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The Biggest Upsets in American Football


We all love to see David beating Goliath in every sphere of life. In sports, you will find plenty of instances where the underdog came from behind to beat the hot favorite in a remarkable game. Most watchers will love to see the story except, of course, the fans of the team that was expected to win. In the NFL too, over its long history, you will find several monumental upsets that have surprised many observers. The fans know teams, which are heavily favored to win are never safe unless they perform on the pitch to their potential.  Even the #1 team of the season can blow a game on a bad day.


Here are some of the biggest upsets ever in American football –


  1. New York Giants vs. New England Patriots (February 3rd, 2008 – Super Bowl XLII)


This is one of the biggest upsets based on expectations. Heading into the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots shattered many records, whereas the New York Giants were extremely scrappy and somehow managed to make to the Super Bowl. Eventually, The Giants won 17-14 in a surprise result. The quarterback Eli Manning was fabulous on the day.


  1. New England Patriots vs. St. Louis Rams (February 3rd, 2002 – Super Bowl XXXVI)


The New England Patriots were the underdogs despite causing an upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a previous round. That’s because The Rams were very strong and one of the best teams and were listed as a 14-point favorite to win. The Patriots had a strong season but were still not that well known. The game was a thriller, eventually ending in a 20-17 victory for The Patriots.


Only a few bookies had predicted that The New England Patriots would win this game. This is why, if you are into betting, you should get odds from many bookmakers. On this site, you will have access to the world’s largest database of betting predictions from experts from around the globe. You will get game odds from many bookmakers. It offers predictions based on information from various sources, which naturally improves your winning chance.


  1. Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers (January 25th, 1998 – Super Bowl XXXII)


It certainly seemed like John Elway, the legendary quarterback, may end his career without getting the big one. When Denver faced the Packers, they had a 0-4 record in Super Bowls, and Elway, 37 at the time, was 0-3 personally. The Green Bay Packers were listed as a 12-point favorite. The QB got plenty of help from Terrell Davis and his other teammates. Denver Broncos became only the second wild-card team that won a Super Bowl. They won road matches against Pittsburgh and Kansas City.


  1. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills (November 7th, 2021)


Heading into Week 9, the Bills were expected to easily beat the Jaguars. They were the favorites between 14.5 and 16. Entering the game, they had a 5-2 record whereas the Jaguars were 1-6. QB Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills was in hot form and had won many MVPs the season before.


Allen had one of his best games, but The Jaguars managed to limit the running backs of the Bills. The defensive display of The Jaguars delivered one of the biggest upsets in American football. They won 9-6.


  1. San Diego Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts (January 13th, 2008 – Divisional)


Indianapolis Colts had a dominant 13-3 record in the regular season of 2007 and was the favorite to win. They were 10.5-point favorites heading into the AFC Divisional playoffs over The Chargers. It was going well for The Colts for a while as they were leading 10-7 and LaDainian Tomlinson, a top player of the San Diego side, had a bruised knee and had to leave the game. The QB Philip Rivers hurt his knee and also had to leave.


Backups Michael Turner (RB) and Billy Volek (QB) performed miraculously, causing an upset 28-24 win for the San Diego Chargers. It was another heartbreaking playoff loss for The Colts.


  1. New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (January 27th, 2002 – AFC Championship)


New England Patriots were ranked second, while The Steelers were the top seed. They had just lost three games in the year and had one of the best defensive units. The Patriot QB Drew Bledsoe was injured. Tom Brady was also injured and was replaced by Bledsoe, who led them to a win, which took the team to their third Super Bowl. Just a week later, they defeated another favorite, stunning The Rams 20-17.


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts (January 15th, 2006 – Divisional)


Indianapolis Colts started the 2005 season with an incredible 13-0 record, which made them one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning, the star quarterback, was looking very good. The Cots were a 10-point favorite over The Steelers. After three quarters, the team from Pittsburg was leading 21-3.


However, The Colts stormed back in the fourth quarter and cut the lead down to 21-18. The Steelers won as Mike Vanderjagt, who is otherwise very accurate, missed a field goal. They eventually won the AFC Championship by beating The Broncos.


  1. Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots (December 29th, 2019)


Entering Week 17, it was expected to be an easy game for the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. After all, they had a 12-3 record and had defeated Miami 43-0 earlier in the season, which gave them a huge 17.5-point advantage. With a win, The Patriots would be able to get a bye and avoid the AFC Wild Card playoffs.


However, this time, Bill Belichick, the coach of The Patriots, had no answer to the schemes of Brian Flores. Tom Bradystruggled with the defense of The Patriots, completing only 16 of 29 passes. Miami won 27-24 and it was the first time in 10 years The Patriots could not get a first-round bye. Since 2008, this was also Miami’s first win in New England.


There are favorites but there can never be any sure winner in sports. You may have the best players, an awesome coach, and a great record, but you will still have to be at your best on the day to win. This uncertainty makes sports so exciting and interesting. The underdog always has a chance even with a poor head-to-head record. American football has seen many major upsets over the years. How many of these awesome games have you seen?

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