All the rage on TikTok: NFL teams blowing 17-point leads?
Of course, mostly bad teams are the only ones “good” enough to do that, but I seem to remember a few quality teams pulling off the feat, too.
Unfortunately, scouring the Internet using Google didn’t produce this kind of statistic just for this season, though pro-football-reference.com did provide the biggest blown lead that turned into a loss in the history of each NFL team.
Every team has at least a 17-point blown lead somewhere along the line, the only one coming in at that low a number is Jacksonville, probably because the Jaguars are one of the newer teams around.
Of course, we know about Indianapolis’ all-time record 33-point blown lead in the 39-36 overtime loss to Minnesota less than two weeks ago.
By the way, the Green Bay Packers’ biggest blown lead ever in a loss is 22 points, to the Los Angeles Rams going way back to Oct. 12, 1952, a 30-28 L.A. win.
The Detroit Lions’ biggest blown lead that led to a loss is 21 points, which was even further back on Oct. 24, 1948, also to the Rams when they won 34-27.
There was a link for each team showing all of its biggest blown leads, each entry including the size of the lead, date, opponent and final score. So what the heck, I figured I’d click on all 32 links.
Remember, though, it doesn’t count for the purposes of this list if a team blew a big lead and then came back and pulled out the win.
Here’s what I found, in no particular order, of 17-point or more blown leads (that led to a loss) just this season:
• Buffalo blew a 17-point lead on Nov. 13 to Minnesota and lost 33-30
• Dallas blew a 17-point edge to Jacksonville on Dec. 18 and lost 40-34 (same weekend as Indy-Minnesota)
• Las Vegas has three (I thought so!) just this season — a 20-pointer to Arizona on Sept. 18, a 29-23 loss; a 17-point lead to Jacksonville on Nov. 6 in a 27-20 setback; and a 17-point edge to Kansas City on Oct. 10, a 30-29 loss
• Baltimore has two (I remember about a month ago hearing that the Ravens had led in every game this season) — a 21-point lead to Miami on Sept. 18 in a 42-38 loss; and a 17-point lead to Buffalo on Oct. 2 in a 23-20 loss
• and Tampa Bay blew a 17-point lead to Cincinnati on Dec. 18 in a 34-23 loss (another the same weekend as Indy-Minnesota)
That’s eight of them, and there could be more if a team blew that kind of lead, then came back and actually won.
Food for thought? Maybe, but I’d starve if that’s what they were serving me for lunch.
Onto this week’s picks:
Today, 8:15 p.m.
Dallas at Tennessee — AFC South coleaders Tennessee and Jacksonville have nothing to play for this week, as their clash next week decides the division regardless of what happens this week, due to tiebreakers.
But Dallas really should have its eye on a shiny prize — the No. 1 wild card gets the right to play at the likely 8-9 or 7-10 NFC South champion to open the playoffs. Cowboys, 29-19.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Arizona at Atlanta — Both had one-score losses last week, but Atlanta’s was to Baltimore and the Cardinals’ in OT to Tampa. Even with Arizona’s J.J. Watt all but announcing his retirement, I’ll take the Falcons, 23-20.
Chicago at Detroit — Let’s see what kind of kneecap biting Detroit can show after a rather embarrassing loss at Carolina last week. Lions, 36-27.
Jacksonville at Houston — By the way, there’s no wild card coming out of either conference’s South Division, since the best record in each of those divisions is 7-8. But Jacksonville still looks pretty good with seven wins playing a division foe that’s all but locked up the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. Jaguars, 26-13.
Denver at Kansas City — The Broncos deserve consideration for the No. 1 draft pick they probably don’t have anyway (the Russell Wilson trade), considering how dysfunctional they’ve looked just about the entire season. Chiefs, 33-20.
Miami at New England — Finally, a good game between good teams this week. Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback might make the Dolphins look better than they have recently after Tua Tagovailoa was diagnosed with (another) concussion. Dolphins, 20-16.
Indianapolis at New York Giants — The Giants shouldn’t feel comfortable in the No. 2 wild card position in the NFC. Not yet. Giants, 27-21.
New Orleans at Philadelphia — If Philly doesn’t win this game, then they know they’ll need a win over the Giants in Week 18 to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Get down to business this week, guys. Eagles, 30-20.
Carolina at Tampa Bay — OK, another good matchup between good … well, let’s just say playoff-contending teams. Panthers, 27-24.
Cleveland at Washington — Had to change this pick last-second when I found out who will start at QB for the Commanders. I don’t know about the “having two QBs means you have none” theory, but I like the “When you have Carson Wentz at QB you have none” saying. Browns, 23-19.
Sunday, 4 p.m.
San Francisco at Las Vegas — After watching the huge Vikings’ comeback two weeks ago, it makes me wonder exactly what kind of lead is safe in the NFL. Certainly not any that the Raiders have, not that they’ll likely have one with sub QB Jarrett Stidham scheduled to start and Chase Garbers (who?) as his backup. 49ers, 28-20.
New York Jets at Seattle — Seattle’s been struggling, but the Jets shouldn’t anymore now that they don’t have to start Zach Wilson, what with Mike White ready to play QB again. Jets, 31-24.
Minnesota at Green Bay — The Packers need all hands on deck now, but I’m not sure that will be the case after a bunch of injuries last week. Vikings, 23-17.
Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers — Us Lions fans are on the Chargers’ bandwagon this week (Detroit’s got the Rams’ first-round draft pick), but it’s hard to find a place to sit on that vehicle with their resurgence. Chargers, 34-25.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore — The NFL must have faith in the Steelers’ steeliness, or resolve, or SISU, I guess, to move them to prime time. I’m not so convinced. Ravens, 33-26.
Monday, 8:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Cincinnati — Oh, that’s why I couldn’t find any good teams — ESPN was hoarding them for its Monday night game. Despite its still superior 12-3 record, Buffalo hasn’t been playing that great as of late. But Cincy has. Bengals, 31-28.
Last week — 10-6, 63 percent. Season — 143-95-2, 60 percent.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.