The Buffalo Bills pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history nearly 30 years ago. The next day, they posted a message on their website: “We’ll be back.” They were talking about returning to competition following a 27-3 halftime deficit against the Cincinnati Bengals and becoming champions.
It was December 30th, 1993 when the Buffalo Bills defeated the Houston Oilers by one point to win their first ever National Football League Championship. It is widely believed that this was done thanks in large part to a controversial call made during the game which gave them a chance at victory after trailing by two touchdowns with just seconds left on the clock. This week marks exactly thirty years since that fateful day for fans of professional football in New York and beyond. How has time passed so quickly? What have been some of sports most improbable comebacks over the course of history? Let’s take a trip down memory lane with ten unlikely victories from an NFL Super Bowl champion all-time favorite team – The Pittsburgh Steelers!.The “what is the biggest 4th quarter comeback in nfl history” is a question that has been asked many times. The Buffalo Bills pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history nearly 30 years ago.
If social media had existed at the time of the great Buffalo Bills comeback in 1993, it would have been a game changer. The stunning comeback had all the makings of a Hollywood film, with spectators attempting to re-enter the stadium and a backup quarterback stomping all over the Houston Oilers.
This was, however, more than simply a remarkable comeback in the NFL. The legendary game is remembered as one of the brightest moments of a franchise that has lost four Super Bowls in a row. The comeback serves as a testament to overcoming apparently unfathomable barriers as Josh Allen and the resurgent Bills try to return to championship contention over 30 years later.
The stage was laid for the Buffalo Bills’ 1993 comeback.
“I’m shaking right now,” Josh Allen told reporters as Jim Kelly led him off the field after practice. “This is the best quarterback in the history of the Buffalo Bills.” pic.twitter.com/ldWDN1XcWf
May 11, 2018 — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo)
At the close of the 1992 season, everything went wrong for the franchise. During the Bills’ 27-3 blowout defeat to the Oilers in Houston in the last week of the regular season, star quarterback Jim Kelly suffered a knee injury. It offered supporters little reason to believe that the team could make another long postseason run.
On the opposite side of the field, future Hall of Famer Warren Moon had recovered from an injury earlier in the season and had the Oilers offense humming. Moon was practically flawless in leading the Oilers to an early 28-point lead in the AFC wild-card clash. He tossed four touchdown passes and seemed to have put the game out of reach at halftime.
The Bills’ situation worsened in the second half, according to History.com. Frank Reich, Buffalo’s backup quarterback, threw an interception that was recovered for a touchdown, making the score 35-3. To make things worse, the Bills’ standout running back Thurman Thomas was injured during the drive. Kenneth Davis was handed the high-octane rushing offense by the squad.
According to the local NBC network, significant numbers were heading for the exits about that time. Fans expected a humiliating first-round playoff defeat.
Frank Reich, the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, is scoring touchdowns one at a time.
Frank Reich, quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, during a playoff game versus the Houston Oilers in 1993 | Rick Stewart /Allspors
Because the game was not even aired in the Buffalo region, few people watched the start of the comeback. After scoring a touchdown to put the Bills up 35-10, kicker Steve Christie mishandled the next kickoff. He was able to retrieve it on his own. Bills coach Marv Levy claims he didn’t ask for an onside kick, according to a New York Times article.
The Bills needed a little luck, and that turned out to be precisely what they got. Reich promptly tied the game with a 38-yard touchdown pass to wideout Don Beebe. For the Bills, even this play was rife with luck. Beebe took a stride out of bounds before re-entering to score.
The Bills defense awoke after being pushed about by Houston’s run-and-gun attack for most of the game. It caused a few of turnovers, which resulted in Reich’s scoring blows to future Hall of Famer Andre Reed.
Reich found Reed in the endzone again after the Oilers muffed a field goal attempt, giving the Bills a 38-35 lead with just a few minutes remaining. Bills stadium employees began allowing supporters with legitimate ticket stubs back into the stadium, according to the New York Times. Fans used to return to their seats by jumping over unsecured gates.
To finish regulation, Moon rallied the Oilers for an incredible game-tying drive. However, the Bills intercepted Moon in overtime, allowing them to kick the game-winning field goal.
The game went down in history as the greatest comeback in NFL history, as the Bills advanced to their third straight Super Bowl appearance. Reich, along with Bills legends like Reed, James Lofton, and Darryl Talley, has a particular place in Buffalo mythology as a result of one of the greatest games in team history.
Other games played in the shadow of the Buffalo Bills’ miraculous recovery
Reich’s comeback was not his first time orchestrating a dramatic comeback. Reich, who was a member of the University of Maryland basketball team, rallied the Terrapins back from a 31-point hole to upset Jimmy Johnson’s Miami Hurricanes. It was the most successful college comeback in history, and the record stood for more than two decades.
The Bills’ comeback in the 1992 AFC wild-card game is still the NFL’s gold standard, but the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI (51) comeback against the Falcons is a close second. Tom Brady needed to be faultless down the stretch to reverse the tide against the Falcons, who were behind 28-3 at one point. In the end, he guided the Patriots to a thrilling 34-28 Super Bowl victory in overtime.
The 2013 AFC wild-card game between the Chiefs and the Colts (played on January 4, 2014) is also in contention for the greatest NFL comeback. Indy quarterback Andrew Luck overcame early blunders to lead a remarkable comeback in front of the home crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium after going down by 28 points. According to ESPN, the 45-44 victory was one of Luck’s finest NFL games and one of the biggest moments in Colts team history.
Jim Kelly Provides an Update on His Cancer Battle
The “bills vs oilers 1992 box score” is a game that was played on November 18, 1992. The Buffalo Bills pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history nearly 30 years ago.
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