The NFL is well known for tense finales, fourth-down conversions, last-second field goals and overtime drama but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.
On other occasions, the gulf in class between two teams can be stark, which was certainly the case when the Chicago Bears stunned the then-Washington Redskins 73-0 in the NFL Championship Game in 1940.
That colossal margin of victory is yet to be matched in the Super Bowl era, which started in 1966, but teams still play hard and pummell their opponents into the ground in a bid to repeat that feat. Here are the five biggest modern NFL blowouts:
T4 – Miami Dolphins 7 Jacksonville Jaguars 62 (2000)
Dan Marino is known as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history but his final game, in the AFC Divisional playoff against the Jacksonville Jaguars, was one to forget for the legendary Dolphin.
The Jags, who would go on to lose to the Titans in the AFC Championship Game, racked up 520 offensive yards, including touchdown passes of 39, 70 and 38 yards, and were 38-0 up against their Florida rivals before Marino had even mustered his first completion.
T4 – Indianapolis Colts 7 New Orleans Saints 62 (2011)
Miami’s mauling at the hands of Jacksonville was one of three 62-7 victories in NFL history. The Saints lost by that scoreline against the Falcons in 1973 but exorcised their demons 38 years later, inflicting the same defeat on the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts, who were struggling to adapt to the loss of Peyton Manning, were shredded by Drew Brees, the Saints quarterback completing 31 of 35 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns as New Orleans set a franchise points record.
3 – Arizona Cardinals 0 Seattle Seahawks 58 (2012)
Pete Carroll coached the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl success in 2014 and this team showed what was about to come when they ran all over the hapless Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field in a 58-0 blowout.
Running backs Marshawn ‘Beast Mode’ Lynch and Robert Turbin rushed for over 100 yards apiece while the Seahawks defense dominated Arizona QB John Skelton, who threw four interceptions including a pick six. The Seahawks also recovered an end-zone fumble TD.
T1 – Atlanta Falcons 0 Los Angeles Rams 59 (1976)
The Los Angeles Rams dominated the NFC West throughout the 1970s, winning the division each year from 1973 to 1979, and they still hold a share of the record for widest-margin win of the modern NFL era with this 59-point humbling of the Atlanta Falcons.
Five-time Pro Bowl running back Lawrence McCutcheon ran for 121 yards and three scores on a December afternoon when the Rams set a then-record seven rushing touchdowns, despite utilising three different quarterbacks in the game.
T1 – Tennessee Titans 0 New England Patriots 59 (2009)
Few NFL offensive records can be complete without a mention of Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, who tied the Rams’ 59-point margin of victory when they put the Tennessee Titans to the sword in 2009.
As the snow fell in Foxborough, Brady threw six touchdown passes – one short of the NFL record – against an 0-5 Titans team which ended up, incredibly, with -7 passing yards on the day. They would, howver, bounce back to win their next five games and finish 8-8 for the season.