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NFL: Greatest Divisional Playoff Games of All Time

The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs often produces some truly memorable matchups with last year being no exception.

The Los Angeles Rams survived a classic Tom Brady-led comeback and the Buffalo Bills, who are +325 to win the 2023 NFL Championship, were denied by the +300 Kansas Chiefs in overtime after an epic quarterback shoot-out between Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. 

But only one of those clashes makes it onto our list of the five greatest-ever Divisional Round games. 

1972 - Pittsburgh Steelers 13, Oakland Raiders 7 

In the year that Franco Harris passed away at the age of 72, it would feel wrong not to include this game on any list of memorable Divisional Round games. 

The game was mostly dominated by defense, and remained scoreless until the third quarter when Pittsburgh kicker Roy Gerela kicked an 18-yard field goal. 

He added another from 29 yards in the fourth quarter to increase the Steelers' lead to 6-0. But Raiders backup quarterback Ken Stabler, who had replaced starter Daryle Lamonica, ran for a 30-yard touchdown to give Oakland a 7-6 lead with 73 seconds remaining. 

Facing fourth-and-10 on their own 40 with 22 seconds left on the clock, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw the ball toward fullback Frenchy Fuqua. 

The pass bounced off Raiders safety Jack Tatum and seemed destined to hit the turf at Three Rivers Stadium, but Harris had other ideas and scooped the ball up just inches above the ground before racing 45 yards for the game-winning score. 

The running back's heads-up play, which became known as 'The Immaculate Reception', earned the Steelers their first playoff victory in the franchise's four-decade history.

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1977 - Oakland Raiders 37, Baltimore Colts 31 

With the Colts leading 31-28 and time running out, Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler threw a 42-yard completion to tight end Dave "The Ghost" Casper to set up the game-tying field goal with 29 seconds left in regulation. 

The play became known as the "Ghost to the Post" and Casper continued to haunt the Colts in overtime as he also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass 43 seconds into the second additional period to win the game.

1981- San Diego Chargers 41, Miami Dolphins 38 (OT) 

Known as the "Epic in Miami," this game set playoff records for the most points scored in a playoff game (79), the most combined total yards by both teams (1,036), and most combined passing yards by both teams (809). 

It also featured one of the greatest individual postseason performances - from Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. 

Miami tied the game at 24 apiece in the third quarter with Don Strock's 15-yard touchdown pass to Joe Rose. The two teams then traded TDs with Chargers QB Dan Fouts tossing a 9-yard tying score to James Brooks with about a minute left in regulation. 

Dolphins kicker Uwe von Schamann had a chance to win the game on the last play of regulation, but his field goal attempt was blocked by Winslow - a play that would prove to be vital. 

The drama went up a notch in overtime when the Chargers took the opening kickoff and advanced to the Miami 8-yard line only for kicker Rolf Benirschke to miss a 27-yard field goal attempt. 

Then after both teams exchanged punts twice, the Dolphins reached the San Diego 17-yard line, only to see Von Schamann's 34-yard attempt get blocked by defensive lineman Leroy Jones. 

The Chargers then drove down to the Miami 10-yard line and Benirschke made the winning field goal. 

The game is remembered for a clever hook-and-lateral touchdown from Fouts to Duriel Harris and finally on to Tony Nathan that ended the first half and an iconic post-game image of an exhausted Winslow, who finished the game with 13 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown, being dragged off the field by two Chargers teammates.

2018 - Minnesota Vikings 29, New Orleans Saints 24 

Minnesota jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but New Orleans' offense began to get to work in the second half. 

Saints quarterback Drew Brees hit RB Alvin Kamara with a 14-yard touchdown pass to go up 21-20 with three minutes left in the game. 

The teams then traded field goals, and New Orleans took a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds to go. The Vikings faced third and 10 on their own 39-yard line with 10 seconds on the clock, and Case Keenum threw a pass to Stefon Diggs, who made a leaping catch on the right sideline. 

Saints safety Marcus Williams missed a tackle on him and ran into his teammate, and Diggs nearly lost his balance before standing upright and racing into the end zone as time expired. 

It was the first time a playoff game had been won with a touchdown on the final play of regulation and became known as the "Minneapolis Miracle".

2022 - Los Angeles Rams 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 

The Rams had a commanding 27-3 lead over the defending champion Buccaneers in the third quarter, and many assumed the game was over. 

However, Los Angeles squandered several opportunities to seal the win, including an errant snap and a missed field goal. 

Meanwhile, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers fought back and never gave up hope. Late in the game, a fumble by Rams running back Cam Akers gave the Buccaneers the ball on the Rams' 30-yard line. 

Facing fourth-and-inches on the 9-yard line, Brady handed the ball off to Leonard Fournette who scored a touchdown to tie the game. 

With 42 seconds left, the Rams got the ball back and instead of playing for overtime, Matthew Stafford threw a 20-yard pass to Cooper Kupp followed by a beautiful 44-yard connection to bring them to the Buccaneers' 12-yard line. 

The quarterback spiked the ball with four seconds remaining to set up Matt Gay for the winning 30-yard field goal as time expired.

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