ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF GAMING

Some of the greatest Big Game comebacks in NFL history

This article is Sponsored by Arizona Department of Gaming
Feb 11, 2022, 10:36 AM | Updated: 10:37 am
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Although every football fan base feels that the odds are stacked against them, there is one game that has brought some of the best and worst comebacks for casual and gambling fans.

Arizona sports fans will unfortunately remember one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history during the Cardinals’ Big Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With sports gambling legal in the state of Arizona, this will be the first time Arizonans can place a legal wager on the Big Game. Many fans will want to earn a quick dollar on Sunday.

With more than $136 million wagered on 2021’s game, a September study by the National Council on Problem Gambling found that the number of sports betters in America grew by 30% over an 18-month span. With more entering the gambling space, fans should be aware and cautious about addiction before trying to strike it rich in 2022’s game.

If you have a problem with sports gambling, visit the Arizona Division of Problem Gaming at problemgambling.az.gov for more information. You can also call 1-800-NEXT-STEP or text NEXT-STEP to 53342 for information or help.

Here are some of the greatest comebacks in NFL history that every fan should know about before the Big Game:

New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28 (2017)

With six minutes remaining in the third quarter of 2017’s championship contest, all hope seemed to be lost for quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots, trailing 28-3.

NFL MVP and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was firing on all cylinders in the first half, scoring 21 points in the second quarter that was capped off by cornerback Robert Alford’s 82-yard pick-six.

Brady led the first touchdown drive of the game for New England with two minutes remaining in the third, but the point after was missed, making the score 28-9 with a little over a quarter to play.

One of the biggest decisions of the game came when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick decided to kick a field goal with 9:44 remaining to make it a 16-point difference.

On the ensuing drive, the New England defense forced and recovered a fumble on Ryan that led to a Patriots score and two-point conversion, making it a one-score game.

After getting one final stop, Brady and the Patriots scored on their fifth straight drive and ended up tying up the ball game to send it into overtime.

New England won the toss and did not give Ryan and the Falcons another chance by scoring first in overtime on a halfback toss in the red zone, completing the biggest comeback in history for the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23 (2009)

For some, 2009 ranks high on the list of not only greatest comebacks, but greatest Big Games ever.

For Cardinals fans, this game was a roller coaster of emotions that ended in sadness.

Arizona trailed Pittsburgh 10-7 right before halftime but was driving the football to potentially tie or take the lead. On the last play of the first half, Steelers linebacker James Harrison returned a 100-yard interception from quarterback Kurt Warner for a touchdown that pushed the Arizona deficit to 10 points.

The Steelers added a field goal in the third to push the lead to 13 before the Cardinals woke up offensively.

A defensive safety, a Larry Fitzgerald 64-yard touchdown explosion and 16 total fourth-quarter points later, Arizona held the lead with 2:37 remaining in the fourth quarter and held its first lead of the entire game.

On Pittsburgh’s final drive, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led a 78-yard drive that was finished off with a Santonio Holmes 6-yard, toe-tapping touchdown with 35 seconds remaining.

The game ended up breaking the record for the most-watched Big Game at the time.

New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17 (2010)

This game in 2010 was between two quarterbacks that many consider as some of the best of all time: The Colts’ Peyton Manning and the Saints’ Drew Brees.

Manning was trying to get his second ring, while Brees and the Saints both looked for their first ever.

Although the Colts took a 10-0 first-quarter lead, they were hit with a Saints avalanche that slowly took over the game.

New Orleans faced a 10-6 halftime deficit, but attempted and recovered a bold surprise onside kick to open the second half.

This play seemed to take all momentum away from Indianapolis, as the Saints added 25 second-half points behind 288 yards and two touchdowns from Brees in the game.

With more than three minutes to play, Manning and the Colts had an opportunity to tie the game just outside the red zone before cornerback Tracy Porter returned an interception 74 yards to the house, ending the Colts’ hopes.

The 10-point deficit is tied for the second largest comeback, only behind the Patriots.


While many fans will place bets on the Big Game to add a little rooting interest to the game between the Bengals and Rams, an estimated 6.6 million people in American struggle with gambling addiction. Others could develop a gambling problem in the future.

Find out if you or someone you know needs help after developing a gambling problem, and visit the Arizona Division of Problem Gambling to take the Problem Gambling Self Screening Quiz

If you answered yes to any of the questions, consider seeking more information and further assistance. Visit the Arizona Division of Problem Gaming to find a trained professional who can identify and help with a betting addiction.

Arizona Department of Gaming

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Some of the greatest Big Game comebacks in NFL history