On this date in football – December 7, 1980 – the San Francisco 49ers engineered the greatest regular season comeback in NFL history. Trailing 35-7 at halftime, the Niners were in need of a spark to help power a 28-point resurgence against the New Orleans Saints. Who else better to call upon than Hall of Famer Joe Montana? The 49ers quarterback seized control, answering with two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in the second half. Running back Lenvil Elliott added another rushing touchdown, while Ray Wersching capped it off with the game-winning field goal in a 38-35 victory over the Saints.
Here’s a look back at San Francisco’s astonishing 31 unanswered points, as originally presented in “Top Ten Comebacks.”