The 2023 sports calendar was never short of thrilling games.
From a Super Bowl filled with touchdowns to the fall of champions in the women’s Final Four, sports fans everywhere had a lot to be anxious and excited about.
Read below for five of the most suspenseful games of 2023.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Super Bowl LVII
The hype surrounding the 2023 Super Bowl lived up to expectations.
A showdown between the Kelce brothers during their surge in popularity outside the sports realm and a battle between two of the league's top young quarterbacks delivered one of the most entertaining championship games of the year. It included nine touchdowns between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Led by Jalen Hurts, the Eagles took an early lead in the first quarter, but Patrick Mahomes, who was playing on an injured ankle, responded with a touchdown just minutes later to even the score.
This was the pattern of the game throughout the first three quarters until the fourth quarter, when the Chiefs took their first lead with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kadarius Toney. Kansas City kept the momentum going until Hurts tied the game 35-35 with a 2-yard touchdown run followed by a successful two-point conversion.
The game ended with a 26-yard scramble by Mahomes to get the Chiefs within field goal range just in time for Harrison Butker to hit a 27-yard field goal with eight seconds left, giving the Chiefs their second Super Bowl title in just four years.
Iowa vs. South Carolina – 2023 Final Four
Records were set, and records were broken.
The Iowa Hawkeyes faced one of their biggest challenges of the season when they took on the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks in the program’s first Final Four appearance March 31.
Defeating the reigning champs, who had a 42-game winning streak, was no easy feat, but junior Caitlin Clark made it look like it was.
After putting up 41 points against Louisville in the Elite Eight, Clark again scored 41 points to become the first player in NCAA history to record back-to-back 40-point games and knock out South Carolina to reach the program’s first championship game.
"We had nothing to lose. I have all the confidence in the world in this group, and they believe right back in me, and that’s all you need," Clark said after the 77-73 victory. "All we do is believe in one another, and we love each other to death, and that’s what a true team is. If you want an example of a team, that’s what this is."
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets – NFL Week 1
The New York Jets, for the first time in a long time, were considered Super Bowl contenders long before taking their first snap of the season. Hopeful fans packed into MetLife Stadium Sept. 11, eager to see what would become of the franchise following the offseason addition of four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers.
But it only took four plays for those dreams to be shattered.
Rodgers’ season came to an end when he ruptured his Achilles just minutes into his debut in New York. Zach Wilson, who had been the designated backup almost immediately upon Rodgers' arrival, was back in the driver’s seat against the AFC East rival Buffalo Bills.
The Bills took an early lead in the first quarter with a 40-yard field goal, which the Jets responded to in the second. But Josh Allen led the Bills on an 11-play, 75-yard drive to take a 10-3 lead and closed out the half with another 34-yard field goal.
The Jets looked like the Jets.
In a thrilling and unexpected way, Wilson led three successful drives, resulting in two field goals and a touchdown to 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson to take the lead.
The Bills forced overtime, but after they went three and out to start overtime, rookie Xavier Gipson returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and the Jets' first win of the season.
Colorado State vs. Colorado – College Football Week 3
Deion Sanders was off to an incredible start after taking the College Football world by storm with his overhaul of the Colorado Buffaloes football program. After a 2-0 start, Sanders entered Week 3 against Colorado State expecting a challenge, which he got both on and off the field.
The back and forth in the media translated to the field.
Quarterback Shedeur Sanders brought the team back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and then threw two touchdown passes in the two overtimes to give Colorado the 43-35 victory over the Rams in Boulder.
"We showed that we have no surrender or give-up in us," Sanders said after the game. "They never doubted themselves."
The late-night double-overtime victory drew in a massive audience. According to ESPN, 9.3 million viewers turned in, making it the most-watched late-night college football game in the broadcast network’s history.
Oklahoma vs. Texas – College Football Week 6
The final edition of the Red River Rivalry in the Big 12 was certainly one for the books.
The Oct. 7 matchup between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners carried a certain weight as it was the last meeting between the two in the Big 12 with both programs headed to the SEC in 2024.
Oklahoma, likely still bitter from last year’s fiasco at the Cotton Bowl, where Quinn Ewers threw for four touchdowns in a 49-0 Texas victory, battled to the very end, down three with a minute left in the game.
Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel didn’t let off the gas, throwing a three-yard touchdown pass to Nic Anderson with 15 seconds left to claim victory, 34-30.
"This is what OU football is all about. This is why I came here," Gabriel said after the game. "This game. Lot of respect for Texas. They played their butt off."
Gabriel finished the day 23 of 38 for 285 yards and a touchdown, adding 113 yards and a score on the ground.
The rivalry will take on a new meaning next season. Both schools announced earlier this month they will keep the annual game at the Cotton Bowl through 2036, a deal that includes an estimated $140 million renovation project at the stadium.
Fox News’ Joe Morgan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.