Top 10 Most Painful Chokes in NFL History

The NFL has had some incredible moments often legacy defining that often come at the hands of a painful moment for someone else. There’s been a lot of chokes in 100 NFL Seasons but these are the most painful to watch whether it’s the players or coaches fault something about it is fascinating to watch just how these teams came apart at the seams when they had the game in their hands.
The Top Ten
1 Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl LI The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference South division.

Atlanta dominated this game from the get go they were cruising to a 28-3 lead.30 fanbases Were ready to dance on the Patriots demise. The Falcons were absolutely embarrassing them. But they did the one thing you don't do against the Patriots they got super conservative and put their guard down allowing 25 unanswered points to tie the game and send it to OT in which the Pats marched down the field to win. To this day Atlanta still can't live that one down

It's made even worse that the Falcons haven't really done anything since this game. They had their best opportunity at a Super Bowl and they blew it. That game will haunt this franchise until they actually win it all.

2 Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLIX The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football franchise based in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference West division.

Picture this you have a dream scenario in your hands. Down 28-24 to the Patriots but thanks to a crazy catch by Jermaine Kearse and short run by Marshawn Lynch Seattle was on the Patriots 1-yard line. Pretty much the easiest thing ever was to hand the ball back to beastmode who is arguably the greatest goal line running back to ever play this game right? There's no way you screw this up. Easy TD easy win. Well not if you're Pete Carroll who for whatever reason felt it would be better to pass the ball instead of running it. And just like that the ball got intercepted at the goal line by Malcolm Butler. The Patriots would win it 28-24. On one of the most boneheaded coaching decisions I've ever seen

3 New York Jets, 2000 Regular Season
4 Houston Texans, 2020 Divisional Round The Houston Texans are a professional American football team based in Houston, Texas. The team competes in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference South division.

Picture this a perfect scenario you're up 24-0 on the road. Kansas City is literally self destructing and imploding. Nothing is going their way. Should be an easy win. Right? Well wrong! See Bill O Brien is a hack the Chiefs need only 3 plays to get on the boards. Houston blew a 24-0 lead in 10 minutes even worse they just checked out in the second half. How does 41 unanswered points sound? Kansas City ran out of touchdown fireworks adding even more insult to injury the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.

5 Chicago Bears, 2018 Wild Card The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division.

Da Bears had a deadly defense and looked to be a potential Dark Horse. And even better the Eagles just barely made it to this point to begin with. Unfortunately they underachieved the entire game Trailing 16-15 to the Eagles near the end of regulation all the Bears needed was a 43-yard field goal from Cody Parkey to seal the game. Parkey had been infamous for hitting the uprights for much of the season, and the trend continued in excruciating fashion for Bears fans. His game-winning attempt was partially blocked, hit the left upright, bounced off the crossbar and fell back toward the field, and the Eagles won and advanced. That's as painful as it gets Chicago. Imagine having a stacked defense only to be humbled like that.

6 Buffalo Bills, 1999 AFC Wild Card
7 Minnesota Vikings, 1999 NFC Championship The Minnesota Vikings are an American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960, and first took the field for the 1961 season.

In one of the most exciting conference games in NFL history, it came down to one kick. Vikings were up 27-20 against the Falcons and were in Falcon territory they were about to settle with a field goal to make it a two-score game which would have iced and sealed the win for the Vikings considering it was inside 2 minutes. Gary Anderson had been automatic all season long and never missed a single field goal the entire season so rightfully everyone thought he would easily make that kick. But he missed it wide left. On top of that the Defense couldn't stop the Falcons who tied the game to send it to overtime. Making matters worse they kicked the game winning field goal to win the game. On the Minnesota scale this is like a 7.5

8 New Orleans Saints, 2017 Divisional Round The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints currently compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference South division.

The Vikings were looking for some way to keep their season alive with a couple seconds left in the game. After blowing their 17-point lead against the Saints and having an exotic battle in the final 3 minutes of the game it seemed the Saints were going to the Championship Game against the Eagles. All they needed to do was make one more tackle. But they couldn't even do that. Case Keenum, threw a deep ball to Stefon Diggs, who caught it and could have been easily been tackled by Saints rookie cornerback, Marcus Williams, if he didn't attack him so early. He not only completely whiffed on a easy tackle, he cartwheeled into his own teammate who was most likely the last Saints player to have a chance to tackle Diggs. Just like that, Diggs was gone to win the game for the Vikings with no time left.

9 Kansas City Chiefs, 2013 Wild Card The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference West division.

The Chiefs finally made the playoffs again and looked to end their curse in the playoffs and advance. Early on they looked good. The Andy Reid era was off to a bright start. All they had to do was finish Kansas City took a surprising huge lead on the road against Indianapolis, leading 31-10 at halftime and extending the lead to 28 points early in the third quarter. Then the Chiefs defense and several injuries let them down, as Andrew Luck and the Colts came storming back. The Colts found themselves winning, 45-44.

10 Houston Oilers, 1992 Wild Card

Much like the Falcons the Oilers had a strong start and were embarrassing Buffalo. They led 28-3 at halftime. To open the second half they get a pick 6 and it was 35-3 The game was over, right? I never thought it would be possible to blow 30+ points in a single game, well, I was wrong. Unbelievably, the Oilers blew their entire lead. Allowing the Bills to convert several 4th and 3rd down conversations during the 3rd and 4th Quarter. They did make a field goal sending it to OT 38-38 in which they proceeded to throw an interception and give up a field goal. Bills won 41-38. Adding more insult to the injury is the moment you realize that the Bills had played their backup quarterback

The Contenders
11 New Orleans Saints, 2020 Wild Card Round

Saints were a heavy favorite to go far into the super bowl. Stepping in their way though was the Vikings again. You choke to the same team twice in the playoffs back to back is unbelievable. I feel this one was worse because this was more on Drew Brees than the defense. He played one of the worst games I could ever remember. The most accurate quaertback in NFL history was not so accurate in this game.

12 Minnesota Vikings, 2016 NFC Wild Card The Minnesota Vikings are an American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960, and first took the field for the 1961 season.

The Vikings hosted the Seahawks in a freezing cold atmosphere. Things were bitter cold as both teams had locked horns and all the Vikings had to do was make a field goal. It was a 26 yard chip shot. Blair Walsh had made a few field goals earlier in the game. But unfortunately his final one is the most memorable from this game in which he missed it and wasn't even close he hooked it left. That's the type of painful loss that lives on in infamy

13 Buffalo Bills, Super Bowl XXV

In their 1st Super Bowl appearance, the favored (+7) Bills and their explosive no-huddle offense took on the NY Giants in Tampa Stadium. But Giants coach Bill Parcells and defensive coordinator Bill Belichick largely held the high scoring Bills in check, playing sound defense and using a running attack that ate up the clock. However, trailing 20-19 and in the games waning moments, the Bills put together a clutch drive starting at their own 10, and got to the Giants 29 with 8 tics left, and the Bills elected to try a 47 yard FG. As every Bills player not on the field goal unit lined up and held hands on the sidelines, Scott Norwood's attempt sailed just wide. Sadly for Buffalo fans, it was the start of a 4 straight Super Bowl losing streak, with the following 3 Super Bowls being largely blow outs. A game, and player (Norwood) that would be infamously remembered as "Wide Right".

14 Cleveland Browns, 1986 AFC Championship
15 Green Bay Packers, 2014 NFC Championship

This should be in the top ten. This was an absolute disaster for a Packers team that were better than their opponent, the Seahawks. This was a team that I think would have won the Super Bowl if not for what transpired in this game. Brandon Bostick is not solely to blame for what happened, though he sure does deserve a lot of the blame. Russell Wilson threw four interceptions, and yet Seattle still came out on top. They couldn't stop Jon Ryan from throwing a touchdown, and they couldn't stop Jermaine Kearse either.

16 Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl XXXVII
17 Indianapolis Colts, Week 15 2022

While it was only a regular season game the fact of the matter is Indianapolis should have won this game. If you watched this game the Minnesota Vikings were out of sorts in the first half arguably the worst first half I have ever seen from a professional football team. Indianapolis didn't even have to do anything they just had to stand there as Minnesota completely self destructed in every possible way in that first half. A 33-0 lead blown because the Colts didn't have a clue how to burn clock. They only scored 3 points the entire second half and overtime they successfully blew a 22 point lead in 15 minutes. I feel bad for Matt Ryan first it was 28-3 now this. Indianapolis might not recover from that kind of defeat

18 Los Angeles Chargers, 2023 Wild Card

The fact Brandon Staley and Joe Lombardi were allowed back on the team plane after this game. Staley made the smart decision to play his starters in a meaningless week 18 game and it cost him Mike Williams who could've been useful in this game and they probably would've won it. Trevor Lawrence looked awful. 4 interceptions in the first half alone gave the Chargers a 27-0 lead. The Chargers had a +5 Turnover differential in the game and STILL LOST that's an impressive feat in and of itself. This performance is fireable. The only way to recover is to clean house and fire everybody. You didn't even try to eat up the clock. Someone save Justin Herbert from this nightmare of a franchise

19 New England Patriots, Super Bowl XLII The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston region. New England Patriots are one of the few teams to have 5+ wins in the Super Bowl.

Surprised to see them here aren't you? To finish a NFL season undefeated and go to the Super Bowl is quite impressive. Not to mention, the Patriots were playing against a wildcard team who did not have a decent offense, the Patriots had one of the best offenses in NFL history as they scored 589 points and had veteran quarterback and receiver, Tom Brady and Randy Moss, who both broke records that 2007 season. This was set to be a dream scenario for the Patriots. Everyone thought they would obliterate the Giants instead they only scored a measly 14 points and allowed the almighty helmet catch to happen therefore sealing their fate in the history books at 18-1

20 Buffalo Bills, 1980 Divisional Round
21 New Orleans Saints, 2020 Divisional Round
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