Four Greatest Playoff Games In The Last 10 Years
The NFL have match-ups throughout the season that are always full of excitement, debates, trash-talking, and unpredictable plays. Some match-ups are team rivalries for the ages (i.e., Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins, etc), great player match-ups, revenge from previous seasons, and so forth.
Most of the greatest games come from the perspective of being competitive, last-minute wins, comebacks, and upsets. A great game can be classified differently by many people. Each fan will have their way of classifying great games. There are no right or wrong picks, but they are fun to debate.
This list of the top five games of the last decade are those games that left a lasting impression, good or bad, but also made a mark as a game that was hard to turn away from. There was a lot to choose from. These five games all came from the playoffs. Three of the games were from the Super Bowl and the other two were regular playoff games. These five games have unbelievable play calling, defensive stances, quarterback battles, and miraculous catches.
With the new season approaching, there will be more excitement and maybe more great games that can be added to this list.
#4 – 2009 NFC Wild Card Game
Green Bay Packers 45 – Arizona Cardinals 51
Returning to the playoffs, the Arizona Cardinals wanted to redeem themselves from the heartbreak suffered at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl the season before. But they had a tough match-up for the Wild Card game. The Green Bay Packers were not going to be an easy team for the Cardinals who were 10 – 6 in the regular season. The Packers ranked third in offense and seventh in defense. They also had the Defensive Player of the Year in Charles Woodson. It was no secret that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were the clear favorites in this match-up. The game, from beginning to end, couldn't have been predicted.
The first quarter would've had all Packers fans thinking the game was over. With the first play of the game after the Cardinals kicked off, Rodgers took the field and threw his first and only interception of the game. The turnover led to the Cardinals driving for a touchdown. The Cardinals caused a fumble on the Packers second drive, which led to a touchdown for the Cardinals after a few plays. The Cardinals led 14 – 0. They marched downfield and scored a field goal to shut out the Packers in the first quarter 17 – 0. This was not expected of Rodgers and the Packers.
The Packers seemed to find a rhythm and were able to end the first half with a field goal to trail 10 – 24 going into the third quarter. But after halftime, the Cardinals scored again with Kurt Warner connecting with Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown. Warner was on a roll and seemed to be hitting all targets at this point. The Packers responded by scoring two consecutive touchdowns, and cut the lead to a touchdown before Warner found Fitzgerald again to take the lead back to 14 to end the third quarter with a score of 38 – 24.
Rodgers and the Packers defense showed up at the start of the fourth quarter. Rodgers scored one touchdown, the defense made a stop, and Rodgers completed another touchdown to tie the game at 38. Warner continued to find the open man as he threw his fifth touchdown of the day to Steve Breaston. The touchdown and extra point took the lead to 38-45 Cardinals. Approximately three minutes later, Rodgers responded with a touchdown to Spencer Havner and the game was tied again on the made field goal with a little over a minute left. The game went into overtime.
Overtime was a fresh start for both teams to lay it all on the line. The Packers won the coin toss and had the momentum on their side as the last touchdown under two minutes in the fourth quarter was completed by the Packers. With the fourth play of the Packers drive, on third down with six yards needed for a first down, Rodgers, of course, looked to throw. He was sacked by Michael Adams, who also forced the fumble that was recovered by Karlos Dansby who ran in for the touchdown and the Cardinals win.
This was one of the highest scoring games in the NFL's post-season history. The newcomer Aaron Rodgers showed that he was one of the up and coming elite players at his position and Kurt Warner was able to still throw with accuracy.