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5 Best Moments in NFL Playoff History

January 10, 2019

5 Best Moments in NFL Playoff History

As it is with any major sports league, the NFL sees its fair share of plays of the week and seasonal highlights. But you also have plays of the decade and best plays ever - the latter of which we want to talk about.

What falls under the class of the best plays ever can be somewhat subjective. However, there are some moments which are undoubtedly the best weve ever seen,  and still leave us in awe years after theyve happened.

With that said, lets take a look at five moments in NFL playoff and Super Bowl history that left indelible marks in our minds.

Tim Tebow 3:16

Maybe you need a refresher here. In the Bible verse John 3:16 it says, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Remember Tim Tebow, the devout Christian quarterback for the Denver Broncos? On January 8th, 2012 in his first playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he wore John 3:16 in black under his eyes. He threw for 316 yards, averaged 31.6 yards per completion, the Steelers finished the game with a time of possession of 31:06, and CBSs final quarter-hour overnight ratings were 31.6. Something similar happened exactly three years earlier to the day of that January 8th, 2012 game (on January 12th, 2009).

Was it a coincidence? A divine intervention? Who knows. But if the Bible were to be rewritten for the 21st century, maybe the story of Tebows numbers would be one of its miracles.

Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary (Miracle in Motown)

A Hail Mary pass will have you at the edge of your seat. If youre truly on edge, you might close your eyes and only watch the replays if it was successful. With that said, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw one of the greatest Hail Mary passes in recent years.

It was December 3rd, 2015 and in an NFC North divisional matchup against the Detroit Lions, the Packers were trailing the Lions on the last play of regulation. In a heroic moment, Aaron Rodgers launched a 61-yard Hail Mary pass to the end zone, where tight end Richard Rodgers made the catch. The Packers went on to win the game 27-23.

James Harrisons 101 Yard Touchdown

Lets not forget one of the most unsuspecting finishes in the Pittsburgh Steelers history. It was Super Bowl 43, and the Steelers were facing the Arizona Cardinals. James Harrison, a former outside linebacker for the Steelers, intercepted a pass thrown by Arizonas former quarterback, Kurt Warner.

Harrison, with his formidable 60, 255 lbs frame, ran the entire length of the field scoring his famous and epic 100-yard touchdown. He collapsed in the end zone and needed several minutes (and an oxygen mask) to regain his breath.

But it was all worth it in the end. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XLIII 27-23. In addition to Harrison winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, he entered the history books with his touchdown being the longest play in Super Bowl history.

The Helmet Catch

If you were a Pats fan watching the last few minutes of Super Bowl XLII on February 3rd, 2008, it was no doubt a devastating night for you. The New England Patriots were up 14-10 with what looked like another Super Bowl in the bag.

But Eli Manning of the New York Giants burst the bubble when he threw that infamous pass to David Tyree, who wasnt even meant to catch it. Tyree was unable to run his intended route, so he came to Mannings rescue and caught the ball, pressing it against his helmet. That gave the Giants a 32-yard gain and a first down with 58 seconds remaining.

After the Giants called a timeout, four plays later, Plaxico Burress scored the touchdown that secured New Yorks Super Bowl victory over the Pats, with a final score of 17-14. It was a silent night for Pats fans, not only because of losing the Super Bowl, but also for being served their first loss in what would have been an undefeated season.

The Catch

When a play is simply named The Catch, you know its a big deal. The Catch refers to an iconic catch made by the late Dwight Clark, a former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver.

In that famous game-winning catch, Clark leaped into the sky as if to grab a cloud. It was an astonishing play which took place on January 10th, 1982, and pushed the 49ers to a 28-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Sadly, Dwight Clark passed away in June 2018 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrigs disease. Nevertheless, his legacy was cemented by that famous catch.

NFL Playoff History - Theres More To Be Made

There are many more moments that have made their way into the NFL playoff history books. Theres even more to be made, perhaps at the upcoming Super Bowl 53 and in others going forward.

Whether its with veteran quarterbacks or young wide receivers, there will no doubt be more plays and games that will leave our jaws hanging or have us hitting the replay button dozens of times. Its just a matter of where and when.

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