Amazing Plays in NFL History


By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

It might be just a game, but some football plays are so exciting that they become lasting cultural touchstones. How much do you know about the most amazing plays in NFL history?

How much time was left on the clock when the Titans received the final kickoff from the Titans in the 1999 AFC Wildcard playoff game?

The Titans were down by one when the Bills kicked off with only 16 seconds left in the game. The Titans threw two laterals, which shook Kevin Dyson free. He sprinted for a 75-yard TD and the incredible win.


In a 1975 divisional playoff game, Cowboys QB Roger Staubach threw a desperation pass to beat which team?

Staubach's last-gasp pass went to wide receiver Drew Pearson, who strolled in for the TD that beat the Vikings. Vikings fans were furious and some insisted that Pearson committed offensive pass interference in order to make the catch.


Which team benefited from a play that's now called the Immaculate Reception?

With just 22 seconds left, an Oakland safety broke up a long pass from Pittsburgh's Terry Bradshaw. The ball careened into the arms of Steeler Franco Harris, who took the ball in for the winning TD.


At the end of the game, how did the Seattle Seahawks lose the 2015 Super Bowl?

Knocking on New England's goal line, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson inexplicably threw a pass. A Patriots rookie named Malcom Butler jumped the route and grabbed the interception, sealing the Patriots win.


San Francisco wide receiver Dwight Clark made "The Catch" in a playoff game against which team?

With just seconds to play in the NFC Championship game against the Cowboys, Clark jumped as high as he could to barely snag a pass from Joe Montana. The 49ers went on to win that year's Super Bowl, and a dynasty was born.


In 1964, a player for which team scooped up a fumble and ran the ball into the wrong end zone?

Minnesota's Jim Marshall grabbed a 49ers fumble and sprinted 66 yards to the wrong end zone, resulting in a safety. Along the way, his teammates screamed at him in vain to turn around and go the other way.


Which team won a hotly contested game thanks to a play called "The Holy Roller"?

In 1978, Oakland was knocking on the door of the Chargers' end zone, but there were only 10 seconds left. QB Ken Stabler fumbled the ball forward, and it was batted forward multiple times … until a Raiders player fell onto it in the end zone, sealing the Oakland victory.


In 2007, Giants receiver David Tyree made a spectacular catch in the Super Bowl versus which team?

With just over a minute remaining, Giants QB Eli Manning threw a desperation pass in Tyree's direction. Tyree managed to pin the pass against his helmet and somehow kept control of the ball. Just four plays later, the Giants score a TD to win the game over New England.


Which kicker made a famous 45-yard field goal during blizzard conditions against the Raiders in 2001?

With the Patriots down by three points, Adam Vinatieri kicked a game-tying field goal in a winter gale. The game went into overtime and, thanks to another Vinatieri kick, the Patriots won by three.


In 1960, what happened to Frank Gifford when he was hit by Eagles player Chuck Bednarik?

Bednarik hit Gifford so hard that he knocked him unconscious … and straight into retirement. Two years later, Gifford came out of retirement. The hit from Bednarik was one of the most famous in league history.


How long was the last-second kick attempt by Buffalo's Scott Norwood during Super Bowl XXV against the Giants?

At 47 yards, the kick was no gimme, especially given the sky-high stakes. Norwood pushed the kick wide right and gained infamy in NFL history.


In 1958, Baltimore running back Alan Ameche (known as The Horse) blasted a 1-yard TD to beat which team in the league's first-ever overtime game?

The Colts, led by QB Johnny Unitas, drove to New Yorks' 1-yard line in overtime. Ameche scored on the next play to propel the Colts to a thrilling victory that helped popularize football in America.


How long was the NFL-record field goal that Broncos kicker Matt Prater made in 2013?

As time expired in the first half against Tennessee, Prater launched a kick for the ages -- it sailed 64 yards through the uprights, making it the longest field goal in NFL history.


In 1978's "Miracle at the Meadowlands," how did the Eagles beat the Giants?

The Giants simply had to run out the clock with less than 60 seconds to play. Instead, they botched a handoff and Eagles cornerback Herm Edwards grabbed the fumble for a 27-yard TD to win the game.


In a 1998 game versus the Vikings, how many tackles did 49ers QB Steve Young break en route to a last-minute 49-yard TD run?

With time racing away and on third down, Young dropped back to pass but faced heavy pressure from Vikings defenders. He dropped his head and ran, breaking six tackles on his way to the end zone.


During the famous 1974 game in the previous question, what was the score of the game when backup Cowboys QB Clint Longley entered the game in the third quarter?

Dallas was down 16-3 when Longley trotted onto the field with the Cowboys' playoff hopes on the line. Longley calmly led Dallas on three TD drives to win the game.


How did Baltimore beat Dallas on the last play of Super Bowl V?

With the game tied at 13, a rookie placekicker named Jim O'Brien lined up to attempt a 32-yard field goal. In spite of his extreme nerves, O'Brien sent the kick home and the Cowboys packing, giving Baltimore a dramatic win.


Slow-footed Broncos QB John Elway picked up an amazing first down against which team in Super Bowl XXXII?

On a critical third down play near the Packers end zone, Elway tucked the ball and ran for a first down. He was utterly blasted by the Packers' Leroy Butler, who spun Elway like a helicopter in the air. Elway held onto the ball and Broncos went on to win.


How much time was left when Tennessee snapped the ball on the desperate last play of Super Bowl XXXIV?

With 5 seconds remaining in the game, the Titans were trailing by seven points. They needed a quick TD and extra point to send the game into the first-ever overtime Super Bowl. What happened next broke their hearts.


Which team won the game during the "Miracle at the New Meadowlands" in 2010?

The Eagles were down 31-10 to the Giants in the fourth quarter, but Philadelphia QB Michael Vick caught fire, scoring three TDs. On the last play of the game, the Giants lined up to punt and planned to send the game into overtime. Instead, the Eagles DeSean Jackson returned the punt for the winning score.


In which year did the Cowboys shock the Redskins on one of the last plays of a famous Thanksgiving game?

In 1974, backup QB Clint Longley entered the game for the injured Roger Staubach. With just 28 seconds left, Longley threw a 50-yard pass to Drew Pearson for a one-point win.


There was an offensive penalty on the game-winning play of the famous Ice Bowl between the Packers and Cowboys.

Green Bay scored on a last-second play against the Cowboys in the 1967 NFL title game. The Packers' right guard, however, committed a false start … which the referees didn't call, meaning that Green Bay won the game.


Which Dallas running back had a 99-yard run against Minnesota?

In a 1983 game versus the Vikings, the Cowboys were pinned on their 1-yard line. They handed the ball to Tony Dorsett straight up the middle, and he blasted through multiple weak tackles on his way to a 99-yard TD.


In the 2015 Super Bowl, how much time was left on the clock when Seattle threw an ill-fated pass that was interecepted by New England?

Seattle didn't need to throw the ball -- with 26 seconds left, there was still plenty of time left in the game, and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was proving to be a potent weapon. Instead, Seattle threw an interception, sealing their own doom.


In the 1972 Super Bowl, how did the Redskins manage to score their only TD of the day versus the undefeated Dolphins?

The Redskins blocked a field goal attempt, and kicker Garo Yepremian grabbed the ball and decided to throw it. The ball bounced off of his own helmet, Washington intercepted the horrible pass and then returned it for a TD.


During the amazing Immaculate Reception, the ball initially touched Steelers intended receiver John Fuqua.

No one knows for sure whether Fuqua touched the ball before it was batted to Franco Harris. According to the rules of the day, though, if the ball had touched Fuqua, Harris would not have been allowed to catch the ball. The referees ruled the play legal and the Steelers won.


In Super Bowl XXIII, featuring the 49ers versus the Bengals, which San Francisco player made a famous game-winning catch?

John Taylor caught only 14 passes the entire season, but Joe Montana lofted one his way at the end of the game. Jerry Rice was the game's MVP, but Taylor caught the game winner with less than a minute left.


What happened to Tennessee wide receiver Kevin Dyson on the last play of Super Bowl XXXIV?

Dyson snagged a perfect pass from QB Steve McNair and dashed towards the end zone on the last play of the game. St. Louis Rams linebacker Mike Jones grabbed Dyson and pulled him down just short of the end zone, sealing the Rams victory.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!