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Top 10 NFL Postseason Goats

Playoff Goats


I guess the fact that picking goats is more fun than picking heroes says something about human nature, or maybe it just says something creepy about my inner darkness.

It's also harder. You can read the stats and headlines and pick out stars, but sometimes the real bonehead playmakers can hide between them both.

Not from me they can't. Here are the 10 biggest goats, those usually reliable athletes who screw up big-time, in the history of the NFL postseason, and I've even made it harder on myself.

How? Well, I've limited placekickers to three, which is hard because they're so easy to pick on. They're smaller and weaker and usually played soccer, where guys fall on the ground writhing in pain if an opponent speaks harshly to them.

1. Rahim Moore

Rahim Moore and Jacoby Jones
Jeff Gross/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Our latest goat deserves the infamy, though I was impressed with the way he totally took the blame for his astonishingly ugly play.

The Denver Broncos' defensive back, of course, gave up a 70-yard touchdown pass in the waning moments of a playoff game Denver looked sure to lose this past weekend.

The Broncos should have been in the penultimate prevent defense, but Moore - as if by divine miracle - somehow, some way allowed Jones to haul in Joe Flacco's pass. The game goes to OT and the Ravens win 38-35.

Some people are already calling it the worst play by a safety in the history of the NFL postseason.

2. Rich Gannon

Gannon's Raiders came into Super Bowl XXVII as favorites over Tampa Bay, but Gannon threw a whopping five interceptions, a Super Bowl record for goat-ness. Three of them were returned for touchdowns for good measure.

3. Jackie Smith

Every time I see this super-blunder, I wince. Everybody I know does because it's the scenario in every young athlete's nightmare: You're wide open in the end zone with a huge game on the line and the easy, game-winning pass slips right through your fingers.

Happened to Dallas tight end Smith in Super Bowl XIII. The Cowboys lost to the Steelers by four. What makes it even more humiliating is Smith was used as a blocking tight end and did not catch a pass the entire season. What a story that would have been.

4. Peyton Manning

Getty Images
In a 2004 playoff game against New England, Manning threw four interceptions, which caused his Colts to lose 24-14.

It looked like the Patriots defense knew exactly what Manning was going to do before he did it.

What? They did? Oh, that's right: This game, if you will recall, was used as an example back in the Spygate scandal of that year.

5. Dan Marino

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I don't like putting Marino on this list because I rode him like a Derby winner in my most successful fantasy league ever, but he deserves it for his last shot at a Super Bowl ring.

In a 2000 playoff game, Marino's Dolphins lost 62-7 to Jacksonville, the worst loss in AFC playoff history. Marino was a pathetic 11 for 25 in passing for 95 yards, He did throw for a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions and had a fumble returned for a TD.

6. Trey Junkin

Junkin is a long snapper. This is a special skills position, which means presumably you practice it over and over, but when it really counted, in a 2002 wild card game, Junkin botched it.

The botched snap happened on a field goal attempt that would have won it for the Giants. In another ironic twist, Junkin had been called out of retirement for this game to replace an injured player.

Now he has to live with the fact the play eventually made it onto the Top-10 Meltdowns on the TV show NFL Top-10.

7. Scott Norwood

Norwood started off one of the most futile Super Bowl periods in recorded history: Buffalo's four straight losses.

His 47-yard miss at the end of the game against the Giants in XXV started the funeral procession.

8. Billy Cundiff

The kicker's missed chip shot in last year's AFC Championship game sent the Ravens home and the Patriots into the Super Bowl. Then, they cut him.

9. Gary Anderson

Anderson made everything in 1998. He did not miss a field goal or an extra point until it really mattered, in the playoffs against the Falcons. His miss allowed Atlanta to tie and go on to beat the Vikings in overtime to make it to the Super Bowl.

10. Matt Hasslebeck

I love guys who bray out outlandish brags and then fail to back it up. They make world-class goats.

In his first playoff game, Hasslebeck called the coin clip before his Seattle Seahawks faced the Packers in OT. "We want the ball and we're going to score," he said, cocky as an Irish lord.

He was close, he just used the wrong pronoun. They got the ball, but it was the Packers who scored when Al Harris picked off a Hasselbeck pass and returned it for a touchdown.

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