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The 20 Greatest Postseason Runs In Sports History

The 20 Greatest Postseason Runs In Sports History

Divisional Playoffs - New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks
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Whether it be by a shocking run or a dominant performance, there have been teams that capture the imagination of their fans. In the playoffs, where the stakes are high and everything is magnified, these 20 teams stepped up and made memorable runs at championships.

20. 2000 Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
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20. 2000 Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
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The reason this Super Bowl run by the Ravens was so impressive is that their defense was so dominant, they were able to win a title with Trent Dilfer at quarterback. Likely the least talented quarterback to win a Super Bowl, this team was anchored by one of the best defenses of all time.

19. 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Four
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19. 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Four
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Out of nowhere, the Lightning burst onto the scene in 2004. Somehow making hockey popular in Florida, the Lightning went on an extremely impressive playoff run and claimed Lord Stanley's trophy as their own.

18. 2011 Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs - Game Seven
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18. 2011 Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs - Game Seven
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The Mavericks, who appeared past their prime, made a run to the NBA Finals. They met the new Big Three and Miami Heat in the Finals and were thought of as heavy underdogs. However, led by veteran role players, the Mavs crushed the Heat's dreams of winning a title in their first year.

17. 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks
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17. 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks
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Pulling off one of the biggest upsets in World Series history, the Dodgers trounced the in-state rival Athletics. That Athletics team was one of the deepest of all time, but propelled by Kirk Gibson's iconic Game 1 home run, the Dodgers won it all.

16. 2007 Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants
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16. 2007 Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants
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At the start of September, the Rockies were a mediocre team. By the end of September, they were one of the most feared teams in the playoffs. Losing only a handful of games in September, they moved through October with ease. That was until they met the tough Red Sox in the World Series and lost.

15. 1999 Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
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15. 1999 Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
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After advancing to the AFC Championship game, the Titans were feeling good. Following the game, which involved the Music City Miracle, the Titans moved on to the Super Bowl. They were painfully close to winning that game as well, coming up just a yard short of the title.

14. 2001 Los Angeles Lakers

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers
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14. 2001 Los Angeles Lakers

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers
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In remarkable and dominating fashion, the Lakers moved their way through the playoffs easily. They went an amazing 15-1 during their playoff run and completed one of the most dominating performances in NBA history.

13. 2002 Anaheim Angels

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Houston Astros
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13. 2002 Anaheim Angels

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Houston Astros
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Powered by the Rally Monkey, the Angels won the World Series. Even though the Rally Monkey was symbolic, it seemed to work pretty well as the Angels were never out of a game. Especially in one of the most classic World Series' in recent memory, the Angels were never out and downed the Giants in seven games.

12. 2012 Los Angeles Kings

Phoenix Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings
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12. 2012 Los Angeles Kings

Phoenix Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings
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As an eight-seed, the Kings moved their way through the unpredictable NHL playoffs. Even though they were one of the least likely teams to even reach the Stanley Cup Finals, they dispatched the Devils and cemented their place among the least likely champions in sports history.

11. 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks

Cleveland Indians v Arizona Diamondbacks
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11. 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks

Cleveland Indians v Arizona Diamondbacks
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After finding themselves in the unlikely position of a World Series against the Yankees, the Diamondbacks made history in a number of ways. In Game 7, they forced Mariano Rivera to blow a save in the ninth (one of two in his postseason career). On a bloop single off the bat of Luis Gonzalez, they won one of the most exciting World Series ever in walk-off fashion.

10. 1985 Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
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10. 1985 Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
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The most dominant defense of all time, the Bears eased their way through the playoffs. Somehow, they didn't give up a single point until the Super Bowl and once there, they gave up just 10 points. This defense gave up 10 points in three games against some of the toughest offenses in the league. Now that is domination.

9. 2003 Florida Marlins

Seattle Mariners v Miami Marlins
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9. 2003 Florida Marlins

Seattle Mariners v Miami Marlins
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Coming back against the Cubs and breaking the hearts of millions of fans in Chicago, the Marlins became a very unlikely World Series team. After they came back from 3-2 down in the NLCS against the Cubs, most still thought they were overmatched by the Yankees. They proved that theory wrong by winning the World Series over the Bronx Bombers.

8. 1991 Denver Broncos

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
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8. 1991 Denver Broncos

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
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After a long and successful career, John Elway thought he might have one more shot at a Super Bowl. After his famous helicopter run set up the game-winning touchdown, the Broncos were finally champions and were set up to win a second title the next year.

7. 2008 New York Giants

Washington Redskins v New York Giants
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7. 2008 New York Giants

Washington Redskins v New York Giants
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After sneaking into the playoffs at 9-7, the Giants seemed like the last team that was going to stand in the way of the undefeated New England Patriots. However, they played a fundamentally sound game and Eli Manning's scramble grouped with David Tyree's famous catch helped push them ahead of the Patriots and made the 1972 Dolphins very happy.

6. 1969 New York Mets

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
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6. 1969 New York Mets

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
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It was a miracle that the Mets even made the playoffs in 1969, much less made a run once they were there. However, that's exactly what they did. They completed one of the least likely runs in regular season history with one of the least likely runs in playoff history as well, winning the World Series.

5. 2011 New Orleans Saints

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
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5. 2011 New Orleans Saints

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
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Several years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans rallied around their football team. An exciting offensive juggernaut, the Saints moved their way through the playoffs to set up a Super Bowl with the heavily favored Colts. Behind the gutsy halftime onside kick call from head coach Sean Payton, the team rallied and won their franchise's first Super Bowl title.

4. 1972 Miami Dolphins

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
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4. 1972 Miami Dolphins

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
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The only NFL team to ever go an entire season undefeated, the Dolphins continued their dominance from the regular season into the playoffs. Fulfilling even the highest of expectations, the Dolphins put themselves into history and the team still pops champagne every year when the last team in the NFL loses their first game.

3. 1996 Chicago Bulls

Utah Jazz v Charlotte Bobcats
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3. 1996 Chicago Bulls

Utah Jazz v Charlotte Bobcats
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The fourth championship in six years for the Bulls was special for a couple reasons. They went 15-3 in the playoffs overall and at one point they won seven straight games against teams with 60 or more regular-season wins. It would be a sign of things to come as it was the start of the team's second three-peat.

2. 2011 St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
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2. 2011 St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
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They were almost out of the division by double digit games at the start of September, and somehow the Cardinals went on a run that landed them in the playoffs on the last day of the season. After more upsets, they reached the World Series. Down to their last strike on two separate occasions, David Freese was the hero in Game 6 and they dominated Game 7 to win it all.

1. 2004 Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros
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1. 2004 Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros
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Down 3-0 to the rival Yankees and trailing in the ninth inning of Game 4, the Red Sox felt like they were in a similar spot. However, after they rallied to win Game 4 and pulled off the greatest comeback in MLB postseason history, they dominated the Cardinals in the World Series and did the seemingly impossible.