The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

Only One "Comeback"


Well, since this particular game is now referred to simply as "The Comeback", I'm thinking it's gonna get a few votes. In a 1993 wild-card playoff game, a Buffalo Bills team without Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly faced the Houston Oilers. Replacing Kelly was backup Frank Reich, who had authored what was then the greatest comeback in college football history when he led a Maryland team back from a 31-0 deficit to a 42-40 win against Miami. In the playoff, the Oilers went up 28-3 at the half AND lost Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas to injury. A Houston interception return for touchdown early in the third quarter put the Oilers up by the seemingly insurmountable score of 35-3.

Fans in Buffalo were leaving Rich Stadium en masse. Big mistake. The Bills scored four touchdowns in the third quarter -- all touchdown passes by Reich, and three caught by Should-be Hall of Famer Andre Reed, going up 38-35. The Oilers tied the game to end regulation, and the Bills won in overtime with a field goal. The next day, Houston fired their defensive coordinator and secondary coach, while the Bills went on to appear in (and lose) their third straight Super Bowl. But for one amazing day, Frank Reich and his Bills authored the most amazing comeback we're ever likely to see in the NFL.

By Doug Farrar  |  April 13, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  | Category:  Buffalo Bills , Doug Farrar , NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Yes. Hands-down it was the greatest comeback ever. It was stunning watch.

Posted by: tracker2 | April 14, 2009 10:05 AM

As a Houston Oiler fan (Luv Ya Blue) as painful as this memory is I have to agree that it is the greatest comeback game ever.

This was the game that started the fued with Buddy Ryan and Kevin Gilbride. It also marked the end of Jerry Glanville.

I'd say was as devastating as the loss to Pittsburgh in the 1979 AFC Championship.

Posted by: Rockman2 | April 19, 2009 1:05 PM

Cowboys fan here. I watched in draw dropping awe as the Bills came back and beat the Oilers in what should have been a Warren Moon beating! I couldn't believe my eyes. So yes, this one wins, no question!

Posted by: sweets1 | April 24, 2009 5:12 PM

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