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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top-10 Wildcard Games in NFL History

Top-10 Wildcard Games in NFL History

Wild Card weekend's best
Publish Date: 01/05/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
Source: NFL.com

10) Seattle 21, Dallas 20 (2006)

This was not one of Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s best moments. Seattle took the lead on a Matt Hasselbeck touchdown pass with 4:24 remaining.Tony Romo then looked to be the hero as he drove the Cowboys 70 yards to set up the potential game-winning field goal.Romo fumbled the snap on what would have been a 19-yard field goal attempt with 1:19 remaining that would ultimately give Seattle the victory. For Romo is was the first of some let’s say unfortunate moments.

Video: Tony Romo's Botched Hold

Tony Romo’s Botched Hold

9) Green Bay 33, Seattle 27 in OT (2003)

A solid game became a little more than just a good playoff game in a wild fourth quarter that continued into overtime. After Seattle won the coin toss, Seahawks Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck famously proclaimed “We want the ball, and we’re going to score.”

Hasselback did throw a TD pass to win the game to bad for him he threw that pass to the wrong team as Packers cornerback Al Harris returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown on the Seahawks’ second overtime possession to send the Packers to Philadelphia.

8) Arizona 51, Green Bay 45 in OT (2009)

In a fantastic game both teams combined for over 1,000 yards in offense and featured a Packer comeback from 21 points down in the second half, a defensive touchdown won the game in overtime as the Cardinals’ Karlos Dansby returned an Aaron Rodgers fumble 17 yards for a touchdown in overtime. Dansby was amazingly involved in three turnovers forced by the Arizona defense.

The game set many records. The 96 points were the most combined points in a playoff game. The 1,024 yards were the most ever.

Video: Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals | 2009 NFC Wild Card Game Highlights

Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals | 2009 NFC Wild Card Game Highlights

7) Green Bay 28, Detroit 24 (1993)

Brett Favre comes up big at the end of a playoff game! I’m not kidding he did, and it was his first playoff game.A game that featured six lead changes ended with Favre rolling to his left and throwing across his body to a streaking Sharpe down the right sideline to put Green Bay ahead 28-24. Sharpe finished with five catches for 101 yards and three touchdowns. Favre threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns.

The game featured a ton big plays and big performances. Brett Perriman caught ten passes for 151 yards for the Lions, and Barry Sanders rushed for his playoff career-high 167 yards.

Video: Favre to Sharpe

Favre to Sharpe

6) Pittsburgh 38, Cleveland 33 (2002)

This was the Browns last playoff appearance and the Browns did what the Browns do; they blew it! The Steelers rallied from 24-7 and 33-21 deficits against their arch-rivals to prevent the Browns from winning their first road playoff game since 1969, yes I said 1969!

A Chris Fuamatu-Ma’alfala 3-yard run with 51 seconds remaining gave Pittsburgh the dramatic victory. Tommy Maddox threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns, and Hines Ward caught 11 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

Video: 2002 playoffs steelers cap miraculous comeback

2002 playoffs steelers cap miraculous comeback

5) Tennessee 22, Buffalo 16 (1999)

This game had probably the most dramatic finish in Wild Card history. After a Steve Christie gave Buffalo a 16-15 lead with 16 seconds remaining. That’s when the Titans called for the “Home Run Throwback” The play originally called for Tight End Frank Wycheck to catch the ball and then turn and throw it to Derrick Mason. Mason was hurt earlier in the game and not available.

Fullback Lorenzo Neal was the player who caught the ball. Neal ran and handed the ball to Wycheck, who then threw the ball across the field to Mason’s fill-in, Kevin Dyson. The rest, as they say, is history.

Video: 1999 NFL Playoffs - Bills @ Titans: Music City Miracle

1999 NFL Playoffs – Bills @ Titans: Music City Miracle

4) San Diego 23, Indianapolis 17 in OT (2008)

The Chargers made the playoffs after winning their last four games to finish the season at 8-8 and make the playoffs over the Denver Broncos who imploded at the end of the season. Ultimately, it was too much Darren Sproles that did in the Colts. Sproles finished the game with 328 all-purpose yards, including the game-winning 22-yard touchdown run in overtime.

Nate Kaeding had kicked a 26-yard field goal with 31 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

Video: Darren Sproles Playoff Winning Walk-off Touchdown

Darren Sproles Playoff Winning Walk-off Touchdown

3) San Francisco 39, New York Giants 38 (2002)

The 49ers had fallen behind 38-14 before they launched an incredible comeback to capture an improbable 39-38 victory.

The game ended when the Giants botched the snap on a potential game-winning field goal. Holder Matt Allen threw the ball downfield on a play on which many Giants fans will claim pass interference to this day. The Giants were called for illegal man downfield on the play.

Video: botched snap wildcards 49ers giants.wmv

botched snap wildcards 49ers giants.wmv

2) San Francisco 30, Green Bay 27 (1998)

The Packers had owned the 49ers in the playoffs until this game. After the Packers had taken a 27-23 lead with 1:56 remaining, the 49ers were faced with the seemingly impossible task of driving the length of the field to win the game. With eight seconds remaining and no timeouts, Steve Young was forced to throw the ball into the end zone, were 49er wide receiver made a miraculous catch to give the 49ers the win and ended the Niners three-game playoff losing streak to the Packers.

Video: The Catch II: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers | 1998 NFC Wild Card Game Highlights

The Catch II: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers | 1998 NFC Wild Card Game Highlights

1) Buffalo 41, Houston 38 in OT (1992)

I am sure you all saw this coming as the number one game, the Buffalo Bills were playing with backup QB Frank Reich and trailed 35-3, and WON! Reich led one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA football history in 1985 when he led the Maryland Terrapins back from 31-0 to win in the Orange Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes.

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