50 Best Games of the 2016 NFL Season
With the offseason officially underway, it’s time to take a look back at the top 50 games from the 2016 NFL season.
For football fans, the next few months always seem to be the most difficult since they have to wait until August before a meaningful NFL game rolls around in the preseason. In order to help pass some of the time, here’s a look at the top 50 games from the 2016 NFL season, not including the playoffs.
To say football fans were spoiled from some of the exciting games this year would be one of the biggest understatements after seeing how some of the matchups on this list turned out. From the Atlanta Falcons going right down to the wire against the Green Bay Packers to epic showdowns between division rivals such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, it was difficult to limit this list to only fifty games when looking back at 17 weeks of amazing football.
Even the first official game of the regular season turned out to be a classic in a rematch of Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, as Ron Rivera‘s team nearly pulled off the perfect opening win if it wasn’t for a costly missed field goal. And to think these two teams went from early Super Bowl favorites to not even making the playoffs shows just how crazy 2016 truly was in the NFL.
Kicking off with an epic battle in the AFC West between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, here’s a look at the top 50 games from this past season.
50. Chargers vs. Raiders, Week 5
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By this point in the season, the Oakland Raiders had already established a reputation for being a team that loves to gamble, and that was exactly the case against the San Diego Chargers in Week 5 when they scored the go-ahead touchdown on a fourth-and-2 late in the third quarter. In a game that saw 46 points combined between the two teams in the second half alone, it was the Raiders that escaped with the 34-31 victory over the Chargers.
That key fourth-down play towards the end of the third quarter in which Michael Crabtree caught a 21-yard touchdown was the turning point of the game for Oakland, as the momentum certainly swung in their favor moving forward. Not to mention the win at the time had the Raiders sitting pretty with a 4-1 record, and emerging as a strong contender in the AFC.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, this game was one of many that turned out to be a loss by single digits, which also played a key role in the decision by the team to part ways with Mike McCoy. If it wasn’t for all of the costly mistakes made by Philip Rivers, San Diego could have easily held on for the win in this one.
49. Buccaneers vs. Chiefs, Week 11
Heading into Week 11, the Kansas City Chiefs were one of the hottest teams in the NFL thanks to a five game winning streak, but Andy Reid and company received a big wakeup call after hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When seeing how the two teams compared prior to this game, this was supposed to be a lock for the Chiefs, especially since they had the advantage of playing in front of their fans at Arrowhead.
Instead, Kansas City struggled to score points for a majority of the game before going on to lose to Tampa Bay 19-17. What made this loss even more frustrating for the Chiefs was the Buccaneers only found the end zone once all game, and were forced to settle for four field goals Roberto Aguayo.
Believe it or not, this was a big win for Tampa Bay since they were able to pull off a key road win against a playoff caliber team in Kansas City. In fact, this was the second of five wins in a row for the Buccaneers, as they found a way to emerge as playoff contenders in the NFC.
Even if they fell short of reaching the postseason, this road win was quite the accomplishment for a young Tampa Bay team when seeing how difficult Kansas City can be to face on the road.
48. Saints vs. Cardinals, Week 15
It can be tough for football fans to find excitement in games featuring teams that have already been eliminated from the postseason, but the high-scoring showdown between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals turned out to be quite a surprise in Week 15. Not only did the two teams combine for 35 points alone in the fourth quarter, but Drew Brees made it clear that he still has a few solid years left in him at quarterback, even at 38 years of age.
Brees was unstoppable for the Saints against the Cardinals after completing 37 of 48 passes for 389 yards with four touchdowns, with Brandin Cooks catching seven of those passes for 186 yards to go along with two scores. Between the speed of Cooks and the surprise impact of rookie Michael Thomas, New Orleans ended up having one of the league’s top offenses in 2016, and it was obvious after their performance against Arizona.
Of course, the defense of the Saints clearly needs adjustments since they surrendered 41 points to the Cardinals, but the important factor is Sean Payton‘s squad ended up on the winning end. A high-powered offense like New Orleans can only do so much on a weekly basis if the defense isn’t going to come through on their end like they failed to do against Arizona.
47. Chargers vs. Colts, Week 3
As mentioned before, the San Diego Chargers were the unfortunate victims of ending up on the losing end of most games decided by single digits throughout the 2016 season. Plenty of tough losses stick out for this team, but it’s difficult to top what went down in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts when the Chargers found a way to end up on the losing end in dramatic fashion.
San Diego seemed to be on their way to a big road victory in Indianapolis before Andrew Luck found T.Y. Hilton on a miraculous 63-yard touchdown with less than two minutes on a play that ended up being the difference maker. Thanks to the late touchdown, the Colts were able to hold on for the 26-22 victory in a game the Chargers simply let slip away.
And if that wasn’t frustrating enough, it should also be noted that Luck and Hilton connected for eight yards on a fourth-and-7 a few plays before the touchdown, meaning San Diego missed out on numerous opportunities on defense to close out this game. Nothing against the Colts, but this game is the perfect example of the struggles that were on display for the Chargers throughout the regular season.
46. Titans vs. Texans, Week 4
What was one of the most exciting plays from the first weekend of NFL football in October this year? How about a 67-yard punt returned for a touchdown by Will Fuller in the final minute of the third quarter to help lift the Houston Texans to an epic 27-20 victory over the Tennessee Titans?
The former Notre Dame standout wasted no time making an impact as a rookie for the Texans after Fuller made a splash over the first four games, including back-to-back games of more than 100 receiving yards to begin his career. Even before his epic punt return against the Titans, Fuller found a way to find the end zone earlier in the game with a five-yard touchdown catch.
Unfortunately, Fuller’s production seemed to go downhill following this game, as the wideout failed to find the end zone even once over the remainder of his rookie season. However, Houston has every reason in the world to be excited about the potential with Fuller in the future, and his strong performance against Tennessee is the perfect example as to why.
If only Brock Osweiler could figure out a way to live up to his contract by playing at an elite level, Fuller would have a much better shot at producing better numbers during his sophomore season.
45. Saints vs. Chargers, Week 4
Every football fan loves to see a good revenge game involving a player facing his former team, and that was exactly the case for Drew Brees when the New Orleans Saints traveled to California to take on the San Diego Chargers. Before eventually going on to lead the Saints to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, Brees spent the first five years of his career as a member of the Chargers before things fell apart between the two parties.
Obviously, everything worked out for the best with Brees as he was much better off in New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean the veteran quarterback didn’t enter this game with an extra chip on his shoulder. Even though he didn’t have the best performance after throwing two interceptions against his former team, it was Brees that earned the last laugh after New Orleans rallied in the final five minutes of the game with two touchdowns to squeak out the 35-34 win.
With a 34-21 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, all signs pointed to the Chargers cruising to an easy victory before the Saints pulled off the unthinkable thanks to Brees. For a team that was winless heading into Week 4, New Orleans couldn’t have asked for a better way to earn that first victory of 2016.
44. Vikings vs. Eagles, Week 7
After Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season-ending injury before Week 1, the Minnesota Vikings pulled the trigger by making the bold decision to acquire Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a first-round pick. The decision to acquire Bradford was a bold move at the time since the quarterback was supposed to be the missing piece in making sure the Vikings remain strong contenders in the NFC, but the team’s season seemed to fall apart when they faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7.
Not only was that the first loss of the season for the Vikings, but it was the beginning of a four-game losing streak for Bradford and company, as it started to become clearer this team may not truly be playoff contenders. Of course, the circumstances would have been much different if it wasn’t for so many big injuries to numerous key players, but at the end of the day, that still doesn’t take away from Minnesota surrendering a first-round pick for nothing.
Philadelphia’s defense didn’t hold anything back on Bradford during the 21-10 since this unit was feeling extra motivated to perform well against their former teammate, even if it was only for one season.
43. Cowboys vs. Giants, Week 14
All season, the Dallas Cowboys had been waiting for that second meeting against the New York Giants since their division rivals were the only ones that had defeated them heading into Week 14. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the offense failed to get anything going, and their second meeting against the Giants resulted in the team’s second loss of the 2016 season.
Dallas jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Terrrance Williams caught a 31-yard touchdown, but that would end up being the only points scored by the team as New York went on to win 10-7. Leading up to this game, the Cowboys offense seemed unstoppable at times thanks to the rise of rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
With that being said, the Giants’ defense deserves plenty of credit for the way they performed in this contest since shutting down the Cowboys this year proved to be no easy task. If only these two rivals found a way to meet for a third time in the postseason, one can only imagine how that one would have turned out.
Who knows, maybe the third time would have finally been the charm for Dallas against New York.
42. Bills vs. Patriots, Week 4
How lucky were the Buffalo Bills to play the New England Patriots this early in the season? Well, let’s just say the Bills found a way to take advantage of facing their division rivals without Tom Brady, who was forced to miss this meeting due to suspension.
On top of Brady’s absence, the Patriots were down to third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett against the Bills, so it’s easy to understand why they struggled to get anything rolling on offense. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that New England wouldn’t have been shutout with Brady in the lineup, but at least Buffalo was able to receive a boost of confidence for defeating the team that would go on to represent the AFC in this year’s Super Bowl.
There’s nothing Rex Ryan loved more throughout his coaching career than finding ways to defeat the Patriots, even if Brady wasn’t part of the Week 4 meeting. And after Ryan was fired by the Bills after missing out on the playoffs for the second year in a row, who knows if this will end up being the former head coach’s last time defeating Brady and the Patriots since the feeling won’t be the same if he ends up coming back to a different team as a defensive coordinator.
41. Colts vs. Titans, Week 7
Andrew Luck would love nothing more than to play the Tennessee Titans on a weekly basis when seeing how successful the quarterback has been against his division rivals. In a Week 7 matchup that kept going back and fourth, the Titans finally seemed to be on their way to a victory over the Colts before Luck rallied the team in the final minutes to pull off the epic 34-26 win on the road.
Comeback wins have become a common theme for Luck numerous times throughout his career, as the former No. 1 pick finished this game against Tennessee with 353 passing yards to go along with three touchdowns. One of those touchdown passes went to Jack Doyle from seven yards out with less than two minutes remaining in the game to give Indianapolis a late lead, and would turn out to be one of the deciding factors.
For whatever reason, Luck seems to play his best football when facing the Titans, and has never officially lost in his career, which is truly amazing to think about. If only Tennessee could play Indianapolis on a weekly basis, they would have a much better chance at reaching the postseason after falling short each of the last two years.
40. Packers vs. Redskins, Week 11
Right before the Green Bay Packers went on to end the season on a hot note, it was the Washington Redskins that were the last team to defeat them during the regular season back in Week 11. Even though the Redskins failed to make the postseason, this victory against the Packers proved Kirk Cousins and company had what it takes to compete with some of the best in the NFC.
Green Bay’s defense had zero answers for stopping Washington’s offense, as Cousins would go on to throw for 375 yards to go along with three touchdowns. What made this game even more fascinating to watch was the fourth quarter when the two teams combined for 34 points.
To top off the stellar performance by Cousins, Robert Kelley displayed his best game of his rookie year after finding the end zone three times while rushing for 137 yards on 24 carries. This game was the perfect example of what the Redskins’ offense is capable of on a weekly basis.
Now, if only the team could figure out what to do over Cousins and his contract situation since the last thing the team wants to see happen is their beloved quarterback ending up on a different team in 2017.
39. Patriots vs. Cardinals, Week 1
The Arizona Cardinals knew they were catching a major break opening weekend since the team would be facing the New England Patriots without Tom Brady, who would be serving the first of a four-game suspension. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, this game coincidentally happened to be the first of many frustrating losses from the 2016 season after failing to take advantage of a matchup without Brady.
Arizona seemed to have this game in the pocket in the final minute before Chandler Catanzaro missed what most likely would have been the game-winning field goal from 47 yards out. Whether most of the blame should have fallen on Catanzaro or the rookie longer snapper, nothing could take away from how the Cardinals simply gave this game away to the Patriots.
Who knows how different this season could have turned out for Arizona if they started off the year on a positive note with a win, but it shouldn’t take away from how impressive New England played on defense. For a team that was already playing at a disadvantage without their star quarterback in Brady, the Patriots defense deserves plenty of credit for shutting down all of the dangerous weapons on the offense of the Cardinals.
38. Redskins vs. Giants, Week 3
As soon as Josh Norman made the decision to sign with the Washington Redskins, football fans were beyond excited when realizing the cornerback would get to square off against Odell Beckham Jr. not once, but twice each season. Week 3 marked the first time these two superstars squared off against one another, and even though Beckham was able to catch seven passes for 121 yards, it was Norman and the Washington Redskins that would get the last laugh.
Thanks to a 37-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins with less than two minutes left, the Redskins were able to earn their first win of the season after escaping with a 29-27 victory over their division rivals. With that being said, there’s no question Beckham got the best of Norman in this one, and if this is any indication of what the future holds for this rivalry, football fans will receive plenty of entertainment for years to come.
New York and Washington have always been one of the best rivalries in the NFL, but Norman joining the NFC East has officially taken it to a whole new level. Beckham and Norman will do everything in their power to avoid hyping this battle, but there’s a good chance it’s never going to go away when seeing the history between these two dating back to the 2015 season.
37. Raiders vs. Ravens, Week 4
It’s not every day a quarterback throws four touchdowns despite finishing with less than 200 passing yards, but that was exactly the case for Derek Carr in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens. The Oakland Raiders opened up their season with three of their first four games on the road, and to see them win all three of those games, including their Week 4 matchup against the Ravens, was an early sign of how special this unit was going to be.
In a game that went right down to the wire, the Raiders managed to pull off the thrilling 28-27 win thanks to a Michael Crabtree touchdown from 23 yards out with just over two minutes left in the game. Not only did this mark the third road win of the season for Oakland as mentioned before, but what made this start even more impressive is how all three victories came by single digits.
When seeing how Baltimore’s defense was one of the best in the league, this was a big statement win for Oakland since they happened to be playing on the road as well. And as much credit as Carr deserves, it should also be mentioned that Crabtree’s game-winning touchdown was also his third trip in the end zone for the game.
36. Cardinals vs. Seahawks, Week 16
Back in Week 1, it was Chandler Catanzaro that missed out on a chance to knockoff the New England Patriots with a game-winning field goal. Even though the Arizona Cardinals were already eliminated from postseason by the time Week 16 rolled around, Catanzaro wasn’t going to miss out on another opportunity to takedown the Seattle Seahawks.
With the way both teams played over the first three quarters, nobody could have predicted what was in store for the final 12 minutes of this Week 16 game between the two NFC West rivals. After the Cardinals entered the fourth quarter hanging on to a 14-10 lead, the two teams would go back-and-fourth by combining for 41 points during the final quarter of play before Catanzaro’s 43-yard field goal as time expired to give Arizona the 34-31 win.
If only the Cardinals had lived up to their original hype and ended up being contenders in the NFC, this crazy ending could have been more meaningful. These two teams have been the clear favorites in the division over the last couple of years, and based off their 2016 meetings, all signs point to that being the case once again next season for Arizona and Seattle.
35. Lions vs. Vikings, Week 9
Throughout the regular season, the Detroit Lions established a reputation for being a team that always seems to find a way to rally in the fourth quarter, which is exactly what happened when they met the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9. All hope seemed lost for the Lions when the Vikings scored the go-ahead touchdown with 23 seconds, but once again, it was Matthew Stafford that helped pull the unthinkable.
Somehow, Stafford was able to drive Detroit far enough in those 23 seconds to help setup a game-tying field goal by Matt Prater from 58 yards before eventually leading the team to a win in overtime. The Lions had put together plenty of comeback wins during the regular season, but it’s difficult to top what they accomplished against the Vikings in this one.
Speaking of Minnesota, this game marked the first of two close losses to their division rivals, both of which came by single digits. If only the Lions could have found a way to close out games towards the end of the season, they could have held on to the NFC North lead instead of allowing the Green Bay Packers to win the title to earn a home game in the playoffs.
34. Falcons vs. Saints, Week 3
Speaking of great NFL rivalries, football fans can always count on a high-scoring game whenever the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints face one another. There’s a reason why these two teams ranked near the top of the league when it comes to offense, and in Week 3, it was the Falcons that came through with the 45-32 win.
Between Devonta Freeman recording 207 yards from the line of scrimmage to go along with touchdown to Drew Brees throwing for 376 yards and three touchdowns, it’s easy to see why these two offenses never fail to disappoint whenever they get together. Along with Freeman’s solid performance, Tevin Coleman came up big as well after rushing for three touchdowns of his own.
Obviously, defense failed to play a factor in this one, but at least Atlanta showed signs of improvement towards the end of the season, and would even go on to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. As for New Orleans, let’s just say their defense has plenty to work on heading into the offseason.
On a positive note, at least both of these offenses have the potential to be two of the best once again heading into 2017, which means football fans could be in for two more epic showdowns.
33. Giants vs. Cowboys, Week 1
One play can easily change the outcome of a game, and unfortunately for Terrance Williams, that was exactly the case opening weekend when the Dallas Cowboys faced the New York Giants. With the Cowboys trailing by one in the final minute Williams caught a pass from Dak Prescott to put the team in position to kick the potential game-winning field goal.
However, Williams made the costly mistake of failing to run out of bounds to stop the clock, which ended up costing the game for Dallas since there wasn’t enough time for Prescott to spike the football. For Cowboys fans, this game was filled with all sorts of frustration since Ezekiel Elliott‘s regular-season debut didn’t go as planned after the rookie was limited to 51 rushing yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
Throughout his career, Eli Manning has a history of playing well on the road against Dallas, and it really wasn’t that much of a surprise to see him start the year off by throwing for three touchdowns against his division rivals. Who would have thought after the regular season put together by the Cowboys, it would be the Giants coming up on the winning end both times?
32. Colts vs. Broncos, Week 2
Ever since Andrew Luck came into the league, the Indianapolis Colts always seem to be contenders at the beginning of the season, but for whatever reason they struggle to get off to a solid start. One week after failing to defeat the Detroit Lions, the Colts found themselves in position to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions in the Denver Broncos on the road.
If only Luck hadn’t thrown a costly interception to Aqib Talib at the beginning of the fourth quarter that was returned 46 yards for a touchdown, the momentum in this game could have been much different for Indianapolis. To go from driving down the field to throwing a costly interception that fast was absolutely frustrating for Luck and the Colts since it was too difficult to play catch up after that.
Not only did the interception give Denver a comfortable 10-point lead at the time, but the defense would later seal the deal in the 34-20 win when Shane Ray returned another turnover for a touchdown in the final two minutes. It’s hard to believe these two teams missed out
31. Eagles vs. Cowboys, Week 8
Nothing against the Dallas Cowboys, but the Philadelphia Eagles simply gave this game away in Week 8 thanks to some terrible play calling on Doug Pederson‘s end. On top of having a 10-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter, the Eagles found themselves in position later on to extend the lead with a field goal before falling out of range thanks to calling passing plays (that would go for losses) instead of simply running the football.
Either way, the terrible play calling on Philadelphia’s end resulted in a thrilling comeback win by Dallas after Dak Prescott rallied the offense to scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter before sealing the victory in overtime with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten. The fact that Prescott was quiet for most of the game, and managed to throw two key touchdowns towards the end of the fourth quarter along with overtime shows how exciting this game was.
At this point in the regular season, the Cowboys had been involved in numerous close games, but this matchup against the Eagles gave them quite the scare for their second loss of the season. And to think how great of shape Philadelphia would have been by pulling off this divisional win on the road, this one obviously hurt for Pederson’s squad.
30. Chiefs vs. Panthers, Week 10
All season, the Carolina Panthers were doing everything in their power just to find a spark to return to their elite level from the 2016 season. After entering Week 10 with a 3-5 record, the Panthers were hoping to pull off a big win against the Kansas City Chiefs with the hope of turning their season around before it was too late.
In typical Carolina fashion, Ron Rivera‘s squad let what should have been a key victory slip away after allowing Kansas City to overcome a 17 point before going on to win 20-17. What was even more impressive for the Chiefs is 17 of their 20 points were scored in the fourth quarter, which shows how bad the Panthers simply let this one get away.
At the end of the day, Carolina had no excuse to lose this game, but that doesn’t mean Kansas City doesn’t deserve credit for this remarkable victory. Believe it or not, this game marked the fifth win in a row for the Chiefs following a 2-2 start, as they continued to emerge as one of the hottest teams in the NFL.
The fact that Kansas City managed to win a game they weren’t even playing their best football shows how special this team truly was in 2016, even if they did fall short against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
29. Panthers vs. Broncos, Week 1
After falling short of winning the Super Bowl, there’s nothing the Carolina Panthers wanted more opening week than to earn some sort of revenge with a victory over the Denver Broncos. For the most part, the Panthers were in control of this game up until the fourth quarter, and even found themselves in position to win at the end with a field goal.
Instead, Graham Gano watched what would have been a game winning 50-yard field goal sail wide, and allow the Broncos to hang on for the 21-20 win. Overall, this turned into quite the defensive battle between both parties since the two offenses struggled to get anything consistent rolling, but at least this was the perfect way to kickoff the 2016 season.
The months leading up to the first game of a new season are always exciting, and to see this Super Bowl rematch go right down to the wire was just what football fans ordered for opening week. Of course, the overall results weren’t exactly what Carolina and Denver were hoping for since they both went from playing in the Super Bowl the previous year to missing out on the playoffs.
Hopefully all goes well in the offseason for these two teams and their defenses can return to a dominant level to become contenders once again heading into 2017.
28. Steelers vs. Eagles, Week 3
In the battle of Pennsylvania, it was the Philadelphia Eagles that shocked the world against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3, not because they won the game, but how they managed to do it. When looking at the high-powered offense of the Steelers, the Eagles defense was supposed to get rocked by their in-state rivals when seeing how the two teams compared on paper.
So how did this game turn out? For starters, Carson Wentz displayed a miraculous performance during his third career start after completing 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards to go along with two touchdowns, but that wasn’t even the best highlight of the game for Philadelphia.
What was most impressive about this win was how the Eagles defense prevented the Steelers from finding the end zone even once, and only allowed them to kick one field goal the entire game. To see Pittsburgh go from scoring 62 points over their first two games to struggling this much was one of the biggest surprises of Week 3, and certainly gave Philadelphia a much needed confidence boost.
Too bad everything seemed to go downhill for the most part after this game for the Eagles, but at least it was still an impressive win when considering the circumstances.
27. Redskins vs. Lions, Week 7
Is it even a surprise to see another epic comeback by the Detroit Lions make this list? As mentioned before, the Lions became one of the most exciting teams to follow in 2016 thanks to all of their epic comebacks in the fourth quarter when all hope seemed lost.
Just look at what happened in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins when Kirk Cousins gave his team a 17-13 lead with just over a minute left in regulation. Most teams would panic when finding themselves in this situation, but for some reason these situations seem to bring out the best in Matthew Stafford after the quarterback took less than a minute to drive 75 yards for the game-winning score.
All the Redskins had to do in this situation was simply play defense for a minute, and keep the Lions out of the end zone, but even that was too much to ask. Washington fell just short of reaching the playoffs one year after winning the NFC East, and when looking back at some of the games that could have made a difference in them earning a Wild Card spot, this was one of the games that haunted them the most.
26. Chargers vs. Chiefs, Week 1
Over the last two seasons, the San Diego Chargers have been one of the worst teams when it comes to closing out games after nine of their 11 losses from 2016 ended up being by single digits. So it was only fitting for the Chargers on opening weekend when they picked up right where they left off the year before by blowing a 17-point lead to the Kansas City Chiefs, and eventually going on to lose in overtime.
With a 24-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter, all signs pointed to the Chargers beginning the 2016 season on a hot note with a big win over the Chiefs, which is just what Philip Rivers and company needed since the AFC West was arguably the toughest division in the NFL. If only San Diego had found a way to avoid this collapse, it could have helped boost their confidence over the following weeks, and possibly seen a few more losses result in wins.
Kansas City on the other hand couldn’t have pulled off this amazing comeback if it wasn’t for Alex Smith never hitting the panic button, even when his team was trailing big in the second half. For a quarterback that doesn’t always tend to put up monster numbers, Smith stepped up when the Chiefs needed him the most against the Chargers after completing 34 of 48 passes for 363 yards with three total touchdowns, including the game winner from two yards out in overtime.
25. Chiefs vs. Steelers, Week 4
The Kansas City Chiefs were lucky enough to make this list numerous times thanks to some impressive wins, but their Week 4 performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers was one of those games in which they failed to show up. As bad as it sounds, this game was well over before the first quarter even came to an end with the Steelers hanging on to a 22-0 lead.
If that wasn’t already embarrassing enough for the Chiefs, it took until the beginning of the fourth quarter just to score their first points of the game, as they would go on to lose the game 43-14. Give Kansas City credit for still putting up a fight even with the game well over in the fourth quarter, but let’s not takeaway what turned out to be a phenomenal game by Ben Roethlisberger and company.
Pittsburgh was coming off a surprise blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before this game against Kansas City, and nobody really knew how they were going to respond. Luckily, Big Ben came through with one of his best performances of the 2016 season by throwing five touchdowns against the Chiefs’ defense while only throwing five incompletions in the national spotlight.
24. Seahawks vs. Packers, Week 14
Over the years, the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers always seem to be two of the early favorites in the NFC to make a run at the Super Bowl, which is why it’s always fun to see them square off against one another. There was plenty of hype surrounding this Week 14 matchup when considering the possibility of this being an early playoff preview, but it was the Packers who saw the last laugh in this one.
Instead of making this an epic battle, the Seahawks fell behind early, and failed to catch up as they went on to lose 38-10 in what turned out to be one of the worst performances of Russell Wilson‘s career. Every quarterback has their fair share of struggles from time to time, but to see the Packers’ defense record five interceptions against Wilson was completely unexpected.
Green Bay knew every game this late in the season was considered a must win, and Aaron Rodgers wasted no time coming out firing after finding Davante Adams for a 66-yard touchdown on the third play of the game. Maybe next time these two teams meet, Seattle will actually show up on offense to make the meeting more interesting against Green Bay.
23. Colts vs. Texans, Week 6
Brock Osweiler was easily one of the biggest disappointments from the 2016 season, but at least the quarterback managed to pull off an unexpected comeback win against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6. Up until the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, Osweiler just couldn’t get anything rolling on offense for the Texans, but this game was the perfect example of how a game is never over until it’s officially done.
Thanks to two late touchdown passes by Osweiler towards the end of the fourth quarter, Houston was able to complete the comeback against Indianapolis in overtime to remain on top of the AFC South. With the Colts dominating this game for the most part, this was one of those games where some fans turned it off early assuming Andrew Luck and company had the win locked up.
For the fans that hung around until the end, they certainly received quite the surprise ending after this exciting finish. Of course, as exciting as this win was for the Texans, it was also frustrating to wonder why Osweiler couldn’t play like he did in the final three minutes and overtime throughout the rest of the regular season when considering the money he’s making.
22. Falcons vs. Broncos, Week 5
Despite an impressive record at the beginning of the season, the argument can be made the Atlanta Falcons weren’t taken seriously until their key road victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 5. It was one thing to defeat the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints on the road, but to march in the house of the defending Super Bowl champions while earning a fourth-straight win was quite the accomplishment for the Falcons.
Give the defense of the Broncos credit for keeping Julio Jones in check after the wideout was limited to two catches for 29 yards, but that didn’t stop the rest of the Falcons offense from stepping up. Of all the players to emerge out of nowhere, it was Tevin Coleman that came up big for Matt Ryan in the passing game after catching four passes for 132 yards to go along with a touchdown.
Don’t be fooled by the final score of 23-16 since Denver scored 10 of those points during garbage time in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. To see the Broncos suffer their first loss of the year at home was completely unexpected, but also proved to be a big statement win for the Falcons to prove they deserve to be in the conversation of contenders.
21. Packers vs. Lions, Week 17
At one point in the middle of the season, all hope seemed lost for the Green Bay Packers when they were sitting with a 4-6 record. As bad as it sounds, the only chance the Packers seemed to have at making the playoffs was by running the table over the final six weeks, which is exactly what happened.
Despite all of the injuries and setbacks, Green Bay somehow put themselves in position to win the NFC North title in the final week of the regular season thanks to some help from the Detroit Lions, who they coincidentally would be playing in their last game. Thanks to the struggles surrounding the Packers earlier in the season, the Lions were in great position to win the division title before collapsing over the final weeks with three losses in a row, including Week 17 Aaron Rodgers and company.
Detroit played well for the most part in the first half, but the defense couldn’t figure out a way to stop Rodgers over the final two quarters after the Packers quarterback threw three of his four touchdowns in the second half. With Green Bay eventually going on to win 31-24 to lockup the NFC North title, it was amazing to see them pull off the unthinkable by winning the final six games of the regular season to earn a playoff spot.
20. Titans vs. Chiefs, Week 15
Of all the surprise teams from the 2016 season, the Tennessee Titans were the last group anyone expected to become contenders in the AFC, and with two first-round picks in the upcoming draft thanks to the Los Angeles Rams, this team seems ready to make the leap in 2017. Just look at some of their impressive victories from this past season, including Week 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and it’s clear the Titans have what it takes to compete in the AFC.
Even though Tennessee got off to a rocky start thanks to two touchdowns by Kansas City in the first quarter, they proved once again why no game is ever over until the clock hits zero thanks to another epic fourth quarter performance. Not only did the Titans defense prevent the Chiefs from scoring a single point in the second half, but they found a way to score 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a game winning 53-yard field goal by Ryan Succop as time expired for the 19-17 win.
Arrowhead is never an easy environment for opponents to play the Chiefs in, which makes this comeback even more epic for a team like the Titans. They may have been disappointed over falling short of the playoffs, but it’s wins like these that will help Tennessee’s confidence heading into next year.
19. Ravens vs. Giants, Week 6
Odell Beckham Jr. has wasted no time making it clear that he’s one of the league’s top wide receivers, but it’s hard to top what he was able to accomplish against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. As if finishing the game with eight catches for 222 yards with two touchdowns, Beckham’s best catch that day came in the final two minutes when he scored a 66-yard touchdown to seal the deal for the New York Giants in the 27-23 win.
After three tough losses in a row, this was a win the Giants absolutely needed to have in order to avoid falling further behind in the NFC standings. In fact, this impressive win by New York was the first of six in a row to make it clear they were one of the teams to beat in the NFC thanks to the defense elevating their game to a whole new level.
The fact there were four different lead changes in the second half shows how great of a battle this game between the Giants and Ravens turned out to be. And of course, thanks to Beckham for displaying one of the top fantasy performances from the regular season when seeing how many owners he made happy.
18. Panthers vs. Falcons, Week 4
What wide receiver could possibly top a performance like Odell Beckham Jr. had against the Baltimore Ravens? Before Beckham’s monster game in Week 6, it was Julio Jones that was the talk of the NFL after a stellar performance against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4.
How good was Jones and the Atlanta Falcons offense against their division rivals? Well, let’s just say Jones had a career day catching 12 passes for 300 yards, which most receivers can barely cover over a span of a few games. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, it should also be noted that Jones helped seal the deal in the fourth quarter for the Falcons with a 75-yard touchdown before going on to win 48-33.
Of course, if Jones was able to record these insane numbers, that means Matt Ryan had to be right up there with him, which he was after throwing for 503 yards to go along with five touchdowns. This game was the perfect example of just how dangerous Atlanta’s offense can be when they begin to click, and unfortunately for Carolina, their defense was no match for their division rivals.
Also, wasn’t it amazing to see the Panthers score 23 points in the fourth quarter and still end up on the losing end?
17. Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 9
How bad did the Pittsburgh Steelers look against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9? When considering the intense rivalry between these two teams, all signs pointed to this game coming down to the fourth quarter since most of the time the Steelers and Ravens find their games decided by single digits.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, that was far from the case after Baltimore jumped out to an early lead and never looked back on their way to a 21-14 win over their division rivals. Don’t be fooled by the final score either, since it took the Steelers until the middle of the fourth quarter just to record their first points of the game.
From Mike Wallace‘s amazing 95-yard touchdown at the beginning of the first quarter to Chris Moore finding the end zone following a blocked punt in the second half, the Ravens had every reason in the world to be thrilled for escaping with a win in this one. Not to mention there had to have been a small part of Wallace that enjoyed every second of burning his former team on that amazing touchdown run.
If only Baltimore had come through during that second meeting later on in December, a playoff appearance could have been in the works.
16. Packers vs. Titans, Week 10
Before the Green Bay Packers went on their epic run to close out the regular season, there was a Week 10 game against the Tennessee Titans that turned into one to forget for Mike McCarthy. The Titans jumped out to an early 21-0 lead, and never looked back thanks to a dominating performance on both sides of the football.
DeMarco Murray got the ball rolling of offense after breaking free for a 75-yard touchdown run near the beginning of the first quarter, as Tennessee would go on to defeat Green Bay 47-25 to get back to .500 on the year. The Titans may have ended the year on a high note when they were one of the hottest teams in football, but the team was pretty inconsistent heading into this game against the Packers since they would look good one week, only to look awful the next.
When looking at all of the dangerous offensive threats Green Bay brings to the table, it was impressive to see Tennessee’s defense play at this elite level. Shutting down an offense led by Aaron Rodgers is never an easy task, and even though the Packers still put up 25 points, the Titans defense came up big in Week 10.
15. Chargers vs. Falcons, Week 7
The San Diego Chargers (now Los Angeles) suffered plenty of heartbreaking losses throughout the 2016 season, but at least one of the few positives they could take away was their thrilling overtime victory against the NFC champions in the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons were sitting comfortable late in the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead before the Chargers fought back in the final minutes to tie it up before heading into overtime.
Call it luck since Atlanta missed a 58-yard field at the end of regulation, but the important factor is San Diego found a way to rally against one of the league’s best teams during their 33-30 overtime victory at the Georgia Dome. From the perspective of the Falcons, it was shocking to see their high-powered offense collapse the way they did against the Chargers in the second half after only scoring three points.
After all of the times they made this list for epic collapses, at least the Chargers found a way to be remembered in a positive way since most teams tend to struggle when facing the Falcons on the road. If only they played at this high level during some of those frustrating losses, this year could have turned out much different for San Diego.
14. Raiders vs. Buccaneers, Week 8
Week 8’s contest between the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned into one of those games that kept fans on the edge of their seats, mainly due to how many times each team missed out on golden opportunities to put the game away. The Raiders went on to win the game in overtime 30-24 thanks to a 41-yard touchdown to Seth Roberts, but let’s talk about the moments leading up to the game winner.
In typical Oakland fashion, Derek Carr led the team to another amazing comeback in the fourth quarter when he found Mychal Rivera for a seven-yard touchdown in the final two minutes to tie the game up 24-24. But the Raiders were fortunate enough to receive the football back before the end of regulation and found themselves in position to win the game with a field goal before Sebastian Janikowski missed from 50 yards out.
To top off that frustrating moment, Janikowski received an opportunity to redeem himself in overtime before missing another field goal from 52 yards, but the important factor is Oakland still found a way to win the game. Thank goodness for Carr (513 passing yards with four touchdowns), who displayed an MVP performance for the Raiders to help pull off one of their most exciting wins from the regular season.
13. Colts vs. Packers, Week 9
Remember when playing at Lambeau Field always seemed to be a lock for a win when it came to the Green Bay Packers? Times have certainly changed over the last few seasons when seeing how many surprises losses the Packers have experienced while playing in front of their own fans, and watching them fall at home to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9 was one of the biggest surprises of all.
For the most part, the Colts seemed to struggle leading up to Week 9 since they seemed to be one of the most inconsistent teams in football, despite all of their hype. Even leading up to this game against Green Bay, nobody expected a 3-5 Indianapolis team to put up a decent fight on the road, but they certainly proved the football world wrong.
Once again, the final score of 31-26 shouldn’t fool anyone since the Colts were well in control of this game when they were holding on to a 31-13 lead near the halfway mark of the fourth quarter. The fact that Andrew Luck (281 passing yards with a touchdown and two interceptions) didn’t even have one of his better performances shows how much of a surprise this outcome turned out to be for Indianapolis.
12. Broncos vs. Raiders, Week 9
The Oakland Raiders turned out to be one of the biggest surprises from the 2016 season by becoming playoff contenders, but before it could become official, Jack Del Rio knew his team would need to make a statement by defeating the Denver Broncos. There was a reason why the Broncos were defending Super Bowl champions at the time as they entered the regular season as favorites to win the AFC West, and to see the Raiders come up on the winning end in Week 9 was just what they needed for that extra confidence boost.
Thanks to a three-touchdown performance by Latavius Murray along with 114 rushing yards by the running back, Oakland was able to come through with the 30-20 lead over their division rivals to give them a slight edge in the AFC West at the time. Even if the lead in the division wouldn’t last for the Raiders, this win proved they were capable of competing for the division title, and should continue to do so for years to come.
If the 2016 season is any indication of what’s in store for the future, the Raiders aren’t going away anytime soon, and neither are the Broncos. Oakland knew they were going to be heavily tested in this one, and it was good to see them live up to the challenge.
11. Falcons vs. Raiders, Week 2
Football fans didn’t know it at the time, but they would be in for an early treat in Week 2 when watching two of the top playoff contenders in the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders would square off against one another. In the end, it was the Falcons that would hang on for the thrilling 35-28 victory, but this was a game that could have easily gone the other way for the eventual NFC Champions.
The fourth quarter alone was nerve-wracking for both parties after combining for 28 points (two touchdowns each), but it was Atlanta that came through when it mattered the most after taking the 28-21 lead thanks to an eight-yard touchdown catch by Justin Hardy. At the time, it was easy to predict how these two units would eventually go on to have two of the league’s top offenses when seeing their performances from this epic Week 2 battle.
The fact that Matt Ryan and Derek Carr each threw for three touchdowns shows why the Falcons and Raiders consider themselves fortunate to have two of the league’s top quarterbacks. And there’s a good chance that will be the case once again heading into 2017, even if it does take Carr a little longer to recover.
10. Chiefs vs. Broncos, Week 12
Similar to the Oakland Raiders, the Kansas City Chiefs knew the only way to win the AFC West in 2016 was figuring out a way to defeat the Denver Broncos, which they have been able to do in previous seasons. And thanks to a questionable decision by Gary Kubiak in overtime, the Chiefs were able to escape Denver with a 30-27 win to remain in the hunt for the division title.
For reasons that can’t be explained, Kubiak thought it would be better to attempt a 62-yard field goal to win the game in overtime instead of punting and hoping for a tie, which obviously backfired. When looking at everything that was on the line for the Broncos from a playoff standpoint, this was a terrible decision by their former head coach, and put the Chiefs in perfect position to receive the football back in great field position to win the game.
There’s no telling how the rest of the season would have played out for Denver if they had won this game, but there’s no question this was one of the most bizarre coaching decisions from the 2016 season. Either way, give Kansas City credit for never giving up in this battle as this AFC West win would eventually help them out in the standings later on to overtake Oakland.
9. Ravens vs. Steelers, Week 16
The beauty behind having one of the top division rivals in football is making this list twice like the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. As if the first meeting wasn’t already intense enough, Week 16 between these AFC North teams took the rivalry to a whole new level thanks to the division title being on the line.
Early in the fourth quarter, all signs pointed to the Ravens pulling off the big road win against the Steelers after a Justin Tucker field goal gave the team a comfortable 10-point lead. But that’s one of the beautiful features about the high-powered offenses of the Steelers, as they should never be counted out due to all of their dangerous weapons.
Thanks to back-to-back drives consisting of Le’Veon Bell touchdowns, Pittsburgh was able to regain the lead over Baltimore in the middle of the fourth quarter, but it wouldn’t last for long. The Ravens were fired up after scoring a touchdown with 1:18 remaining to give them a 27-24, as it seemed like the team was on their way to a division title.
Instead, the Steelers rallied behind Ben Roethlisberger before Antonio Brown would eventually score the game-winning touchdown with nine seconds left while stretching into the end zone. Talk about an exciting way to clinch the AFC North title on Pittsburgh’s end, as defeating Baltimore made this scenario even more enjoyable.
8. Falcons vs. Seahawks, Week 6
Even if there was a questionable non-call on what could have been ruled a pass interference penalty on Richard Sherman while attempting to defend Julio Jones towards the end of the game, it shouldn’t takeaway from the thrilling finish between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks in Week 6. Little did football fans know at the time this would be an early playoff preview in the NFC, and even though the Falcons lost the first meeting, they would get their revenge later on in the Divisional Round.
As for this Week 6 matchup, it was Russell Wilson that led the comeback for the Seahawks in the fourth quarter against the Falcons after scoring nine points in the final five minutes to escape with the 26-24 win. For the most part, this wasn’t the best offensive performance on Seattle’s end, but the important factor was Wilson helped his team rally when it mattered the most to improve the team’s record to 4-1 at the time.
Of course, there was plenty of debate surrounding whether the Seahawks deserved to win this game after seeing the final play on offense for the Falcons where Jones appeared to be held. Right call or not, at least Atlanta got their revenge later on in January when the stakes were much higher in the postseason.
7. Cowboys vs. Packers, Week 6
A few games ago on this list, it was mentioned how Lambeau Field used to be a place where the Green Bay Packers seemed unstoppable at times, which obviously is no longer the case after seeing some of their games from the 2016 season. With the Dallas Cowboys coming to town in Week 6, the Packers were originally expected to bring one of the hottest teams in football back down to earth.
Nothing against the Cowboys, but with five wins in a row entering their Week 6 game against the Packers, everyone seemed to be waiting for Dak Prescott to begin playing like a rookie and go through the typical struggles. Green Bay fans have a history of making the atmosphere at Lambeau tough for opponents to play in, but that didn’t prevent Prescott from displaying another stellar performance.
This time, Prescott found a way to throw three touchdown passes while the Cowboys never trailed once during their 30-16 win over the Packers. Dallas never received the true credit they deserved in the four games won before this matchup against Green Bay since the argument could be made they didn’t play the best competition, but nobody was doubting them after this performance.
Oh yeah, let’s not forget how much of a workhorse Ezekiel Elliott was for the ground game after rushing for 158 yards against the Packers’ defense on 28 carries.
6. Chiefs vs. Falcons, Week 13
Nobody needs to remind the Kansas City Chiefs just how valuable Eric Berry has been to the defense over the years, and his performance against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13 is the perfect example of how he can change the outcome of a game on a single play. In what turned out to be one of the craziest finishes from the regular season, Berry returned a failed two-point conversion by Matt Ryan to the end zone in what turned out to be the difference maker for the Chiefs during their 29-28 win over the Falcons on the road.
It’s understandable why Atlanta wanted to go for two to make it a three-point lead over Kansas City, but Ryan should have done a better job at protecting the football since he only threw seven interceptions all season. Never in a million years would fans predict a crucial game like this to end the way it did since this turned out to be a huge win for the Chiefs when considering how tight the race in the AFC West turned out to be.
Berry has always been considered one of the top safeties in the game, and to watch him pull off this amazing play against the Falcons can only be described as phenomenal. At least the Falcons learned their lesson and will be extra cautious with the football if they find themselves in a similar situation down the road.
5. Seahawks vs. Patriots, Week 10
There’s a reason why the New England Patriot went on to win their fifth Super Bowl in franchise history this past season when seeing how successful they were during the regular season with only two losses. However, one of those losses happened to come at home against the Seattle Seahawks in a game the Patriots wanted to quickly forget.
As expected, these two teams would go back-and-fourth with scoring throughout the game, but one costly mistake by Julian Edelman in the fourth quarter put the Patriots in a tough position when they were already trailing the Seahawks. With Seattle hanging on to a 25-24 lead, New England was driving the football downfield into field-goal range before Richard Sherman recovered a fumble by Edelman.
Eight plays later, Russell Wilson would find Doug Baldwin for the 15-yard touchdown to extend the lead for the Seahawks 31-24, but the Patriots weren’t done fighting just yet. Tom Brady did everything in his power to tie the game up after driving New England down to the Seattle 2-yard line, but they failed to move the football those two yards into the end zone on four attempts.
It was close towards the end, but the Seahawks defense came up big on those final four plays to secure a huge win on the road in Foxborough.
4. Broncos vs. Chiefs, Week 16
Just like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos found a way to make this list twice, although the second meeting between the two AFC West rivals was much more exciting than the first. Thanks to some help from the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs entered their Week 16 matchup against the Broncos with a chance to still earn the division title, depending on the outcome of the final weekend.
Just when it seemed like the first meeting between these two teams couldn’t be topped, this time around was much different after the Chiefs displayed a dominating performance against the Broncos to make it clear they should be taken serious heading into the postseason. Between a 70-yard run from Tyreek Hill to Travis Kelce exploding for an 80-yard touchdown catch of his own, Kansas City’s offense couldn’t be stopped by Denver, as this was the type of performance they needed heading into their regular-season finale.
Over the years, the Chiefs have heavily relied on their defense for success, but this was the perfect example of what the offense was capable of. Hopefully, Kansas City’s offense can figure out a way to play like this on a consistent basis heading into next year to remain contenders in the AFC.
3. Packers vs. Falcons, Week 8
Before the beat down of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship, there was a previous meeting against the Atlanta Falcons during the regular season that went down to the wire, but with similar results.. Instead of falling behind early and seeing the game over well before halftime, the Packers were actually on the verge of pulling off what would have been a major road win before the Falcons rallied in the final minute.
There was plenty of hype heading into this Week 8 matchup when considering these were two of the top offenses in the NFL, and both teams certainly didn’t disappoint after seeing all of the back-and-fourth scoring. If only Green Bay’s defense prevented Atlanta from driving 75 yards on their final offensive drive that was topped off with an 11-yard touchdown by Mohamed Sanu.
After seeing the results of this Week 8 matchup, football fans knew they would be in for a treat if the Packers and Falcons found a way to meet for a second time in January, although nobody expected Atlanta to win the way they did. Either way, at least fans were able to enjoy a thriller from this regular season matchup that kept everyone on the edge of their seats until the clock hit zero.
2. Raiders vs. Saints, Week 1
Football fans could not have asked for a better start to the 2016 NFL season when seeing all of the legendary showdowns that took place in the first week, but it’s hard to top the ending between the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints. The Raiders seemed like a long shot when they were trailing the Saints 24-10 in the third quarter, but that didn’t prevent them from giving up after Derek Carr led the team to scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter.
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Obviously, the most important points came on the final drive for Oakland when Jack Del Rio decided to go for the win by having Carr find Michael Crabtree for the two-point conversion following a 10-yard touchdown catch by Seth Roberts. With less than a minute remaining in the game, Del Rio could have easily had his team attempt the extra point with the intention of winning in overtime, but the head coach made one of the gutsiest decisions by going for the win during regulation instead.
While this decision easily could have backfired, it’s hard not to love the confidence Del Rio had in his players at that moment since he knew the risk of New Orleans driving on offense to possibly win in overtime. And to think this was the first of many exciting finishes by the Raiders from the regular season, although this one over the Saints was by far the best.
1. Cowboys vs. Steelers, Week 10
The Dallas Cowboys knew they had a special player in Ezekiel Elliott when they selected the former Ohio State star with the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but his performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10 showed why he has such a bright future in the NFL. To see Elliott record 209 yards from the line of scrimmage while finding the end zone on three different occasions gave the Cowboys running back one of the top performances from the regular season.
Without the play of Elliott, there’s no way Dallas would have come through on the winning end against Pittsburgh when seeing how the fourth quarter played out for both teams, especially in the final two minutes. Shortly after the Cowboys took the lead following a 14-yard touchdown run by Elliott, the Steelers drove 75 yards in 1:13 to regain the lead thanks to a trick play by Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown on a 15-yard touchdown.
At that moment, it seemed like Pittsburgh was going to hang on for the victory, that is until the defense decided not to show up on the final drive. Five plays later, Dallas drove 75 yards down the field and pulled away with another lead on a 32-yard touchdown run by Elliott, which would turn out to be the game winner. With three touchdowns in the final two minutes of regulation, how could this game between the Cowboys and Steelers not be No. 1 on this list?