Both the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions entered Week 3 as two of the more unlikely candidates to be undefeated. If recent history tells us anything, it was even more unlikely they would remain undefeated through today.
Buffalo had lost 15 straight games against the New England Patriots, tied for the fourth-longest streak by one team against another in NFL history. The Lions had lost 13 straight road games against the Minnesota Vikings, last winning at the Metrodome in 1997.
Things appeared to stay the norm as the Patriots opened up a 21-0 lead, while the Vikings led the Lions 20-0 at halftime. However the day became anything but normal from there after.
The Bills picked up their first victory over the Patriots since 2003 thanks to an opportunistic defense that forced four Tom Brady interceptions, including one which was returned for a touchdown. It was Buffalo's first interception return for a touchdown at home against the Patriots since getting one its last win over New England.
The four interceptions tied a career-high for Brady and gave him five for the season after he had only four picks all of last season. Still Brady finished with 386 yards passing, pushing his total to 1,327, the NFL record through the first three games of the season. In fact it is the most passing yards any player has over any three-game span in NFL history.
Most Passing Yds Over 3-Gm Span
Single Season, NFL History
Coupled with the Bills comeback last week against the Oakland Raiders our friends at Elias passed along this gem. The Bills are the first team in NFL history to win consecutive games in which they trailed by at least 18 points in each.
The Lions snapped the 5th-longest road losing streak against one opponent in NFL history in dramatic fashion as well. According to Elias, the 20-point halftime deficit was the largest the Lions have ever overcome to win a regular season game.
Calvin Johnson had seven receptions for 108 yards and two receiving TD. He became the first player in NFL history with at least two receiving TD in each of a team's first three games of a season.
The Lions improve to 3-0 for the first time since 1980, when Barry Sanders was just 12 years old. Meanwhile, the Vikings fall to 0-3 after having the lead at halftime in each game this season. Elias tells us the Vikings are the fifth team in NFL history to start the season 0-3 after leading at halftime of all three games.
Still today will be remembered more for comebacks than collapses. It's only fitting each of these teams ended these streaks in similar fashion on the same day.
This marked the first time since September 12, 1999 that two teams overcame 20-point deficits on the same day of the NFL season.
Why is 1999 important? That was the last season that the Bills and Lions each made the playoffs.