Football has enjoyed a long, exciting history. In the hundred years since the NFL’s formation, we’ve seen good games, bad games, and matchups that left us stunned and wide-eyed in disbelief.
Here are some of the most important moments in football history and what made them so great.
It was a few days before Christmas, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were praying for a once-in-a-lifetime miracle. Their opponents, the Oakland Raiders, had the advantage and seemed to be controlling the game.
With less than thirty seconds left to play, Terry Bradshaw took his shot. He fired a long pass towards John Fuqua and, in an impressive, unprecedented turn of events, sent the ball into Steeler territory. Franco Harris nabbed the ball, sprinted down the left sideline, and scored a 60-yard touchdown for the win.
Ultimately, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Miami Dolphins—but before long, they rose again to claim four Super Bowl titles over a stretch of six years.
Music City Miracle
There was less than half a minute left in the AFC Wild Card Game, and the Tennessee Titans were scrambling. The Buffalo Bills had just taken the lead, and their opponent’s likelihood of winning seemed like it went down the drain.
In a last-ditch effort, the Titans ran a successful trick play. Frank Wycheck ran, pivoted, and tossed the ball to Kevin Tyson, who scored a much-debated touchdown. Was it a proper lateral or an illegal forward pass? The camera angles were the slim deciding factor.
With the call made, the Titans won 22-16, demolished their next two opponents, and went on to win the Super Bowl.
On a chilly afternoon in 1986, the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys battled it out for the NFL Championship.
The Cowboys were confident in their lead, knowing that their opponents would have to manage an 89-yard drive if they planned to score the winning touchdown.
With less than a minute left, Joe Montana led his fellow teammates to the 6-yard line, where he threw a game-winning pass to Dwight Clark. Leaping high in the air, Clark barely managed to score the final touchdown.
After defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21, the San Francisco 49ers went on to win Super Bowl XVI.
The Ice Bowl
Another one of the most important moments in football history was the Ice Bowl.
On a freezing, windy day in 1967, the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys competed for the NFL Championship.
The weather in Green Bay was nightmarish, with the wind chill lowering the temperature to negative 44 to 48 degrees. A sheet of ice formed on the field, and nothing could fix it.
Despite the horrific conditions, the Packers prevailed. With two touchdown passes and a game-winning quarterback sneak, Bart Starr led his team to victory.
The Green Bay Packers won the championship and went on to secure their second Super Bowl win in a row.
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