Philadelphia Eagles – 1978
The Eagles had not made the playoffs since 1960 when they entered the 1978 season. Fans were desperate for a winner but the major turnover on the roster under head coach Dick Vermeil left many to wondered when that would come. After a decent start to open the year, they started to fall apart by midseason. Back to back losses to Dallas and St. Louis left them at 4-5.
They barely outlasted the Packers 10-3 the next week and appeared dead to rights in a must-win game against the rival New York Giants. Trailing 17-12 with seconds remaining, the Giants had the ball and knew all they had to do was run out the clock. However, after attempting to kneel caused their QB Joe Pisarcik to get hit, they decided to just hand off to Larry Czonka on the next play.
Pisarcik and Czonka mistimed the exchange, leading to a fumble that Eagles defender Herman Edwards returned for a game-winning touchdown. Dubbed the “Miracle at the Meadowlands,” Philadelphia used the momentum from that to win three of their last five and finish 9-7 to make the playoffs. Thus ended an 18-year nightmare for Philly.