The Biggest NFL Upsets Since 1995

Sep 23, 2018 4:19 PM EDT
  • The Buffalo Bills upset the Minnesota Vikings as 16.5-point underdogs on Sunday.
  • The 27-6 win ranks second among the biggest NFL upsets since 1995, with only the Redskins' win as a 17.5-point dog against the Cowboys in 1995 topping it.
  • This marks the 14th time over that time span that a dog of 14 points or more has won straight up.

The 2018 Buffalo Bills are not who we thought they were — as I doubt anyone truly believed that they could go into Minnesota and actually beat the Vikings. And handily, too.

How does their 27-6 upset compare to other historical shockers? Pretty darn good, actually.

Here are all of the two-touchdown dogs to have won straight up since 1995.

Washington Redskins (+17.5) over Dallas Cowboys

Week 14, 1995

Late in 1995, the 10-2 Cowboys were hosting a less-than-mediocre Redskins squad that was only 3-9. What was supposed to be a cakewalk for Dallas was anything but, as Washington came in and won 24-17.

For all the Vikings fans and futures bettors out there: Don’t worry. The Cowboys would go on to win the Super Bowl that season, proving that one ugly, ugly loss does not mean the season is a complete failure.

Buffalo Bills (+16.5) over Minnesota Vikings

Week 3, 2018

Josh Allen and Co. pulled off the NFL’s biggest upset since the Redskins’ win over the Cowboys in 1995. Read more about it here.

Oakland Raiders (+14.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 13, 2009

The 2009 Raiders were not good. They weren’t awful, but in finishing the season at 5-11 they were certainly not good.

They made their wins count for moneyline bettors, though, as they had three upsets with payouts of +500 or greater. In fact, a bettor would have had a 99% ROI if they took the Raiders on the moneyline every game of the 2009 season.

Cleveland Browns (+14.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 10, 1999

The Browns! This was their return to Cleveland, and while they didn’t put up any wins in front of their hometown fans — something Browns fans have since gotten used to — they did manage two road victories.

New York Giants (+14) over Denver Broncos

Week 6, 2017

Remember this one?

Essentially every wide receiver on the Giants had just gotten hurt and New York was off to an 0-5 start. Little would it matter, though, as Eli Manning’s 128 passing yards were supplemented by 100+ yards on the ground from Orleans Darkwa and a pick six from Janoris Jenkins.

Miami Dolphins (+14) over Atlanta Falcons

Week 6, 2017

Two in one week!? Yes, who could forget?

“Smokin'” Jay Cutler brought the Dolphins back from a 17-0 halftime deficit to beat the Falcons, 20-17. Clutch gene like the kind you read about. It also wasn’t the first time the Falcons lost a big lead to an AFC East team that calendar year.

Minnesota Vikings (+14) over Philadelphia Eagles

Week 16, 2010

Hey, at least Vikings fans can think back at the fond memories of Week 16 in 2010, when they upset the Eagles on a Tuesday night. Joe Webb III was under center for Minnesota and Michael Vick threw an interception and lost two fumbles for Philly.

Oakland Raiders (+14) over Philadelphia Eagles

Week 6, 2009

I told you about those ’09 Raiders. Upset machine, they were. Their defense won them this game, as JaMarcus Russell shockingly threw two interceptions in the 13-9 win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+14) over New Orleans Saints

Week 16, 2009

Tampa Bay would score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and a field goal in overtime to beat the Saints … as if they cared. It wound up being a meaningless upset to New Orleans, as the Saints would march to a Super Bowl victory less than two months later.

New England Patriots (+14) over St. Louis Rams

Super Bowl XXXVI

A young fella named Tom Brady against the Greatest Show On Turf.

What could possibly happen?

Arizona Cardinals (+14) over Philadelphia Eagles

Week 4, 2001

A real nail-biter this one was. Anyone who took the Eagles on the moneyline probably had themselves a bad week, month and year as Arizona won on a 35-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds left in the game.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+14) over Denver Broncos

Divisional Round, 1996 playoffs

The only other playoff upset of this bunch, Tom Coughlin led the Jags to a 30-27 win at Mile High. Coughlin certainly knows his ways around a playoff upset, though, as his Giants actually opened as a 14-point dog to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII before being bet down to +12.5. (The Giants won that one.)


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New Orleans Saints (+14) over San Francisco 49ers

Week 9, 1995

With the 49ers winning the previous Super Bowl, oddsmakers were bullish on San Francisco despite a meh 5-2 start — nearly matching its number of losses from the previous season.

The 49ers were taking on a Saints team that was just 1-6 at the time, but New Orleans was not messing around. The Saints scored a touchdown in the third quarter to go up 9-7 and Jim Mora decided to go for two! He wasn’t going to risk a tie, but it wouldn’t matter, as New Orleans won 11-7.

Carolina Panthers (+14) over San Francisco 49ers

Week 10, 1995

Yikes. Not a good two weeks in San Fran. For a second consecutive week, the 49ers managed just one touchdown, losing 13-7. They would end up losing in the divisional round of the playoffs that season to the Packers.

Credit:

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady

Follow Mark Gallant on Twitter
@marky_money

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