Most heartbreaking missed field goals in NFL history

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Most heartbreaking missed field goals in NFL history originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

You had one job!

There are few moments in sports more devastating than when an NFL team does everything needed to put itself in position to tie or win the game, only to have their kicker shank the field goal, or worse, hit the upright for that extra gut punch.

Nick Folk did just that on Sunday night, albeit it from 56 yards out in the rain, in the final minute of the New England Patriots' 19-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Tom Brady's return.

The kicks listed below came when the stakes were a little higher and the kicks a little easier, making for some of the most heartbreaking missed field goals in NFL history.   

Scott Norwood, Buffalo Bills -- 1991

What would have been a Super Bowl-winning kick instead is the most infamous of all missed field goals. Scott Norwood lined up for a 47-yard attempt with eight seconds remaining and the Buffalo Bills trailing the New York Giants 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV. With the championship on the line, and the world watching, Norwood's kick sailed wide right. 

Doug Brien, New York Jets -- 2005

Not one but two misses in the final two minutes? That's what Doug Brien did when the New York Jets played the 15-1 Pittsburgh Steelers in a 2005 divisional round playoff game. With the score tied at 17-17, he missed a 47-yard attempt with 2:02 left. He got a chance at redemption after Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception on the ensuing play, leading to a 43-yard attempt by Brien with four seconds remaining. No good. The Steelers went on to win in overtime. 

Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings -- 2016

When Walsh lined up for a 27-yard field goal that would have sent the Minnesota Vikings to the divisional round, he had been 32-for-33 on attempts inside of 30 yards in his career. That dropped to 32-for-34 after shanking the kick and ending the Vikings' season with a 10-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Gary Anderson, Minnesota Vikings -- 1999

Anderson didn't miss a field goal during the regular season. So, when he lined up for a 38-yarder with Minnesota looking to increase their 27-20 lead over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, it seemed the Vikings' ticket to the Super Bowl was punched. Anderson missed, the Falcons tied the score in the final minute and went on to win in overtime.

Billy Cundiff, Baltimore Ravens -- 2012

Joe Flacco helped set up a chip shot with 15 seconds remaining that would have forced overtime against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Cundiff missed badly, sending the Pats back to the Super Bowl.

Lin Elliott, Kansas City Chiefs -- 1996

Third time wasn't a charm for Elliott, who missed all three of his field goal attempts for the top-seeded Chiefs against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC divisional playoffs. The third miss was on a 42-yarder that would have tied the score with 42 seconds remaining in what became a 10-7 season-ending loss.

Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis Colts -- 2006

The Colts were on the verge of erasing a 21-3 fourth-quarter deficit when Vanderjagt lined up for a potential game-tying 46-yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining. The comeback fell three points short after Vanderjagt's kick was "Not even close. Wide right."

Jan Stenerud, Kansas City Chiefs -- 1971

Before the AFC divisional playoff matchup between the Chiefs and Miami Dolphins on Christmas Day became the longest game in NFL history, Stenerud had a chance to end it in regulation. But he missed a potential go-ahead field goal with 35 seconds remaining. The Dolphins went on to win on a field goal in the second overtime, ending the Chiefs' season and a game that lasted 82 minutes and 40 seconds.

Cody Parkey, Chicago Bears -- 2019

It's known as the "Double Doink." With the Bears trailing the Philadelphia Eagles 16-15 with 10 seconds left in an NFC wild card game, Parkey's potential game-winning field goal from 43 yards out hit the upright and then the crossbar, ending the Bears' season in cruel and loud fashion.   

Pete Stoyanovich, Miami Dolphins -- 1996

With Dan Marino looking to make another run at an elusive Super Bowl championship, Miami trailed the San Diego Chargers 22-21 in the closing seconds of the AFC divisional playoff. Stoyanovich lined up for a potential game-winning 48-yard field goal with six seconds remaining that would have sent Marino and the Dolphins to the AFC title game but he missed wide right.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys -- 2007

It's not always the kicker who botches a pivotal field goal. Sometimes it's a quarterback named Tony Romo. With the Dallas Cowboys trailing the Seattle Seahawks 21-20 with 1:19 remaining in an NFC wild card game, Martin Gramatica lined up for a potential game-winning 19-yard chip shot. But Romo dropped the hold, scrambled and got stopped for no gain, ending the Cowboys' season in an unprecedented and heartbreaking fashion.