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NFL Championship: Greatest Games of All Time

There's nothing like the growing anticipation and tension in the lead-up to the NFL Championship, and when these games live up to the two-week build, there's nothing better in sports.

Stirring comebacks, crazy plays that will be remembered forever, crucial mistakes made in the heat of battle and pre-game pronouncements that come true have all helped to shape some of the greatest NFL Championship games of the past.

Here's our list of the best NFL Championship games ever.

2015: New England Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24

This battle between the two No. 1 seeds will always be remembered for the most opportunistic interception in NFL history — and arguably the dumbest play call for the most important play on the game's biggest stage.

Tom Brady outshined Seattle counterpart Russell Wilson, but the Patriots' defense could not stop Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch in a first half that finished tied at 14 apiece.

The NFC champions established a 24-14 lead in the third quarter after Bobby Wagner picked off Brady and Wilson capped a second Seattle scoring drive in succession with a three-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin.

Of course, Brady wasn't done, as he led New England on two fourth-quarter TD drives to retake the lead and leave the Seahawks with just over two minutes to respond.

The legendary QB could not hide his frustration when Seattle marched down the field to the Patriots' five-yard line with 26 seconds left on the clock.

But backup defensive back Malcolm Butler came up with the game-winning play as he stepped in front of a short pass to intercept Wilson on the goal line when every sane person in the world was expecting the Seahawks to hand the ball to Lynch.

1989: San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16

The last NFL Championship game of the 1980s produced the decade's closest finish as Joe Montana led the 49ers on a game-winning 92-yard touchdown drive in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

The performance cemented Montana's reputation as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and solidified the 49ers' status as a dominant team of that era.

1991: New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19

In the first of their four straight NFL Championship game defeats, the Bills came within a whisker of getting their hands on the Lombardi Trophy.

Buffalo and their explosive no-huddle offense were the coming force in the NFL under Marv Levy as they took on Bill Parcells and the New York Giants four years on from their first championship success.

Big Blue overcame a 12-3 second-quarter deficit and made a 75-yard touchdown drive that burned up almost nine and a half minutes of game clock.

But the game is always going to be remembered for Bills kicker Scott Norwood's last-second field goal attempt that went wide right.

2008: New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14

New England came close to accomplishing something only the 1972 Miami Dolphins had done before - an undefeated season - but Eli Manning and the Giants had other ideas.

The game is also remembered for David Tyree's stunning "Helmet Catch" in the final two minutes to set up the game-winning touchdown.

On a third-and-5 from the Giants' 44 with 75 seconds remaining, Manning avoided being sacked by all four Patriots pass rushers long enough to sling a hopeful throw downfield.

Tyree and Patriots' safety Rodney Harrison went up for a jump ball with the Giants wide receiver somehow securing possession against his helmet as he and the defender tumbled to the ground.

Six plays and 19 seconds later, Manning found Plaxico Burress in the end zone for the winning score.

1969: New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7

The first underdog victory in the AFL-NFL World Championship Game and still the biggest upset in terms of the pre-game point spread was achieved by the New York Jets.

The ten-year-old franchise advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 1968 and made it to the title game where they faced the daunting prospect of taking on the Don Shula-coached Colts, who had just demolished the Cleveland Browns 34-0 in the old NFL Championship game.

Yet the Jets were not awed by their opponents - quite the opposite - as their swaggering young quarterback Joe Namath was so bold as to guarantee his team's victory three days before the clash.

Namath didn't stop providing Baltimore with bulletin board material there as he taunted opposing QB Earl Morrall with the claim that Jets backup Babe Parilli could throw the ball better.

Such pronouncements are rare these days, but Namath backed it up by completing 17 out of 28 passes for 206 yards and was named the game's MVP, while Morrall threw three picks before being replaced as the Jets became the first AFL team to defeat an NFL opponent.

2017: New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28

The Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit in the middle of the third quarter to defeat the Falcons in overtime, the first and only time that an NFL Championship has gone into an extra frame.

New England scored 25 unanswered points to tie the game in the final seconds of regulation and then scored a TD on the first possession in OT for the win. Running back James White scored three touchdowns, including the game-winner four minutes into OT. More than 30 team and individual NFL Championship records were broken or matched.

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