'The Comeback', in which the Buffalo Bills overturned a 32-point, 3rd quarter deficit in a 1993 NFL playoff game against the Houston Oilers, is perhaps the most famous, single-game come-from-behind victory in the history of major professional sports. | NFL.COM

FC Barcelona face quite the conundrum. And while they continue to prepare for the return leg of the UEFA Champions League last 16 versus Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou on Wednesday night with a 4–0 aggregate deficit standing in the way of a quarterfinal berth, there have been no shortage of comparisons to the handful of teams which have overcome similar quandaries in European competition over the years.

Among said examples are the admirable comeback by Leixões SC in the first round of the 1961/62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, in which the Portuguese side overcame a 6–2 defeat at Swiss club FC La Chaux-de-Fonds to take the return leg, 5–0.

And years later, in the second round of the 1984/85 UEFA Cup, the Serbian side FK Partizan pulled off a similar feat. After dropping the first leg, 6–2, at the Queens Park Rangers, Partizan returned to Belgrade and went through with a 4–0 triumph in the second leg.

Nevertheless, while Barça do partake in the so-called ‘beautiful game’, we have decided to expand our horizons and have looked to some of North America’s major sports, and beyond, to try and find some historically inspirational examples of impossible comebacks, proving that miracles do, in fact, happen — and not just in soccer.


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The Patriots Storm Back

The most recent example of a clutch comeback beyond the bounds of logic came on 5 February 2017, when the New England Patriots overturned a 28–3 deficit halfway through the third quarter and scored 31 unanswered points, including six in overtime, to beat the Atlanta Falcons and win Super Bowl LI


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The Celtics Stunning Triumph

On 25 May, 2002 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Boston Celtics reversed a 26-point second-half deficit to beat the New Jersey Nets to take a 2–1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Celtics managed to trim five points from the Nets' lead by the start of the fourth quarter, but still found themselves down 21 points, at 74–53. Led by Paul Pierce (photo), the Celtics opened the fourth quarter with an 11–0 run to make their final assault all the more manageable.


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The Heat of the Pennant Race

On 5 August, 2001, the American League pennant race reached a fever pitch when the AL West leading Seattle Mariners — who would go on to win 116 games in the regular season — and the Cleveland Indians, who were battling for first place in the AL Central, went toe-to-toe in the third game of a four-game set at Jacobs Field. The Indians, in one of most shocking comebacks ever, rallied from 12 runs down in the 7th inning and beat the Mariners, 15–14, in extra innings. A one-out, walk-off single by Jolbert Cabrera in the bottom of the 11th scored Kenny Lofton (photo) from second base to win the game for Cleveland.


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Tiger Woods Takes the Back Nine

In perhaps the greatest comeback in golf history, Tiger Woods, who was seven shots behind the leader with seven holes to play, went on a tear to take the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Woods notched his fourth birdie of the day on the par-3 12th and, trailing by just four strokes as he lined up his approach on the 15th fairway, Woods holed out his shot to cut his deficit to two strokes with three holes to play. Tiger nearly holed out his approach on the 16th and, as the crowd got behind him, the leaders began flubbing shots as their nervousness mounted. Tiger teed off on the 18th tied for the lead and, after chipping to within three feet, he putted in for the win.


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The Miracle on Manchester

Ice hockey's most shocking come from behind playoff victory came on 10 April, 1982, when the Los Angeles Kings, led by their franchise player, Marcel Dionne (photo), erased a 5–0 deficit heading into the third period in game three of a best-of-five series against the Edmonton Oilers and their superstar, Wayne Gretzky. The Kings scored five unanswered goals in the third period and forced overtime, where they would score their sixth straight and come away with a 6–5, sudden-death victory. The game would later be dubbed 'The Miracle on Manchester,' after Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood, where the Kings' arena was located.


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"The Comeback"

The mother of all comebacks came on 3 January 1993, when the Buffalo Bills overturned a 32-point deificit midway through the third quarter and came back to beat the Houston Oilers, 41–38, in overtime. When the Oilers opened the third quarter with a touchdown to take a 35–3 lead, the Bills appeared to be finished. But the team, which had received an inspiring speech in the locker room at halftime from head coach Marv Levy, got into gear and launched perhaps the most impressive single-game comeback in the history of major professional team sports. The Bills scored 28 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter, and another touchdown in the 4th, while the Oilers could only muster another field goal. One more Bills field goal in OT gave them them the win and capped the comeback of all comebacks.

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