Vintage Wild Card Moments That Are Still Talked About Today

The NFL playoffs are just around the corner, and with the Wild Card round coming up this weekend, we’re taking a look at some of the most memorable moments in history from this stage of the postseason, that are still talked about to this day. 

5. Terrell Owens Holds On For “The Catch II”

All the way back in 1999, Terrell Owens of the San Francisco 49ers produced one of the most memorable moments in NFL history when he won the Wild Card game for the niners in impossible fashion, with a catch which will be remembered forever.

The Niners were down four against the Green Bay Packers, with just eight seconds to go, and Owens shocked the nation when he made a catch in the end zone to complete a 25-yard touchdown pass threaded between defenders from quarterback Steve Young, enabling the 49ers to beat the Packers, denying Green Bay the chance of reaching a third consecutive Super Bowl.

It was a sweet redemption from Owens, who had carelessly dropped multiple passes throughout the game.

4. Niners Complete Huge Comeback

When the San Francisco 49ers hosted the New York Giants in a Wild Card contest back in 2003, the game was quickly heading in the direction of the latter.

New York were in a exceptional position towards the late stages of the third quarter, and found themselves with a lengthy lead and were up 38-14. However, San Francisco rattled off 25 unanswered points to taker the lead with just a minute to go.

The Giants also had the chance to win it at the end of the fourth quarter, which would have been agonizing, considering the work that the Niners had put in to take the lead.

They lined up for a field goal, and Trey Junkin snapped the ball low to Matt Allen, who desperately launched the ball towards an offensive lineman near the goal line. The lineman was interfered with , but it wasn’t called by the referee, who deemed he was an ineligible receiver. It was later proven that he was in fact eligible. What could have been.

3. The Bills’ Famous Comeback

Back in the 1993 Wild Card playoff match between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers, now known as the Tennessee Titans, Buffalo produced one of the most incredible comebacks in NFL history, spearheaded by Frank Reich.

Buffalo were 35-3 down, but Reich and his team mounted a staggering comeback. As Houston started to slow down, the Bills surged, and it was Reich who was at the helm of it all. He completed 21 of his 34 pass attempts for 289 yards with four touchdowns. Eventually, Buffalo romped to a 41-38 win, reaching the Super Bowl that year in the process.

It was the first time that an NFL team with a lead of 30 points lost the game, and was still the only one until it happened in the Colts vs Vikings game in 2022, where the Vikings also produced a huge comeback.

2. The Music City Miracle

In a moment that combined both excitement and controversy, a game-winning touchdown in an AFC Wild Card contest between the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans in 2000 was talked about for years to come.

After the Bills had taken a 16-15 lead via a field goal with 16 seconds remaining in the game, on the resulting kickoff return, Titans tight end Frank Wycheck threw a lateral across the field into the path of Kevin Dyson, who then ran 75 yards to score the winning touchdown to earn a 22-16 victory.

There was plenty of controversy that followed, with Bills wanting the play to be penalized, after they thought that Wycheck threw an illegal throw, however it was proved plenty of times that it was indeed a legal throw, and the two have had an ongoing rivalry ever since, intensified by that game back in 2000.

1. Marshawn Lynch Sends Defending Super Bowl Champs Packing

Back in 2012, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks dumped the defending Super Bowl winning New Orleans Saints out of the playoffs thanks to a breathtaking finish from Lynch to secure the win for Seattle.

The Seahawks surprised everyone with their best offensive display of the season, and an intimidating home-field advantage to lead New Orleans 34-40 int he fourth quarter of the contest.

But with just over three-and-a-half minutes remaining on the clock, and a slender lead, recently acquired Marshawn Lynch sent the Qwest Field crowd into oblivion. He ran 67 yards with strength and determination to put the final nail in the coffin eliminating the defending Super Bowl champs, to upset the Saints in the finest fashion.

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