With an exciting introduction to the playoffs this past weekend that included the internet nearly imploding as Demaryius Thomas ran down the sideline in Denver, we at Sports-Kings thought it would be a good idea to start each playoff round from this point on by taking a trip down memory lane and counting down the 5 most memorable games of that specific playoff week.
I am going to start it off with the 5 most memorable Divisional Round games since 2000, for the sake of me not having to do 2395983482090 days worth of research (related note: the creator of profootballreference.com is the only man who I will ever legitimately consider kissing square on the lips with no hesitation), and for the sake of you guys actually remembering half of these people.
So let’s get you guys pumped for this weekend, and count down the top 5 memorable divisional round games since 2000:
5. Baltimore vs. Tennessee, January 7th,2001
Final Score: 24-10 Baltimore (Box Score)
He’s thinking “I don’t care who he (allegedly) murdered, I love Ray Lewis!”
Colleague Jim Racalto recently did a comparison piece between the 2000 Ravens and the legendary 1985 Bears defenses, and ultimately chose the Ravens because of their inept offense.
If you ever doubted their ineptness, just know that the 2000 Ravens once won a playoff game by two touchdowns with 134 yards of total offense, with Trent Dilfer putting up a Tebow-esque 5-16 for 117 yards (and no, he didn’t have a Tebow-esque day on the ground).
Sleep tight, Jim. I think you were right on that one.
T4. New York Jets vs. San Diego Chargers, January 17th, 2010
Final Score: 17-14 Jets (Box Score)
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots, January 18th, 2011
Final Score: 28-21 Jets (Box Score)
Sorry, I had to.
Stop me if you have heard this before. Jets are the underdogs going into a road playoff game. Rex Ryan guarantees a victory, and his defense performs so he doesn’t have to put his
wife’s foot in his mouth. They are then completely overwhelmed in the championship round and create expectations that a mediocre team will never be able to live up to.
I will give you a hint, you should have stopped me a long time ago. I’m thinking somewhere around Jets and underdogs.
For the record, this is what happens when a one-dimensional team starts to lose (it’s never good when the source of the quotes could be anybody from the owner of the franchise to the 4th string quarterback, though Santonio Holmes is the clubhouse favorite).
3. New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys, January 13th, 2008
Final Score: 21-17 Giants (Box Score)
I almost forgot this was the “that’s my quarterback” game..
This game holds a special place in my heart since it was the first sign that the Giants could make their improbable Super Bowl run.
This game had all the symptoms that makes a memorable game, an underdog win on the road against a division rival that had dominated them during the regular season. Plus it involved the Cowboys losing, so that’s always nice.
However, this game gets forgotten in the shuffle because of the whole beating a team in the Super Bowl that was looking to become the first undefeated team of the modern era thing.
Gotta hate when that happens…
2. Carolina Panthers vs. St. Louis Rams, January 10th, 2004
Final Score: 29-23 Carolina (2OT’s) (Box Score)
“I should’ve known the guys in the different colored uniforms weren’t on my team. Stupid Jake.”
This game gets the nod for a couple of reasons. Anytime you see a double overtime playoff game, the memorable Richter Scale jumps a few points. This game was also the official death of the Show on Turf Rams, and one of the more shocking upsets in recent memory.
The Panthers blew an 11 point lead in the last 3 minutes and still came back to the improbable win in double overtime. There was also a Jake Delhomme quote about staying calm in crunch time, which would be the runaway #1 on the Unintentionally Hilarious In Hindsight Quotes list, coming soon.
1. New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders, January 19th, 2002
Final Score: 16-13 New England (Box Score)
If not for this play, we could be saying “Tom Brady, Clipboard Holder”
The infamous Tuck Rule Game, but more importantly, this game is one of the biggest “what if’s” in the history of sports.
Imagine if the Raiders win that game, which isn’t unrealistic, since you know, they should have won that game. What happens from that point? Do the Patriots stick with Brady at quarterback, or do they go in a different direction? How far would the Raiders have gone that year? Do the Raiders stick with Gruden instead of trading him to the Bucs? (If I randomly asked you which team would be most likely to trade their coach, how many people would NOT say the Raiders?)
One bad call on one snowy mid-January night set the future for two separate franchises in two completely different directions, and gave us the ability to witness the greatest quarterback of our generation.
I can only hope I have to edit this list after today. Enjoy the games, and thanks for reading.