The 8 Heart-Stopping Games in NFL History

Published 11:37 am Friday, July 5, 2024

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The NFL has produced countless thrilling moments, but some games stand out as particularly heart-stopping, filled with last-second heroics, dramatic comebacks, and unforgettable plays. Here are eight of the most heart-stopping games in NFL history.

  1. Super Bowl XLIX (2015) – New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl XLIX remains one of the most dramatic finishes in NFL history. With the Seahawks on the Patriots’ 1-yard line and only 26 seconds left, it seemed certain that Seattle would score the winning touchdown. However, Malcolm Butler’s incredible interception on a pass intended for Ricardo Lockette preserved the Patriots’ 28-24 victory, shocking fans and the Betway universe, cementing Butler’s place in NFL lore.

  1. The Ice Bowl (1967) – Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Played in frigid conditions, the 1967 NFL Championship Game, known as the “Ice Bowl,” featured the Packers and Cowboys battling for a spot in Super Bowl II. The game came down to a dramatic finish when Packers quarterback Bart Starr executed a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line with 13 seconds left, securing a 21-17 victory and a place in history.

  1. Super Bowl XXXIV (2000) – St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans

Super Bowl XXXIV ended in one of the most heart-stopping conclusions ever. The Titans, trailing by seven points, reached the Rams’ 10-yard line with six seconds remaining. Quarterback Steve McNair completed a pass to Kevin Dyson, who was tackled by Mike Jones just one yard short of the end zone as time expired. The Rams won 23-16, and the play became famously known as “The Tackle.”

  1. Super Bowl LI (2017) – New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons

Super Bowl LI is renowned for the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Patriots trailed 28-3 midway through the third quarter but scored 25 unanswered points to force overtime. Tom Brady led the Patriots on a game-winning drive, capped by James White’s 2-yard touchdown run, securing a 34-28 victory and completing a miraculous turnaround.

  1. 1981 NFC Championship Game – San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Known as “The Catch,” this game featured one of the most iconic plays in NFL history. With less than a minute left, 49ers quarterback Joe Montana rolled right and threw a high pass to Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone. Clark made a leaping catch to give the 49ers a 28-27 lead, propelling them to their first Super Bowl appearance.

  1. 2003 NFC Divisional Playoff – Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks

This game is remembered for its dramatic ending and memorable quote. The game went into overtime tied at 27-27. Seattle won the coin toss, and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck famously declared, “We want the ball, and we’re going to score.” Instead, his pass was intercepted by Al Harris, who returned it 52 yards for the game-winning touchdown, giving the Packers a 33-27 victory.

  1. Super Bowl XLII (2008) – New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

Super Bowl XLII featured one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. The undefeated Patriots were heavy favorites, but the Giants’ defense kept them in check. With just over a minute left, Eli Manning avoided a sack and threw a miraculous pass that David Tyree caught against his helmet. Manning then threw the game-winning touchdown to Plaxico Burress, sealing a 17-14 victory.

  1. 1992 AFC Wild Card Game – Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Oilers

Known as “The Comeback,” this game saw the Bills overcome a 32-point deficit, the largest in NFL history. Backup quarterback Frank Reich led the Bills to a miraculous rally, scoring 35 unanswered points to take the lead. The Oilers tied the game, forcing overtime, but the Bills won 41-38 on a Steve Christie field goal, completing one of the greatest comebacks ever.

These eight games showcase the NFL’s capacity for delivering heart-stopping drama and unforgettable moments. Each game featured extraordinary performances and dramatic finishes that have left an indelible mark on the history of the league, thrilling fans and creating lasting memories.