Sep. 29, 2016
Week 9 Matchups Filled with Historic Comebacks
As we approach the midway point in the 2016 NFL season, I always like to look at the historical significance of past matchups to help fans remember what other teams were dealing with at points during their previous seasons.
Week 9 features many great historical matchups that have given us a great number of memorable games. Specifically this week I am reminded of 4 of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.
This Sunday the Giants and Eagles face off at MetLife Stadium, the same place they faced each other in the first game on our list of historic comebacks. On December 19, 2010, the Giants opened up a 31-10 lead with 8:17 remaining after Eli Manning hit Kevin Boss with a 8-yd TD pass. From there on, the Eagles and Michael Vick took over, finishing the game scoring the final 28 points, culminating in a game-winning punt return by DeSean Jackson as time ran out.
For the Eagles that game was payback for September 17, 2006 when the Giants invaded Lincoln Financial Stadium. Leading 24-7 entering the 4th quarter, the Eagles looked to have the game put away. However, the Giants led by 3 Eli Manning TD passes and 278 combined passing yards in 4th quarter & OT rallied to defeat the Eagles, 30-24.
Next is the Jets and Dolphins, who face off this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. On October 23, 2000 these 2 teams faced off in a Monday Night Football matchup that was historic. Trialing 30-7 entering the final quarter, Jets QB Vinny Testaverde led them back. Overall the Jets scored 33 points in the 4th quarter and OT, combing for 21 first downs, to defeat the Dolphins, 40-37. Testaverde threw for 284 yards in 4th quarter and OT and became just the 3rd QB in NFL history to throw 4, 4th quarter TD, with an amazing 3 TD going to players who had previously NEVER caught a TD pass (Jermaine Wiggins, Laveraneus Coles and Jumbo Elliott). Meanwhile, the Dolphins recorded just 3 first downs in 4th quarter and OT to cough up a seemingly insurmountable lead.
The Saints and 49ers meet at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. Back on December 7, 1980, the 0-13 Saints visited Candlestick Park looking for their first win of the season. Behind Archie Manning's 3 TD passes, the Saints opened up a 35-7 halftime lead and looked well on their way to ending the thought of a winless season. However, led by 2nd-year QB Joe Montana, the 49ers stormed back in the second half, scoring 31 unanswered points to defeat the Saints 38-35 in what was, at the time, the greatest comeback in NFL history. The Saints did not go winless in 1980, as the next week they defeated the New York Jets at Shea Stadium, 21-20 and finished the season 1-15.
Finally, we end our historic look back with another classic rivalry. When the Raiders host the Broncos on Sunday Night, it will be for first place in the AFC West. On September 26, 1988, these 2 teams met in another prime-time game on Monday Night Football in Mile-High Stadium. The 2-time defending AFC Champion Broncos opened up a 24-0 halftime lead, thanks to 2 rushing TD from Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett. However, the Raiders, led by eventual 2-time Super Bowl winning head coach Mike Shanahan, rallied behind QB Jay Schroeder, and when Chris Bahr connected on his 3rd FG of the game in OT, the Raiders completed the greatest comeback in Monday Night Football history.