Sports have provided us with many fond moments and unforgettable memories. Among all of these high times comes the greatest comebacks in the history of sports. These are the moments fans live for and it creates an emotion attachment to a team or sport that can’t be bought, won, or chosen. These moments have inspired the following list of the 10 greatest comebacks in sporting history. Below we’ll share everything from unlikely heroes to unforeseeable circumstances.
10 – Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks
The Knicks faced off against the Pacers in the first round of the 1995 Eastern Conference Playoffs. In a game that the Knicks had seemingly dominated, the Pacers failed to quit on this worthy opponent. Led by the charge of Reggie Miller and his 3-point shooting capabilities, the Pacers would erase an 8-point Knick lead in a matter of 11 seconds to emerge victorious in this pivotal Game 1 matchup.
9 – Tracey McGrady Taking Down the Spurs
Sticking with the NBA in the early comeback phase, we have the performance Tracey McGrady handed the Spurs in the 4th quarter. The Rockets trailed the Spurs by 8 with a little over 35 seconds on the clock. McGrady would host up a bevy of three pointers, met with quick-handed steals and ball handling. His last shot, the ultimate buzzer beater, would help put an exclamation point upon this record-setting performance.
8 – Philadelphia Flyers Erase 3-0 Series Deficit
Getting down early in a crucial series is never a good sign for sport’s fans. The Philadelphia Flyers found themselves in a deep hole: down three games to none against the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Flyers tightened their grips on the sticks and were saved by the protecting goal tender force. Forcing the series to Game 7, the Flyers would give up 3 first period goals. There were 4 additional goals scored in periods 2 and 3, all of which came from the hands of Flyers’ skaters. They would create one of the most improbable comebacks in NHL post-season history.
7-5. Aaron Rodgers and the Case of the Hail Mary
Aaron Rodgers has had multiple successful seasons under the helm in Green Bay. His on-field performances have wowed fans of both the team and spectators alike. It is only fitting his comebacks span the ranks of more than one position, as they rank among the NFL’s best comebacks.
The first came against the Detroit Lions. The Packers were facing an almost certain defeat if it were not for a rainbow throw to the end zone. The pass would be hauled in by Richard Rodgers and the play would go down in regular season history. The play would also represent the push the team needed to reach the post-season in 2015.
The second would occur within the same season. The Packers would face the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round of the 2015 playoffs. The offensive attack of the Cardinals, led by David Johnson, left the Packers with their hands tied with seconds remaining on the clock. The only solution: a Hail Mary conversion. Once again, Aaron would launch his sky rocket deep into the end zone. This time Jeff Janis found himself on the receiving end of this heave, sending the game into overtime.
The third instance came against the New York Giants in the most recent playoff rounds. The team was struggling to get things moving on offense. The weather was cold, bitter cold, leaving little offensive intrigue prior to halftime. The momentum would swing as Rodgers launched his third Hail Mary in the past 3 seasons. Randall Cobb would be on the receiving end this time and the momentum gained from this play would lead to a smashing of the Giants in the playoff round.
4 – Patriots vs. Falcons: Super Bowl 51
The scene was set for Super Bowl 51. The New England Patriots would face off against the Atlanta Falcons for the title. The game itself was heavily dominated by an Atlanta defensive and offensive attack. The Patriots had no answer for these threats and they made the Atlanta defense look as sharp as ever. Down by three scores early the 4th quarter, the Patriots faced an almost certain defeat. The offense would start clicking and the defense would begin to provide the support needed to host this comeback effort. The improbable would ensue in the form of both receptions and runs, sending the game into overtime. The Patriots would be on the receiving end of the kickoff and would never look back. It remains one of the best Super Bowl comebacks of all-time.
3 – Buffalo Bills 32-Point Rally
32 points is a very large deficit, no matter the sport. So, when the Bills were up against the odds in the Wild Card round of the 1993 playoffs, it seemed all hope was lost. The fans had accepted defeat, with most of the faithful exiting the stadium to recoup for the next season. The Bills were not dead. They lead brilliant drives and remarkable stances against a Houston Oilers team that was left in shock after surrendering the largest playoff lead in the history of the NFL playoffs.
2 – Nick Faldo: The Masters
The Masters is one of the largest PGA tournaments on the schedule each season. Beyond the hype, is one of the hardest courses to both read and play on the tour. Nick Faldo trailed Greg Norman by 6 strokes on the leaderboard in this 1996 tournament. All odds seemed stacked against him, due to the rough course conditions and comparison to previous rounds. He would play one of the most consistent documented rounds of golf in Master’s history. His fourth-round 67 would unseed Norman from the leaderboard and ultimately lead to placing the famed green jacket upon his back.
1 – Lifting the Curse: The 2004 Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox, like the Chicago Cubs, have had their fair share of curses surrounding the team. The curse of Yankee-killer Babe Ruth being traded to that same team that the Boston faithful will forever have ill-will towards. The homerun off of Aaron Boone’s bat that dashed the team’s World Series hopes just a year prior. The signs were present and the odds were always stacked in the wrong fashion.
Up against it again, the Red Sox would fall to a deficit of 3-0 against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. The series that would represent the direct path to the title series, would seem as a distant hope with the team trailing and closer Mariano Rivera coming in to mow down the hitters in 1-2-3 fashion. This is where the tides would change. The team would gain an eye for Rivera’s breaks and his style, gaining runs and ultimately taking Game 4. This would present Rivera with his first blown save in the post-season that year.
The Yankees would have three more opportunities to close the series out, so the odds remained in their favor. Each of these three games represented a failure from a usually reliable New York team. Their collapse would ring in cheers of joy from the Boston faithful. No team had ever recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the modern baseball era: but the Red Sox prevailed. They won the ALCS and would go on to win their first World Series after a lifetime of waiting. This still ranks as one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history and it would take a miracle to unseed this feat.