Monday, November 22, 2010
Bills' 21-point road recovery worth a look
By Tim Graham
Nearly 17 years ago, the Buffalo Bills pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history. That's not just my opinion. The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL Network have declared what transpired in January 1993 as the most epic rally the league has seen.
The Bills beat the Houston Oilers despite trailing by 32 points at halftime.
The stakes weren't nearly as high and the deficit not quite as deep Sunday. But the Bills pulled off a victory almost as astonishing in Paul Brown Stadium.
The Cincinnati Bengals led the Bills by 21 points early in the second quarter and 17 points at halftime. Then the Bills morphed into another team in the second half, scoring 35 unanswered points to turn a blowout defeat into a rout.
Some facts and figures pertaining to another epic Bills comeback:
- Elias Sports Bureau notes it was the first time in NFL history a team at least seven games under .500 came back from a 21-point deficit to win on the road.
- Also from Elias, the 18-point victory was the largest margin in NFL history by a team that trailed by at least 21 points.
- It was the third time in franchise history the Bills won after falling behind by 21 points.
- The 24 points Buffalo allowed in the second quarter were the third-most in club history. The 21 points Buffalo scored in the fourth quarter were sixth-most.
- For the ninth time in Bills history, they had a 300-yard passer (Ryan Fitzpatrick), 100-yard receiver (Steve Johnson) and a 100-yard running back (Fred Jackson).
- For only the fifth time, a Bills quarterback has two four-TD games in one season. Jim Kelly did it three times, Joe Ferguson once.
- Buffalo's 49 points were their second-most of the past 19 years.
- The last seven times the Bills have scored at least 40 points, it has happened on the road.
- Strange stat to me: The Bengals haven't beaten the Bills since 1988.
- Another strange stat: Even with all the great receivers Buffalo has had (Andre Reed, James Lofton, Jerry Butler, Eric Moulds), Johnson's three touchdown receptions put him only two behind the club record for most in a season. Bill Brooks had 11 in 1995.
"There's no quit in this team," Fitzpatrick said. "You really saw that in the second half. When you get that first win, then you start learning how to win, and everything starts falling into place. What a great team effort."