Exciting Comebacks Highlighted NFL 2011 Season
NFL 2012 Football
Lions rally from 24 point deficit to beat Cowboys
The 2011 season was filled with thrilling comebacks. And those comeback victories highlighted the unpredictability of the NFL.
"You can never have enough points on the board in the National Football League," says Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith. "Any lead can turn back at any time."
Last season, there were 18 games in which a team overcame a deficit of at least 14 points to win, the most of any season in NFL history. The previous record was 17 set in 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1996.
Eleven times a team overcame a 17+ point deficit to win in 2011, the most in a single season in NFL history.
"It's because of the heart of the players," says San Francisco 49ers head coach JIM HARBAUGH about comeback wins. "Just down after down, to never tire mentally and to keep fighting. Don't flinch. Don't get scared. You've got to trust and believe that you can do it. That's the way you want them to play."
There were six games last season in which a team trailing by at least 20 points rallied to win, the most such games in any season in NFL history. In fact, through the first four weeks of the season, there were four games in which a team trailing by at least 20 points came back to win; that tied for the most such games in any season in NFL history.
"You've got to keep fighting," says Baltimore Ravens head coach JOHN HARBAUGH, whose team erased a 21-point deficit in a 30-27 victory over Arizona in Week 8. "If you watch around this league, you can come back and win."
In Week 3, both the Buffalo Bills (21 points) and Detroit Lions (20) overcame deficits of at least 20 points to win games. The following week, the Lions (24) and 49ers (20) came back from 20+ point deficits to post victories. That marked the first time in NFL history that two teams have overcome deficits of at least 20 points in consecutive weeks.
With comeback victories of 20 points in Week 3 and 24 points in Week 4, the Lions became the first team ever to win consecutive games in which it trailed by at least 20 points in each contest.
"The game's played for 60 minutes and you have to be able to play all 60," says Lions head coach JIM SCHWARTZ. "The attitude is to just play your best for four quarters. You're never going to have every single play go right for you. This is the NFL. There are going to be plays in there every other team is going to make and the other team is going to earn. There are mistakes you're going to make. We just need to play consistently for four quarters. Nobody plays a perfect game, but we can chase that."
The six games in 2011 in which an NFL team trailed by at least 20 points rallied to win:
|3||9/25/11||Detroit||Minnesota||20||Detroit, 26-23 (OT)|
A record-tying six teams won at least 12 games last year -- Green Bay (15), New England (13), New Orleans (13), San Francisco (13), Baltimore (12) and Pittsburgh (12). Six teams also won at least 12 games in 2003.
|Green Bay Packers||15-1||Divisional Playoffs|
|New England Patriots||13-3||Super Bowl XLVI|
|New Orleans Saints||13-3||Divisional Playoffs|
|San Francisco 49ers||13-3||NFC Championship|
|Baltimore Ravens||12-4||AFC Championship|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||12-4||Wild Card Playoffs|
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