Twenty-five years later, it remains the greatest comeback in NFL history. In the 1992 AFC Wild Card, the Buffalo Bills overcame a 35-3 deficit to stun the Houston Oilers, 41-38, in overtime.
“As much as it was a successful comeback by us, it was as much of a failure and letting it go (by them),” former Bills wide receiver Don Beebe said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Not saying quitting, but almost doubting (on) the Oilers side. They were doubting each other and their ability to make the play. There’s no way we should have won that. All they had to do was just get first downs – not even touchdowns, just get first downs – and the clock would have ran out eventually. But it was such a demise on their end.”
Down 35-3, the Bills scored five unanswered touchdowns, including four from quarterback Frank Reich. Beebe caught a 38-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, and Andre Reed took it from there, hauling in touchdown receptions of 26, 18, and 17 yards.
Steve Christie’s 32-yard field goal won it in overtime.
“I try to tell kids today, ‘This game is not won with talent. This game is won with emotion. This game is won with chemistry with your teammates. So no matter how high it may get and how low it may get, you got to stick together. You got to keep pulling for each other,’” Beebe said. “That’s what we did on our side. Even though it was 35-3, guys kept staying positive like Frank, and that kind of trickled into other guys. On the other side, when it started to fall apart, they were pointing fingers and blaming each other.
“When you listen to Haywood Jeffires on that NFL Films piece, he’s just like, ‘What is the coaches thinking?’” Beebe continued. “They were pointing fingers at each other and doubting. We didn’t do that on our side when it was 35-3, and we certainly (didn’t do that) when it was 28-3 at halftime. Nobody was pointing fingers. Nobody was yelling at the coach or saying anything. They were like, ‘Dude, let’s go.’”
Linebacker Darryl Talley, especially.
“I remember Darryl Talley, who was kind of our vocal leader of that team at halftime, was just challenging himself, challenging the guys, saying, ‘Let’s do this. We can do this. They scored 28. We can score 28,’” Beebe recalled. “So I think the leadership on the two teams was the difference in that game from both sides of that spectrum.”