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Checkdowns: Biggest failed comebacks

Brady joins Marino on the failed comebacks list

Brady joins Marino on the failed comebacks list.

[UPDATE: There was an error earlier in this post. I believe it is fixed now.]

On Sunday Night, the Patriots trailed 31-3 halfway through the third quarter. But that’s when Tom Brady got hot, and New England tied the game with 6:43 left in the 4th quarter. At that moment, many fans probably had visions of the Oilers-Bills playoff game, where Buffalo came back from a 32-point deficit to win.

And while there are a lot of famous comebacks, the failed comeback is much less memorable. But in fact, this was the 4th time a team trailed by 28 points in the game only to tie or take the lead in the 4th quarter… but ultimately lose.

The table below shows all games prior to 2012 where a team trailed by at least 21 points, was trailing entering the 4th quarter, came back to tie or take the lead in the 4th quarter, but then still lost. The table is listed from the perspective of the eventual winner and shows the final points for and points allowed in the game, along with the biggest lead and the largest fourth-quarter deficit the winning team faced despite the large early lead.

Year
Date
Boxscore
Tm
Opp
PF
PA
BgLd
Def
199409/25/1994BoxscoreMINMIA3835280
194409/24/1944BoxscoreGNBCHI4228280
200710/21/2007BoxscoreTENHOU383625-1
200412/12/2004BoxscoreSFOARI3128250
198012/07/1980BoxscoreCINBAL343325-2
198710/25/1987BoxscoreGNBDET343324-2
198101/02/1982BoxscoreSDGMIA413824-7
199609/22/1996BoxscoreNWEJAX2825220
201012/13/2010BoxscoreBALHOU3428210
200910/11/2009BoxscoreARIHOU2821210
200901/10/2010BoxscoreARIGNB5145210
200901/10/2010BoxscoreARIGNB5145210
200809/14/2008BoxscoreGNBDET482521-1
200612/17/2006BoxscoreCHITAM3431210
200410/10/2004BoxscoreMINHOU3428210
200311/30/2003BoxscoreNWEIND3834210
199912/12/1999BoxscoreKANMIN3128210
199812/06/1998BoxscoreSFOCAR3128210
199511/19/1995BoxscoreDENSDG3027210
199309/12/1993BoxscoreNORATL3431210
199301/03/1994BoxscorePHISFO3734210
199111/17/1991BoxscoreNYJNWE2821210
199010/07/1990BoxscoreCINRAM3431210
199010/07/1990BoxscoreCINRAM3431210
198909/10/1989BoxscoreNWENYJ272421-3
198611/20/1986BoxscoreRAISDG3731210
198301/08/1984BoxscoreWASSFO2421210
198011/23/1980BoxscoreNYJHOU3128210
198011/23/1980BoxscoreNYJHOU3128210
197909/09/1979BoxscoreWASDET2724210
197511/30/1975BoxscoreWASMIN313021-6
196011/06/1960BoxscoreBALGNB3824210
194910/23/1949BoxscoreNYGCHI3528210
194511/04/1945BoxscoreWASCRD2421210

Note that this excludes games this game between Green Bay and Pittsburgh from 1951, where the Packers held a 28-point lead and won, but actually trailed entering the 4th quarter.

{ 2 comments }
  • Chase Stuart December 18, 2012, 10:03 am

    FYI, the games listed twice above (ARI-GB, CIN-RAM, NYJ-HOU) show games where it was tied twice in the 4th quarter.

    Reply

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