Football Greatest Moments in NFL History

greatest moments in the NFL
greatest moments in the NFL

Football History of the Best Games Ever!

The History of the NFL's Greatest Moments
The History of the NFL's Greatest Moments

The NFL's Finest Moments in History

When talking about football, the phrase "greatest game" is virtually impossible to define. It is as much about how each NFL game makes us feel at the time as much as anything else. But one must remember, in the NFL each and as far back as you can go in the history of the NFL, each and every football game that has been filled with thrilling sports moments anyone has enjoyed . . . was absolutely crushing to someone else.From Joe Namath in Super Bowl 3 assuring a win with his Guarantee to the Ice Bowl in 1967 when the Green Bay Packer were victorious over the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC championship in one of the coldest and iciest games in the history of the NFL. Some of these football games you will love to relive and if it was your team that lost, well there is always next year!

NFL History -Greatest Moments in Football

Some may agree, while some may have a different idea of what nfl moment in history belongs on this greatest history list. With that in mind, and in honor of American Football, the greatest sport (IMHO), here are my Top NFL greatest moments that I think will never be forgotten in the history of the greatest game.

NFl Greatest Moments in History - The Sneaker Game
NFl Greatest Moments in History - The Sneaker Game

1934 NFL Championship Game NY Giants V Chicago Bears

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In the Sneaker Bowl Ken Strong scored 17 points on two touchdowns, two extra points and a field goal to lead his New York Giants to a 30-13 victory over the Chicago Bears.
In the Sneaker Bowl Ken Strong scored 17 points on two touchdowns, two extra points and a field goal to lead his New York Giants to a 30-13 victory over the Chicago Bears.
In the Sneaker Bowl Ken Strong scored 17 points on two touchdowns, two extra points and a field goal to lead his New York Giants to a 30-13 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Rubber Sneakers were No Match for the Chicago Bears

New York Giants defeat Chicago Bears Dec 1934 Pro Football Hall Of Fame/Getty Images
New York Giants defeat Chicago Bears Dec 1934 Pro Football Hall Of Fame/Getty Images

The Sneaker Game

1934 NFL Championship

New York Giants 30

Chicago Bears 13

The Polo Grounds

New York City, NY

December 9, 1934

The "Sneaker Bowl" was the second NFL championship game in the history of the NFL. The year before the Chicago Bears had defeated the New York Giants in Chicago, 23-21 in Chicago. But this year it had rained for a week. The field was a swamp. A nor'easter blew in the night before, too, driving temperatures down into the single digits. The muddy grass iced over. You could hardly run on it. The weather had left the Polo Grounds a virtual skating rink. On the morning of the game, the Giants president John V. Mara went and inspected the field and he reported the bad condition of the field to the coach Steve Owen. Ray Flaherty, an end for the Giants, had played a game on an icy field when he was at Gonzaga. Before the NFL title game, he told Giants coach Steve Owen that the Gonzaga players had used basketball shoes for traction. And so Owen sent Abe Cohen, 85 blocks on the subway, with an empty gunnysack. The Giants' trainer was also the trainer at Manhattan, so he called ahead and Cohen made it back with nine pairs of shoes for the start of the fourth quarter.

The Bears were up 13-3 at the time, and the temperature had dropped to near zero. The Giants called a timeout, and their skill players swapped cleats for sneakers.

"Halas was furious," Davis says. "He screamed at his players to step on the Giants' feet, to spike them through the canvas uppers." But they couldn't get close enough. He complained to the officials, too, but the sneaker switch was within the rules. The Giants, suddenly sure-footed, put up 27 points in the final 10 minutes.

When the game was over, Coach Halas vowed the Bears would bring sneakers to every game he coached from then on.

And forever after, as if saying so would turn back the clock, as if it would empty Cohen's sack or stop the rain and cold from blowing in over the Atlantic, as if it would mean his 1934 team would be legendary for what it won and not for what and how it lost, Halas was heard swearing, "The bastards stole those shoes. Busted a window. Broke in and took the g--damn rubber shoes."

NFL - The Ice Bowl
NFL - The Ice Bowl

Green Packers beat Dallas Cowboys in the Ice Bowl

Football was made to be played in the elements, and few places host the elements like Green Bay, where the Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 on Bart Starr's 1-yard sneak with 13 seconds left in the legendary Ice Bowl. Referees' whistles froze
Football was made to be played in the elements, and few places host the elements like Green Bay, where the Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 on Bart Starr's 1-yard sneak with 13 seconds left in the legendary Ice Bowl. Referees' whistles froze

Green Bay Packer Fans

Ice Bowl 1967 NFL Championship
Ice Bowl 1967 NFL Championship

"The Ice Bowl"

1967 NFL Championship

Green Bay Packers 21

Dallas Cowboys 17

December 31, 1967

Stadium: Lambeau Field, Green Bay

Despite the frigid temperature of -16 with a wind chill factor of -46, 50,861 fans came out and braved the cold. The game was a sellout. And it was the in the coldest NFL game on record.

The Packers quarter back Bart Starr knew his team was in for a huge challenge as Dallas had gained experience in the championship game the year before. All week long before the game Coach Vince Lombardi was quick to point how good the Cowboys were and what respect he had for them.

Green Bay took an early 14-0 lead but the Cowboys soon adjusted to the cold and by halftime they had narrowed the Packers lead to 14-10. Late in the fourth quarter Dallas took the lead on a halfback option pass leaving Green Bay with one final drive. Bart Starr took his team to the one yard line with just 13 seconds left. Starr's touchdown play, "35 wedge," called for Chuck Mercein to get the ball. No one expected Starr to keep it. But before the play on the sidelines, Starr suggested to Lombardi that he run it instead of the backs because of the poor traction. Lombardi replied, “Then run it and let’s get the hell out of here.”

And that is exactly what they did.

The Green Bay Packers were NFL champions…again. They went on to win Super Bowl II two weeks later in a somewhat warmer locale –- Miami, Florida. It was the last game Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers.

Best NFL Football Plays 1967 Ice Bowl - Green Bay Packers 21 Dallas Cowboys 17

NFL - Joe Namath Greatest Moment in History - The Guarantee
NFL - Joe Namath Greatest Moment in History - The Guarantee

NY Jets Quarter Back #12 Joe Namath

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Joe Namath shocked the world when he led the New York Jets past the 18-point favorite Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Hulton Archive / Getty ImagesJoe Willie Namath makes good on "The Guarantee"
Joe Namath shocked the world when he led the New York Jets past the 18-point favorite Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Joe Namath shocked the world when he led the New York Jets past the 18-point favorite Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Joe Willie Namath makes good on "The Guarantee"
Joe Willie Namath makes good on "The Guarantee"

New York Jets Guaranteed Win Over Baltimore Colts

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Baltimore Colts quarterback Earl Morrall dishes the ball in Super Bowl III loss to Jets. Biever/NFL NY Jets 1969 Super Bowl III Winners
Baltimore Colts quarterback Earl Morrall dishes the ball in Super Bowl III loss to Jets. Biever/NFL
Baltimore Colts quarterback Earl Morrall dishes the ball in Super Bowl III loss to Jets. Biever/NFL
NY Jets 1969 Super Bowl III Winners
NY Jets 1969 Super Bowl III Winners

Broadway Joe Delivers "The Guarantee"

Super Bowl III

NY Jets 16

Baltimore Colts 7

January 12, 1969

Orange Bowl

Miami, Florida

When the New York Jets played in Super Bowl III all those years ago, they were heavy underdogs against a team that, on paper, should have chewed them up and spit them out. Joe Namath, frustrated with the lack of respect given to his team, guaranteed a victory before the game. "I try to explain that it wasn't an arrogant line, it was an angry one," Namath has said. "I was at the Miami Touchdown Club dinner at the Miami Springs Villa where Earl Morall (Colts QB), and I was up at the mike, and some guy in the back yelled . . Hey Namath, the Colts are going to kick your ass!”’ , and I said, 'Wait a minute, let's hold on. You Baltimore guys have been talking all week, but I've got news for you, buddy. We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it.'" The quote set off a media storm and the stage for what has become one of the most memorable Super Bowls in the NFL game's history. “I was just saying what I knew. I wasn’t looking to make a fuss,” Namath said years later. “ ’ he said. “We’d been hearing a lot of that. So I said, ’I’ve got news for you. We’re gonna win the game. I guarantee it.”’

Joe Namath words rang true, as the Jets drove 80 yards in the first quarter and grabbed a 7-0 lead in the second with a four-yard touchdown run by fullback Matt Snell. The defense intercepted Colts quarterback Earl Morrall three times to prevent Baltimore from scoring. Two Jets field goals by Jim Turner in the third quarter and another at the start of the fourth put New York up 16-0. Though Baltimore was able to score in the fourth, it was not be enough. Namath completed 17 of 28 passes, for a total of 206 yards, while wide receiver George Sauer caught eight of those for 133 yards, and Snell ran for a Super Bowl record 121 yards. Apart from ensuring the legacy of Broadway Joe, a future Hall of Famer, this game that gave the AFL legitimacy and was the catalyst for the merger.

NFL Greatest Moment in History - Wide Right
NFL Greatest Moment in History - Wide Right

Special Teams Lose it In Super Bowl XXV

Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood after his field goal attempt goes Wide Right to give the Giants a SuperBowl Ring.
Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood after his field goal attempt goes Wide Right to give the Giants a SuperBowl Ring.

Bill Parcells the Winning Coach

Head coach Bill Parcells of the New York Giants is carried off the sideline by Carl Banks, Lawrence Taylor, and others after a 20 to 19 win over the Buffalo Bills - Super Bowl XXV - Jan 27, 1991 Michael Zagaris/Getty Images
Head coach Bill Parcells of the New York Giants is carried off the sideline by Carl Banks, Lawrence Taylor, and others after a 20 to 19 win over the Buffalo Bills - Super Bowl XXV - Jan 27, 1991 Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

"Wide Right"

Buffalo Bills 19 AFC

New York Giants 20 NFC

Super Bowl XXV

Tampa Stadium

Tampa, Florida

January 27, 1991


The Giants were without quarterback Phil Simms and so they were heavy underdogs in the Super Bowl that was played against a patriotic backdrop because of Operation Desert Storm. The greatest Super Bowl ever played began with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by New Jersey Native Whitney Houston.

Quarterback Jim Kelly would get the Bills into position for a Scott Norwood Field Goal with ten seconds remaining. A kicker in the NFL has a pretty simple job and the 47 yards that Scott Norwood needed to put the Bills in the win column looked like an easy task. With eight seconds remaining in Super Bowl XXV, the Buffalo Bills down by just one point as the score was New York Giants 20-19. The Bills then called in veteran kicker and team leader in points scored, Scott Norwood to make a 47-yard field goal to win the game. The snap and placement of the ball was perfect, Norwood couldn’t ask for better conditions to become a football hero. He kicks the ball and yes it had the distance it needed but then as if the football gods were looking down on the G-Men the ball just sailed to the right. His kick had the distance, but it sailed wide right. The New York Giants take over and just ran the last moments of the game out.

The Kick that went Wide Ride - Buffalo Bills lose Super Bowl XXV to New York Giants

Greatest Moment In NFL History - The Immaculate Reception
Greatest Moment In NFL History - The Immaculate Reception

FRANCO HARRIS

Pittsburgh Steelers and the Immaculate Reception 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff Game
Pittsburgh Steelers and the Immaculate Reception 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff Game

Three Rivers Stadium

Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw dropped back to pass, but the Raiders flushed him out of the pocket to the right. He saw running back John (Frenchy) Fuqua over the middle at the Raiders' 35, and with defenders closing, Bradshaw fired a pass tow
Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw dropped back to pass, but the Raiders flushed him out of the pocket to the right. He saw running back John (Frenchy) Fuqua over the middle at the Raiders' 35, and with defenders closing, Bradshaw fired a pass tow

"The Immaculate Reception"

1972 AFC Divisional Play Off

Pittsburgh Steelers 13

Oakland Raiders 7

Three Rivers Stadium

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dec 23, 1972

There is some debate as to who coined the phrase "The Immaculate Reception" Supposedly the name came about because a fan called up Myron Cope and urged him to use it, and so he did and ever since we have been calling it that, clearly defining it as one of the greatest moments in the history of the NFL.

At the half, the score was 0-0. The game's first score did not come until Roy Gerela put the icing on a 55-yard drive with an 18-yard field goal in the third quarter, putting the Pittsburgh Steelers up 3-0. With 1:13 to go the Raiders were ahead 7-6. Terry Bradshaw moved his team forward, completing two passes but found himself facing a fourth down with 10 yards to go from his own 40-yard line, and all that was left on the clock was 22 seconds.
Bradshaw dropped back to pass, the ball and Raiders' defensive back Jack Tatum hit Fuqua at the same time. "Frenchy" fell to the ground, and the ball flew in the air backwards about 15 yards (although Oakland fans swear it hit Fuqua first, making the play illegal) out of nowhere, Franco Harris caught the ball just off his shoe tops and raced down the field on his way to the end zone. It truly was one of the greatest moments in the history of the NFL with a 42-yard run that completed a 60-yard scoring play.

With 15 seconds left on the clock a huge argument erupted as to the validity of the catch. Fans stormed the field and it took the refs 15 minutes to rule that it was a legal catch and clear the football field. Back then the rule stated that a pass could not be tipped from one offensive player to another without a defensive player also touching the ball and so referee Fred Swearingen's ruled that Tatum had also touched the ball, and that it was a legal catch and a touchdown. Mind you the year was 1972 and there were 0 camera angles that showed conclusively whether the catch was legal. Yep, sounds like a miracle to me and it was an immaculate moment alright.

"We got fogged in at the start of the trip and nothing went right from then on. You play 21 ball games for this moment - fourth down. Then the ball bounces off one man's chest into another man's arms and it's over. No tomorrow." Raiders head coach John Madden.

The Immaculate Reception as seen on NBC

Greatest Moment in NFL History - Hail Mary - The Dallas Cowboys
Greatest Moment in NFL History - Hail Mary - The Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson 1975 NFC DIVISONAL PLAYOFF

Drew Pearson -- Famous Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. Best remembered for his "Hail Mary" catch from QB Roger Staubach against Minnesota in the 1975 playoffs. Ranks 2nd among Cowboys receivers in both receptions and yards.
Drew Pearson -- Famous Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. Best remembered for his "Hail Mary" catch from QB Roger Staubach against Minnesota in the 1975 playoffs. Ranks 2nd among Cowboys receivers in both receptions and yards.

"Roger Staubach might be the best combination of a passer, an athlete and a leader ever to play in the NFL," said Cowboy's head coach Tom Landry.

1963 Heisman Trophy winner. . . Four-year Navy service preceded pro play. . .Noted for last-minute heroics, guided Dallas to four NFC titles, Super Bowl VI, XII wins. . .MVP in Super Bowl VI. .
1963 Heisman Trophy winner. . . Four-year Navy service preceded pro play. . .Noted for last-minute heroics, guided Dallas to four NFC titles, Super Bowl VI, XII wins. . .MVP in Super Bowl VI. .
Fran Tarkenton Minnesota Vikings 1975
Fran Tarkenton Minnesota Vikings 1975

"Hail Mary"

1975 NFC Divisional Playoffs

Dallas Cowboys 17

Minnesota Vikings 14

Metropolitan Stadium

Bloomington, Minnesota

December 8, 1975

The Dallas Cowboys Doomsday Defense vs. the Minnesota Viking Purple People Eaters. This has to be one of the most remembered games in the history of the NFL. It was a defensive battle that saw Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton put together a late game touchdown drive that put his team on top 14-10 with just 1:51 remaining. The home crowd was going wild as they all thought the Vikings would return to the Super Bowl for the 3rd consecutive season. Thanks to Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach who took over on his own 15 yard line moved Dallas to midfield in just 9 plays. With no time outs and less than 30 seconds left on the game clock Roger lined up in Dallas trademark shotgun formation, he pump faked left and then unleashed a desperate bomb half the length of the field. Wide receiver Drew Pearson turned to the right to follow the flight of the ball. Pearson who was covered by Nate Wright was on him but he lost his footing on the frozen field. Pearson turned and caught the ball by trapping it against his right hip at the five-yard line. Viking Paul Krause demanded that the field judge Atmen Terzian call offensive interference penalty. A Viking fan apparently agreed , tossing a whiskey bottle from the stands which struck Terzian in the head. Staubach who had been hit immediately upon releasing the ball didnt even see the play unfold. After the game Staubach said, "It was just a Hail Mary pass; a very, very lucky play.” The quarterback told reporters that he closed his eyes, threw the ball as hard as he could, and said a Hail Mary prayer. Since then, every last-second, pass out of desperation has been called a "Hail Mary” play.

The Cowboys became NFC champions the following week, winning at Los Angeles. But they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-17 in Super Bowl X. Back in the day I was a huge Cowboys fan, and this was a Super Bowl game I remember well, for I was in attendance!

Dallas Cowboys Roger Staubach throws a Hail Mary in one of the Greatest Moments in the History of the NFL

John Elway - Greatestest Moment in NFL History - The Drive
John Elway - Greatestest Moment in NFL History - The Drive

John Elway's Greatest NFL Moment

John Elway NFL "The Drive"finally put a Super Bowl ring on his finger.
John Elway NFL "The Drive"finally put a Super Bowl ring on his finger.

AFC Title for the Cleveland Browns was a true Heartbreaker Moment

MPS/NFL Earnest Byner's fumble resulted in a second consecutive heart-breaking loss for Cleveland in the AFC title game.
MPS/NFL Earnest Byner's fumble resulted in a second consecutive heart-breaking loss for Cleveland in the AFC title game.

"The Drive"

1986 AFC Championship

Denver Broncos 23

Cleveland Browns 20

January 11, 1987

Denver quarterback John Elway orchestrated a classic 96 yard drive in the closing minutes of the season to cement his reputation as one of footballs clutch performers to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl. One of the many heart breakers the Cleveland fans have had to endure, this one extremely tought as the Browns had taken a late 20-13 lead. Denver muffed the ensuing kickoff and wound up with the ball on its own 2 yard line with 5:32 left to play. Elway took the field like there was not other place in the universe he wanted to be. Destiny had brought him to that 2 yard line, and so began a victorious march against a Cleveland defense that appeared helpless against the Broncos relentless attack. Fifteen plays later, after scrambling for 9 yards to the Cleveland 5 yard line and with just 39 seconds remaining Elway threw the ball for the ninth time of the possession and hit Mark Jackson for the tying touchdown. Then on Denvers first overtime possession , Elway marched his team another 60 yards on 9 plays to put them in position for a game ending 33 yard field goal.

As a result of this drive the Denver Bronco's would go to the Super Bowl XXI to face the New York Giants. John Elway was the first Denver Bronco's player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

The Music City Miracle - NFL one of the Greatest Games in NFL History
The Music City Miracle - NFL one of the Greatest Games in NFL History

Tennesee Titan Kevin Dyson

Steve McNair had a front-row seat to Kevin Dyson's trip down the sideline during the Jan. 8, 2000 "Music City Miracle." AP Photo/Wade Payne
Steve McNair had a front-row seat to Kevin Dyson's trip down the sideline during the Jan. 8, 2000 "Music City Miracle." AP Photo/Wade Payne

The Miracle of the Tennessee Titans ' AFC Wild Card Playoff Game

the Tennessee Titans
the Tennessee Titans

The Music City Miracle

1999 AFC Wild Card Game Credit: McCoy/AP
1999 AFC Wild Card Game Credit: McCoy/AP

The Music City Miracle

Buffalo Bills 16

Tennessee Titans 22

AFC Wild Card Playoff

Adelphia Coliseum,

Nashville, Tennessee

January 8, 2000

The Tennessee Titans won their first ever playoff game in this AFC Wild Card game when they defeated the Buffalo Bills. The Titans were trailing the Bills 16-15 with 16 seconds when they pull an improbable play off . Ask any football fan and they will remember this famous "Music City Miracle.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said of the winning return "We worked on that play yesterday, The play is called Home Run Throwback, it's a play you usually work on Saturdays, the day before a game. That play was designed with Frank Wycheck in the middle to try and put the ball out laterally."

It was a last-gasp lateral pass on a kickoff return went for a 75-yard touchdown in the final seconds, Lorenzo Neal catches the ball and hands it off to Frank Wycheck who then throws the ball across the field to Kevin Dyson who then runs 75 yards for the winning touchdown.

It was the first kick return for a touchdown by the franchise since Mel Gray in 1988.

The officials reviewed the controversial play at their own discretion in the final two minutes of a game and ruled the toss by Wycheck was indeed a lateral. Probably because the referee Phil Luckett, had been involved in three high-profile controversial calls in two seasons. It was Luckett who botched a coin toss at a Thanksgiving Day game between Detroit and Pittsburgh in 1998. A week later, he allowed a questionable touchdown by Vinny Testaverde of the New York Jets that may have cost the Seattle Seahawks a playoff berth. These calls inspired the return of instant replay.

It was a miracle finish for the Titans (14-3) in their first-ever playoff game at Tennessee and a heartbreaking loss for the Bills (11-6), who lost in the wild card round for the second straight year.

This win gave the Titans an eventual run to Super Bowl XXXIV where the St. Louis Rams beat the Titans 23-16.

A Tennessee Titan Miracle

Greatest Moment in NFL History -Bills defeat Oilers  in the 'COmeback"
Greatest Moment in NFL History -Bills defeat Oilers in the 'COmeback"

TheBuffalo Bills in "The Comback" A great moment in the NFL

Bills defeat Oilers | 1993 AFC wild card AP Photo
Bills defeat Oilers | 1993 AFC wild card AP Photo

1992 AFC Wildcard Play Off Bills vs Oilers

Credit: Stewart/AP
Credit: Stewart/AP

"The Comeback"

1992 AFC Wildcard Play Off

Buffalo Bills 41

Houston Oilers 38

January 3, 1993

After falling behind 35-3 in the third quarter, Buffalo rallied to tie the game thanks to a heroic performance by backup quarterback Frank Reich. Houston won the toss but Warren Moon's interception returned possession to the Bills. Steve Christie's 32-yard field goal would give Buffalo the unlikely 41-38 victory and complete the largest comeback in NFL history. It wasn't just the 32 point deficit that stacked the odds all the way against the Bills. It was Houston's all out first half dominance. Oilers QB Warren Moon pretty much took the Bills secondary apart, throwing for four touchdowns in the first half. Then, on one of the first plays of the second half, Houston strong safety Bubba McDowel intercepted a Frank Reich pass and returned the ball for 58 yards for another Oiler touchdown. Many Bills headed for the exits. The Bills responded with a convincing touchdown drive, capped by a 1 yard run by Kenneth Davis. Now down 35-10 Buffalo attempted an onside kick, which was miraculously recovered by the bills kicker Steve Christie Reich who once led the University of Maryland to the greatest comeback in college football, then looked to make the same mark in the NFL history throwing to 4 straight second half touchdowns to put the bills ahead 38-35 with just under 3 minutes to play. The Oilers answered with an Al Del Greco field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime, but the Buffalo defensive back Nate Odomes intercepted a Moon pass early in the extra period to set up Christies game winning 32 yard field goal.

In addition to keeping their Super Bowl hopes alive (the Bills would win their next two on the road to make that third consecutive appearance), Buffalo set an NFL record. Their 32-point comeback victory remains the largest in NFL history.

Greatest Moment In the NFL "The Comeback"

2007 Super Bowl XLII - David Tyree Greatest Moment in History - "The Catch"
2007 Super Bowl XLII - David Tyree Greatest Moment in History - "The Catch"

Eli Manning to David Tyre A New York Moment

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David Tyre's miraculous catch saves the Giants winning TD drive.
David Tyre's miraculous catch saves the Giants winning TD drive.
David Tyre's miraculous catch saves the Giants winning TD drive.

The New York Giants Greatest Moments in Time

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Eli Manning, left, with Michael Strahan. Manning was named the game's most valuable player.  Doug Mills/The New York Times celebrate against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (February 3, 2008 - Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America) Giants David Tyree #85 celebrates his touchdown against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.Giants defense end Osi Umenyiora #72 tackles Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady #12 during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Eli Manning, left, with Michael Strahan. Manning was named the game's most valuable player.  Doug Mills/The New York Times
Eli Manning, left, with Michael Strahan. Manning was named the game's most valuable player. Doug Mills/The New York Times
celebrate against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (February 3, 2008 - Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)
celebrate against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (February 3, 2008 - Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)
Giants David Tyree #85 celebrates his touchdown against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants David Tyree #85 celebrates his touchdown against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants defense end Osi Umenyiora #72 tackles Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady #12 during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants defense end Osi Umenyiora #72 tackles Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady #12 during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.

Plaxico Buress

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Giants Plaxico Burress #17 celebrates his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII  Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.Plaxico Burress's touchdown reception in the waning moments of the Super Bowl was the culmination of a streak of upsets that started with a loss to the Patriots just over a month earlier. Photo: Tom Hood/European Pressphoto Agency Patriots Tom Brady got sacked in the third quarter and New York Giants' Michael Strahan (92) and Osi Umenyiora (72) celebrated the sack. New England Patriots played against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday, Feb. 3 in the University oGiants Plaxico Burress #17 celebrates his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.Giants Plaxico Burress #17 and teammates celebrate his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants Plaxico Burress #17 celebrates his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII  Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants Plaxico Burress #17 celebrates his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Plaxico Burress's touchdown reception in the waning moments of the Super Bowl was the culmination of a streak of upsets that started with a loss to the Patriots just over a month earlier. Photo: Tom Hood/European Pressphoto Agency
Plaxico Burress's touchdown reception in the waning moments of the Super Bowl was the culmination of a streak of upsets that started with a loss to the Patriots just over a month earlier. Photo: Tom Hood/European Pressphoto Agency
 Patriots Tom Brady got sacked in the third quarter and New York Giants' Michael Strahan (92) and Osi Umenyiora (72) celebrated the sack. New England Patriots played against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday, Feb. 3 in the University o
Patriots Tom Brady got sacked in the third quarter and New York Giants' Michael Strahan (92) and Osi Umenyiora (72) celebrated the sack. New England Patriots played against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday, Feb. 3 in the University o
Giants Plaxico Burress #17 celebrates his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants Plaxico Burress #17 celebrates his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants Plaxico Burress #17 and teammates celebrate his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.
Giants Plaxico Burress #17 and teammates celebrate his game winning touchdown catch against the Patriots during Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com.

"What a Catch"

2007 Super Bowl XLII

NY Giants 17

New England Patriots 14

University of Phoenix Stadium,

Glendale, Arizona

February 3, 2008

The Giants were not even supposed to be here. Yet in one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history the G men beat the previously undefeated Patriot, winning the franchise’s first championship since the 1991 Super Bowl.

ELI Manning was beyond amazing as he pulled away from at least four Patriots and a near-certain sack on third down, and then sending the ball to David Tyree. Tyree made a leaping 32-yard reception, clutching the ball against his helmet as he fell, an unbelievable catch. And to the worlds amazement,  the Giants were at the Patriots’ 24-yard line with 59 seconds left in the game. Coach Tom Coughlin said " It might have been among the greatest plays in Super Bowl history."

The 2008 championship game was a defensive struggle through three quarters, with the teams combining for only 10 points. But the drama began to build in the fourth quarter when it was apparent that New York might actually beat the unbeatable New England Patriots. Tom Brady and the Patriots were seeking to become the first 19-0 team, but a New York pass rush sacked  Brady five times and attacked him countless others. David Tyree’s 32-yard reception with a minute to play, after a surreal third-down escape of a sack by Eli Manning,  set up the winning 13-yard touchdown to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds to play. Tyree’s helmet catch is arguably the most memorable play in the NFL's Super Bowl history.

The Giants co-owner John Mara said, after the game “It’s the greatest victory in the history of this franchise, without question, I just want to say to all you Giants fans who have supported us for more than 30 years at Giants Stadium, for all those years in Yankee Stadium and some of you even back to the Polo Grounds, this is for you.”

I must say as I do bleed blue, this game will forever be the greatest spine chilling game I have ever watched. It is certainly one I will never forget and I am sure to tell my grandkids all about it someday!

The New York Giants Win Super Bowl XLII - The Game Winning Touchdown

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Memorable Comments 36 comments

tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Shari I luv ya dearly , but where is " The Catch " ? That has to be right up there with these classic moments.


lsfloro profile image

lsfloro 6 years ago

Shari, Great hub even though the Drive was on the list and the Fumble was mentioned. i knew when I got the email about this hub they would be there. The rest of the games were very good picks. I see you put the Giants in a couple of times. You ought to take all of these NFL hubs and put them into an ebook. thanks for writing.


entertianmentplus profile image

entertianmentplus 6 years ago from United States

What a great hub brings back some good memories.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

~ tony0724 - just for you cause i &hearts you so much I am going to update this and add "the Catch" lol Dwight Clark receiving a pass from a Joe Montana pass in the 1982 NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. Yes memorable but I had to cut it off somewhere!!

~ Larry . . hmm a ebook . .. someday i just might! Sorry about having to dredge up the Browns lost but you gotta admit it was some drive by Elway . .the biggest problem is that the Browns have yet to comeback from that one. . Maybe this year ;) Thanks for coming by .. always a treat to see you here!!

~entertainment - I am so looking forward to the coming season and sharing all the fun to come with a fellow football lover :))))))


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

wavegirl22, I cringe every time I hear about or see the Immaculate Deception. To this day Franco Harris won't talk about it. That is the worst rip off ever. Next was the tuck rule. You know NE Patriots and the Raiders, they even cleared a spot for the kick. I know, I'm whinning. Good hub.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Right Black - lol .. you can come here and whine any old time you want! I find it interesting that they called it "immaculate" for if you go to the dictionary .. the meaning of the word is "free from flaws or mistakes; perfect" and the catch itself was anything than perfect! Imagine if they had a tape to look at before they called it . . .but it is all in the game and that is why we try to move forward and change with the times! I had to put it in here just for that fact alone! Thanks for the visit and the comments! Always love to hear from a football fan ;)


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

All these games bring back great memories. I think the catch by Tyree was probably the most clutch play in SB history. BTW, when the Ice Bowl was played, I was a Packer Fan (Wisconsin native), and Jerry Kramer was off-sides! Your picks were right on the money. Nobody can do NFL Hubs like you Shari. Great job! :)


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Jai - a Wisconsin native. . ha you learn a new thing every day!! I have to agree with you Tyres catch still gives me chills to watch it as does seeing Eli break out of all those holds they had on him .. .Thanks as always for the visit and your kind oh so kind words! I am still giggling that you were a Packer fan . .to me you will always be one of the Boys best ;)


samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

Shari, you scored a touchdown on this one. As a Cowboy fan one of the most heartbreaking moments has to be "The Catch". Montana to Clark in the 1982 NFC championship game. I am glad to see it did not make your list.

Even now I can't stand to watch that play.

Rated it up.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Shari - you really are a football afficionada. I am familiar with most of the great games you mentioned but I had not heard of the sneaker attack - that was inspired. Thanks for a very entertaining and well-researched hub.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

~ samboiam - i too have a soft spot for the Cowboys and though I did love to see Montana I just couldnt add that one! Though Tony as above was not happy that I didnt include it ;) I prefer to remember Staubach to Pearson :)))) now those were the Boys!!!

~ drbj - ah yes I do love football. . just you wait till the season then I really have a field day with the games. I think when the season ends and the time in between the next season I go through withdrawal and need my football fix and hence my Hubs:) Good thing for the NFL Network otherwise it is possible I could go into a heavy depression!!! Always great to see you here. . thanks for the kind words :)))


sportyfunster profile image

sportyfunster 6 years ago from Canada

Hey Wavegirl

Great article, but just like others have said the 49er's Catch could be there or even Brady's no tuck rule fumble against the Raiders


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

sportyfunster - Like the teams have to do . a cut needs to made somewhere and I had to stop somewhere! Glad you stopped by to check this one out. .some of these I can never see enough times!!!


Andrew 6 years ago

There was so much holding on the giants play. The lineman had his arm around the other guy's neck!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Andrew I take it you bleed blue? Thanks for stopping by. .a Giant fan is always welcome in these parts!


LakeShow T profile image

LakeShow T 6 years ago

Wavegirl, what you articulated in the opening paragraph was very well said and true! I agree that we tend to develop our favorite/most crushing moments based on how we felt at the time. Those memories last forever. I think you also did a great job here of reviewing some of the NFL's most notable moments.

I think my favorite moment you listed was the Bills' comeback over the Oilers. I remember how shocking that was, especially for the fact that Frank Reich (and not Jim Kelly) led the comeback. I am not surprised we have never seen another comeback like it since. That was amazing. You've got to feel bad for the Bills' players and fans for not being able to cash in on any of those 4 straight Super Bowls they made at that time.

Others I enjoyed on here were the Bills and Giants "Wide Right" game. Poor Scott Norwood. He has taken a beating over the years. I also enjoyed the Pats and Giants. What an upset that was.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Very well done! I can tell you put a lot of passion for the NFL into it. Certainly worthy of "awesome" status. Keep up the great work!


jerseys4kids.com profile image

jerseys4kids.com 6 years ago from Vancouver / Bangkok

Great Hub .. I can't think of anything you missed !


zatchj62 profile image

zatchj62 6 years ago from Michigan

As a life long Packer's fan the Ice Bowl will always be the greatest in my mind. Bart Starr, a possible top 10 all time QB, and Ray Nitschke, a top 5 all time LB, on the same team with the best coach of all time at the helm...WOW. Not to mention that in the next game (i believe) the Pack were going for the NFL Championship three peat


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Lakeshow - I guess by now you can see how very passionate and in love I am with the game of football. Now if only they would let me play!!!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

jersey4kids- I am hoping to see a few more NFL greatest moments this season!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

@zatchj62 - as a Packer fan you are certainly in for a great season this year. Aaron Rodgers might be the best QB right now!


zatchj62 profile image

zatchj62 6 years ago from Michigan

@wavegirl22-maybe not the best yet, but I think any team in the NFL (save the Colts) would rather have Rodgers over any other QB. He's young, durable, fast, and throws as hard as Favre did...not to mention he takes care of the ball.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

zatchj62 - I like the way you put it . . as hard as Farve "DID" . tell the guy it is time to give it up already. As far as QB's cant say I would trade Sanchez for Rodgers. .Sanchez if far hotter to watch!


zatchj62 profile image

zatchj62 6 years ago from Michigan

Yeah, but fortunately there is no female coaches or GMs, because if there was we might see trades like that just because Sanchez is hotter!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

zatchj62 - ha. . tell me, have you ever seen an ugly QB?


zatchj62 profile image

zatchj62 6 years ago from Michigan

hmmm...Terry Bradshaw? Jay Cutler? Not many.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

hehehe good one on Bradshaw! Cutler. . well he aint so bad he just takes a bad photo!


zatchj62 profile image

zatchj62 6 years ago from Michigan


zatchj62 profile image

zatchj62 6 years ago from Michigan

KGB's answer on who is the ugliest.

"Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder it is hard to single out only one person to be the ugliest!"

I don't know, Eli Manning really ain't a looker. He looks like a retarded Peyton...and plays like one!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Ah I wish you could hear me laughing over here. That is some picture and one I may have to put above my desk!

Sorry Eli is adorable, but I did and I am still cracking up!!!


zatchj62 profile image

zatchj62 6 years ago from Michigan

I guess what ever floats your boat, I just can't get over the nose! But yes, that is a quality Bradshaw pic.


jerseys4kids.com profile image

jerseys4kids.com 6 years ago from Vancouver / Bangkok

Wavegirl ..

Nice Hub, but there is no way that the Bills missed field goal should be on the list, especially if you did not include "the catch".


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

jerseys4kids.com 7 weeks ago you said . .

"Great Hub .. I can't think of anything you missed !"

Now you come back and say I didnt include "the Catch" I do believe that the the greatest NFL catch has been included. As a Giant fan do you honestly think I could leave it out?


chris 6 years ago

this is good but add stuff bout my sqad


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 5 years ago from New York, NY Author

chris - who is your NFL squad?


Earl Noah Bernsby profile image

Earl Noah Bernsby 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I feel bad for Scott Norwood every time I read about that kick. Talk about a lonely walk to the locker room... The Ravens were in a similar situation in the AFC championship last year when Cundiff missed that 32 yarder against NE. I would've hated to be trapped on the team bus with Ray Lewis after that!

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