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Indianapolis Colts Advanced Stat of the Week: Fourth-Quarter Comebacks
Posted By Nate Dunlevy On June 19, 2012 @ 8:12 am In Colts News | No Comments
Nothing stirs the passion of NFL  fans like an expert drive by a quarterback to win a game.
The fourth-quarter comeback may not sound like an advanced stat, but given how difficult it has been for the statistical community  to agree on what constitutes a comeback, it’s a topic that merits further examination.
Thanks to the work of Scott Kacsmar , football now has a definition of how fourth-quarter comebacks should be awarded. The result is that completely bogus records like John Elway’s utterly mythical 47 comebacks have been exposed and debunked as the fraudulent fabrications of team media guides.
The basic rules for a comeback are:
These rules clarify that it is Dan Marino, followed closely by Peyton Manning  and Elway, who leads the all-time comebacks scoreboard.
For all the talk about how Manning played in the clutch, it’s painfully obvious he was the guy you wanted with the ball in the final quarter . His record in one-score games is completely off the charts compared to other quarterbacks  with a reputation for clutchi-ness.
Manning’s final game with the Colts  was the playoff loss to the Jets . Had the Colts been able to hang on to the lead Manning gave them with less than a minute to play, it would have been his record-tying 36th comeback.
After years of watching Manning lead the Colts from behind, they suffered an incredible drought. Beginning with the infamous Jets game of 2009, Indianapolis failed to convert a single comeback opportunity until Dan Orlovsky found Reggie Wayne in the end zone in Week 16 of 2011. That was a franchise-record 14 failed comebacks in a row. 
Remember that just trailing in the fourth quarter isn’t enough to create a comeback opportunity. A team’s official comeback tally is in effect only if they have the ball on offense with a chance to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter.
In 2011, the Colts had a chance for a comeback against the Browns , Steelers , Chiefs , Bengals , Jaguars  and Panthers  before finally snagging one against Houston . The furious rally that Orlovsky nearly pulled off against the Patriots  does not count, however, because Indy never got the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead, as the Pats recovered the final onside kick.
Read more Indianapolis Colts  news on BleacherReport.com
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URLs in this post:
 NFL: http://bleacherreport.com/nfl
 how difficult it has been for the statistical community: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3392
 Thanks to the work of Scott Kacsmar: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3401
 Peyton Manning: http://bleacherreport.com/peyton-manning
 painfully obvious he was the guy you wanted with the ball in the final quarter: http://18to88.com/fixtures/2009/18_best_4th_quarter_victories_in_the_manning_era_revised.html
 compared to other quarterbacks: http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_3672_NFL_quarterbacks_and_the_fine_line_between_between_lucky_and_clutch-y.html
 Colts: http://bleacherreport.com/indianapolis-colts
 Jets: http://bleacherreport.com/new-york-jets
 franchise-record 14 failed comebacks in a row.: http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_4797_Captain_Comeback_Week_12%3A_One_large_week_to_digest.html
 Browns: http://bleacherreport.com/cleveland-browns
 Steelers: http://bleacherreport.com/pittsburgh-steelers
 Chiefs: http://bleacherreport.com/kansas-city-chiefs
 Bengals: http://bleacherreport.com/cincinnati-bengals
 Jaguars: http://bleacherreport.com/jacksonville-jaguars
 Panthers: http://bleacherreport.com/carolina-panthers
 Houston: http://bleacherreport.com/houston-texans
 Patriots: http://bleacherreport.com/new-england-patriots
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