Coming Back

The always excellent Profootballreference.com blog addressed an interesting dilmena recently.  Most fans know that John Elway is credited with the most comeback wins all time with 47.  The problem is that “Come from behind wins” isn’t an official stat, and that all teams track and count it differently.  The PFR blog rightly suggests normalizing the way comebacks are credited:

1.  The team has to win.  For example, in 2003, Manning led the Colts on a brilliant drive to force overtime against the Panthers.  The Panthers won in OT.  That does not count as a comeback.

2. The team has to be trailing in the fourth quarter.  Manning led a brilliant game winning drive in San Diego last year.  The problem is that the Colts were tied at the time, and never trailed in the 4th quarter.  That’s a game winning drive, but obviously not a comeback.  It doesn’t count.

3.  If the offense contributes to the comeback, but the defense scores the winning points, it’s a comeback, but not a game winning drive. Think about the Jacksonville game last year.  Indy is down 10 in the 4th quarter.  Manning leads two drives to tie the game, Garrard throws the pick 6, and the Colts win.  Manning gets a comeback win, but not a game winning drive.

I’m 100% on board with these definitions, which is why I titled my article on Manning’s heroics “18 Best Fourth Quarter Victories” to distinguish between comebacks and game winning drives.

The Blog posts this chart to show the difference between reported totals of comebacks and actual totals:

QB                 Reported     Actual
John Elway 47 34
Brett Favre 42 27
Dan Marino 37 36
Peyton Manning 37 28
Drew Bledsoe 32 24
Joe Montana 31 31
Johnny Unitas 31 34
Tom Brady 28 20
Roger Staubach 23 15
Ben Roethlisberger 19 15
Chad Pennington 7 7
Jay Cutler 7 5

So you can see from this list that Manning sits behind Marino, Unitas, Elway, and Montana on the all-time comebacks list.

I’m still scrambling to compile a list of those 28 comebacks. That’s where I need your help. I’ve identified 25, but the other three elude me.
1998 NY Jets
1999 @ Cle
1999 KC
1999 Wash
2000 @ Buff
2000 NE
2002 Balt
2002 Denver
2002 Cle
2002 Jacksonville
2003 @ Tampa
2003 @ Buff
2003 @ Hou
2004 @ Tenn
2004 Chargers
2005 Jacksonville
2006 Tenn
2006 @ Jets
2006 @ Denver
2006 NE
2007 @ Oak
2008 @ Hou
2008 @ Minn
2008 @ Pitt
2008 @ Jacksonville

If anyone can come up with the last three comebacks that I don’t mention, I’d appreciate it. Checking out Manning’s game logs is a good place to start

UPDATE:  We found the missing three games.

1999 @ San Diego
1999 Dallas
1999 @ NY Jets
Thanks to MVPeyton18 for coming up with the three missing games.  That means that in his second full season, Manning had 6 fourth quarter comebacks.
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