Biggest comebacks in NFL history: The Jaguars’ playoff win over the Chargers is one of the biggest rallies of all time

The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history when they came back from a 27-point deficit and stunned the Los Angeles Chargers by 31-30 in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs. The comeback was the third-biggest in NFL playoff history, overcoming five first-half turnovers — including four interceptions by Trevor Lawrence.

Where does the Jaguars’ historic comeback rank among the greatest of all time? Here are the six greatest in NFL history:

The biggest comeback in NFL history belongs to the Vikings, who overcame a 33-0 halftime deficit to make the unlikely comeback and capture the NFC North title. Cousins ​​threw four touchdown passes in the second half as the Vikings rebounded from a 36-7 deficit with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter to set the quarter’s final 32 points.

Minnesota scored 22 points in the fourth quarter and connected the game with a 64-yard touchdown reception from Cousins’ Dalvin Cook at 2:15 to play rule. The Vikings got the ball in overtime – after jabbing on their first overtime possession – at 1:41 when Cousins ​​led the Vikings 60 yards down the field, resulting in a 40-yard field goal from Greg Joseph led for the win with three seconds remaining in overtime.

Cousins ​​overcame two interceptions to throw for 460 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Colts quarterback Matt Ryan was the starting quarterback with two 25-point blow leads, the only quarterback in league history to have that honor.

2. Buffalo Bills 41, Houston Oilers 38 (OT) – 32 points (1992 AFC Wildcard Playoffs)

What was the biggest comeback in NFL history is still one of the most unlikely wins the league has ever seen. Bill’s backup quarterback Frank Reich developed the game known as “The Comeback” as Buffalo rebounded from a 35-3 deficit in the third quarter to claim the win.

Reich threw four touchdown passes in the second half, three to Andre Reed and one to Don Beebe as the Bills took a 38-35 lead at 3:08 (Reich threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Reed). The Oilers rallied to equalize when Warren Moon led them on a 63-yard drive that resulted in an Al Del Greco field goal to send the game into overtime.

Houston got the ball first in overtime, but Moon threw an interception to Nate Odomes, which handed the ball to the Bills at the Oilers 20-yard line. The replay showed the intended target Ernest Givins being held by Darryl Talley, but no flag was thrown. Steve Christie hit a 32-yard field goal to complete the unlikely comeback as the Bills would go to their third straight Super Bowl a few weeks later.

3. Indianapolis Colts 45, Kansas City Chiefs 44 – 28 points (2013 AFC Wildcard Playoffs)

In his first season with the Chiefs, Andy Reid looked set for a playoff win after leading 38-10 early in the third quarter after Knile Davis caught a 10-yard pass from Alex Smith. The Colts outplayed the Chiefs 21-3 for the remainder of the quarter to reduce the deficit to 41-31 to enter the fourth quarter.

Indianapolis actually fumbled the ball trying to reduce the deficit to three when Andrew Luck regained the fumble and brought the ball in for a touchdown in one of the weirdest games in NFL history. Luck struck TY Hilton for a 64-yard touchdown pass with 4:21 left to give Indianapolis a 45-44 lead while the Colts held the Chiefs in their ensuing possession to cap the comeback.

Luck threw for 443 yards in four touchdowns, overcoming three interceptions. Hilton caught 13 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns as both teams finished with over 500 yards of offense.

The legend of Joe Montana in San Francisco was started in this game. San Francisco was defeated 324-21 in the first half and was down 35-7 at halftime, with the 49ers’ only touchdown coming on a 57-yard punt return by Freddie Solomon.

Montana threw two touchdown passes in the second half, a 71-yard pass to Dwight Clark and then a 14-yard pass to Solomon for a 35-28. Lenvil Elliott leveled the game with a 7-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Montana capped the comeback in overtime as the 49ers earned the win with a 36-yard kick from Ray Wersching. Montana threw for two touchdown passes and rushed to one in the second half, finishing 24 of 36 for 285 yards. The Saints fell back to 14-0 with the loss, the worst loss for the infamous ‘Aints’.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars 31, Los Angeles Chargers 30 – 27 points (2022 AFC Wildcard Playoffs)

The Jaguars overcame four Trevor Lawrence interceptions and five turnovers in the first half and had one of the most unlikely comebacks in NFL history. Jacksonville overcame a 27-0 deficit and scored on its last five possessions (four consecutive Lawrence touchdown passes) — and a two-point conversion interfered — to rally for the win.

Since the two-minute mark in the first half, Lawrence went 23 of 29 for 253 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 142.9 passer rating — all to four different receivers. Jacksonville set up Riley Patterson with a game-winning 36-yard field goal thanks to a fourth-and-1 conversion that Travis Etienne left a 25-yard run at 1:27.

The Chargers remained scoreless on three of their four possessions in the second half, with Cameron Dicker missing a 40-yard field goal with a 30-20 lead 8:27. Jacksonville scored the final 11 points to earn the win, the third-greatest comeback in NFL playoff history.

6. Buffalo Bills 37, Indianapolis Colts 35 – 26 points (Week 4, 1997 regular season)

Buffalo trailed by 26 points in the second quarter before Todd Collins led the Bills to 10 unanswered points before the halftime to make the deficit manageable. Antowain Smith rushed for three second-half touchdowns, including a 5-21 54-yard run, to give Buffalo a 37-29 lead.

The game wasn’t over when Colt’s backup quarterback Paul Justin hit Marvin Harrison with 14 seconds left on a 14-yard touchdown pass. The Colts bet on the two-point conversion and the tie to force overtime, but Kurt Schulz cut Justin’s pass for Harrison to maintain the 37-35 lead.

Indianapolis recovered from the onside kick and tried two desperate passes, but the last one towards the end zone was intercepted by Ken Irvin. Buffalo won despite five turnovers and two muffed punts.

Source