Two number one seeds went down in defeat this past weekend, so let’s take a look at some of the even bigger upsets in NFL Playoff history.
Washington Football Team defeat Chicago Bears – 1986 Divisional Playoffs – Jan. 3rd, 1987
The Bears won the NFL Central Division in 1986, back when there were only three divisions in each conference, and Washington had made it into the Wild Card spot in the playoffs.
The Bears were also the defending Super Bowl champions coming off the run of their famous ’85 team.
Bears QB Doug Flutie led his team to a 13-7 lead at halftime, but the Bears soured in the 2nd half allowing 20 unanswered points to be scored by Washington.
Washington QB Jay Schroeder threw two touchdown passes to Art Monk, and George Rogers had a rushing touchdown.
A Flutie interception and fumble by Walter Payton secured the victory for Washington who went on to win the game 27-13.
Indianapolis Colts defeat Kansas City Chiefs – 1996 Divisional Playoffs – Jan. 7th, 1996
In 1995, the Kansas City Chiefs held the best record for the regular season, won the AFC West with a record of 13-3, and enjoyed home field advantage through their playoff journey.
At the time, the Colts were in the AFC East and finished with a record of 9-7, putting them in the Wild Card slot.
Indianapolis wasn’t thought to have much of a chance, especially with Marshall Faulk out due to injury.
The Colts traveled to San Diego and advanced, winning 35-20 and setting up their showdown with Kansas City.
Despite being the 11 point underdogs, playing Kansas City on their home turf and below zero weather, the Colts showed up ready to win.
The Chiefs scored with a pass thrown from Steve Bono to Lake Dawson in the first quarter – and this would be the end of their scoring for the remainder of the game.
Colts QB Jim Harbaugh found Floyd Turner with a touchdown pass and Colts kicker Cary Blanchard hit a 30 yard field goal.
Indianapolis’ fortunes combined with three interceptions from Bono and a crucial missed field goal sealed the end for Kansas City, as the Colts went on to win 10-7.
Atlanta Falcons defeat Green Bay Packers – 2003 NFC Playoffs – Jan. 4th, 2003
The Packers were the NFC North Division Champs during the 2002 NFL season with a record of 12-4, and a perfect 8-0 home record.
Atlanta, the number six seed in the NFC South, came into the game with a record of 9-6-1 and were a Wild Card team.
The showdown featured young QB Michael Vick against Green Bay’s Brett Favre.
Atlanta delivered a surprising first half blow to Green Bay, dishing out a 24-0 lead going into halftime.
The Falcons forced five turnovers – three at the expense of Favre, and blocked a punt attempt for a touchdown.
Atlanta secured victory with a score of 27-7.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat Philadelphia Eagles – 2002 NFC Championship – Jan. 19th, 2003
The Donovan McNabb led Philadelphia Eagles had a 2002 regular season record of 12-4 and were the number one seed, via tie breaker, in the NFC.
QB Brad Johnson led the Atlanta Falcons into Philadelphia with the team considered to be the underdogs due to the belief they weren’t going to fare well playing in cold weather.
The game was tied at 10-all in the second quarter with both teams sparring scoring drives.
Johnson hit a touchdown pass to Keyshawn Johnson, giving the Bucs a 17-10 lead at the half.
Tampa’s defense stopped the Eagles in the second half,m and a blocked pass from McNabb allowed a 92-yard return for the Bucs.
Tampa took the victory 27-10.
Pittsburgh Steelers def. Indianapolis Colts – 2005 AFC Divisional Playoffs – Jan. 15th, 2006
The Colts owned the best regular season record at the time, sitting at 14-2, and had enjoyed home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Pittsburgh had to win the Wild Card round against the Bengals to set up their meeting with the Colts.
Their prior meeting, with Indianapolis destroying Pittsburgh 26-7, placed the Steelers as the underdogs going into the game.
From the gate, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger cannoned two touchdown passes to take a 14-0 lead.
The Colts, only able to muster a field goal attempt, found themselves on the wrong end of a 14-3 score at the half.
Jerome Bettis scored another touchdown in the beginning of the second half to give the Steelers a 21-3 lead.
Colts QB Peyton Manning was able to throw two touchdown passes, putting his team back in the game.
It was a failed two point conversion play by the Colts, that would have sent the game into overtime, that saw them fall to the Steelers 21-18.