Mayan Doomsday 2012: List of NFL Games That Made Fans Think It Was The End of The World

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Dec 21, 2012 12:24 PM EST
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field after their loss to the New York Giants in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 5.(Photo : Reuters) "

Well, the world did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, but it's still early in the day, so who really knows what will happen.

Either way, sports fans know better than most what the end of the world feels like. When you are fully invested in your team or favorite athlete, it can feel like doomsday when they lose. The highs are very high when they win, but the lows can be very low when they lose, especially when it's in a championship game or a close game that could have went both ways.

Here is a list of some of the most heartbreaking games and moments of 2012, some of which made fans feel like it was the end of the world, even for just a day.

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Super Bowl XLVI

New York Giants 21, New England Patriots 17

It couldn't happen again right? The Giants couldn't do it to the Patriots again, could they? Just four years after Manning to Tyree broke the hearts of the Northeastern United States, Manning to Manningham did the same thing again.

In 2008 it may have been more of an "end of the world" loss for Patriots fans because the team came into the game 18-0 against a scrappy Giants team, but this one was pretty bad as well, especially when the final Hail Mary play fell just out of tight end Rob Gronkowski's hands.

Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl MVP award, while the Patriots were forced to go yet another season without adding to their previous three championships from the 2000s. At the end of the game, with the Patriots up 17-14, the Giants started driving down the field following an amazing throw-and-catch from Manning to Mario Manningham on the sidelines that simply defied logic.

Then, with less than a minute left in the game, the Patriots faced two awful options. Allow the Giants to score and get the ball back to try and mount a comeback, or watch as they slowly ran down the clock and kicked a field goal. Patriots coach Bill Belichick chose the former and it didn't end up working out.  Hakeem Nicks made 10 catches for 109 yards, while Victor Cruz had three receptions and a touchdown. 

A heartbreaking loss for Patriots fans and as much as it felt like the end of the world with confetti falling down on Tom Brady's head, the team is at least in first place this season and will have as good a chance as any AFC team to make it back to the Super Bowl.

AFC Championship Game

New England Patriots 23, Baltimore Ravens 20

Baltimore Ravens fans know exactly what the end of the world feels like. They witnessed it first-hand last season as the team lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. It hurt even more because the Ravens literally had the game in their hands and let it slip away.

First, the Ravens had a chance to take the lead in the game after quarterback Joe Flacco threw a ball into the endzone that was caught by wide receiver Lee Evans. Just as he caught the ball, New England cornerback Sterling Moore made a fantastic play and knocked it out for an incompletion.

Okay, so the Ravens wouldn't be able to take the lead, but at least they could kick a last-second field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime, right? Enter Billy Cundiff, the man who made it feel like the end of the world for the Ravens on this day.

Cundiff lined up for a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the game---and shanked it wide left.

"It's a kick I've kicked probably a thousand times in my career," Cundiff said at the time to the Associated Press. "I went out there and didn't convert. That's the way things go."

The Ravens were looking like one of the best teams in the NFL and finally had an offense to back up their tough defense. They had the look and the makeup of a Super Bowl contender and were within a grasp of the game. But they didn't make it.

Brady threw for 239 yards and two interceptions in the game, but added a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave the Patriots a 23-20 lead. Even when the Ravens were able to keep Brady in check in the passing game, he still found a way to get into the endzone.

The team currently is giving their fans some more end of the world feelings as the Ravens have lost three straight and are facing that same Giants team this Sunday that defeated the Patriots earlier this year for the Super Bowl. Both teams need the victory. One will be feeling like it's the end of the world on Sunday. Ravens fans hope it will not be them once again.

NFC Championship Game

New York Giants 20, San Francisco 49ers 17

The Giants make this list again because, well, they shattered some dreams this year on their way to winning their second Super Bowl in four years. As much as they hurt the Patriots in the final game of the year, this one might even be worse.

The San Francisco 49ers were one of the most dominants teams in the NFL all season, going 13-3 while winning the NFC West and taking the number one seed in the playoffs. Even better for the team, they were hosting the Giants, a team they beat earlier in the season in the same stadium. Even better, the 49ers were 7-1 at home during the regular-season. But this was the playoffs.

Things got started off well for the 49ers with a deep touchdown pass to Vernon Davis, but the Giants locked things down and took a 10-7 lead in the third quarter. By the fourth the game was tied and heading into overtime. End of the world feeling about to hit pretty hard.

The 49ers held the Giants in overtime and forced them to punt the ball back to returner Kyle Williams, who earlier in the game misjudged a punt and allowed it to hit his leg, turning the ball over. This time, he got his hands on it, but so did linebacker Jacquian Williams, who poked the ball out, allowing Devin Thomas to wrap it up deep in 49ers territory. A few plays later the Giants lined up for a field goal and made the game-winning kick to go back to the Super Bowl again. World. Ending. For. 49ers. Fans.

Making matters worse later on, the 49ers had a chance this season to get some revenge for the loss when they hosted the Giants on Oct. 14, but came up short again. This time it was in more dominating fashion, as the Giants won 26-3 and barely allowed the offense to move the ball. Another end of the world feeling, but not a complete end of the world, considering it was still early in the season. Either way, 49ers fans know what's up when it comes to the end of the world.

Surely there are more games that fit the bill for this list around all the major sports, but these were the most notable from the past year and offer a nice look at what the end of the world is like in reality: just a bad feeling about what is about to come and nothing more than that.

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