Top five NFL comebacks since 2000

As one eloquent writer once said, "Don't call it a comeback." (Seriously, LL Cool J's name stands for Ladies Love, it doesn't get much more eloquent than that!). Watching a comeback in the NFL never gets old. When you're watching a football game and one team is getting beaten by a lot late in the game, here are five reasons why you should still keep watching. So, ladies and gentlemen, here are the top five NFL comebacks since 2000 (spoiler alert, if you are a New York Giants fan, please turn your head):

Actually, before I get started, I just want to mention that the greatest NFL comeback I ever saw was the Buffalo Bills against the Houston Oilers in the 1992 AFC wild card round. Buffalo was down 35-3 in the third quarter. 35 to 3!!!! Behind backup quarterback Frank Reich, Buffalo went on to win the game in overtime by a score of 41-38. Man was I glad I never changed the channel. OK, well thanks for humoring me as I mentioned that great game. Here are the greatest NFL comebacks since 2000:

New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers - 2002 - This wild card game during the 2002 season certainly was wild. The Giants led 28-14 at the half thanks to four touchdown passes from Kerry Collins(notes), and then a Tiki Barber touchdown run built the lead to 35-14 in the third quarter. Then Jeff Garcia(notes) took over. Garcia threw two TD passes and ran another in as the Niners went on to win the game 39-38.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 2003 - If you found yourself playing against the reigning Super Bowl champs who just so happened to have one of the most feared defenses in all of the league, you might not like your chances. Well, that's where the Colts found themselves back in 2003 as they were staring at a 35-14 deficit in the fourth quarter. The Colts battled back however to score 28 fourth quarter points before winning the game in overtime 38-35.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks - 2003 - Seattle jumped out to a 17 point lead on three different occasions during this game in Baltimore. If someone told you that Matt Hasselbeck(notes) threw for 333 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions, you might think they blew out the Ravens. Not the case here. The Ravens' third and final 17 point deficit had them down 41-24 in the fourth quarter before Anthony Wright(notes) led them to victory. Yea, I know, I said Anthony Wright. A blocked punt return by Ed Reed(notes) combined with Wright's fourth TD pass (Marcus Robinson's third TD reception of the game) and a field goal by Matt Stover(notes) tied it at 41 before another Stover field goal in overtime helped Baltimore take the game 44-41.

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles - 2010 - Yes, it's the Giants again, and man did this one hurt. Playing for a chance to better position themselves for the division title, the Giants in their new stadium, faced off against their NFC East rival Eagles. This game looked to be over as the Giants held a 31-10 lead with eight minutes left in the game. Unfortunately for Giants fans, this game was just getting started. Michael Vick(notes) threw two TD passes and ran another in before DeSean Jackson(notes) did the unthinkable. With time running out on the clock, the Giants punted to Jackson who ran it back 65 yards for the winning score as time expired. Oof.

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets - 2000 - This Monday night shocker was just insane. The Dolphins were up on the Jets 30-7 in the fourth quarter in the old Meadowlands. Then it was Vinny Time. Jets' QB Vinny Testaverde threw four fourth quarter TD passes as the Jets stormed back by scoring 30 points in the fourth quarter before they won in overtime 40-37. It wasn't a pretty game for Testaverde as he threw three picks, but he got the job done when they needed, throwing five touchdowns and completing 36 passes for 378 yards.

Honorable Mention:

Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals - 2006 - The main reason I wanted to mention this game was the fantastic post game press conference where Dennis Green kept saying, "They are who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook." That about sums up the game in which the Cardinals led the Bears 23-3 in the third quarter before the Bears came back and won the game 24-23 thanks to their defense and special teams.

REFS:

All stats taken from Pro-Football-Reference.com

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Updated Thursday, Dec 23, 2010