5 Best Super Bowl Comebacks, According To NFL Analysts

A good comeback is a part of what makes sports so great. As fans, we all love the feeling of cheering after being on the edge of our seats. Whether it’s football, basketball, tennis, or golf, we love to see our favorite athletes pull off an unexpected victory, especially in the biggest game of the year. With Super Bowl 58 right around the corner, StudyFinds has compiled a list of the best five Super Bowl comebacks of all time.

Besides showing support for your favorite team, a lot of people get excited about the delicious party snacks. Everyone has their favorite pick. A recent poll finds you might want to load up on meatballs instead of game-day classics like nachos and chicken wings. The meaty, bite-size treats are the number one food football fans search for online. Shockingly, pizza isn’t even on the list!

For years, there’s been chatter in sports circles about how the NFL could benefit from moving the big game to Saturday. A recent poll of 2,000 NFL fans shows that 48 percent of them would like to see the Super Bowl moved to Saturday. For a lot of us, the thought of working Monday morning after the Super Bowl is just painful. And, moving the game to Saturday would help curb the 14 percent of Americans who call out sick the day after the Super Bowl.

Snacks and debates aside, the real focus is on the game. The biggest Super Bowl comebacks are discussed in the sports world for years. StudyFinds did the digging, consulting 10 expert sports reviews and websites in an effort to bring you the best Super Bowl comebacks in history. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

Helmets for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, opponents in Super Bowl LVIII.
Helmets for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, opponents in Super Bowl LVIII. (© Cukrov – stock.adobe.com)

Best Super Bowl Comebacks, According to Sports Historians

1. Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots Historic Victory Over Atlanta Falcons

The biggest Super Bowl comebacks starts with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots rallying from 25 points down to beat Matt Ryan and his Atlanta Falcons. This Super Bowl looked to be a blowout until midway through the third quarter when the GOAT came to life. And it all started with 8:31 left to go in the third quarter when the Patriots went down 28-3 following a Tevin Coleman touchdown. “The most miraculous comeback in Super Bowl history,” exclaims Sports Illustrated.

After the Falcons scored to go up 25, the Patriots scored on five straight drives, including two touchdowns with two successful two-point conversions. This sent the game to overtime tied at 28. And it only got worse for the Falcons. “The Patriots would go on to win the coin toss, elected to receive the ball, and James White scored on a 2-yard touchdown to give the Patriots the unbelievable win,” reports Sports Illustrated.

Sports and football historians are torn between calling this game the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and the most monumental collapse ever in pro sports. Regardless of what side you were on, this was an undeniably great performance by the legend – Tom Brady. “One team executed their game plan to perfection, and one sputtered out when it needed it the most,” writes Pro Football Network.

2. Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots Stun Seattle Seahawks

We promise not every spot on the list involves Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. But, the second spot once again features the legend and his Pats coming back to take an improbable victory late in the Super Bowl. Simply put, Brady wasn’t going to be denied.

The Seattle Seahawks were looking to become back-to-back champs in Super Bowl XLIX. And it looked like it was going to happen as the Seahawks were up 24-14 in the fourth quarter, denying the Patriots a chance to end their title drought. However, it wasn’t meant to be as Brady led the Pats offense on two touchdown drives against Seattle’s vaunted Legion of Boom defense to go up 28-24. But with time winding down and at the one-yard-line, the Seahawks refused to use their stud running back Marshawn Lynch for the Super Bowl-winning touchdown. “The Seahawks had a chance to win on a go-ahead touchdown at the one-yard line, but Russell Wilson threw an interception to Malcolm Butler in one of the most infamous play calls of all time,” writes Sports Illustrated.

Every epic comeback story can be told through the eyes of the team that blows a big lead late in the Super Bowl. However, Tom Brady still had to score two tough touchdowns against one of the best defenses of all time. “Until this point, no team in Super Bowl history had come back to win after facing a fourth-quarter deficit of more than 7 points. Yet, as history tells us, the Patriots did just that,” says Pro Football Network.

3. Super Bowl XXII: Washington’s Rise Over Denver

Okay, enough of the Patriots and their epic comebacks. The next entry on the list of the best Super Bowl comebacks takes us back to 1988 and a matchup between the now Washington Commanders and Denver Broncos. Denver jumped out to an early 10-0 lead before Washington woke up and took the game over after Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway threw two interceptions in the second quarter which initiated a cataclysmic meltdown. “Denver didn’t score another point and Washington won 42-10,” explains Sports Illustrated.

Elway eventually went on to enjoy two Super Bowl victories in back-to-back seasons to close out his career, but this was not his day. Washington scored a record-breaking 35 points before halftime after being down 10-0. “Doug Williams, who began the season as the back-up QB, threw four touchdowns in the second quarter as Washington turned the Super Bowl on its head,” notes youbet.com.

Doug Williams will forever live in Super Bowl lore for his outstanding performance that day. When you combine Williams’ performance with that of Washington’s lockdown defense, it’s a recipe for a Super Bowl blowout, which is what this game eventually turned into. Williams made history in Super Bowl XXII that means more than the game. “Williams, the first Black quarterback to start a Super Bowl game, was the MVP of the game,” says Bet US.

4. Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints Recover Against Indianapolis Colts

Fast forward back to recent memory when the New Orleans Saints celebrated their victory over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Quarterback Drew Brees’ first and only Super Bowl appearance made for an exciting storyline heading into this game, but it was an epic call by head coach Sean Payton that truly turned the tables. Down 10-6 coming out of the half, Payton made out of the gutsiest calls in the game’s history which helped stoke the Saints’ comeback. “On the second half’s opening kickoff, New Orleans attempted an onside kick and recovered,” explains Pro Football Network.

This Super Bowl seemed like it was going to be a back-and-forth game in the first half, and we were all treated to fireworks in the second half. “It was also a tale of two halves – the Colts took control of the game early on before the Saints mounted an incredible comeback,” writes Gambling Sites.

This Super Bowl was everything you’d expect from two of the most proficient passers in NFL history as Brees and Manning were trading touchdowns. However, when the Colts were down 24-17, Manning had the chance to lead them for a potential game-winning drive. “Instead, he threw a pick-six to make the final score 31–17,” explains Sports Illustrated.

5. Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants Defeat The Buffalo Bills On ‘Wide Right’

Rounding out the best Super Bowl comebacks features the New York Giants fighting back from down nine points to defeat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. This Super Bowl is well-known in football circles as the game that featured the kick heard “round the world,” but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

The Bills took a 12-3 lead into halftime, however, Giants’ Stephen Baker and Ottis Anderson scored back-to-back touchdowns to make the score 17-12. The Bills offense didn’t get on the field in two hours of real time. This was a close-fought game with an exciting fourth quarter. “Giants gave themselves the 20-19 lead in the fourth quarter but Jim Kelly was able to give his kicker, Scott Norwood, a chance to nail a 47-yarder with nine seconds to go,” says Sports Illustrated.

As a fan, you can’t ask for much more than an opportunity to win the Super Bowl in the final seconds. What seemed to be shaping up as a storybook ending, was the first of four straight Super Bowl losses for the Bills. Still, this Super Bowl is best known for the missed opportunity with nine seconds left rather than a gritty comeback by the Giants. Bills kicker Scott Norwood’s 47-yard field goal attempt went wide right, securing the Giants a Super Bowl win.

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