NFL’s Most Unforgettable Upsets and Underdog Stories

NFL's Most Unforgettable Upsets and Underdog Stories

In the illustrious history of the National Football League (NFL), there have been moments that transcended the game itself, leaving an indelible mark on fans and players alike. Among these moments are the incredible upsets and underdog stories that have defied the odds and captivated audiences, showcasing the sheer unpredictability and magic of football.

The Improbable Triumphs

The NFL is a theater of riveting triumphs and stunning upsets that define its legacy. Among the biggest triumphs stand iconic moments like the New York Jets’ unexpected victory in Super Bowl III, Joe Namath’s guarantee immortalized in history.

Equally, the New York Giants’ improbable win against the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII exemplifies the magic of the underdog. However, upsets like these aren’t limited to Super Bowls; they permeate the regular season, shaping narratives and defying expectations.

These monumental events spotlight football’s captivating unpredictability and serve as enduring testaments to the relentless spirit and prowess of NFL teams. Let’s have a closer look at some of the most iconic wins in the NFL.

Super Bowl III: The Guarantee and the Underdog Victory

One of the most iconic upsets in NFL history occurred during Super Bowl III when the New York Jets, led by quarterback Joe Namath, took on the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. Namath famously guaranteed victory before the game, and against all odds, the Jets secured a historic 16-7 win. This victory not only solidified Namath’s legend but also marked the AFL’s arrival on equal footing with the NFL.

‘The Catch’ in Football: The 1981 NFC Championship Game

The San Francisco 49ers faced the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game. Trailing by six points with under a minute left, the 49ers, led by Joe Montana, orchestrated a stunning drive culminating in a game-winning touchdown pass to Dwight Clark in what is now known as “The Catch.” This victory propelled the 49ers to their first Super Bowl title.

David vs. Goliath: The 2007 New York Giants and Super Bowl XLII

In Super Bowl XLII, the undefeated New England Patriots seemed destined for a perfect season until they encountered the New York Giants. Despite being significant underdogs, the Giants’ defense pressured Tom Brady relentlessly, and Eli Manning’s iconic pass to David Tyree – known as the “Helmet Catch” – led to a game-winning drive and an improbable 17-14 upset victory.

The Music City Miracle: Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills

During the 1999 AFC Wild Card Playoff game, the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills were tied with seconds left on the clock. A last-ditch kickoff return, including a lateral pass known as the “Music City Miracle,” resulted in a stunning touchdown, propelling the Titans to victory and etching a memorable chapter in NFL folklore.

Super Bowl XLIV: The Saints Upset the NFL’s Best Colts

Super Bowl XLIV witnessed an enthralling showdown between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, culminating in a remarkable upset. The Colts, led by Peyton Manning, entered the game as favorites against the Saints, helmed by quarterback Drew Brees. However, the Saints’ relentless determination and strategic play led to a thrilling clash. Despite Manning’s brilliance, the Saints’ resilience and aggressive defense, notably Tracy Porter’s interception returned for a touchdown, sealed a historic victory. This triumph marked the Saints’ first-ever Super Bowl win, showcasing their ability to overcome odds and etching an unforgettable chapter in NFL history.


In the NFL, upsets and underdog stories are the embodiment of the sport’s unpredictability and resilience. They remind us that no matter the odds, determination, skill, and a touch of fate can shape history on the gridiron. These tales of unexpected triumphs continue to inspire, proving that in football, anything is possible.

What’s your favorite NFL upset or underdog story? Share your thoughts below and join us in celebrating these remarkable moments in football history.