The ranking of the 10 best joker games in NFL history originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
These games put the “savages” in wild cards on weekends.
The NFL introduced its 12-team playoff format in 1990, paving the way for four wild card playoff games with the winners advancing to the division round. The league expanded its postseason format to 14 teams in 2020, adding two more games to “Super Wild Card Weekend.”
In the last 31 playoffs, there have been unforgettable moments and legendary games. Ahead of the 2021 NFL Playoffs, let’s take a trip down memory lane for some of the best wild card contests in history.
Again we tell the best joker Games, so some notorious moments in the history of the jokers narrowly missed the cup. While the “Double Doink”, Blair Walsh’s failed placement and Tony Romo’s failed snap were infamous in themselves, these next 10 games were the best of the best.
10. January 5, 2003: Pittsburgh Steelers 36, Cleveland Browns 33
The Cleveland Browns were close to claiming their first road playoff victory since 1969.
The team racked up leads of 24-7 and 33-21 but couldn’t hold up against their division rivals. Tommy Maddox threw three touchdowns in the second half to bring Pittsburgh back into the game and Chris Fuamatu-Ma’Afala gave the go-ahead with 54 seconds left in regulation.
Overall, the Browns went 0-3 to the Steelers that season, with the three losses being three points. Cleveland got their playoff revenge in the 2020 wild card round, beating Pittsburgh 48-37 at Heinz Field.
January 8, 2012: Denver Broncos 29, Pittsburgh Steelers 23 (OT)
One piece was all Tim Tebow, the late Demaryius thomas and the Denver Broncos needed overtime to beat the Steelers.
After falling 6-0 in the first quarter, Tebow and Co. scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a solid lead at halftime. The second half was entirely in Pittsburgh, as the team outscored Denver 17-3 in the final 30 minutes to force overtime.
The overtime ended in the blink of an eye. Tebow hit Thomas in the middle of the first play, and the receiver pushed cornerback Ike Taylor back as he headed for an 80-yard touchdown.
January 8, 2004: Green Bay Packers 33, Seattle Seahawks 27 (OT)
“We want the ball and we are going to score,” Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said before recovering the ball and throwing a score – at the other team.
It was a back-and-forth contest throughout the day at Lambeau Field. Shaun Alexander registered three one-meter touchdown passes in the second half, while Ahman Green made two at the same distance. Alexander’s third score helped Seattle tie the game with less than a minute to go, leading to Hasselbeck’s famous midfield statement.
Seattle called heads for the OT draw and won. Neither the Seahawks nor the Packers scored on their first possession, giving Hasselbeck another shot. It was Al Harris who seized the opportunity, however, by skipping a third and 10 and fending it off for a 52-yard pick-six winner.
7. January 4, 2014: Indianapolis Colts 45, Kansas City Chiefs 44
The Indianapolis Colts’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2013 wild card round required a lot of luck.
Indy fell 38-10 in the third quarter before his former No.1 pick led a furious comeback. Andrew Luck threw a pair of touchdowns into the frame to help reduce the deficit to 10. He then made it a three-point game in the fourth quarter after a fumble fell into his arms and he dived. in the end zone. Still, the Colts needed a touchdown with less than five minutes to go, and they got it when Luck gave TY Hilton a 64-yard dime for the game-winning score.
The game is the second biggest comeback in playoff history.
January 6, 2010: Arizona Cardinals 51, Green Bay Packers 45 (OT)
Getting to No.6 is the most defining game in NFL playoff history.
It certainly didn’t look like the game would be heading for that distinction in the first half, at least not on the Green Bay Packers’ side. Aaron Rodgers and Co. trailed 17-0 in the first quarter and 24-10 at the break.
In the second half, Rodgers’ arm – and the game as a whole – woke up. He threw four touchdown passes in the final 30 minutes of regulation, including an 11-yard connection to Spencer Havner just after the two-minute warning that tied the game at 45-45.
Rodgers ‘streak – as well as the Packers’ season – ended abruptly in overtime. He missed an open Greg Jennings on OT’s first play, which could have won the game in Green Bay. Instead, Rodgers fumbled for the ball two games later and Karlos Dansby returned it for a Cardinals winning touchdown.
Jan.5, 2003: San Francisco 49ers 39, New York Giants 38
Michael Strahan and the New York Giants was feeling pretty good with 20 minutes remaining in the 2003 NFC wildcard round. teammate Matt Allen, the San Francisco 49ers and the referees had other plans, however.
The Giants took a 38-14 lead late in the third quarter and had a 38-22 lead when Strahan told Terrell Owens – who finished with nine receptions, 177 yards and two touchdowns – to check the clock. San Francisco ended up going ahead 39-38 with one minute left, but New York managed to get the ball into the shooting range with a chance to win.
At 41 yards, Allen missed the snap on the attempt before passing through to the end zone. As the Giants claimed pass interference, the team were flagged for an ineligible man down the field, sending San Francisco into the next round.
January 4, 2011: Seattle Seahawks 41, New Orleans Saints 36
We have entered the territory of nicknames.
In 2011, Marshawn Lynch sent the city of Seattle into frenzy and the Seahawks into the divisional tour with the “Earthquake of the beast”.
Looking back a bit, the Seahawks won an NFC West title with a 7-9 record and were fortunate enough to host the New Orleans 11-5 Saints in the wild card round. Seattle has proven it can hold its own with the Saints, taking a 34-20 lead in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans moved up early in the fourth to make it a 34-30 game before Lynch sealed the deal with one of the most electrifying races in NFL history. The running back threw tackle after tackle before making a celebratory dive for the end zone and cementing a Seattle upheaval.
January 3, 1999: San Francisco 49ers 30, Green Bay Packers 27
Before TO burned down the Giants on the wild card scene, he sent the Packers to pack their bags.
The 1998 wild card battle between the 49ers and the Packers was played on the wire. Brett Favre found Antonio Freeman for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, forcing Steve Young and the 49ers to run a two-minute drill to save their season.
San Francisco had the ball over the Green Bay 25-yard line with eight seconds left and ended the game with “The Catch II”. Young passed a center pass to Owens, who held on in the end zone to give the 49ers a 30-27 victory.
January 2, 2000: Tennessee Titans 22, Buffalo Bills 16
Fans of the Tennessee Titans witnessed a miracle in the 1999 AFC wild card round.
The Titans took a 12-0 halftime lead against the Buffalo Bills before allowing 13 unanswered points. The two teams traded baskets in the last minute, kicking off Buffalo with 16 seconds left and one point clear.
What happened next is etched in NFL lore. Lorenzo Neal circled the ball and handed it to Frank Wychek. The tight end moved to his right, turned left and then threw the ball at Kevin Dyson, who crouched, rolled in the pass and ran to the sideline for a Titans touchdown. The pass was seen as a legitimate side, allowing “The Music City Miracle” to stand tall.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, all wasn’t so bad for the Bills on the wild card weekend…
1.3 January 1993: Buffalo Bills 41, Houston Oilers 38
Before New England Patriots’ Famous return from a 28-3 deficit, their current wild card counterpart pulled off “The Comeback”.
The Bills lost 28-3 at halftime to the Houston Oilers in the first round of the 1992 playoffs. Things got worse when Bubba McDowell scored a six-pick to bring Houston to 35-3 in the third. quarter.
Then Buffalo lit the burners.
The Bills scored 35 unanswered points, including three touchdown connections between Frank Reich and Andre Reed. It took a fourth quarter field goalie for Houston’s Al Del Greco to even bring the game into overtime, where Bills kicker Steve Christie won the game with a 32-yard field goal.
To this day, it remains the biggest comeback in NFL history.