TheSTN – Comeback Wins Highlight NFL Unpredictability

“It’s amazing how close the NFL is,” says Atlanta head coach MIKE SMITH, whose team overcame a 13-point deficit to win in Week 11. “You just don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

The 2012 NFL season has proven that to be true. And it was evident this past weekend when four teams rallied to win after trailing by at least 11 points. Three of those teams came back from a deficit of at least 13 points.

TEAM OPPONENT

LARGEST DEFICIT

FINAL SCORE
Houston Jacksonville

14

Houston 43, Jacksonville 37 (OT)
Atlanta Arizona

13

Atlanta 23, Arizona 19
Dallas Cleveland

13

Dallas 23, Cleveland 20 (OT)
Tampa Bay Carolina

11

Tampa Bay 27, Carolina 21 (OT)

“The guys trusted each other,” said Buccaneers head coach GREG SCHIANO after Tampa Bay erased an 11-point deficit to come back and win in Week 11. “For those guys to keep fighting, it says a lot. They believed in themselves and believed in each other. When guys had tough plays, their teammates picked them up. And that’s so important.”

This season, nearly 12 percent of the games (19 of 160, 11.9 percent) have featured a team overcoming a deficit of at least 11 points to win. Nineteen such teams are the second-most in a season’s first 11 weeks in NFL history.

MOST COMEBACKS FROM 11+ POINTS DOWN TO WIN (THROUGH WEEK 11)

SEASON

GAMES

1987

22

2012

19

2011

17

1989

17

1984

17

1979

17

“We always talk about playing 60 minutes,” says Chicago head coach LOVIE SMITH, whose team rallied from a 12-point deficit in Week 8. “You’ve got to really just fight to get a win, but the good teams, at the end, find a way to win. No matter how you start, it’s about how you finish.”

Through the first 11 weeks, there have been 15 games – 9.4 percent (15 of 160) of all games – in which a team trailing by at least 13 points came back to win. That is tied with 2011 for the second-most such games at this point in NFL history.

MOST COMEBACKS FROM 13+ POINTS DOWN TO WIN (THROUGH WEEK 11)

SEASON

GAMES

1987

19

2012

15

2011

15

1984

14

1979

14

“It’s fun when you come back,” says New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING, who has orchestrated two 14-point comeback victories this season. “It’s fun when you start making plays and you’re seeing things happen. You get to fight back and then you get the excitement of coming back. You see the rally happening and your teammates get fired up.”

Following are the 19 games this season in which a team has come back from at least 11 points down to win. Thirteen of the games were decided in regulation and six went to overtime. Ten of the games had a team erase a deficit of at least 14 points to win, including three clubs that trailed by at least 18 points.

WEEK

TEAM OPPONENT

LARGEST DEFICIT

FINAL SCORE

2

St. Louis Washington

15

St. Louis 31, Washington 28

2

New York Giants Tampa Bay

14

New York Giants 41, Tampa Bay 34

3

Kansas City New Orleans

18

Kansas City 27, New Orleans 24 (OT)

3

Baltimore New England

13

Baltimore 31, New England 30

3

Jacksonville Indianapolis

11

Jacksonville 22, Indianapolis 17

4

New England Buffalo

14

New England 52, Buffalo 28

4

Arizona Miami

13

Arizona 24, Miami 21 (OT)

5

Indianapolis Green Bay

18

Indianapolis 30, Green Bay 27

5

New York Giants Cleveland

14

New York Giants 41, Cleveland 27

6

Denver San Diego

24

Denver 35, San Diego 24

6

Seattle New England

13

Seattle 24, New England 23

7

New Orleans Tampa Bay

14

New Orleans 35, Tampa Bay 28

7

Oakland Jacksonville

14

Oakland 26, Jacksonville 23 (OT)

7

Pittsburgh Cincinnati

11

Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 17

8

Chicago Carolina

12

Chicago 23, Carolina 22

11

Houston Jacksonville

14

Houston 43, Jacksonville 37 (OT)

11

Atlanta Arizona

13

Atlanta 23, Arizona 19

11

Dallas Cleveland

13

Dallas 23, Cleveland 20 (OT)

11

Tampa Bay Carolina

11

Tampa Bay 27, Carolina 21 (OT)
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