5 most heartbreaking last-second losses in NFL playoff history 

Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
Adam Schultz

NFL teams spend months and months training, devising offensive and defensive gameplans and everything in between for one goal, a Super Bowl win.

For some, just making the playoffs is tough enough, while for others, making the NFL's penultimate game is the bare minimum. Once in the playoffs anything can happen, and sometimes it comes down to the last second. In that moment, legends are made for the winners, but for the loser, dreams are snatched away and broken.

Here are 5 of the most heartbreaking last-second losses in NFL playoff history.

#5 - Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots - Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks

It's still one of the most baffling coaching decisions in recent memory. After taking a 10-point lead in the second half, the Seattle Seahawks allowed Tom Brady to make an incredible comeback.

The New England Patriots hit the lead, 28-24 late in the fourth quarter. Russell Wilson then drove the Seahawks down to the five-yard line. With running back Marshawn Lynch having a 100-yard rushing game, everyone thought Seattle would simply rush for a touchdown.

Five years ago today, rookie Malcolm Butler sealed the Patriots' fourth Super Bowl with this incredible goal-line interception 🤯(via @nflthrowback)

With 27 seconds on the clock, Wilson stepped back and fired a pass that Patriots defender Malcolm Butler intercepted, ending the Seahawks' drive and giving Brady another Super Bowl.

#4 - Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Rams - Super Bowl XXXIV

Tennessee Titans star Kevin Dyson #87
Tennessee Titans star Kevin Dyson #87

One yard. That's how close the Tennessee Titans were to tying the Super Bowl. After going 16-0 down to Kurt Warner's Los Angeles Rams, the Titans levelled matters in the fourth quarter.

Let’s drop my favorite plays in #SuperBowl history, keeping it in my conscious sports fan life.My clear #1: Mike Jones tackles Kevin Dyson to win XXXIV.

The Rams took the lead at 23-16 and Steve McNair went to work. He marched the Titans down to the six-yard line and came agonizingly short. Mike Jones of the Rams produced his best ever moment, tackling Kevin Dyson just one yard short after he caught a slant pass and was making a run to the endzone.

One-yard. That's how close the Titans came to extending the game.

#3 - New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings - 2017 NFC Divisional Round

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings

An incredibly painful moment for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. After coming back from a 17-0 deficit, the Saints had the lead late in the fourth quarter, so late that there were only 10 seconds left on the clock.

On this day 3 years ago: The Minneapolis Miracle. “Diggs. Sideline. Touchdown. UNBELIEVABLE! Vikings win it!”

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum had the ball on his own 35-yard line and was facing a Hail Mary situation. What followed was the stuff of nightmares for the New Orleans Saints. Keenum threw to Stefon Diggs, who looked to be an easy tackle but thanks to Marcus Williams' blunder, Diggs managed to catch the pass and scoot all the way to the end zone for the win.

Now known as The Minneapolis Miracle and is a moment the entire NFL will not forget.

#2 - Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons - NFC 2013 Divisional Round

Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons
Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons

The Seattle Seahawks were a Hail Mary away from booking their ticket to the NFC Championship game in 2013. The Atlanta Falcons held a 30-28 lead but Wilson had one more shot at the endzone.

WR on Defense?? @JulioJones_11 with the CLUTCH INTERCEPTION!

Taking the snap in his own territory, Wilson dialled up the launch codes and managed to get the ball into the endzone. Unfortunately, it was caught by Falcons receiver Julio Jones as Seattle came agonizingly close to pulling off a miraculous NFL victory.

# 1 - Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers - 2016 NFC Divisional Round

NFL Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFL Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys

A tough ending to your first NFL season for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. The rookie duo pushed Aaron Rodgers all the way in 2016.

After falling behind 21-3, Prescott brought his Dallas Cowboys all the way back to 31-31 thanks to a Dan Bailey 52-yard kick. But it left Rodgers with 25 seconds to make something happen, and he did.


His incredible pass to Jared Cook on the sidelines was the only throw he could make and it set up a Mason Crosby 51-yard field goal with just three seconds left. The kicker nailed it and sent the Packers onto the next round.

Edited by John Maxwell


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