When it comes to memorable game-ending plays, the NFL has more than its fair share. FOX Sports Senior NFL Writer Alex Marvez ranks the craziest finishes in NFL history.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
Dallas 17, Minnesota 14 (1975)
This game helped popularize the expression “Hail Mary” pass based upon postgame comments from Roger Staubach. The Cowboys quarterback said he prayed before heaving a desperation 50-yard score to wide receiver Drew Pearson with 24 seconds remaining.
Getty ImagesTony Tomsic
Seattle 14, Green Bay 12 (2012)
Dubbed the 'Fail Mary,' Golden Tate caught Russell Wilson’s game-winning touchdown pass as time expired when replacement officials missed Seattle’s wide receiver committing an egregious offensive pass interference penalty on Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings, and despite the fact one official signalled score and the other incomplete.
Getty ImagesOtto Greule Jr
Green Bay 26, Minnesota 20, OT (2000)
This was arguably Brett Favre’s most famous completion. Packers wide receiver Antonio Freeman corralled a deflected pass while on the ground, got up and raced 43 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
NFLJames V. Biever
Pittsburgh 13, Oakland 7 (1972)
Steelers running back Franco Harris scooped a deflected pass and ran for a last-second 60-yard touchdown that put Pittsburgh in the AFC title game. The “Immaculate Reception” remains a point of contention among Raiders fans who contend the football touched the ground.
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Tennessee 22, Buffalo 16 (2000)
The 'Music City Miracle' featured one of the wildest special-teams plays in NFL history. A cross-field lateral from tight end Frank Wycheck to wide receiver Kevin Dyson generated a 75-yard kickoff return to give Tennessee the wild-card win.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
San Francisco 30, Green Bay 27 (1999)
'The Catch II' featured wide receiver Terrell Owens snaring a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Steve Young with three seconds remaining to propel San Francisco in this wild-card matchup.
AFP/Getty ImagesMONICA M. DAVEY
Green Bay 33, Seattle 27, OT (2004)
After winning the overtime coin toss, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck proclaimed, “We want the ball and we’re going to score.” Instead, Packers cornerback Al Harris came up with a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown off Hasselbeck to pace Green Bay’s wild-card win.
Arizona 51, Green Bay 45, OT (2010)
The highest-scoring playoff game in NFL history featured a fittingly zany ending. Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby snared a strip of Aaron Rodgers that ricocheted off the Packers quarterback’s foot and returned it 17 yards for the game-winner.
Getty ImagesGene Lower
Denver 29, Pittsburgh 23, OT (2012)
The “3:16 Game” marked one of Tim Tebow’s finest NFL moments. The much-maligned Broncos quarterback hit Demaryius Thomas for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of overtime to advance Denver into the second round of the playoffs.
Getty ImagesDoug Pensinger
New England 28, Seattle 24 (2015)
The Seattle Seahawks forever will be haunted by “Second-and-Dumb.” Rather than hand the football to star running back Marshawn Lynch inside the 1-yard line in the final seconds of Super Bowl 49, Seattle called for a Russell Wilson pass that was intercepted by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler to seal New England’s win.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Miami 16, Dallas 14 (1993)
The Cowboys had this Thanksgiving Day game won when they blocked a Dolphins field goal with 15 seconds remaining, but an unnecessary attempt by Leon Lett to recover the kick resulted in a fumble that Miami recovered. Pete Stoyanovich’s second-chance field goal gave Miami the win.
Philadelphia 19, New York Giants 17 (1978)
Known as “The Fumble” or “Miracle at the Meadowlands,” the decision to have Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik attempt a handoff rather than take a knee to run out the clock resulted in a fumble that Eagles cornerback Herm Edwards returned for the game-winning touchdown.
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Philadelphia 38, New York Giants 31 (2010)
DeSean Jackson put the finishing touches on the “New Miracle at the New Meadowlands” for the Eagles. His 65-yard punt return as time expired capped a 21-point comeback in the final eight minutes.
Getty ImagesHunter Martin
Oakland 21, San Diego 20 (1978)
The “Holy Roller” featured two Raiders swatting and kicking an intentional fumble into the Chargers end zone that was recovered by Oakland tight end Dave Casper as time expired for the touchdown and victory. That play is now illegal.
Oakland 28, Miami 26 (1974)
The “Sea of Hands” game was highlighted by Raiders running back Clarence Davis catching an 8-yard touchdown pass amid a swarm of Dolphins defenders for the game-winner with 24 seconds remaming.
Getty ImagesMichael Zagaris
Atlanta 30, Seattle 28 (2013)
The Seahawks overcame a 20-point deficit to take the lead with 31 seconds remaining but couldn’t seal the deal. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan completed two passes for 41 yards, putting the Falcons in position for Matt Bryant’s 49-yard field goal as time expired, lifting Atlanta into the NFC championship game.
Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka
Minnesota 28, Cleveland 23 (1980)
The Vikings clinched the NFC North title on the “Miracle Catch” — Tommy Kramer’s 54-yard desperation heave to Ahmad Rashad as time expired. The Vikings began the game-winning drive on their own 20-yard line with 14 seconds left and no timeouts.
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San Francisco 28, Dallas 27 (1982)
Simply known as “The Catch,” tight end Dwight Clark snared a 6-yard pass from Joe Montana in the back of the end zone with 51 seconds remaining to send San Francisco into its first Super Bowl and begin the franchise’s era of dominance.