Detroit Lions 14-point comeback on Sunday their first such comeback in a very long time

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions came back from 14 points down on Sunday, ending a very long streak without a comeback like that.

The Detroit Lions ended a few streaks with their 31-30 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. A 13-game road losing streak, pre-dating Dan Campbell’s tenure as head coach? Over. Back-to-back wins for the first time since October of 2020? Check.

Coming back from 14-points down late in a game is rare–see the Dallas Cowboys all-time record when leading by 14 points or more entering the fourth quarter before losing to the Green Bay Packers in overtime on Sunday. For the Lions, trailing by 14 points late in a game has been a routine opportunity to lose by a lot more as players check out mentally.

But the Lions rallied from 24-10 down to tie the game early in the fourth quarter on Sunday, with cornerback Jeff Okudah’s pick-six (which ended yet another streak for the franchise) as the tying score. That play was the springboard to winning the game.

Detroit Lions 14-point comeback their first comeback like that in a long time

Then there is this.

Again, coming back to win down 14 points entering the fourth quarter is hard, but not unprecedented. The Lions hadn’t done it in nearly 100 such “opportunities”, dating back to 1993.

Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire gave some perspective to just how long ago that was. I’ll add that I was 13 years old.

On Oct. 31, 1993, the Lions trailed the Minnesota Vikings 27-13 entering the fourth quarter. Their 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, to pull out a 30-27 win, went like this.

-Herman Moore, 93-yard touchdown from Rodney Peete
-Jason Hanson, 32-yard field goal
-Derrick Moore, 1-yard touchdown run.

The 1993 Lions went 10-6, won the NFC Central and started a streak of three straight playoff appearances amid four playoff appearances in a five year-stretch under Wayne Fontes. This year’s Lions won’t reach that level, but a comeback like Sunday’s is certainly a positive step toward finishing the 2022 season strongly.

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