The NFL has had some fascinating moments since its inaugural season in 1920 with some of the best in history coming all throughout the last 100 years. From outrageous last-minute comebacks to huge Super Bowl upsets and extremely risky plays, football fans have been treated to countless incredible moments during the league’s history. Sometimes, these moments are great purely for entertainment, but they often get even more exciting if sports betting is involved.
For example, imagine the outrageous level of glee when a last-minute touchdown turns your losing Over/Under into a winning one. Or the moment you realize you’ve won a risky parlay bet you never thought would come in. NFL predictions can massively improve your chances of placing successful bets, but sometimes the NFL throws up moments nobody saw coming. Here are some of the best moments in NFL history.
The Invention of the NFL Draft (1935)
Not all the best NFL moments happened during games or had anything to do with football playing. For example, the invention of the NFL Draft in 1935 had significant implications for the league that we still feel today. The biggest teams would secure the best players before the NFL Draft’s invention, effectively stifling competition and ensuring the same franchises tasted success each season.
Instead of the best teams getting first dibs on the most promising players coming from the college level, the NFL Draft flips the script. The team with the worst finishing position from the season before gets the first pick, while the Super Bowl winners have to wait until last. Nowadays, the NFL Draft is one of the most exciting parts of the season, bringing in an average of seven million viewers over the previous decade.
1982 NFC Championship Game “The Catch” (1982)
Dwight Clark’s truly unbelievable catch at the end of the 1982 NFC Championship game still goes down as one of the best moments in the history of the NFL for several reasons. With less than one minute of the game, the San Francisco 49ers were trailing the Dallas Cowboys 27-21. The 49ers had almost 100 yards to drive if they wanted to score a game-winning touchdown, so things looked as good as over.
But Joe Montana had other ideas. He drove down the field, reaching the Cowboys’ 6-yard line with just over 50 seconds left on the clock. Dwight Clark was the only available receiver, clinging to Montana’s throw with the edge of his fingertips. The 49ers won 28-27 and secured the Super Bowl that year, starting a new period of dominance for the franchise.
NFL & AFL Complete Merger (1970)
It’s easy to forget that football was divided between several smaller leagues in the first half of the 20th century. The NFL and the AFL came to dominate proceedings, but various player disputes and revenue controversies resulted in a fair amount of tension. Both leagues attempted to steal the best players from under their noses, and the general atmosphere was beginning to sour.
Fortunately, in 1970 the two leagues completed their merger, restoring an element of peace to what was becoming a problematic feud. The result was incredibly positive, bringing millions of new fans to the NFL and establishing exciting new team rivalries. It also enhanced the quality of football on offer via new players and tactics flowering in the aftermath.
Super Bowl XLII The Giants Upset the Patriots (2008)
Before Super Bowl XLII, the New England Patriots were on the cusp of history, aiming to be the first team since the Miami Dolphins to experience an utterly unblemished season. Led by the iconic quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots enjoyed an 18-0 record going into the Super Bowl game against the New York Giants. Nobody saw them losing, and Patriots fans were essentially already celebrating a remarkable achievement.
Perhaps the occasion got too much for them because the Giants ended up causing one of the biggest upsets in the NFL’s history. Quarterback Eli Manning had the game of his life, feeding the forward line with a succession of winning plays. The final score was 17-14, with a shell-shocked Patriots team losing out on their place in history.
Miami Dolphins Record a Perfect Season (1972)
The Miami Dolphins’ outlook may not look incredible, but the franchise is responsible for one of the most impressive moments in NFL history. In 1972, the Dolphins recorded the only ever perfect season, winning every game to set up a 17-0 record.
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