18. 49ers vs. Giants (2002)
New York fans left Candlestick Park feeling even more disconsolate than normal. Somehow they managed to blow a 24-point lead but dragged themselves back into the game. However, they didn’t count on the referees making a mess as usual and needlessly ruining the game. The Giants had a field-goal attempt with 46 seconds on the clock. It looked like they were going to win the game.
But the Giants fumbled the snap and couldn’t get the kick away. Matt Allen chucked the ball downfield where Rich Seubert caught it (via ESPN). Then the cruel punchline came. The referee flagged him as an ineligible receiver even though had had already checked in as eligible. Later, the NFL acknowledged their mistake and apologized. But the damage was done and the Giants were out of the playoffs.