NFL's Greatest Comeback


Buffalo Bills’ kicker Steve Christie booted a 32-yard field goal through the uprights in overtime on January 3, 1993 to cap the National Football League’s greatest comeback. However, some beleaguered fans missed the moment as they had already retreated to the comfort of their homes on this cold January day in western New York.

ChristieThe 1992 AFC Wild Card game looked to be over before it started. The Houston Oilers quickly built a 28-3 halftime lead with the help of four Warren Moon  touchdown passes. What was believed to be the final nail in the coffin came just moments into the second half when Houston strong safety Bubba McDowell intercepted a passed and ran 58 yards for another Oiler score.

Faced with watching their team trail by 32 points, many fans made their way to the parking lot while the Bills headed for the record book. Buffalo’s backup quarterback Frank Reich, who was filling in for the injured Jim Kelly, led the charge. Interestingly, Reich who played behind Boomer Esiason in college at Maryland, led the Terrapins to the greatest comeback in college football history as a senior.

Buffalo began their rally with a one-yard run by Kenneth Davis and when Christie recovered the ensuing onside kick, Reich took over the show. He calmly directed the offense as he connected first with Don Beebe and then hooked up with Andre Reed for three more touchdowns. The Bills’ flurry put them ahead 38-35 with just under 3 minutes to play. With seconds left in regulation, the Oilers’ Al Del Greco tied the score with a 26-yard field goal kick to send the game into overtime.

Early into the extra session, defensive back Nate Odomes intercepted a Moon pass to set the stage for Christie’s dramatic finish.

NFL’s Greatest Comebacks based on Points Down:

Points Down -- Date Teams 1 2 3 4 OT Final Score
32 -- AFC First-round playoff
January 3, 1993
Houston
Buffalo
7
3
21
0
7
28
 3
 7
 0
 3
38
41
28 -- December 7, 1980 New Orleans
San Francisco
14
0
21
7
0
14
0
14
0
3
35
38
26 -- September 21, 1997 Indianapolis
Buffalo
14
0
12
10
0
6
9
21
  35
37
25 -- November 8, 1987 Tampa Bay
St. Louis
7
0
7
3
14
0
0
28
  28
31