Looking at the NFL’s biggest non-Super Bowl upsets

Getty Images

So they wanted to come up with a way to get me to acknowledge the looming college basketball tournament during PFT Live and the best way to do it was to use the event as the starting point for a PFT Live draft.

The subject of the draft, in honor of the possibility that one or more of the top seed may lose before getting to the Final Four, was the biggest upsets in NFL history, not including the Super Bowl.

There have been a bunch of upsets that were significant and noteworthy. Simms and I drafted three each, and my second-round pick rattled him to the point where he nearly conceded.

Check out the selections in the attached video, and add some of your own thoughts in the comments below.

25 responses to “Looking at the NFL’s biggest non-Super Bowl upsets

  1. Falcons over Vikings in the NFCC.
    Robbed us of what should’ve been one of the few great Super Bowls of the 90’s.

  2. Mark Sanchez beating Tom Brady in 2010 div round. Honorable mention Mark Sanchez beating Peyton Manning (the week before)

  3. LA Vinovich over New Orleans Saints. The all LA officiating crew sure did bring their ‘A’ game. Wink, wink.

  4. 1985 New England Patriots: First team to win three playoff road games, including back to back wins against the Raiders and Dolphins.

    That latter victory was the first time the Patriots had ever won a football game in Miami (after 17 straight losses), and it denied the league the much anticipated rematch between the Bears and the only team that had beaten them during the ’85 season. Tony Eason outduels Dan Marino, in Miami? Huge upset.

  5. 2010 Jets over Patriots in the divisional round game is probably the biggest one. The Patriots had the number one ranked scoring offense in the league. They also had a 14-2 record, whereas the Jets were 11-5. On December 6th, New England beat them 45-3 in the second match-up in the regular season. It was the only playoff loss Brady and Belichick had against an AFC East opponent.

  6. Can’t watch the clip but here’s my vote: Giants (9-7) beating the Packers (15-1, 8-0 at home) in Lambeau in the 2012 Divisional Round. The Packers were defending SB champions, playing at home, after a bye, with a team many said would go undefeated prior to a late season loss to the Chiefs, yet got their doors blown off 37-20 and became the first team to win at least 15 regular season games and not win a playoff game. The mighty Aaron Rodgers coughed up both interceptions and fumbles and was completely outplayed by Eli Manning, probably explaining why this game is intentionally forgotten in favor of the Giants later beating the Patriots in a much closer and more competitive Super Bowl at a neutral site.

  7. Drew Bledsoe coming in for the injured Tom Brady to defeat the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the 2001- 2002 AFC Championship. Joey Porter and the gang already had their bags packed for New Orleans. Kordel Stewart has not been heard from since.

  8. This might not be much of an upset for some people, but the Patriots beating the San Diego Chargers in the 2006 AFC divisional round was huge. LaDainian Tomlinson won the AP MVP award and they had to beat the 14-2 Bolts in San Diego. They won over a missed field goal. The Chargers had the number one scoring offense with 492 points, and the fewest turnovers. It was the best Chargers’ team since Super Bowl XXIX. Brady threw to Reche Caldwell. Need I say more?

  9. “This might not be much of an upset for some people”

    ——–

    While that was a great game, it’s kind of hard to consider something an upset when the losing QB was playing with a torn ACL.

  10. 2006 Phil Rivers was fine. It was the next year at New England in AFCCG where he played with torn ACL. 2006 still makes me sick. Freakin McCree.

    Anyways, 1994 Chargers over Steelers for the right to be pulvarized by Steve Young and the Niners in the SB gets my upset vote.

  11. 2010 Wildcard SBchamps vs Wildcard 7-9
    Seahawks 41 Saints 36 – Beastquake was all worth it.
    1998 NFCC Falcon 30 Vikings 27 – Robert Smith running out of bound killed the Vikings
    2003 Week 17 Cardinals 18 Vikings 17 Lost to 3-12 game with playoff spot on the line.
    2011 NFCDiv Giants 37 Packers 20 How does a 15-1 team go 1 and done.
    Packers are the only 15-1 team that was 1 and done btw.

  12. Vikings knocking out the Forty-Niners in 1987 was a big one. AC went nuts two weeks in a row for playoff victories. The Vikings should have been throwing to AC on their last play instead of Darrin Nelson in the NFC CG too.

  13. Falcons over Vikings in the NFCC.
    Robbed us of what should’ve been one of the few great Super Bowls of the 90’s./////

    The Vikings had injuries to David Dixon and Randall McDaniel during that game. Those are two big pieces, both starting guards & McDaniel being a HOFer. If healthy I think the Vikings would have beaten the Broncos.

  14. Houston Oilers over SD Chargers in 79/80 Divisional round was huge because the Oilers beat the Dan Fouts led team without RB Earl Campbell or QB Dan Pastorini !!

    Minn over SF in 87/88 Div rd

    NYG over SF in 90/91 with Hostetler ? Then they beat Buff

    Jax over Denver 96/97 Div rd Huge upset

    Atlanta over Minn 98/99 NFC Champ

    NE over SD 06/07 Div rd

    NYG over Dallas 07/08 Div rd then GB next week

    NYJ over NE 10/11 Div rd

    NYG over GB 11/12 Div rd Huge upset

    Indy over Denver 14/15 Div rd

    Fans that dont have these upsets or other great games should go to Oldtimessports.net to collect them

  15. That 4 game streak where Cleveland with Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis was putting up 30+ on everyone in 2010 including destroying the Saints and Patriots back to back before Pat Shurmur did what Pat Shurmur does.

  16. My favorite is the Falcons beating the Vikings after their 15-1 season. I recall an article about the number of Viking fans that had already purchased airline tickets prior to that game being played. Its like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown, I still laugh every time despite knowing the outcome in advance.

  17. whatjusthapped says:
    March 19, 2019 at 1:08 pm
    My favorite is the Falcons beating the Vikings after their 15-1 season. I recall an article about the number of Viking fans that had already purchased airline tickets prior to that game being played. Its like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown, I still laugh every time despite knowing the outcome in advance.
    ——————————————

    My favorite is the Giants beating the Packers after their 15-1season. I recall it was the divisional round and the Giants were a Wildcard team. The game wasn’t even close start to finish. I still laugh every time I think of Tom Coughlins red face because it was so cold that night.

  18. 2007 NFCC Game, “not close from start to finish”??!

    The Giants trailed at the half.

    The Giants trailed with 20:00 to go.

    The game went to OT, and if not for Favre Favring it, the Giants may very well have LOST.

  19. Being a Packers fan, this one always sticks in my memory (copied and pasted from a website):

    The 1997 Colts were 0-10, well on their way to the #1 overall pick, when the 8-2, defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers rolled into Indianapolis, with an epic QB match-up between Brett Favre and Paul Justin on tap. The Colts were 13 point underdogs that day, but that didn’t stop them from a miraculous 41-38 win at the RCA Dome that Sunday. The Packers scored with just over five minutes remaining to tie the game at 38, and Justin and the Colts took the clock all the way down to three seconds, where Cary Blanchard kicked the game-winning 20 yard FG as time expired.

  20. 2012 Mile High Miracle Game. Ravens beat Broncos in 2OT. Broncos were # 1 seed. Bronco fans, to this day, still think they were robbed of a SB Win. When, if fact, they didn’t win one playoff game.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!