Wild Card Gold


The game’s greatest players shine during the biggest games so it comes as little surprise that many Gold Jackets (living Hall of Famers) have their names still cemented in the NFL’s record book for Wild Card Games.

“Gold Jacket” Wild Card Moments


Class of 2014 enshrinee Andre Reed was at his best during the NFL’s greatest comeback. The cagey wide receiver fueled the Buffalo Bills remarkable rally from a 32-point deficit against the Houston Oilers. Reed became the first, and remains the only, player to register three touchdown receptions in an AFC Wild Card Game. His scoring strikes came from distances of 26, 18, and 17 yards as Buffalo stunned the Oilers 41-38 in overtime. On the day, Reed hauled in 8 catches for 136 yards from Buffalo’s backup QB Frank Reich.


No player in NFL history has played in the Wild Card game more than Gold Jacket guard Randall McDaniel. The Class of 2009 enshrinee played in the NFC Wild Card nine times. Seven of the nine Wild Card tilts came as a member of the Minnesota Vikings (1988, 1992-94, 1996-97, 1999) and two in his final seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-01).


Barry Sanders returned to action for the first time since being sidelined with a knee injury suffered on Thanksgiving Day. The exciting runner sparked the Lions attack as he gained 169 yards rushing on 27 carries against the division rival Green Bay Packers. Sanders rushing total that day remains the most ever in a NFC Wild Card Game.


In a game that featured the Pittsburgh Steelers Franco Harris making an astonishing 11 catches, it was the San Diego Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts who stole the show. He engineered two fourth quarter touchdown drives, both capped by TD throws to tight end Kellen Winslow, that erased a 28-17 Pittsburgh lead. Fouts, who finished with 333 yards, threw a 12-yard game-winning touchdown to Winslow with one minute remaining in the contest.


Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe had an epic game in the ’93 AFC Wild Card Game against the rival Los Angeles Raiders. Sharpe tied a longstanding playoff record when he registered an incredible 13 catches courtesy of his quarterback John Elway. Sharpe’s 156 receiving yards were a big chunk of the total yardage in this shootout in which the two teams combined for more than 800 yards of offense.

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