Throughout the course of NFL playoff history there's been a lot of great games, great memories, and bad, bad blunders. It's important that we don't forget our mistakes because otherwise we are bound to repeat them. Therefore, I've compiled a list of the biggest playoff blunders in NFL history. I've left off most notable field goal misses by kickers in the playoffs (because there's a lot of them) and the Leon Lett fumble. While that is certainly a well remembered playoff blunder, it didn't cost Dallas the game. With that being said, here are seven of the worst ever playoff blunders in NFL history.
7. Romo's Botched Snap
The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2007 NFC Wildcard round after finishing second in their division with a 9-7 record. Late in the fourth quarter, Dallas lined up for a 19-yard field goal that would have given the 'Boys the lead. However, Tony Romo famously mishandled the snap before being tackled a yard shy from scoring on a 2-pt conversion. The Cowboys would go on to lose 21-20 and Romo would never again handle holder responsibilities.
6. Wide Right
I chose to not include various other field goal misses in the playoffs because that could be an entire list in it of itself. However, Scott Norwood's kick in Super Bowl XXV is the king of all misses. His kick was famously called wide right missing ever so slightly and granting the Giants the victory. The loss to New York would be the first of four straight Super Bowl losses for the Bills.
5. Roger Craig's Fumble
In 1990, the 49ers were in pursuit of a third straight NFL championship, but unceremoniously fell to the Giants in the NFC Championship in large part because of a late fumble by running back Roger Craig. With just over 2:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Craig was tackled behind the line of scrimmage and fumbled the football. A San Francisco 49ers first down would have probably sealed another trip to the Super Bowl. Instead, the Giants took over and drove down the field for a game-winning touchdown.
4. Trey Junkin's Botched Snap
In a matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants in the 2003 NFC Wildcard round, the Giants gave up seventeen unanswered 4th quarter points to San Francisco which erased their big lead. The Giants still had one last shot to win the game however. Unfortunately, on a potential game-winning field goal attempt, long snapper Trey Junkin botched the snap to holder Matt Allen which ultimately sealed their fate.
3. Favre's Interception
While Brett Favre certainly threw a lot of interceptions in his Hall of Fame career (336 to be exact), the one he threw to Tracy Porter in the 2010 NFC Championship is one that might sting the most. Favre marched his team from their own 21-yard line down to the New Orleans 38. The Vikings were on the verge of field goal range, and a potential game-winning kick. Favre would proceed to make an unnecessarily forced throw across his body intended for wide receiver Sidney Rice which was picked off by CB Tracy Porter. This cost Minnesota the game, and Favre a chance at another Super Bowl ring.
2. Interception on 2nd and Goal
The Seattle Seahawks were only a few feet away from capturing back-to-back Super Bowl championships. On 2nd and goal from the half-yard line, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a pass that was miraculously picked off by Patriots CB Malcolm Butler. This call may go down as one of the dumbest decisions in Super Bowl history. The team had Marshawn Lynch in the backfield who undoubtedly would have gotten the yardage necessary. They literally threw the game away.
1. The Tuck Rule
The infamous tuck rule may have afforded one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history his first trip to the Super Bowl in 2002. On the play, Raiders CB Charles Woodson sacked quarterback Tom Brady, which in turn, initially appeared to cause a fumble that was eventually recovered by the Raiders. If the play stood it would have almost certainly sealed the game. Officials reviewed the play, and eventually determined that even though Brady had seemingly halted his passing motion and was attempting to "tuck" the ball back into his body, it was an incomplete pass and not a fumble. As a result, the original call was overturned, and the ball was given back to the Patriots, who subsequently moved the ball into field goal range.