Welcome to Page 2's newly revised list of the best NFL playoff games of the Super Bowl era and why we remember them. We'll keep this short so you can get back quickly to Bill Simmons' column, er, get back to work.
1. Chargers 41, Dolphins 38 (OT) AFC divisional playoff
Jan. 2, 1982 at Miami
Hero: Kellen Winslow. Chargers tight end had 13 catches for 133 yards, a touchdown and blocked a crucial field goal at the end of regulation. The image of a dehydrated Winslow being helped off the field by teammates is an NFL classic.
Goat: David Woodley. As soon as their starting quarterback was benched, the Dolphins rallied from 24-0 deficit.
Why we remember: The Chargers' big lead. The hook-and-ladder. Seventy-nine points and 1,036 total yards. Dan Fouts and Don Strock each throwing for more than 400 yards.
Oddity: The Chargers went on to play in weather about 80 degrees colder a week later in the AFC Championship Game in Cincinnati.
to toe with Rex Grossman.
2. Colts 38, Patriots 34 AFC Championship Game
Jan. 21, 2007 at Indianapolis
Hero: Peyton Manning. Overcame pick-six by Asante Samuel to finally get the monkey.
Goat: The hoodie. The ladies might love it, but the mystique is gone.
Why we remember: OK, maybe No. 2 is too high. Maybe we're caught up in the moment. So write a nasty response on your blog. Overcoming an 18-point deficit against a three-time Super Bowl champ (largest in conference title-game history). Indy's 32-point second half. Two offensive linemen and a defensive lineman lined up as a fullback scoring touchdowns. Back-and-forth scoring. Crucial pass-interference calls. Jabar Gaffney's tiptoe TD catch. Whew. This could very well go down as the end of a dynasty and the beginning of another. Or just a cruel set-up for Manning to witness first-hand the coronation of Rex Grossman.
Oddity: Reche Caldwell's eyes.
3. 49ers 28, Cowboys 27 NFC Championship Game
Jan. 10, 1982 at San Francisco
Hero: Joe Montana and Dwight Clark. The touchdown that set a dynasty in motion.
Goat: Everson Walls. He's the one a step behind Clark on the poster.
Why we remember: Clark reportedly jumped higher than any white man ever to that point when he reeled in "The Catch."
Oddity: Don't forget that the Cowboys almost won the game with a last-minute drive.
4. Packers 21, Cowboys 17 NFL Championship Game
Dec. 31, 1967 at Green Bay
Hero: Bart Starr. His quarterback sneak to win it was a make-or-break play in that if the Packers didn't score, they probably didn't have enough time for another play.
Goat: Pete Rozelle. The commish allowed this game to be played despite kickoff temperature of minus-13. Several players claim to still suffer effects of frostbite.
Why we remember: Packers, frozen tundra, Lombardi, this photo.
Oddity: The system of heating coils under the playing surface at Lambeau Field "malfunctioned," making footing extremely difficult. Sorry, Bob Hayes.
5. Bills 41, Oilers 38 (OT) AFC wild-card playoff
Jan. 3, 1993 at Buffalo
Hero: Frank Reich. Buffalo's backup quarterback heroically filled in for the injured Jim Kelly to lead the Bills from a 35-3 deficit.
Goat: Entire Houston roster and coaching staff. You don't gag away a 35-3 lead without a team effort on both sides of the ball.
Why we remember: The largest comeback in playoff history.
Oddity: Buffalo's Don Beebe took two steps out of bounds before making the touchdown reception that made it 35-17.
6. Patriots 16, Raiders 13 (OT) AFC divisional playoff
Jan. 19, 2002 at New England
Hero: Adam Vinatieri. Patriots kicker booted a dramatic 45-yard field goal through a near-blizzard to send the game into overtime, then converted a 23-yard winning field goal.
Goat: Raiders defense. They lost their edge and swagger after the infamous "tuck rule" call went in New England's favor.
Why we remember: The "Tuck Rule" call that saved Tom Brady and the Patriots and Vinatieri's clutch kicks in a driving blizzard in the last game at Foxboro Stadium.
Oddity: That the Pats didn't bring out a snowplow to clear a path for Vinatieri. There was precedent in the case of New England vs. Miami, 1982.
7. Broncos 23, Browns 20 (OT) AFC Championship Game
Jan. 11, 1987 at Cleveland
Hero: John Elway. Broncos quarterback engineered the template for the clutch comeback.
Goat: Marty Schottenheimer. It might not be fair, but it's true. The guy is cursed in the playoffs.
Why we remember: "The Drive."
Oddity: The first four plays of "The Drive" featured running back Sammy Winder a pass and three runs. None of the final 11 plays of "The Drive" went to Winder.
8. Dolphins 27, Chiefs 24 (2 OT) AFC divisional playoff
Dec. 25, 1971 at Kansas City
Hero: Garo Yepremian. Nailed the winning field goal in the second OT and didn't attempt any passes.
Goat: Jan Stenerud. You'd think a Hall of Famer kicker could convert a 31-yard field goal to win a playoff game. In this case, you'd be wrong.
Why we remember: It's still the longest game in NFL history, at 82 minutes, 40 seconds of game time, in the last NFL game at Municipal Stadium.
Oddity: Ed Podolak's 78-yard kickoff return -- just a portion of his 350 all-purpose yards -- went for naught because of Stenerud's miss.
9. Broncos 38, Browns 33 AFC Championship Game
Jan. 17, 1988 at Denver
Hero: Jeremiah Castille. Broncos defensive back caused "The Fumble," sending Denver to the Super Bowl.
Goat: Earnest Byner. He later won a Super Bowl ring with Washington, but that doesn't impress Cleveland fans too much.
Why we remember: Byner's fumble three yards shy of the goal line with just over a minute left as the Browns were marching toward a tying touchdown -- a second straight crushing defeat for Cleveland in the AFC title game.
Oddity: Byner had 187 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in the game. But who remembers that stuff?
10. Steelers 13, Raiders 7 AFC divisional playoff
Dec. 23, 1972 at Pittsburgh
Hero: Franco Harris. Right place, lucky timing.
Goat: Art Rooney. The Steelers' owner was in the elevator at Three Rivers Stadium and missed the big play. Way to give up on your team, fella.
Why we remember: "The Immaculate Reception." Otherwise this game was a dud. Raiders defensive back Jack Tatum says the ball didn't bounce off him. If that's true, then it illegally bounced off John Fuqua to teammate Harris.
Oddity: Many fans remember the Steelers going on to win the Super Bowl after this game. Actually, it was the Dolphins, who compiled a 17-0 record.
Thomas Neumann is an editor for Page 2. Sound off to Page 2 here.