is a notable accomplishment.
This is exactly what the Chiefs did in Week 5 against the Colts.
After jumping out to a 17-point lead late into the second quarter, it seemed that the Colts and their quarterback Curtis Painter were going to get their first win of the season, but this game ended up being another disappointment in their miserable season.
It has been a tough eight weeks without their superstar and future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning and the Chiefs rubbed salt in their wound.
With the Chiefs' starting running back Jamaal Charles out for the season, backup Jackie Battle took advantage and had a big game—running for 119 yards on 19 carries.
Wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston both had big games with two TDs apiece. Breaston had the game-winning score with five minutes left that sealed the win against the Colts.
Chiefs 28 Colts 24
Week 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings
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This Week 2 matchup had the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing the Minnesota Vikings.
Behind running back Adrian Peterson's two touchdowns, the Vikings had a 17-point lead heading into the half, but they could not hold onto their lead.
The Bucs ended up going on a 24-3 run in the second half to end the game.
LeGarrette Blount's four-yard TD run with 31 seconds left in the game was the difference.
If you didn't get enough of the Vikings blowing leads, don't worry because they'll appear later on this list.
Buccaneers 24 Vikings 20
Week 1: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets
On a night where the United State was commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, 2001, the Dallas Cowboys faced off against the New York Jets in MetLife Stadium.
In a very emotional night, this game provided a very exciting finish.
Down two touchdowns with 14:50 left in the game, the Jets and their struggling offense looked like they were in trouble.
After a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Plaxico Burress and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown the game was tied at 24.
The Cowboys then had the ball at their 41-yard line with 59 seconds left in the game. With great field position and enough time to get down the field, it seemed as if the Cowboys had a legitimate chance to set up for for a game-winning field goal.
Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, quarterback Tony Romo executed one of his trademark fourth-quarter meltdowns. On the first play Romo threw an interception to Jets corner Darrelle Revis and Revis returned it to the Cowboys 34-yard line.
Jets kicker Nick Folk drained a 50-yard field goal with 27 seconds left and the Cowboys meltdown was complete.
Like the Vikings, the Cowboys will make another appearance on this list as well.
Jets 27 Cowboys 24
Week 4: New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals
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Down 10 points with 5:16 left in the game the New York Giants, who had played terribly on offense up to that point, appeared to be on the verge of a disappointing loss.
As the saying goes, the Giants snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Giants went down the field and scored in 1:39.
After that quick touchdown to cut the deficit to three, the Giants scored again just 58 seconds later on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Hakeem Nicks.
In the midst of the comeback was the controversy of the self-induced fumble by Giants receiver Victor Cruz. The officials declared that he gave himself up on the play and ruled that it was not a fumble.
This controversial call was extremely important in this exciting Giants victory. Like the Cowboys and the Vikings, the Cardinals will be on the losing end of another fourth-quarter comeback.
Giants 31 Cardinals 27
Week 3: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings make the list with another second-half debacle.
You would think that the Vikings would learn from what happened the week before and prevent another huge comeback, but that obviously wasn't the case.
The Detroit Lions were down 20 after the half, but quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson put on a clinic.
Johnson, who is one of the favorites for MVP up to this point in the season, scored a touchdown in the third and fourth quarter.
After allowing the Lions to score 23 unanswered points, the Vikings had to tie the game near the end of regulation.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, Lions' kicker Jason Hanson drained his fourth field goal of the game to win it in overtime.
Lions 26 Vikings 23
Week 8: Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens
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This has really been a rough season for the Arizona Cardinals and this game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8 did not help.
Despite being down 24-3 at one point and 24-6 heading into the half, the Ravens took control of the game and dominated the second half.
Ravens running back Ray Rice ran for two touchdowns in the third quarter and another one in the fourth.
After the Cardinals tied the game mid-way past the fourth quarter, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff drained a 25-yard field goal at the end of regulation to win it.
It was an NFL-record fifth time that a team has come back from more than 20 points down to win in one season,
Ravens 30 Cardinals 27
Week 2: Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills
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This might have been the game that set the tone for the Buffalo Bills' season.
In this Week 2 matchup, the Bills headed into the half down 18 points to the Oakland Raiders.
Then Bills running back Fred Jackson and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick just went to town on the Raiders defense after halftime.
In the second half, Jackson ran for two touchdowns while Fitzpatrick passed for three more to help them get back in the game.
Down four points in the final minute of the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick orchestrated some late-game magic and threw a six-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson with 14 seconds left in the game.
The Bills became the first team since the 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers to score on every second-half possession.
Although this was a very impressive win, this will not be the only exciting Bills comeback this season.
Bills 38 Raiders 35
Week 4: San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
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Twenty-point lead midway through the third quarter with that high-powered offense; there is no way the Eagles lose this game, right?
Well, if that was true, then they wouldn't be on this list.
Despite having a 23-3 lead against the San Francisco 49ers, the Eagles defense shut down and allowed the Niners to get back in the game.
A combination of bad coverage and poor tackling in the secondary allowed quarterback Alex Smith and company to get back in the game.
Frank Gore had a 12-yard touchdown run that put the 49ers up by one with three minutes to play.
The Eagles then quickly drove down the field, but with 2:06 left in the game, receiver Jeremy Maclin fumbled at the SF 32-yard line and drastically cut a possible game-winning drive short.
The Eagles blew their third consecutive fourth-quarter lead, but this one might have hurt Eagles fans the most.
49ers 24 Eagles 23
Week 4: Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys
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Another blown lead and guess who was at the center of it? That's right, Tony Romo.
Although it's unfair to place all of the blame on Romo, his play in the third quarter was absolutely despicable.
With the Cowboys up 27-3 in the third quarter, Romo threw pick-sixes on consecutive Cowboys possessions. A quarterback should never make such reckless decisions and especially not with a 24-point lead.
The Cowboys had a 13-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Calvin Johnson went off in a big way.
He caught a 23-yard pass where he straight Moss'd three Cowboys defenders. Johnson then caught a two-yard fade for a touchdown with 1:39 left in the game.
Megatron sure gave the Cowboy fans a show that they could watch on the Cowboys Stadium megatron. See what I did there?
Lions 34 Cowboys 30
Week 3: New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
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You tell me that Tom Brady goes 30-of-45, throws for 387 yards and four touchdowns, and I tell you that the Pats must have won that game by at least 14 points.
This was not the case in this exciting AFC East matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots.
The Patriots came out the gate strong and held a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ignited another exciting Bills comeback. Fitzpatrick went 27-of-40 and threw for 369 yards and two touchdowns.
Fitzpatrick's two touchdown passes and cornerback Drayton Florence's pick-six were crucial in the Bills' victory.
Although Tom Brady did throw four TDs, he also threw four picks that really hurt the Pats' chances of victory.
After Pats receiver Wes Welker scored to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, Bills kicker Rian Lindell drained a game-winning 28-yard field goal to win the game.
This was the first time that the Bills beat the Pats after losing 15 straight matchups. The victory really gave the Bills momentum and showed the NFL that they are legitimate playoff contenders.
In one of the most exciting games this season, the Bills pulled off this dramatic victory.
Bills 34 Patriots 31