Biggest Comebacks in Super Bowl History

We are not even halfway through the 2022 NFL regular season yet but many football fans are thinking about who might make it to the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona next February. The Bills have long been one of the favorites but things don’t always go to plan.

NFL prop bets get a little crazy at Super Bowl time but this is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world – and some crazy things can happen. There have been plenty of upsets but it is the dramatic comebacks we wanted to have a look at here. There have been a few nail-biting climaxes in the NFL’s biggest game – and here are five of the most memorable.

Super Bowl XXV: Giants Beat the Bills

It could be argued that the way the New York Giants came back to beat the Bills at Super Bowl XXV set a precedent for the next four years. Buffalo lost three more – in a row – after leading New York 12-3 in the first half of this one. The G-Men reduced the deficit just before the halftime extravaganza. But it is the final drive of the game that this one is remembered for.

The Giants had taken the lead in the third quarter and with just minutes to go held a slender 20-19 lead. The Bills forced the Giants to punt and Bills QB Jim Kelly started the final possession with just over two minutes remaining. He managed to get his team to the 37-yard line, so kicker Scott Norwood was faced with a 47-yard field goal to give the Bills their first-ever championship. It went wide right by about a yard.

Super Bowl XXII: Washington Beat the Broncos

Going back a little further to 1988, Washington trailed the Denver Broncos by 10 points in the first quarter but then came back to blow away its opponent and post one of the largest-ever winning margins. Denver QB threw two interceptions in the second quarter and Washington never looked back.

Denver had lost to the New York Giants the previous year, so maybe it was nerves that took over with those two turnovers. Whatever the reason, Washington took full advantage, scoring a record 35 points in the second period. QB Doug Williams became the first to throw four touchdowns in a single quarter – and the team added another one in the fourth to run out 42-10 winners.

Super Bowl XLIV: Saints Beat the Colts

Football legend Peyton Manning was the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts at Super Bowl XLIV and that was a major reason why New Orleans was the underdog. But after trailing by ten points at the end of the first period, the Saints turned things around and ended up winning convincingly.

Many pundits point to the onside kick that New Orleans started the second half with as a major turning point. But it was the Saints offense on top form that changed the way the game was going. There were 13 straight points to take the lead in the third and when Manning threw a pick-six on what was potentially a game-winning drive, the Saints claimed their one and only Super Bowl victory.

Drew Brees raises his son overhead after defeating the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV
TED JACKSON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE during Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fl., Sunday February 7, 2010.

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots Beat the Seahawks

This one is another 10-point deficit comeback but the game itself was much closer than some of the others profiled here. After a scoreless first quarter, both the Patriots and the Seahawks scored two touchdowns in the second period to keep it level at 14-14 at halftime.

But it was Seattle that came out best after the break, scoring the 10 points that put it in a commanding lead. But this was the era of Tom Brady at the Pats. Two more TDs made it 28-24 with just over two minutes remaining. The Seahawks did make it all the way back to New England’s 1-yard line but made one of the worst play calls of all time, electing to pass instead of run. Russell Wilson was intercepted and the Pats won yet another Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LI: Patriots Stun the Falcons

Our final comeback is the greatest of all time. It is no real surprise to reveal that it was Tom Brady who was, once again, at the center of the drama. Atlanta had scored three straight touchdowns in the second quarter to give it what seemed to be an unassailable 21-3 lead. Another TD at the start of the second half made it 28-3 and it seemed all over for the Pats.

But that is when Tom Brady went into overdrive. There were five straight scoring drives – including two TDs that were followed by two-point conversions. That took the game into overtime – the first Super Bowl ever to do so. The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. In the end, it was a 2-yard run that completed a 25-point comeback win and crushed Atlanta’s dreams.

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