The 10 Most Surprising Playoff Runs in the Super Bowl Era

More

NFL history is full of rag-tag teams that limped into the playoffs and did some serious damage.

Seattle SeahawksBANNER.jpg

"Tebow Time" was over almost as soon as it began.

Tim Tebow's surprising first season as an NFL starting quarterback had its highs and lows but reached a peak when the controversial quarterback led his Denver Broncos to an improbable Wild Card round victory over the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Tebow hype spread nationwide, but it lasted only a week. Denver traveled to New England, Tebow struggled, the Broncos lost, 45-10 and, as his detractors would argue, order was restored. After all, Cinderellas aren't supposed to make it long in the ultra-competitive NFL playoffs.

But some do. Some stick around beyond their astonishing first victories and go on a run. They hang around. They baffle the pundits and bewilder the fans. They force themselves into the Super Bowl picture.

And some keep winning until there's nothing left to win, and no one else to beat.

Here are the 10 most surprising runs of the Super Bowl era. Most are from recent years because the field has increased, allowing more teams in. It's easier for teams with mediocre records to enter the party and, therefore, crash it.

These teams gave their fans something to cheer about for at least a few weeks, when no one else expected them to.

This post also appears on Bleacher Report, an Atlantic partner site.


Image credit: AP

Jump to comments
Presented by

Drew Bonifant is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In