NFL Play of the Year: Ranking the 2011-12 Season's Top 5 Plays

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystFebruary 4, 2012

NFL Play of the Year: Ranking the 2011-12 Season's Top 5 Plays

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    The 2011-2012 NFL season was yet another exciting campaign, with plenty of precision passes, acrobatic catches and thundering hits.

    The season also included any number of jaw-dropping plays. While it's hard to narrow it down to just a handful, here's one man's take on the top five plays of the season.

No. 5: LeGarrette Blount Rumbles Against the Packers

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    It was a disastrous 2011 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but there were a few bright spots, such as running back LeGarrette Blount's 54-yard rumble against the Green Bay Packers in Week 11.

    Of course, the Buccaneers still lost the game 35-26. Like I said, a few bright spots

No. 4: Welcome to the NFL, Randall Cobb

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    It didn't take very long for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to make his presence felt in the NFL.

    In the third quarter of the speedster's debut, Cobb returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the 2011 season's first game.

    You can't coach speed.

No. 3: Cruzing for 99 Yards

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    Down 7-3 to the New York Jets in a pivotal Week 16 matchup the New York Giants faced third-and-10 from their own one-yard line in the second quarter.

    Quarterback Eli Manning found wide receiver Victor Cruz, who broke a tackle and sped 99 yards to the end zone.

    His big play helped propel the G-Men all the way to Indianapolis and Super Bowl XLVI.

No. 2: The Steelers Get Tebowed in Overtime

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    The NFL instituted new playoff overtime rules for 2011, assuring that unless the receiving team scores a touchdown on their initial possession each team gets at least one shot with the ball.

    However, that was all rendered moot in last month's wild-card matchup between the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Denver quarterback Tim Tebow found wide receiver DeMaryius Thomas with a pass over the middle on the first play of overtime for an 80-yard catch-and-run score, sending the Broncos to New England and the Steelers home to momma.

No. 1: Jerome Simpson Flips Out

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    You've undoubtedly seen this play ad nauseum on television, though it didn't have a whole lot of bearing on the game, the Bengals season, or Simpson's career (which is in serious jeopardy after his indictment on drug trafficking charges).

    But he stuck the landing.