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5 comebacks that just missed the cut in’s bracket

Looking back at a couple more great Boston comebacks.

Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman throws a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola in the 2015 Patriots-Ravens AFC Divisional matchup. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

As’s latest sports bracket (Boston’s Greatest Sports Comeback) rolls on, and readers cast their votes, it’s worth noting that the field of 16 could’ve looked very different.

Of course, some entries — like the Patriots’ comeback in Super Bowl LI, or the Red Sox historic rally in the 2004 American League Championship Series — would’ve appeared in any version of the bracket.

Beyond the top seeds, however, things were far from set in stone. The final field was determined through two major factors: The scale of the comeback, and the circumstances surrounding the game or series.

Still, arguments can be made for plenty of other comebacks in Boston’s past (the region’s sports teams have provided numerous examples over the years).


So while we’re taking a stroll down memory lane, here are a few more Boston sports comebacks that just missed the cut:

Patriots-Ravens, AFC Divisional Playoff Round (2015)

While it might not be a 28-3 rally in the literal Super Bowl, New England’s double 14-point comeback against the Ravens remains one of the underrated playoff wins of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick run.

Facing a talented Ravens team that always seemed to play at a high level against the Patriots, Brady and New England’s offense struggled as Baltimore built a multi-score lead — not just once, but twice. Thanks to some unorthodox formation changes and Julian Edelman’s touchdown pass to Danny Amendola, the Patriots tied things up and eventually emerged with the win.

Patriots-Browns (2013)

Trailing the Browns 26-14 with just over a minute to go, things looked grim for the Patriots. Even a Brady touchdown to Edelman seemed like too little too late, as New England was out of timeouts.

Fortunately, the Patriots were miraculously able to recover Stephen Gostkowski’s onside kick, handing the ball back to the offense. A Browns pass interference call several plays later moved the ball to the one-yard line, and Brady promptly found Amendola for the go-ahead touchdown.

The U.S. comeback at the 1999 Ryder Cup

Technically, this comeback didn’t “miss the cut” in a traditional sense. The famous U.S. team rally on the final day of the annual event remains an iconic comeback moment in the longstanding golf rivalry, and while it took place at The Country Club in Brookline, that’s its only local tie (not quite enough to be classified as a “Boston” comeback).


Still, this takes nothing away from it as an incredible accomplishment. Justin Leonard’s putt to essentially clinch the win remains one of the more emotional — if polarizing — scenes in the competition’s history.

USA-Soviet Union hockey: “The Miracle on Ice” (1980)

Like the 1999 Ryder Cup, the “Miracle on Ice” can hardly be categorized as simply a local comeback story (and therefore missed the bracket).

But as fans will undoubtedly remember, Boston (and Massachusetts) featured prominently in one of the Olympic’s greatest underdog stories. Goaltender Jim Craig (North Easton) and team captain Mike Eruzione (Winthrop) both played instrumental roles in upsetting the Soviet team and eventually winning gold, as did a plethora of fellow former Boston University players.

The Boston Pride’s bubble season (2021)

After going 23-1 in the 2020 Premier Hockey Federation season, the Pride looked poised to win another Isobel Cup. But the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the championship game to be canceled.

Coming back the next year in a shortened regular season played in a “bubble” at Lake Placid, the heavily favored Pride struggled out of the gate. The team dropped four of its first five games, and was in real danger of missing the postseason altogether. Rallying to win the final two regular season games, Boston went on to win the title from the lowest playoff seed (fourth).


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