The rest were all crappy plays that happened to be meaningful, or kick returns. Screw kick returns; those would fill the entire list because so much ground gets covered. Sticking with offensive plays only, what are the ten best?
For my list I’ll keep the above five, plus throw in these three:
I’m kinda partial to the Stokely catch. So many things about it make it great. McDaniels first game and 28 seconds from becoming the first Broncos head coach to lose his debut… Orton’s first game after Cutler left… the game as a whole sucked incredibly… and it just came out of nowhere. It gave Broncos fans hope when there was none.
Umm i would have to toss in the fourth down play that D Nabb made to Freddie “i’d like to thank my hands” Mitchell. That sealed it against the Packers… took them to the Super Bowl which they made without TO…
And as a Bears fan… i want to throw in Urlacher ripping the ball out of the Cardinals running back hands (was the Edge?) and returning it for a touchdown… leading to that CLASSIC Denny green meltdown…
“4th and 26” happened a year before the Eagles signed T.O… Also, it didn’t seal the victory, it kept the drive alive that allowed the Eagles to tie the game and go into overtime (which they won). 4th and 26
Are we talking about amazing and impactful, or just amazing? The Freeman catch was one of the coolest plays I remember seeing but in the grand scheme of things it didn’t mean that much.
Also, in what way does Harrison’s pick-6 count as an offensive play? Even if you want to allow for returns in the category I think I’d veto that one because to this day I’m still not sure if he was in the end zone or not. Controversial calls really spoil things like this.
I wonder how you rank cumulative efforts like LDT’s record breaking TD or Brady’s record breaking TD pass. Taken in context those plays might not have been epic but symbolically they are staggering.
Chris Johnson has had some amazing plays where he ran away from the some of the fastest people in the NFL like they were standing still. The plays didn’t mean much, but seeing someone who’s that much faster than elite NFL players was impressive and as memorable as anything I ever saw.
All that said, I think the #1 play for the decade is the final play of the 2000 Super Bowl where Kevin Dyson was tackled inches short of the goal line as time expired in the most exciting Super Bowl of all time. The play came up just short, but as far as memorability and significance it trumps even Tyree’s catch.
Just amazing. Berman’s list was amazing and impactful, which meant that a bunch of them were boring plays when viewed in isolation. The tuck rule play was on there, for example. How the hell is an incomplete pass an amazing play? I also want to ignore cumulative efforts; record breaking plays add nothing to the physical action on the field.
The Freeman play is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. The coolest plays of the decade. Remove all context and just look at the play in isolation. Is the physical action awesome? If so, it goes on the list. That Adrian Peterson run is a good example of awesome, as was that Bengals / Broncos deflected touchdown from week 1 of this season.
You are correct about the Harrison return not being an offensive play. Let’s toss that out and stick with pure offense, otherwise we’ll end up with a bunch of bobbled picks that get returned by bumbling linemen.
Others I thought of while shoveling snow:
Tom Brady completes a pass while sitting on his ass. This play gets hurt because he tried and failed to do the same thing the following week, but the original completion was definitely noteworthy.
Tony Romo scrambles like 30 yards backwards, comes around and finally manages to complete a pass. Not as good as McNabb’s, but in the same ballpark.
Brandon Marshall avoiding practically all 11 defenders as he swung around them to score a touchdown. Maybe not top 10, but worth mentioning.
I was figuring there’d be a couple Adrian Peterson plays, so I’m glad someone was able to link one. If anyone can find a great Chris Johnson run, link away.
Meh. Monumental, certainly. But if the exact same thing happened in the first quarter of week 1, would it be memorable? I don’t think so. Use that as the litmus test.
See, this is why I have trouble thinking up specifics. I have any number of “monumental” plays etched into my memory that had huge implications. Walter Payton’s run that broke the record is indelibly planted in my memory, I can see every second of it in my minds eye, but many of his most electrifying plays all sort of blend into one feeling. I wouldn’t know how to begin to track them down or describe them.
When I think up the plays that make me love football, the Dyson catch/tackle and the Music City Miracle are probably the first two that come to mind, and I’m not even a Titans fan!
One thing I do know, is that if you search “Brandon Lloyd” you’re going to be treated with any number of ridiculous catches. Here’s one of the best.
What a hit. I still go with my nomination because there’s something that inspires chills when a running back *stops running in order to literally throw a defender out of bounds *before taking off again (from a dead stop, again, from a dead stop) and still manages to outrun everyone chasing after him for the touchdown. Power, speed, that play had it all. One of the two deserves to be on the list though.
Yeah, totally. That’s part of the reason I started this thread. Hopefully others can surprise us with fantastic plays we forgot about. For me, it was the Freeman play which I’d forgotten but instantly remembered on viewing. Same with the great Jurevicius catch.
Incidentally, I remember that Brandon Lloyd play you’re talking about. As a Giants fan, I was quite discouraged when he became a Redskin, thinking the Giants were in serious trouble having to face Johnny Circus Catch twice a year. Oddly he never seemed to show up for Washington.
That play ended up being negated by a penalty which seems to mean that no one saved a replay of it! Frustrating, have I mentioned how stupid it is for the NFL to keep yanking highlight videos off Youtube and everything? Like us sitting here linking amazing plays wold really hurt their product? It’s not like they offer a subscription service.