The NFL is about to be back in your life in a big way -- and it's not just the preseason. Earlier this summer, the league asked fans to vote for the most memorable games in the history of your favorite teams (from an initial list if 160 pre-selected games). Later this week, the NFL will release the three biggest fan favorites for each team on YouTube. And to get you ready for all 96 classic contests, we're ranking the most popular from each franchise. Don't agree with the selected game for a particular team? Sorry about that, but the decision was in the hands of the fans. This is a democracy, after all. We simply compared each game against the others in terms of how spectacular the game really was. (Note: the year of a listed playoff game denotes the season, not necessarily the actual date on which the game was played.)
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY SportsJason Bridge
Houston Texans: Week 1, 2002, vs. Dallas Cowboys
I'm sure this game is very meaningful to Houston fans, since it's the first win in franchise history as the Texans. No one outside of that small group of people cared about this one, though -- except maybe Cowboys fans who were angry about the loss.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
Carolina Panthers: Week 11, 2013, vs. New England Patriots
Cam Newton and the Panthers said hello to a primetime audience on Monday Night Football, as the Carolina QB hooked up with Ted Ginn for a game-winning TD with less than a minute to play. Of course, had Carolina won the Super Bowl this year, we'd likely have a different game in this spot.
Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka
Minnesota Vikings: Week 17, 2012, vs. Green Bay Packers
Another game that's precious to a specific fan base, Week 17 saw Adrian Peterson eclipse 2,000 yards for the season, falling just nine yards shy of breaking the all-time single-season rushing record.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals: Week 5, 2015, vs. Seattle Seahawks
Andy Dalton's fourth-quarter comeback against the Legion of Boom barely beat out the 1981 AFC Championship Game in the eyes of Bengals fans, which has to be a case of recency bias. The 17-point rally was awesome and everything, but that playoff game 35 years ago was one of the most brutal NFL games ever. "The Freezer Bowl" was played in temperatures approaching -40 (after factoring in the wind chill), and the wind was so ridiculous that the Bengals passed on the option to receive the ball to start the half in favor of choosing to have the wind at their back. Dalton would turn into a red-headed Popsicle in those conditions.
Getty ImagesJohn Grieshop
Jacksonville Jaguars: 1996 AFC wild card vs. Buffalo Bills
Jacksonville's most memorable game -- and the franchise's first playoff win -- stands out because of the team on the other side of the ball. The 30-27 Jaguars upset was the final game for Jim Kelly, and it was the last playoff game Marv Levy would ever coach. For a team that once famously went to four straight Super Bowls, a loss to Jacksonville marked the end of an era. As for the Jaguars, they went on to upset the Broncos in the divisional round before falling to the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
Getty ImagesRick Stewart
Atlanta Falcons: 1998 NFC Championship vs. Minnesota Vikings
14-2 Atlanta was a double-digit underdog against a 15-1 Minnesota team that set an NFL record for points in a season (556), and a 13-point deficit in the NFC Championship didn't help matters. Vikings kicker Gary Anderson, who was perfect on the year, had a chance to ice the game late in the fourth with Minnesota up by a TD, but he pushed the kick wide left. The Falcons tied the game with 49 seconds remaining, and Atlanta kicker Morten Andersen won it for the Falcons in overtime with a 38-yard field goal. The Vikings became the first 15-1 team in NFL history to fail to make the Super Bowl.
AFP/Getty ImagesCRAIG LASSIG
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Super Bowl XXXVII vs. Oakland Raiders
This game certainly didn't lack for storylines. Tampa Bay had the NFL's best defense. The Raiders had the NFL's best offense. Jon Gruden, meanwhile, had taken over as Buccaneers head coach after helping to restore Oakland to its former glory. That intimate knowledge of the Raiders helped the Bucs pick Oakland apart in a 27-point blowout that failed to live up to the hype.
Getty ImagesDoug Pensinger
Kansas City Chiefs: Week 7, 1994, vs. Denver Broncos
Two of the all-time QB greats exchanged game-winning drives in the last two minutes in a game that's largely gone forgotten. First, John Elway, who was without a Super Bowl win at this point in his career, led the Broncos to a touchdown and a 28-24 lead with 1:29 to play. Enter the 38-year-old Joe Montana. Limited by shoulder soreness all week, the Chiefs QB somehow managed to go 7-for-8 on the final drive of the game, including a five-yard pass underneath to Willie Davis for the game-winning TD.
Washington Redskins: 1982 NFC Championship vs. Dallas Cowboys
Get knocked down six times, get up seven. Or so it went for Washington in the early 80s, as the Cowboys reeled off six straight wins in their heated rivalry. With a second consecutive Super Bowl berth in Pasadena on the line, though, John Riggins & Co. crushed Dallas into a fine powder before a ridiculously loud home crowd.
Oakland/L.A. Raiders: Super Bowl XVIII vs. Washington
In an otherwise unspectacular Super Bowl, Marcus Allen made his mark. He ran for what was then a Super Bowl record of 191 yards on 20 carries, including a 74-yard burst in the third, and added two TDs as the Los Angeles Raiders cruised past Washington 38-9.
Getty ImagesFocus On Sport
Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl XLV vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
This is one game where I have to disagree with the fans. Aaron Rodgers winning his first Super Bowl is pretty cool, don't get me wrong. But the Packers have so many other memorable games, including Brett Favre's epic performance after his dad passed away and the "Ice Bowl" (although there's no video of that one from beginning to end, to be fair). Still, this was a pretty good game, as Green Bay held off a late Pittsburgh comeback bid to clinch the title.
Getty ImagesRob Tringali
New York Jets: 2010 AFC divisional playoff vs. New England Patriots
Yes, this should be Super Bowl III, when the Jets defeated the Colts after Joe Namath's famous prediction. What can we say? New York fans prefer to recall the time Rex Ryan's squad upset Bill Belichick's Patriots. Can you really blame them?
Getty ImagesMichael Heiman
Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowl XXVII vs. Buffalo Bills
The Cowboys made a habit of crushing the Bills in the Super Bowl, of course. This one leaves a lasting impression as the first of the Jimmy Johnson era, even though the 52-17 Dallas win was more or less a snoozer.
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Denver Broncos: Super Bowl XXXII vs. Green Bay Packers
In a battle of John Elway vs. Brett Favre, the advantage went to the elder statesman. The Broncos won their first title, and after a second straight championship the next year, Elway retired on top of the football world.
Getty ImagesFocus On Sport
Miami Dolphins: Super Bowl VII vs. Washington
Miami's 1973 Super Bowl win wasn't all that compelling, but it's the accumulated weight of the season that makes this game memorable. The Dolphins were undefeated that season -- and unlike a certain future team from New England, they took care of business with a title on the line.
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Cleveland Browns: 1986 AFC divisional playoff vs. New York Jets
Prior to 1986, Cleveland had last won a playoff game in 1969. The Browns capped a surprising 12-win season with one of the most dramatic NFL playoff games ever, beating the Jets in a double-overtime as Bernie Kosar set a playoff record with 489 passing yards.
Chicago Bears: Super Bowl XX vs. New England Patriots
The game was never in doubt, as Chicago's 46 defense made mincemeat of New England. The Bears' win was still memorable, though, thanks to the "Super Bowl Shuffle" Chicago recorded earlier in the season and William "Refrigerator" Perry's famous TD run.
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San Diego Chargers: 1981 AFC divisional playoff vs. Miami Dolphins
Sports Illustrated called it the "Game No One Should Have Lost." Neither team backed down, but it was Kellen Winslow's performance that became the stuff of legend. He hauled in 13 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown, came up with a crucial blocked field goal, and somehow finished the game despite a pinched nerve, cramping, a cut on his lip that required stitches, and severe dehydration. After the game, Winslow paraphrased Muhammad Ali: "I've never felt so close to death before. That's what Muhammad Ali said in Manila, and that's how I felt out there at the end."
New Orleans Saints: Super Bowl XLIV vs. Indianapolis Colts
The final score of 31-17 obscures how competitive this championship game really was. The lasting memory of the Saints' win, which came just a few years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, is of Sean Payton's decision to open the second half with an onside kick. The bold gambit gave the Saints their first lead of the game and helped pave the way for a title.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
Baltimore Ravens: Super Bowl XLVII vs. San Francisco 49ers
The NFL might not be happy that people remember this one so vividly. No, it's not that Joe Flacco started a million "Is he elite?" debates with his performance against the Niners. Instead, you'll probably recall the power outage that cast the Super Bowl in darkness during an extended break. How could you forget?
Getty ImagesRob Tringali
Arizona Cardinals: 2015 NFC divisional playoff vs. Green Bay Packers
The Cardinals left Aaron Rodgers too much time after kicking a field goal with just under two minutes remaining to take a seven-point lead. Yet with Green Bay facing 4th-and-20 on the subsequent possession, Arizona was looking pretty good. Then Rodgers threw a ridiculous 60-yard pass from his own end zone to convert the first down (and then some). He followed that up with a 41-yard Hail Mary as the clock hit all-zeroes, sending the game to overtime. So the Packers had all the momentum, right? Maybe, until the OT coin toss required a redo that went in the Cardinals' favor. Carson Palmer hit Larry Firtzgerald for 75 yards, then found Fitz again to end one of the craziest games we've ever seen.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Seattle Seahawks: Super Bowl XLVIII vs. Denver Broncos
Seattle mopped the floor with Denver, and that's why we love this game. Such a thorough beatdown is entertaining in its own way -- and it's certainly memorable. For two weeks, we heard people make the case for either team to come up with a win. In the end, the Broncos might as well have stayed home.
Getty ImagesJeff Zelevansky
Indianapolis Colts: 2006 AFC Championship vs. New England Patriots
In two of the previous three seasons, New England eliminated Peyton Manning's team from the postseason. And it looked like 2006 would be more of the same as the Patriots built an 18-point lead. Manning responded with two TD passes, and the Colts emerged victorious after a back-and-forth affair that came down to the kickers. Indianapolis went on to the first Super Bowl win of Manning's career.
Sporting News via Getty ImagesSporting News Archive
Detroit Lions: Week 8, 2013, vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Lions trailed by six with no timeouts and less than a minute to go, which was apparently right where Matthew Stafford wanted the Cowboys. After two completions to Calvin Johnson -- who had a mind-boggling 329 yards receiving on 14 catches -- Stafford hurried the Lions to the line of scrimmage just shy of the goal line. Rather than spike the ball, however, the Detroit QB went up and over the top to cap an epic comeback win.
MCT via Getty ImagesFort Worth Star-Telegram
New England Patriots: Super Bowl XLIX vs. Seattle Seahawks
You could easily make an argument for New England's first Super Bowl win over the Rams, or the "Tuck Rule" game against the Raiders. But by an overwhelming margin, Patriots fans voted Malcolm Butler's game-sealing interception (and the rest of Super Bowl XLIX) as their most memorable game.
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
Philadelphia Eagles: Week 15, 2010, vs. New York Giants
It's arguably the greatest regular-season game of all-time, assuming you're not a Giants fan. "The Miracle at the New Meadowlands" saw New York take a 31-10 lead with just over eight minutes remaining. With two passing TDs and a rushing TD, Michael Vick brought the Eagles all the way back and tied the game at 31-all. With 14 seconds remaining, the Giants lined up to punt, looking to force OT. A high snap forced punter Matt Dodge to kick a line drive to DeSean Jackson, who returned the kick for a game-winning TD as time expired.
Getty ImagesAl Bello
Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl XLIII vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals entered the fourth quarter down 20-7, but 16 straight points gave Arizona a three-point lead with 2:37 to play. Rather than play for the field goal, the Steelers attacked, and Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes for a six-yard, toe-tapping, game-winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds remaining. Holmes was named Super Bowl MVP, and Arizona fans went to bed heartbroken.
MCT via Getty ImagesOrlando Sentinel
Tennessee Titans: 1999 AFC wild card vs. Buffalo Bills
I'll let the image caption do the storytelling on this one: "The Bills scored a field goal with 16 seconds left in the game, seemingly putting the game out of reach. On the ensuing kickoff, Titans fullback Lorenzo Neal fielded the ball and handed off to tight end Frank Wycheck, who then lateralled the ball to [Kevin] Dyson. After some review to verify that it was indeed a lateral and not a forward pass (which would have nullified the touchdown), the ruling on the field stood, and the so-called 'Music City Miracle' was born." Indeed.
St. Louis/L.A. Rams: Super Bowl XXXIV vs. Tennessee Titans
For want of a yard, the Titans came up short against the Greatest Show on Turf. The indelible image of Kevin Dyson stretched to his very limit, trying to break the plane of the goal line, is one of the classic moments in NFL history.
Getty ImagesTom Hauck
Buffalo Bills: 1992 AFC wild card vs. Houston Oilers
For sports-based drama, it's hard to top "The Comeback." Down 32 points, the Buffalo Bills stormed back for a 41-38 overtime win. To this day, it's the largest comeback in NFL history.
San Francisco 49ers: 1981 NFC Championship vs. Dallas Cowboys
The most memorable games on this list can be boiled down to a single play, and few possessions in football history can match the spectacle "The Catch." In fact, there's only one that surpasses Joe Montana finding Dwight Clark ...
New York Giants: Super Bowl XLII vs. New England Patriots
Call it "The Catch II." Or "The (Helmet) Catch." Either way, the combination of New England's perfect record being on the line and David Tyree's absurd reception with the ball pressed against his helmet made for the most memorable game in NFL history. You'll always remember where you were for this one. We all will.