by Rob Joyce
The Colts and Bills was supposed to be one of the less enticing games on the Sunday slate, with Indianapolis (3-9) long out of the playoff picture and Buffalo (6-6) starting backup Nathan Peterman with their playoff hopes looking dicey. Instead, it was must-see television.
In a snow-driven and wind-gusting Buffalo, players from both sides looked downright human, slipping and sliding all over the place in what became a 13-7 Bills overtime win. Passes were nearly impossible to complete, cutbacks running weren’t an option, and field goals were a circus. Consider that Adam Vinatieri’s game-tying 43-yard extra point was arguably the best kick of the season. It was phenomenal, and it will go down in the pantheon of the best snow games in NFL history, along with these classics:
5) Eagles vs. Lions, 2013:
LeSean McCoy really likes the snow. On Sunday he ran for 156 yards, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime. His career high in yards also came in the snow, back in 2013 with the Eagles, when he ran for a franchise-high 217 yards and two scores in a 34-20 Philly win. There was a lot of offense in this game, but neither team trusted their kickers in the conditions: there were eight touchdowns, and seven two-point tries.
4) Packers vs. Buccaneers:
It’s called the “Snow Bowl”, and with good reason. Green Bay received 16 inches of snow, causing fans to drive their snowmobiles to Lambeau. Those who braved the weather didn’t see much of a game, as the Packers overwhelmed the Bucs 21-0.
3) Eagles vs. Cardinals, 1948:
The first televised NFL championship game, the snow in Philly was so bad that the players had to help the grounds crew remove the tarp because it was too heavy, and three extra officials were called in to help call the game. Once the game actually began, offense was, well, at a premium. Scoreless until the fourth quarter, the then-Chicago Cardinals fumbled in their own territory, giving Philly a short field. Steve Van Buren’s touchdown run was the lone score in a 7-0 Philly win.
2) Cowboys vs. Dolphins, 1993:
(Watch video up top)
On Thanksgiving Day in a rare Dallas winter wonderland, Dallas led Miami 14-13 in the final seconds. The Dolphins lined up for a potential game-winning 40-yard field goal that the Cowboys blocked. All they had to do was let it sit there and the game was over, but Leon Lett tried to recover the loose ball. Once he touched it the ball became live, the Dolphins recovered, had a much shorter field goal attempt, and won 16-14.
1) Patriots vs. Raiders, 2002:
The most famous game in the snow came in the 2002 AFC Divisional Round that’s remembered for two plays. First, a Tom Brady fumble with 1:50 left would have sealed an Oakland victory. By way of the “Tuck Rule”, it was overturned, New England kept the ball and Adam Vinatieri began his legend with a 45-yard kick in the snow to tie the game, then a 23-yard game winner in overtime. The Pats won 16-13, went on to win the Super Bowl, and the rest is history.