NFL

NFL’s Top 30 Soul-Crushing Defeats Of The Past Decade

Darren - April 13, 2022
NFL

NFL’s Top 30 Soul-Crushing Defeats Of The Past Decade

Darren - April 13, 2022
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

10. New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (2011)

These days the Jets would kill for a result like this. That’s because it would mean that they’re a functioning franchise and capable of making the postseason. However, this was a soul-destroying result at the time. It was extra-cruel because the Jets came back from a 24-0 deficit.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

They showed an incredible amount of heart. In the end, it wasn’t enough as Pittsburgh held strong for their third Super Bowl appearance in six years. To rub salt into their wounds, the Gang Green were the better team. But it’s the result that counts and the Steelers scraped through (via Bleacher Report).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

9. New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts (2011)

Another regular-season defeat, this one makes the list because it was a massive blowout. The Colts were accustomed to success with Peyton Manning as their quarterback. However, the world was very different without him. This was a devastating rout as Drew Brees threw five touchdowns.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Meanwhile, Curtis Painter was appalling as the Colts went 0-7. This was a soul-crushing day for their fans considering the prestige of the franchise. Manning sat above and watched the agonizing victory unfold. The Saints set a record for points and victory margin as they won 62-7 (via Fox Sports).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

8. New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings (2017)

The Minneapolis Miracle was a double-edged sword. Firstly, it was an amazing moment for the Vikings and Stefon Diggs. The wideout scored a 61-yard touchdown to seal the win in style. But it was also soul-crushing for Marcus Williams after he missed his tackle.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

All he could do was watch in horror as Diggs ran away. The receiver scored the touchdown as regulation time expired and made history. It was a devastating blow for the Saints because they had rotten luck in the playoffs. However, teams ruthlessly expose individual errors in these games (via Sky Sports).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

7. Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos (2016)

The Panthers were outstanding in 2015 as Cam Newton had the season of his career. The young quarterback fired his team into the Super Bowl with a 15-1 record. They were heavy favorites against the Broncos but form goes out the window in knockout football.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Carolina discovered this the hard way because the Broncos didn’t lie down. Linebacker Von Miller won the game’s MVP award with a standout defensive performance. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning became the first quarterback to win rings with two franchises. But it was a missed opportunity for the Panthers (via USA Today).

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

6. Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers (2022)

This was a horrible defeat for the Packers because they were big favorites. Aaron Rodgers played the heel for most of the season but made up for it with his brilliance. However, he had a well-earned reputation for choking in the postseason. Once again, he lived up to this (via CBS Sports).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

San Francisco’s special teams led the way in a tight 13-10 victory. Meanwhile, they sacked Rodgers five times and scored a field goal to win the game. It was soul-crushing for Green Bay fans because they had a massive chance to win a Super Bowl. It may even prove to be Rodgers’ final game for the franchise.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

5. Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers (2015)

This game earned the moniker the ‘Miracle in Motown’ after Aaron Rodgers threw an amazing Hail Mary. But it was soul-crushing for the Lions. That’s because they felt that they had done enough to seal the victory. Unfortunately, anything can happen in the NFL.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Detroit led 20-0 before they collapsed and the Packers came back. But they were still ahead with seconds left. Then, in the final play of the game, Rodgers threw a 61-yard pass to break Lions’ hearts (via CBS Sports). It was devastating because it ended Detroit’s slim postseason hopes too.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

4. Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots (2017)

The Falcons threw away a Super Bowl win in 2017. It appeared as though Dan Quinn’s men were on course for a famous victory. They were blowing the Patriots away with a 28-3 lead before they had a meltdown. Maybe they didn’t like the Lady Gaga Halftime show, because something went seriously wrong.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Atlanta allowed the Patriots to maintain momentum as they sent the game to overtime. It also didn’t help that Quinn and his staff made some questionable calls. Then, New England won the game in overtime after they won the coin toss. It was a brutal way for the Falcons to lose but it was their fault (via Sporting News).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

3. Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots (2020)

The Chiefs came off on the wrong side of a coin toss in 2020. This overtime defeat kickstarted the debate over whether the current system is fair. After all, Patrick Mahomes, the most talented young quarterback in the NFL, didn’t get to step onto the field.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

It’s to Tom Brady’s credit that he remained ice-cold. He helped his team score a walk-off touchdown on their first possession. But this was soul-crushing for the long-suffering Chiefs and their fans. Next, Kansas City proposed a rule change to the NFL after this loss but they didn’t happen (via Business Insider). 

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

2. Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs (2022)

This was one of the greatest games in NFL postseason history. Both quarterbacks were sublime as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes waged a duel for the ages. It looked like the Bills had done enough to seal a win. But then the Chiefs kicked their way into overtime in the dying moments.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Then, the Chiefs won the coin toss. Mahomes was clinical as he sealed victory in 13 seconds. He found Travis Kelce for the game-winning touchdown. This was soul-destroying for the Bills because they poured their souls into this performance. It also reignited a debate about the fairness of the overtime coin toss (via Sportsnet).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

1. Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots (2015)

This soul-crushing defeat haunts Pete Carroll’s dreams. Seattle played the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX and was inches away from victory. They were a yard away from the Pats’ goalline when Russell Wilson opted to throw a pass. The other option was to offload Marshawn Lynch, the five-time Pro Bowl running back.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

New England rookie Malcolm Butler infamously intercepted Wilson’s pass. It was a harrowing moment because many fans instantly criticized Carroll’s call. However, statistically, he made the right choice (via Sports Illustrated). But it was soul-crushing because they were so close to another elusive ring.

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