1950s1960s1970s1980sDallas CowboysESPNFootballGreat GamesHighlightsHistoryJohn FacendaLegendsNew York GiantsNFLNFL FilmsNFL Hall of FamePhiladelphia EaglesSan Francisco 49'ersSpecialsSteve SabolTom Landry

NFL – 1950 to 1990 – NFL Films Special – Greatest Finishes + Unbelievable Comebacks


This NFL Films production of Greatest Finishes and Comebacks Ever….is a priceless production by the best film company ever to have live footage of NFL contests…..as Ed and Steve Sabol set the “gold standard” for capturing live footage and turning it into awesome stories about the NFL….as evidenced by this 20 minute piece on the greatest finishes and most unbelievable comebacks in the NFL from 1950 to 1990….including highlights of The Miracle at the Meadowlands…..The Catch….and The Immaculate Reception….and some many others…..for this video is “pure gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories here at ImaSportsphile.

The Miracle at the Meadowlands was a fumble recovery by Philadelphia Eagles CB Herman Edwards that he returned for a touchdown at the end of a November 19, 1978….in their National Football League (NFL) game against the New York Giants in Giants Stadium. It is considered miraculous because the Giants were ahead and could easily have run out the final seconds….as they had the ball and the Eagles had no timeouts left….whereas everyone watching expected Giants QB Joe Pisarcik to take one more snap and kneel with the ball….thus running out the clock and preserving a 17–12 Giants upset. Instead, he botched an attempted hand off to FB Larry Csonka….which Edwards picked up the dropped ball and ran 26 yards for the winning score. 

The Catch was the winning touchdown reception in the 1981 NFC Championship Game played between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on January 10, 1982….as part of the  1981–82 NFL playoffs….when with 58 seconds left in the game and the 49’ers facing 3rd-and-3….that San Francisco WR Dwight Clark made a leaping grab in the back of the end zone to complete a 6-yard touchdown pass from QB Joe Montana….which enabled the 49’ers to defeat the Cowboys, 28–27….for The Catch is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events in NFL history….which came at the end of a 14-play, 83-yard drive engineered by Montana. The game represented the end of the Cowboys’ domination in the NFC since the conference’s inception in 1970….and signified the beginning of the 49’ers rise as an NFL dynasty in the 1980’s.

The Immaculate Reception is one of the most famous plays in the history of American football….as It occurred in the AFC divisional playoff game of the NFL between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 23, 1972.  With the Steelers trailing in the last 30 seconds of the game….Pittsburgh QB Terry Bradshaw threw a pass attempt to RB John Fuqua. The ball either bounced off the helmet of Raiders safety Jack Tatum or off the hands of Fuqua….which he missed and as it was falling to the groung…..when Steelers FB Franco Harris scooped it up and ran for a game-winning touchdown. The play has been a source of unresolved controversy and speculation ever since….as many people have contended that the ball touched only Fuqua or the ground before Harris caught it….either of which would have resulted in an incomplete pass by the rules at the time.  Kevin Cook’s The Last Headbangers cites the play as the beginning of a bitter rivalry between Pittsburgh and Oakland that fueled a historically brutal Raiders team during the NFL’s most controversially physical era. 

NFL Films has chosen it as the greatest play of all time….as well as the most controversial play of all time….which is a bit of a dichotomy. The play was a turning point for the Steelers, who reversed four decades of futility with their first playoff win ever….and went on to win four Super Bowls by the end of the decade. The play’s name is a pun derived from the Immaculate Conception, a dogma in the Roman Catholic Church…..kinda like the Hail Mary pass for a similar term. The phrase was first used on air by Myron Cope, a Pittsburgh sportscaster who was reporting on the Steelers’ victory.  A Pittsburgh woman, Sharon Levosky, called Cope before his 11 PM sports broadcast on the 23rd and suggested the name, which was coined by her friend Michael Ord. Cope used the term on television and the phrase stuck.

Any way you cut the pie….this NFL Films Greatest Finishes and Unbelievable Comebacks is a video that each and every fan of the NFL will love watching, so ENJOY!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button