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5 Best Playoff Weekends in NFL History

Kansas City Chiefs, AFC Divisional Round vs. Buffalo Bills on Jan. 23, 2022

Weekends where every NFL playoff game is great do not occur often

Last weekend's Divisional Round featured some of the best playoff games in NFL history. Game-for-game, was it the best postseason weekend ever? Let's take a look.

Before we jump into this list, it is important to note that it does not include conference championship weekends, only weekends with four or more games. With that in mind, here are the five best playoff weekends in NFL history.

5. Dec. 28-29, 1991 – Wild Card Round

Saturday began with the NFL's oldest starting player, 38-year-old Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Steve DeBerg, facing the Los Angeles Raiders Todd Marinovich, who at 22 was the second-youngest quarterback to start a playoff game. The affair was a sloppy 10-6 Chiefs win at Arrowhead Stadium, but it gave DeBerg his first playoff win.

Next, the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints met for a third time in the Superdome. The two teams split their regular-season matchups, but this time Atlanta quarterback Chris Miller hit Michael Haynes on the right sideline, and he split his defenders and raced 50 yards into the end zone to take a 27-20 lead with less than three minutes to play. Defensive back Tim McKyer then picked off Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert for the win and Falcons fan MC Hammer was on the sidelines for the celebration.

On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys went from 1-15 in 1989 to playoff victor two years later with a 17-13 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Cowboys safety Bill Bates intercepted Jim Harbaugh's pass in the final minutes for the win.

Then at the Astrodome, the Houston Oilers stopped the New York Jets on downs twice inside their own 5-yard line to hold on to a 17-10 win.

4. Jan. 13-14, 2007 – Divisional Round

The weekend started off with Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri booting five field goals in a 15-6 upset of the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City. It was the first playoff game without a touchdown since the 1979 NFC Championship Game.

Next, New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister rushed for a franchise playoff-record 143 yards in a 27-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the Superdome. The win put the Saints in the NFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history, making their first season back in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina even more special.

On Sunday, the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks played to a 24-24 tie at the end of regulation at Soldier Field. In overtime, a bad Ryan Plackemeier punt gave Chicago excellent field position and Robbie Gould booted the game-winner.

In the final game, the top-seeded San Diego Chargers led the New England Patriots 21-13 and appeared to clinch the game when Marion McCree intercepted Tom Brady's pass with a little more than six minutes left. However, Troy Brown stripped the ball from McCree and New England recovered and scored 11 unanswered points. The Chargers had a chance to tie the game, but Nate Kaeding's 53-yard field goal attempt fell short with three seconds remaining.

3. Jan. 10-11, 2004 – Divisional Round

The festivities kicked off with the fifth-longest game in NFL history, as the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams went into double overtime. On the first play of the second overtime, Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme hit Steve Smith across the middle and stunned fans in the Edward Jones Dome when he raced into the end zone for a 29-23 win.

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That night, Vinatieri kicked a 46-yard field goal with 4:02 left in the fourth quarter to give the New England Patriots a 17-14 lead over the Tennessee Titans. The Pats then stopped the Titans on downs for the win.

The next day, the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs played the second puntless game in NFL history. Ultimately, Peyton Manning and Indy prevailed with a 38-31 win at Arrowhead Stadium.

That evening, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was down 17-14 at home to the Green Bay Packers and faced fourth-and-26 with 1:12 left in the game. He completed a 28-yard pass to Freddie Mitchell that set up David Akers' 37-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. There, Brian Dawkins intercepted Brett Favre's pass and Akers booted the game-winning field goal. "Fourth and 26" remains one of the most famous plays in playoff history.

2. Dec. 23-24, 1972 – Divisional Round

This weekend had one lackluster game, but the other three make up for it. It began with the most famous play in NFL history as Franco Harris scored on the "Immaculate Reception" in a 13-7 Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium.

Next, Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Roger Staubach was put in with this team down 28-13 to the San Francisco 49ers with a little over a quarter to play at Candlestick Park. Staubach led the Cowboys to score 17 unanswered points for the 30-28 win and the end of his four-year quarterback controversy with Craig Morton.

On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers score first on the Washington Redskins with a second-quarter field goal at RFK Stadium. However, Washington responded with 16 unanswered workmanlike points for the win.

In the final game, Cleveland Browns quarterback Mike Phipps threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Fair Hooker (Yes, that is his name.) to take a 14-13 lead over the Miami Dolphins with less than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Earl Morrall led Miami on a six-play, 80-yard drive that was punctuated with an eight-yard Jim Kiick touchdown run with 4:49 to go. The Dolphins then stopped the Browns on two possessions to preserve their undefeated season.

1. Jan. 22-23, 2022 – Divisional Round

This weekend tops the list because every game came down to the last play.

First, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson intercepted Ryan Tannehill's pass to set up Evan McPherson's 52-yard field goal as time expired for a 19-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Not only was this an upset of the top seed, but it also gave the Bengals their first-ever road playoff win.

Next, the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers engaged in a war of attrition at Lambeau Field. In the end, the 49ers put together a 44-yard yard drive and Gould booted a 45-yard field goal as the clock wound down for a 13-10 win.

In Florida, the Los Angeles Rams jumped out to a 27-3 third-quarter lead on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then proceeded to blow it. Leonard Fournette tied the game with a nine-yard touchdown run with 42 seconds left and the Rams appeared to be in meltdown mode. Then Matthew Stafford moved Los Angeles 64 yards down the field with two passes to Cooper Kupp and Matt Gay kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired for a 30-27 win.

Then to cap it off, the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs scored 25 points and changed leads four times in the final two minutes of regulation. Bills quarterback Josh Allen hit Gabriel Davis with a 19-yard touchdown with just 13 seconds left, but Patrick Mahomes completed two passes covering 44 yards in 10 seconds and Harrison Butker kicked a 49-yarder to send the game into overtime. The Chiefs got the ball first and Mahomes drove his team 75 yards down the field in eight plays, the last being an eight-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce in the end zone for the 42-36, walk-off win at Arrowhead Stadium.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.