Dolphins, Jets, Cardinals Author Greatest Comeback Sunday In NFL History

The New York Jets trailed the Cleveland Browns, 30-17 with 1:55 left in their game Sunday. And they won.

Baltimore led the Miami Dolphins 35-14 to start the fourth quarter of their game. And the Fins came out victorious.

Arizona trailed the Las Vegas Raiders, 23-7 with under 9 minutes left to play in their game. And, you guessed it, they won.

Three teams facing double-digit deficits mounted historic and improbable rallies on the same day. Three teams with victories all but locked up did absurd things to lose.

Comeback Sunday in the NFL.

BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 18: Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) fights off a tackle by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) during the Miami Dolphins versus Baltimore Ravens NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Baltimore, MD (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“The reality in the National Football League is the game is never over until it’s over,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, one of the comeback victims told reporters. “They have coaches and good players, they’re going to continue to fight and play, and we did the same thing last week. You know, we were behind and we had to try to catch up.

“I thought that was a theme in the NFL this week. It seemed there was a lot of people that were behind and came back and won.”

Not just won but stunned the football world. All of them.

Browns Make The Wrong Kind Of History

Start in Cleveland because that was simply bonkers:

Teams down 13-plus points in the final 2 minutes of a game had a record of 0-2,229 during the last 20 seasons, according to ESPN research. The last team to overcome that kind of deficit in the final 2 minutes was the Chicago Bears.

Against the Cleveland Browns.

“We’re off the snide,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said, celebrating the first victory of the season. “I love the way this feels.”

How Could This Happen?

So what happened? Well, Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes of 66 yards and 15 yards to give the Jets the win. And that required the Browns to blow a coverage on the long pass and allow the Jets to run 9 plays in 1 minute without any timeouts on a 53-yard game-winning drive.

That’s not all.

To give the Jets that scoring opportunity, the Browns had to brain fart and score a touchdown when the Jets had no timeout left to play earlier. Had Browns running back Nick Chubb simply fallen down at the 1 yard line instead of scoring on a 12-yard run with 2:02 to play, the game would have been over because, again, the Jets had no timeouts.

That Chubb score gave New York the ball so they could throw their 66-yard bomb, attempt an onside kick, recover the onside kick, and drive for the winning score.

So, yes, the Jets won. But the Browns tried really, really hard to lose.

“Look, at one point you’re sitting on the bench and they have the opportunity to run the clock out,” Flacco said. “Obviously when he scores, you are thinking, OK, that is not what he is supposed to do.”  

The Cardinals and Dolphins both were down 20-plus points at halftime. The fact both won marked the first time in NFL history multiple teams overcame so big a deficit on the same day, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Dolphins won because quarterback Tua Tagovailoa exploded in the fourth quarter, throwing 4 of his 6 TD passes in that period.

And, yes, the Ravens blew coverages in allowing 60-yard and 48-yard bombs to Tyreek Hill, who was curiously not covered. Ravens coach John Harbaugh blamed the problem on switching out cornerbacks before and during the game due to injuries.

“Yes, that’s the issue,” Harbaugh said. “Never did you think we were going to have that many balls thrown over our head. That just can’t happen; that’s not OK. I don’t care who’s back there, [or] what they’re doing. Those plays will cost you a game when you have a lead like that. You can’t have miscommunication. You can’t have a guy running a post behind Cover-3. Those kinds of things can’t happen.”

They happened.

The Cardinals comeback, meanwhile, was a product of Kyler Murray simply going off script and being faster, quicker and more elusive than everyone else on the field. He finished the game with 1 TD and 1 interception and an unimpressive 76.7 quarterback rating.

But in the final 11 minutes Murray completed 13 of 20 for 100 yards, including 1 TD. He also rushed a couple of times for 7 yards. His quarterback rating as he led the breakneck comeback was 93.7.

“Going in at half, I felt like we felt there was plenty of time,” Murray said. “The

Aaron Rodgers Already Looking At Buccaneers And Brady

Aaron Rodgers owns the Chicago Bears, right? We all know that based on the fact he’s thrown 18 TD passes without an interception to help the Packers dominate the series, including seven consecutive victories and 12 in the last 13 games.

So, ho hum, the Packers dispatched the Bears Sunday evening and afterward Rodgers seemed just as interested in eyeballing the next opponent as the one he just beat.

That next opponent is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I think I have to play better moving forward,” Rodgers said. “I think next week will be, we’ll see, Minnesota has to play tomorrow but this is going to be a really good football team in Tampa. And obviously they’re going to be expecting to be playing in January. “

Last week Rodgers implored coaches to run the football more. And he implored teammates to run the football better.

The Packers rushed for 203 yards, including 132 yards on only 15 carries by Aaron Jones. That, Rodgers believes, will eventually help the passing game that features multiple rookie receivers.

“I’ll keep improving and find a way to get those young guys confident and get them the ball in certain spots,” Rodgers said, “but if we can run the ball like we did today, it alleviates a lot of the stress that we can feel had we not had 200 yards rushing.”

Rookie Performance Of The Week

Aidan Hutchinson wanted to be picked No. 1overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars but going to the hometown Detroit Lions is working out just fine for him and the team.

The rookie had three sacks in the first half against the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

That’s the most by any rookie in one half of play since Julius Peppers did it in 2001.

Hutchinson left the game for a time to nurse a leg injury but still finished with six combined tackles and two tackles.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 18: Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) celebrates sacking Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) during the second quarter of a regular season NFL football game between the Washington Commanders and the Detroit Lions on September 18, 2022 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A Handful Of Teams Remain Atop The NFL

There are four 2-0 teams in the NFL Monday morning and, yes, the Buffalo Bills have a chance to add another team to those ranks if they beat they beat the Tennessee Titans after a half-day of school in Western New York.

Anyway, let’s go through the list of the 2-0 teams:

Kansas City beat the division rival Chargers: They’ve been good for a long time and everyone expected them to be good again this season. And they are.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the division rival Saints: You knew they’d be good once Tom Brady unretired and beating the Saints, which swept them last year, is a big deal.

The Miami Dolphins, fresh off a come-from-behind win versus Baltimore: They did a lot of work surrounding quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with top talent in the offseason and Tagovailoa simply went all Dan Marino on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

And the New York Giants. Wait, what?

Yes, The Giants Have Yet To Lose

They beat the Carolina Panthers with another good performance by Saquon Barkley, an unspectacular but mostly error-free game from Daniel Jones, and some great kicking from Graham Gano, who connected on field goals of 33, 36, 51 and 56 yards.

So maybe we should all get comfortable with the Giants being relevant if not plain good?

“I don’t think you ever get comfortable whether I was an assistant or a coordinator,” coach Brian Daboll said. “This game will humble you really quick. There’s one week you can be on top of the mountain, and the next you fall right off.”

Daboll told the players after the game he believes they’re building a program that includes the right kind of preparation during the week, something which wasn’t always the case under previous coaches.

“I told them in the locker room, ‘If we lost this game, I can live with it because I know what we’re doing during the week is the right thing,’ ” he said. “I think there’s a sound plan. I think the players are spending extra time together. I think the coaches work extremely hard of putting plans together. I think we go out there and practice the right way.

“It’s not always perfect, but the steps that you need to take in order to build a consistent program takes time.”

NFL’s Quote Of The Week

“I would be booing myself; I was getting very frustrated.”

— Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett on what he thought of the home crowd in Denver booing the Broncos after going 0-for-2 in goal-to-go opportunities.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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  1. Crazy day of comebacks – and these didn’t even include 2 almost-comebacks where the Falcons were down 28-3 (yes, 28-3) before the Rams needed an interception in the end zone to keep the Falcons from winning 32-31 and the Washington C-words came back from 22-0 against the Lions to within one score in the fourth and had chances to get it done. Wild day.

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