Matthew Stafford's 3 Best Fourth-Quarter Comebacks

Read more on Matthew Stafford's three best fourth-quarter comebacks with the Detroit Lions
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The Matthew Stafford era in Motown has officially come to an end. 

He produced a variety of great memories during his 12 years donning Honolulu Blue -- and perhaps none better than his 31 fourth-quarter comebacks, including his NFL record eight fourth-quarter comebacks during the 2016 season. 

Let's take a look now at Stafford's three best come-from-behind performances in his tenure with the Lions

Matthew Stafford gets it done in Minnesota with assist from Golden Tate 

Let's start this countdown off with the best Stafford fourth-quarter comeback from his historic 2016 season. 

In Detroit's first ever contest at U.S. Bank Stadium (Week 9 of the '16 campaign), the Lions were trailing the Vikings, 16-13, with 0:23 to go, after a one-yard rushing touchdown from then-Minnesota fullback Rhett Ellison. 

After a touchback on the kickoff from Minnesota, Detroit started its possession on its own 20-yard line. 

Stafford completed two passes -- one to now N.Y. Giants wide receiver Golden Tate and another to ex-Lions wideout Andre Roberts -- that put the Lions at the Vikings' 40-yard line. 

Matt Prater then sunk a 58-yard field goal to force overtime. 

Stafford & Co. got the ball to start the OT session, and never let the Vikings get it in their hands. 

Stafford led Detroit on an 11-play, 74-yard drive that ended with this impressive 28-yard reception TD from Tate.

Tate found a way to stay in bounds, as he tiptoed along the sideline and then leaped into the end zone for the game-winning score. 

It was the best Stafford come-from-behind performance during his memorable '16 season and the third best of his career with the Lions. 

His comeback against the Cleveland Browns in 2009 

This was Stafford's first big moment as the starting quarterback of the Detroit Lions. It came in a Week 11 contest against the Browns during his rookie season. 

He spearheaded a come-from-behind win in the tilt -- the first fourth-quarter comeback and game-winning drive of his NFL career -- despite having injured his shoulder on the second-to-last play of the final drive. 

He refused to leave the game after taking the injury-causing hit from then-Browns defensive lineman C.J. Mosley, and got right back under center. 

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On that same play, a defensive pass interference penalty was called against Cleveland, resulting in one final play for Stafford & Co. with 0:00 on the clock.  

Stafford took full advantage of the extra play, and found then-Detroit tight end Brandon Pettigrew on a one-yard pass for the game-winning score. It gave the Lions the 38-37 victory, and marked Stafford's second career win as an NFL starter. 

As I've said before, the legend of Matthew Stafford was officially born on this memorable day -- Nov. 22, 2009. 

The fake spike against the Dallas Cowboys in 2013 

This legendary moment in Stafford's career occurred during a Week 8 contest in 2013 against Stafford's hometown squad in the Dallas Cowboys. 

You know that Stafford wanted to leave Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with something to remember about his performance. And boy, did he do so. 

With 1:02 remaining in the contest and Detroit trailing, 30-24, Stafford and the Lions gained possession, after a 44-yard field goal from then-Dallas kicker Dan Bailey. 

Stafford had a chance to march the Lions down the field for the game-winning touchdown, and he proceeded to do just that and in dramatic fashion. 

He completed five passes for 79 yards during the drive. Yet, the biggest play on this possession wasn't one of the passes.  

Instead, it was the decision he made after completing a 22-yard pass to Lions great Calvin Johnson, which brought the ball to the Dallas one-yard line. 

With the clock still running and no timeouts remaining for Detroit, Stafford went off script, and decided not to spike the ball on the next play. Instead, he faked it, and took it in himself for the game-deciding TD.  

The result was an eruption of pandemonium that swept across Ford Field. 

This marked the greatest come-from-behind victory of the comeback king's 12-year run in the Motor City.

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