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Greatest Moments in NFL Playoff History: Moments 41-50

Posted on January 04, 2010 by A.J. Foss
Al Harris lifted the Green Bay Packers to an overtime victory in the 2003 Wild Card Playoffs with a game-winning interception and touchdown.

Al Harris lifted the Green Bay Packers to an overtime victory in the 2003 Wild Card Playoffs with a game-winning interception and touchdown.

It is January, which means the NFL playoffs are set to begin.

In the next three weeks, twelve teams will play for the right to go to the Super Bowl.
With that in mind, I have complied a list of 50 of the most memorable moments in NFL postseason history.

Every one of these moments occurred in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) and does not include a single Super Bowl.

In essence, these are the 50 greatest moments that have occurred in NFL playoff games to decide what team advances to the Super Bowl.

Note: It is actually 52 moments, as I squeezed three games into the 50th moment.

Let the countdown begin.

What Is Your Favorite Part of the NFL Post-Season?

  • Conference Championship Games (35%, 7 Votes)
  • Super Bowl (30%, 6 Votes)
  • Divisional Playoff Games (25%, 5 Votes)
  • Wild Card Weekend (10%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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50. Mud Bowl
There have been three playoff games that have been nicknamed the “Mud Bowl”.

The first “Mud Bowl” occurred in the 1977 NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams.

A torrential rain storm turned the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum field into a mud bath nullifying the Rams’ home field advantage. Thanks to 101 rushing yards from running back Chuck Foreman, the Vikings knock off the Rams 14-7, to advance to the NFC Championship Game.

The second “Mud Bowl” was the 1982 AFC Championship Game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins in which the Dolphins defeated the Jets 14-0 thanks to 3 interceptions by Miami linebacker A.J. Duhe, including returning one interception for a 35-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter that sealed the victory for the Dolphins.

The final “Mud Bowl” came in the 1996 NFC Divisional Playoff between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. The Packers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to two punt returns by Desmond Howard, the first for a 71-yard touchdown and the second for 46 yards that set up a 4-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre to Andre Rison as Green Bay would go on to win the game 35-14.

49. 1968 AFL Championship-Raiders vs. Jets

Jets-Boozer

The Jets rallied to defeat the Raiders and earn a spot in Super Bowl III.

In a 27-23 win over the Oakland Raiders, Jets quarterback Joe Namath throws three touchdown passes, including the game-winner a 6-yard pass to Don Maynard with 7:47 left in the fourth quarter, but the victory is not secured until two minutes to go when linebacker Ralph Baker recovers an errant backwards lateral from Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica after Oakland had driven to the New York 12-yard line.

Two weeks later, the Jets pull off the biggest upset in Super Bowl history as they defeat the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III.

48. 1994 AFC Championship-Chargers vs. Steelers
The San Diego Chargers, a 9 ½ point underdog, upset the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-13 to advance to their first Super Bowl.

The Chargers took the lead for the first time with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter on a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Stan Humphries to Tony Martin, then stop the Steelers on the 3-yard line as linebacker Dennis Gibson knocks down Neil O’Donnell’s fourth down pass to Barry Foster with 66 seconds remaining.

47. 2003 NFC Divisional Playoff-Panthers vs. Rams
On the first play of the second overtime period, Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme hits Steve Smith on a slant route. Smith proceeds to split the St. Louis Rams’ defense and runs in for a 69-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 29-23 double overtime victory over the Rams in the fifth longest game in NFL history.

46. 2004 AFC Divisional Playoff-Jets vs. Steelers
Jets kicker Doug Brien has two chances to kick a game-winning field goal in the final two minutes regulation in New York’s AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but misses his 47-yard attempt with 2 minutes left, then misses a 43-yarder as time expires.

The game goes to overtime where Steelers kicker Jeff Reed makes a 33-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh a 20-17 win.

Dan Marino and the Dolphins rallied from a 21-3 deficit to defeat the Browns in the 1985 AFC Playoffs.

Dan Marino and the Dolphins rallied from a 21-3 deficit to defeat the Browns in the 1985 AFC Playoffs.

45. 1985 AFC Divisional Playoff-Browns vs. Dolphins
Trailing 21-3 midway through the third quarter, the Miami Dolphins score 21 unanswered points capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Ron Davenport with 1:57 left in the game to give the Dolphins a 24-21 win over the Cleveland Browns to advance to the AFC Championship game where…

44. 1985 AFC Championship-Patriots vs. Dolphins
The New England Patriots end their 18-game losing streak in the Orange Bowl as they convert 6 Miami turnovers into 24 points in their 31-14 upset of the Dolphins.

With their first ever win in Miami, the Patriots become the first team in NFL history to win three straight road games to advance to the Super Bowl.

43. 1987 NFC Divisional Playoff-Vikings vs. 49ers

Anthony Carter catches 10 passes for a then-NFL postseason record 227 receiving yards to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 36-24 upset over the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers.

42. 1993 NFC Wild Card Game-Packers vs. Lions

Brett Favre and Sterling Sharpe connected on the game-winning score to lift Green Bay past the Lions in the 1993 playoffs.

Brett Favre and Sterling Sharpe connected on the game-winning score to lift Green Bay past the Lions in the 1993 playoffs.

Packers quarterback Brett Favre and wide receiver Sterling Sharpe connect for game-winning touchdown on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 55 seconds left to give Green Bay a 28-24 win over the Detroit Lions.

41. 2003 NFC Wild Card Game-Seahawks vs. Packers
After winning the overtime coin toss, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told the referee “We want the ball, and we were going to score”.

However, Hasselbeck did not come through on his guarantee as he threw an interception to Al Harris, which Harris ran back 52 yards for the game-winning touchdown to give the Green Bay Packers a 33-27 victory.

Check back tomorrow for moments 31-40.


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