Top Ten Biggest NFL Playoff Chokes of All Time by Jeremy Spencer of Five Finger Death Punch, in Chronological Order:
1940: Chicago Bears beat Washington Redskins 73-0.
The Chicago Bears pummeled the Washington Redskins in the largest blowout in NFL history. In a championship game that predated the Super Bowl by 26 years, the two teams were matched in what should have been a close game. In fact, only three weeks earlier, Washington had beaten Chicago in a regular-season game 7-3. But the only real competition was who played worse: the Redskins scoreless offense, or their defense, which gave up 501 yards.
1984: Raiders whip the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII, 38-9.
The heavily favored Redskins scored a mere nine points and gave up 38 to the Los Angeles Raiders in what many sports writers dubbed "Black Sunday"...a reference to the Raiders' black uniforms. (How clever!) Coming off a Super Bowl win the year before, the Skins' season highlights had included a 14-2 record and 541 points scored (unparalleled at the time). Ahhh, the good 'ol days for Al Davis!!!
1988: Denver 38, Cleveland 31 in the AFC Championship Game.
The Cleveland Browns played the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium for the AFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl. In the fourth quarter with 1:12 left on the clock and the score 38-31, the handoff went to running back Earnest Byner. Making a push for the game-tying touchdown, Byner fumbled the ball on the 3-yard line. The Broncos recovered and won the game. To date, the Browns have never made it to the Super Bowl- except when someone says that as a reference to taking a dump (we all know that guy who has said, "Alright, I'm taking the Browns to the Super Bowl!" on his way to the bathroom). Not sure anyone outside of Cleveland has any care factor about this at all...
1990: San Francisco 55, Denver 10 in Super Bowl XXIV.
The most lopsided Super Bowl ever was played between the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers. Despite bulking up their team that season with running back Bobby Humphrey and a host of defensive players that gave Denver one of the top defenses in the league, the Broncos ended their fourth Super Bowl loss with a score of 55-10. They needed Shanahan to sit in the press box with his Bonnie Tyler-esque eyes and scope the field of play a little better.
1991: "Wide Right!" The Giants beat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV.
In the most famous choke in NFL history, Scott Norwood is inexplicably unable to propel an irregularly shaped object through two raised posts 141 feet away using only his foot, starting a string of Super bowl losses that has yet to be surpassed... I just imagine that Norwood stays the hell away from Buffalo at all costs, and he probably gets his drinks paid for wherever he goes in New York!
1993: Buffalo's Crazy comeback: Buffalo 41, Houston 38.
A playoff game in which the Houston Oilers allowed the Buffalo Bills to come back and win from a 32-point third quarter deficit. It was so bad it created it's own nickname: "The Comeback"....This stunning turnaround was the biggest comeback ever....You can't even really feel sorry for the Oilers after that! Ridiculous!
1999: Atlanta 30, Minnesota 27 in the NFC Title Game
The Minnesota Vikings were 0-4 in Super Bowl games, including at least two where they probably had the superior team. But the worst choke for the Vikes was when they were 15-1 but lost the NFC title game to the Falcons....Another notable Viking choke was in 2000, when they lost the NFC title game to the underdog New York Giants by an embarrassing score of 41-0.
1999: Arizona 20, Dallas 7 in the NFC Wildcard Weekend
The Cowboys lose a playoff game at home to the Arizona Cardinals... the ARIZONA CARDINALS....Back then that was considered unacceptable!
2000: St. Louis beats Tennessee at the last minute in Super Bowl XXXIV, 23-16
Kevin Dyson chokes away the Titans' chance at a Super Bowl title by not having arms one yard longer. So close, and yet so far!
2007: The New York Giants hand the undefeated Patriots their only loss of the season in the Super Bowl, 17-14
New England finished the 2007 season with the league's first-ever 16-0 regular-season record. But despite their seasonal excellence, the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII by three points to the underdog New York Giants. With most of the scoring in the fourth quarter, the Giants' Plaxico Burress caught a 13-yard pass from Eli Manning for the final score of the 17-14 game. Of course that would be Plaxico's last headline before shooting himself in the leg at a nightclub.
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