This time the Dallas Cowboys were on the receiving end of a dramatic game-winning play. They led the Green Bay Packers 17-14 in the NFC Championship game. The game was barely playable because the conditions were so bad. However, Green Bay still had some gas left in the tank and they went forward with one last push. Finally, with just 16 seconds left on the clock, they pulled off a simple but audacious move.
Quarterback Bart Starr called the Packers’ last timeout with barely any time left. With coach Vince Lombardi, he agreed to do a QB sneak. The play worked perfectly as Green Bay’s superb blocking allowed Starr to slip into the end zone and claim the championship. That was the first step on their way to Super Bowl glory. A brilliant play paved the way.
1978 saw one of the most iconic Philly wins of all-time. The Eagles trailed against the New York Giants in the dying minutes of the game. Leading 17-12 after Philadelphia used up all of their timeouts, New York just needed to see out the game and could have taken a knee. But instead, they bizarrely called for a handoff. Then quarterback Joe Pisarcik fumbled the ball and Herman Edwards picked it up.
The Giants watched helplessly as he ran to the endzone and scored a dramatic late touchdown to break their hearts. Meanwhile, New York missed out on the playoffs as a direct result of losing this game. Who went instead? You guessed it, the Eagles. The Miracle at the Meadowlands was one of the most dramatic game-winning moments in NFL history and also a terrible blooper.
Every NFL diehard knows about this legendary game-winning moment. However, it was incredibly controversial at the time. Pittsburgh back Franco Harris caught a deflected pass and rumbled forward like an unstoppable train to score an iconic touchdown. With 30 seconds left, he stormed for 60 yards to win the game 13-7 for the Steelers. You can check out the clip to see it for yourself below.
The controversy came because some believe that John Fuqua touched the ball before his teammate, Harris, picked it up. Of course, this would have nullified the touchdown if the decision went that way. Others think that it hit the ground before Harris caught it, which would have had the same result. In the end, history remembers the winners and Harris ensured victory over in this one.
One of the best endings in Super Bowl history, this was a phenomenal game for the neutral fan. The Pittsburgh Steelers played the Arizona Cardinals in the hunt for glory. First of all, it looked like the Cardinals had won the game. Kurt Warner threw to Larry Fitzgerald who went 64 yards to score a go-ahead touchdown. Everybody thought that this was the epic ending to the game, but there was another twist in the tale.
Pittsburgh had another moment of magic left. Ben Roethlisberger inspired his team to a sensational comeback as the Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowls. They edged closer and closer to the endzone until ‘Big Ben’ suddenly threw to Santonio Holmes. In one of the most ludicrous game-winning plays ever, Holmes defied gravity to catch the ball and avoided falling out of the endzone to secure the touchdown.
The New Orleans Saints led against the Minnesota Vikings with just 25 seconds left. After blasting back from a 17-0 deficit, it looked like the Saints had completed a spectacular comeback. But this game had another twist, as the Vikings cruelly but spectacularly broke New Orleans’s hearts. Case Keenum threw 27 yards to Stefon Diggs, who raced clear of the defense for 61 yards to seal the win.
Marcus Williams stumbled and allowed Diggs to find the space to run. Furthermore, no playoff game ever saw a touchdown with time expired at the same moment before. This made this game-winning play all the more special. Depending on your perspective it’s one of the greatest or most embarrassing moments. Firstly, you have Diggs’ brilliance but then you also have Williams’ brutal failure.
Joe Montana produced a moment worthy of cinematic recognition in 1989. The San Francisco 49ers played the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl and amazingly the Bengals were winning. Montana ensured the 49ers mounted a stunning comeback. Leading 16-13, the Bengals trapped the Niners in their own eight with less than three minutes to go.
This is the kind of moment that elite quarterbacks dream of. Montana stepped up and set in motion one of the greatest game-winning plays ever. He passed 27 yards upfield to build momentum and sent another to John Taylor to score the defining touchdown. You can check out the clip above to see how smooth this sequence was. During this Super Bowl, Montana was really on another level.
Few things are better than the Patriots losing a Super Bowl. Leave it to Eli Manning to ensure their demise in the 2007 season. In sum, Manning combined with Plaxico Burress for one of the most dramatic game-winning plays in NFL history. First of all, he wriggled free and threw deep to David Tyree who pulled off the famous ‘helmet catch.’ Three plays later, the ball was in the endzone.
Manning found Burress who scored and ended the Patriots’ hopes of a 19-0 unbeaten season. This was all the sweeter for the Giants who ran out 17-14 winners. Meanwhile, Manning won the Super Bowl MVP award for his contribution. In sum, he stayed consistent to help win the game for New York. What a game this was and what a way for it to end.
White earns the top spot on this list after his astonishing game-winning touchdown in the dying seconds of Super Bowl LI in 2017. The New England Patriots played the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 and won in the most stunning of circumstances. Atlanta blew a massive 28-3 lead in one of the worst meltdowns ever. But White’s game-winning touchdown on the final play sealed the deal.
His marauding effort came in overtime after the Falcons threw the game away. Furthermore, he probably should have won the Super Bowl MVP award because he had 110 receiving yards, 29 rushing yards, and three touchdowns, in addition to that moment of epicness. Of course, Tom Brady claimed that individual honor and, to be fair, did play extremely well by throwing for 466 yards. But even Brady believed White deserved the award.