Top 6 NFL Games Ever Aired On Television

The best matches in 100 years of football

1958 NFL Championship

Baltimore Colts at New York Giants • Dec. 28, 1958

Dubbed by many as the “greatest game ever played,” the 1958 NFL Championship pitted the Colts and Giants in a nationally televised showdown in Yankee Stadium. What made this game truly special was that it was the first-ever sudden death overtime game in the NFL’s history. When the Giants couldn’t capitalize after winning the coin toss, Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas led his team down the field and Alan Ameche ran in the score to win the championship. It is seen as the game that launched the NFL into popularity, helped especially by the fact that it was aired on NBC for the nation to watch.

1967 NFL Championship

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers • Dec. 31, 1967

In the second year of the Super Bowl era, the Cowboys took a trip to Wisconsin to take on the Packers in the coldest game in NFL history. “The Ice Bowl” was played at temperatures around -15 degrees, with an average wind chill of around -48 degrees, and the field began to freeze over as the game went on. The match is defined by the game-winning drive by Bart Starr and the Packers when center Ken Bowman made a double team block to get Starr, who decided to keep the ball, into the end zone to win the game on a short-yardage touchdown.

Super Bowl III

New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts  • Jan. 12, 1969

It was one of the biggest upsets in sports history, and it’s what turned the tide as the NFL and AFL began its merger. Jets quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed his team would come out as champions, even though neither AFL team who had played in the game before had come close to winning. Namath threw 200 yards on the Colts defense while Matt Snell ran 121 yards on them. The Gang Green defense stifled a good Colts offense, racking up four interceptions to win the game. It was this moment that proved the teams of the AFL can compete with the NFL.

1992 Wild Card Game

Houston Oilers vs. Buffalo Bills • Jan. 3, 1993

Frank Reich, current Indianapolis Colts coach and Freeport native, replaced Jim Kelly as the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills for a wild card game against the Houston Oilers. Trying to make their third Super Bowl appearance in a row, the Bills fell in a deep hole as it was 28-3 Oilers at the end of the first half and 35-3 early in the second half thanks to a pick six. But Reich, having come back from a 31-0 deficit at the University of Maryland, led the team in the biggest comeback in NFL history, winning in overtime 41-38.

“Monday Night Miracle”

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets • Oct. 23, 2000

The Dolphins were beating up on their rival Jets in a late October regular season game. Down 30-7 at the end of the third, Jets broadcaster Howard David said that, even with the fourth quarter yet to play, the game was “over.” However, a 23 point rally, including amazing touchdown grabs by Ladarius Green and Wayne Chrebet, tied the game. It was a back-and-forth affair from there, but the Jets were able to keep up with Miami and stunned them in a 40-37 overtime thriller.

Super Bowl XLII

New York Giants vs. New England Patriots • Feb. 3, 2008

No one beat the Patriots all year. They were 18-0, and they were looking to become the first NFL team ever to win 19 games and go undefeated. The only team standing in their way were the 10-6 Giants. But the perfect team did not play well enough on offense, thanks to a stout G-Men defensive line. Down by three late in the fourth quarter, Giants quarterback Eli Manning escaped pressure to throw to receiver David Tyree, who was able to pin the ball to his helmet and come down with the catch. Plaxico Burress later caught the game-winning touchdown to cap off another one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.

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Christopher Birsner
In addition to being the editor of the Massapequa Observer and Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, Chris Birsner is the sports editor for Long Island Weekly and often contributes gaming articles to the arts and entertainment publication.

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