Top 10 Worst Late Season Collapses in NFL History

Have you ever watched your favorite team come so close and yet miss out in such a heartbreaking fashion? Well, that's happened to you, and the same goes for these unlucky teams. HI, I'm Pnut. And today, I'll be telling you the Top 10 Worst Late Season Collapses in NFL History.
The Top Ten
1 1987 San Diego Chargers

Fun Fact: For just the 1987 NFL Season, the games were reduced from 16 to just 15 all because of a player strike. But if there was a 16th game for the Chargers, they could've avoided a terrible collapse with them missing out. After losing their first game, they won 8 straight, and it looked like they would be a contender. But everything that could go wrong, did. The biggest thing was that they lost their final 6 games. They allowed all of their opponents to score at least 20 points in each game. The defense crumbled terribly and the offense wasn't that good either, due to the fact that they didn't score over 18 points in those 6 games. They were 8-7 to finish the season and it wasn't enough for them to make it to the playoffs. If they just had one more win, they could've been in. *Sigh* Classic Chargers indeed.

2 1978 Washington Redskins

Yes, I am calling them the Redskins because that's what they were called back then. The Redskins were led by head coach Jack Party, and they started off pretty well, opening at a 6-0 start to begin the season. But then they lost their next 3 out of 5 games against the Eagles, Giants, and Colts. Now they were 8-3, and they seemed good enough. Nope. Instead what happened was quite unbelievable. They first loss their next two games to the St, Louis (Now Arizona) Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. Next, they were shutout by the Dolphins with a score of 16-0. You might be thinking, "There's no way they could lose their last two right?". Wrong! They first lost to the Falcons 20-17 and in the final game of the season, they lost to the Chicago Bears 14-10. They started 6-0 at the beginning and then went 2-8 in the rest of the season. All I want tot say right now is... HOW?!

3 1993 Miami Dolphins

Well, this was quite embarrassing. The 1993 season started out promising with a 4-1 beginning. But then, something happened. Dan Marino ended up with a season injury with his achilles tendon hair. But thankfully, their backups Scott Mitchell and Steve DeBerg played well enough for them to go 8-2. They picked up another win on Thanksgiving against Dallas. They were 9-2 and at this point, it would just be about impossible for them to miss the playoffs. BUt it happened. I mean, it is a main theme of this list. They lost their next 2 game against the Giants and Steelers. And they ended up losing their final 3 as well. They gave up 47 against Buffalo, 45 to the Chargers, and 33 against the Patriots in overtime. The bIlls would take the division title and the Dolphins would miss the WIld Card thanks to the Broncos and Steelers.

4 2008 Dallas Cowboys

What happened Dallas? The previous season, you were one of the top teams in the NFL, and now you collapse like this?! Even though Tony Romo was out for a few games, they still kept going and by Week 13, they had a record of 8-4, looking to clinch into the playoffs. Week 14, it was a tough loss since they blew a lead and allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to win (Which they went on to win the Super Bowl). Week 15 though, they bounced against the New York Giants with a 20-8 win and still had a chance. But then in Week 16, they lost in a competitive game against the Baltimore Ravens. That had dropped them to 9-6. All they needed to do was beat the Eagles and they were in. But they were crushed by the Eagles by a whopping 44-6 loss against them. With this loss, this would allow the Eagles to head into the playoffs and leave the Cowboys watching from wherever they usually watch.

5 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers

Before you make fun of the Steelers, I think all of the Steelers fan deserved enough. I mean, to be honest we kind of deserved it. So about this season. The Steelers were not really that much of a favorite when it came to winning the Super Bowl. Well, we answered them wrong with a whopping 11-0 record, even though we barely won in some games to be for real. But that feat was quickly forgotten when we dropped 3 straight to the Washington No-Namers, Bills, and of all teams, the Burrowless Bengals. We did thankfully get a win against the Colts, but we rested our starters in Week 17 and lost to Cleveland, Speaking of which, we ended up losing to the Browns in the WIld Card 48-37. And even worse, they let them score a total of 28 points in just the 1st quarter. At this point, it was all over from there. I know I might be sounding a little sour, so to all the Browns players and fans, good game. :)

6 1994 Philadelphia Eagles

The 1994 Eagles were led by head coach Rich Kotite and they looked very promising, for like the first half of the season. After losing their first game to the Giants, they won 7 of their next 8 games to have a record of 7-2. THey weren't a powerhouse, but they could find ways to win. The offense was it's biggest part, with stars such as Randall Cunningham, Herschel Walker, and Fred Barnett. But for some reason, they fell very fast. The defense couldn't get going at all as they allowed 26 or more points a total of 4 times. Same goes for the offense. In 5 of their final 7 games, they were allowed under 20 points. They lost all of their final 7 games to finish with a record of 7-9, which ended getting Rich Kotite fired.

7 2008 Denver Broncos

If you thought the Cowboys collapse in 2008 was bad enough, here's another that just might even be worse! The Broncos didn't really have a good defense and the rushing wasn't good at all, but with the help of the pro bowler Jay Cutler and Wide Receiver duo Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal, they made it to a 8-5 record with only 3 weeks left in the regular season. All the Broncos needed was 1 more win or 1 more loss from the Chargers to win the division, and may I remind you, the Chargers were only 4-8. The first game against the Panthers, they lost 30-20. Denver then dropped another loss against the Bills at home. That meant they were 8-7. And even worse, the Chargers won three straight games, also making their record 7-8. They would face each other in a winner take all Week 17 match. The Broncos didn't even show up. The Chargers went lights out on them, and the final score total was 52-21. That meant the Chargers were in and Broncos weren't

8 2014 San Francisco 49ers

You know, it's actually amazing how many times the 49ers got so far and fell so short. They were entering the season after the heartbreaking interception that was thrown in the 2013 NFC Championship. They were entering the season to be Super Bowl favorites under their head coach Jim Harbaugh. To start out the season, they were battling what record they would have, and eventually, that found themselves at a solid 7-4 record. That meant they only had 5 games left to go. But then they fell very, very, hard. They first lost 19-3 to their rivals the Seahawks, then they lost to the Raiders which is quite embarrassing since they only won 3 times that year. They then dealt with final blows to another loss to Seattle and a kind of surprising loss to the San Diego Chargers. They were 7-8, and at this point, there was no going back. Good news sort of, they did get a win in Harbaugh's final game with them.

9 1998 Pittsburgh Steelers

Good job Pittsburgh, you found yourselves on the list again. Here's a medal. Entering into the 1998 season, the Steelers were coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Denver Broncos led by John Elway. And entering into the season, the expectations were pretty high for Bill Cowher, the head coach for the Steelers at that team. In just their first 11 games, they were at a solid 7-4 record. It looked like they were gonna make it to the playoffs, except they didn't. The brutal collapse first began with a overtime loss against the Lions. Then they lost to the Patriots, you know, before they had Tom Brady. Then it continued with a road loss to Tampa Bay in a sluggish game that had a score of 16-3. They then lost their chances to be in the playoffs by losing to a 2-12 Bengals team. And to add insult to injury, they lost to the Jaguars 21-3, making them lose 5 in row, and finish with a record of 7-9.

10 2000 New York Jets

Even though they did collapse at the end, it was actually off to a rocky start. The head coach at the beginning of the season Bill Belichick left the Jets after only 1 day with them. The Jets then got Al Groh and looked to be good in the coaching job when they were 9-4 and ready for a playoff position. Led by starts Vinny Testaverde and Curtis Martin, they looked like they could do good in the playoffs. Well, the last three games were but anything good for them. First they were womped by the Raiders by 24 points, then they lost by a field goal against the Lions, and the final blow, they lost who would become the Super Bowl champs of that season, the Baltimore Ravens. This would drop them to 9-7 and they would just miss out on the playoffs. Why didn't they show up during the final games? And the final blow, Al Groh left the team to coach at the college of Virginia Tech.

The Contenders
11 2003 Minnesota Vikings
12 2020 Las Vegas Raiders
13 2007 Detroit Lions
14 2023 Philadelphia Eagles
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