The NFL has witnessed some extraordinary comebacks over the years, showcasing the resilience and determination of teams facing insurmountable odds. From Super Bowl triumphs to wild card miracles, these games have etched their names in football history.
In this article, we rank the greatest NFL comebacks of all time, highlighting the awe-inspiring displays of tenacity and skill that turned the tides against seemingly unbeatable opponents.
7. 1993 AFC Wild Card: Bills vs Oilers
During the 1993 AFC Wild Card game between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers, the Bills found themselves trailing by a staggering 32 points in the third quarter. But led by their determined quarterback, Frank Reich, the Bills staged an astonishing turnaround. They scored 35 unanswered points and secured an astonishing 41-38 victory. This remarkable comeback stood as the biggest comeback in NFL history for 29 years.
6. 1987 NFC Wild Card: Vikings vs 49ers
In an NFC Wild Card game in 1987, the Minnesota Vikings authored a stunning comeback against the San Francisco 49ers. Trailing by 25 points at halftime, the Vikings rallied behind quarterback Wade Wilson and Anthony Carter's stellar performance. They scored 28 unanswered points in the second half, clinching a remarkable 36-24 victory. This historic comeback showcased the resilience and determination of the Vikings and stands as one of the most memorable playoff comebacks in NFL history.
Vikings Division Playoff Week - 1987 vs 49ers - Pt 5. Ever one of Anthony Carter's 10 catches for a STILL NFL Record 227 yards. So many great Viking WRs have come since Carter, that he is sadly left out of discussions of the great WRs. Dominant 1985-1989. pic.twitter.com/zsic76zOKR— VikeFans (@VikeFans) January 18, 2023
5. Super bowl LIV: Chiefs vs 49ers
The Kansas City Chiefs also orchestrated an incredible comeback during Super Bowl LIV. Facing the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs found themselves trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter. However, with the brilliance of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, they scored 21 unanswered points to secure a 31-20 victory. This comeback earned the Chiefs their first Super Bowl win in 50 years.
February 2, 2020: Patrick Mahomes became youngest Super Bowl MVP after leading #Chiefs to a comeback win vs. 49ers for their 1st title in 50 years. Mahomes had most TD (12) in 1 postseason ever as KC became the 1st team to win 3x after trailing by 10+ PTSpic.twitter.com/4ZwgwYA2tw— Pro Sports Outlook (@PSO_Sports) February 2, 2022
4. AFC Wild Card: Colts vs Chiefs
In an exciting AFC Wild Card game, the Indianapolis Colts made an amazing comeback against the Kansas City Chiefs. They were losing by a huge margin of 38-10 in the early part of the third quarter. But the Colts didn't give up. Led by their quarterback Andrew Luck, they staged a remarkable rally. They scored an incredible 35 points and managed to overcome a 28-point deficit. In the end, they won the game by a close margin of 45-44. This comeback is truly one of the greatest in NFL history.
Can't think about tomorrow's Chiefs vs. Colts matchup without remembering their EPIC playoff game in 2014. 🤯— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2022
📺: #KCvsIND -- Sunday 1pm ET on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/fK7vaWiHIa pic.twitter.com/IKHhq6SqZe
3. 2017 NFC Divisional: Vikings vs Saints:
The Minnesota Vikings made history in the 2017 NFC Divisional Round with an incredible comeback against the New Orleans Saints. At halftime, they were losing 17-0 and it seemed like they were going to lose the game. But, with time running out, quarterback Case Keenum threw a perfect pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who made a stunning 61-yard touchdown catch.
This amazing play, known as the "Minnesota Miracle," happened in the final seconds of the game and gave the Vikings a 29-24 victory. It will always be remembered as one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history and solidified the Vikings' place in the record books.
3 years ago today -— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) January 14, 2021
The Minnesota Miracle pic.twitter.com/QDWjk699M2
2. 2022 Week 15: Vikings vs Colts
The Minnesota Vikings were aiming for a home win against the struggling Indianapolis Colts to secure the NFC North Division title. However, things didn't go as planned in the first half, with the Colts taking a commanding 33-point lead.
But following the break, something incredible happened: the Vikings orchestrated the largest comeback in NFL history. They fought back with determination, scoring 32 consecutive points and ultimately winning the game in overtime with a score of 39-36. It was a remarkable turnaround that no one could have imagined.
The Vikings 33 Point Comeback against the Colts in 100 seconds pic.twitter.com/TxGn8jmzeE— Frankie G (@FrankieG1998) December 17, 2022
1. Super Bowl LI: Patriots vs Falcons
Although it isn't the largest comeback, in Super Bowl LI when the New England Patriots faced the Atlanta Falcons fans witnessed by far the most memorable and iconic comeback in NFL history.
Trailing 28-3 late in the third quarter, it seemed almost impossible for the Patriots to stage a comeback. However, led by quarterback Tom Brady, they mounted an incredible rally, scoring 25 unanswered points to force the game into overtime. With a game-winning touchdown, the Patriots claimed victory in what many consider the greatest comeback in NFL history.
These examples are just a few of the many incredible comebacks witnessed in the NFL, from Super Bowl heroics to wild card game turnarounds, these moments are cemented in the history books at some of the greatest games ever played.