Top 10 Most Memorable Plays in NFL History
Throughout NFL history, there have been memorable plays every single year. This article is about the top 10 most memorable plays in NFL history. Enjoy.
10) Miracle at the Meadowlands
With no timeouts, the game looked all but over. The New York Giants had possession, and the Philadelphia Eagles were out of timeouts. Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik was expected to just kneel the ball and preserve the 17-12 win, but instead he tried to hand the ball of to fullback Larry Csonka, but Csonka couldn't get a grip on the ball.
The ball hit the turf and Herman Edwards scooped it up and ran it in for six. While the Eagles of the 70's didn't have much to cheer about this was certainly one of those moments they will always remember.
9) Buffalo Bills: Wide Right
No good! Wide right!
—ABC play by play announcer Al Michaels
Here we go, the Super Bowl will ride on the right foot of Norwood. Waiting for the snap, Reich arms extended, puts it down, on the way, it's long enough and it is no good. He missed it to the right with four seconds to play.
—Buffalo Bills play-by-play announcer Van Miller
Snap. Spot. In the air. It's got the distance! It is...no good!
—Giants play-by-play announcer Jim Gordon
The missed field goal by Scott Norwood will be remembered in the minds of Buffalo Bill fans for the rest of their lives. This marked the first of their four consecutive Super Bowl appearances and loses. The Buffalo Bills suffered on possibly the most painful four-year stretch of any team in NFL history. One, two, three, FOUR chances, at the Super Bowl, and coming up empty on all occasions.
8) Gary Anderson's Miss
In 1998 Gary Anderson signed as a free agent to the Minnesota Vikings. He would become the first kicker in NFL history to make 100 percent of his field goals (35) and extra points (59). Whenever Anderson lined up, it seemed automatic. Anderson would have only one miss in the entire season but that miss lost the Minnesota Vikings the chance at the Super Bowl.
Anderson lined up to kick a 38-yard field goal, which was practically nothing for him. The score was 27-20, a field goal would give the Vikings a two-possession lead on the Atlanta Falcons, and if Anderson would've made that kick, then barring some miracle, the Vikings would have won.
With 2:07 left in the game, Anderson's foot connected with the football. It had the distance, but it hooked. The Atlanta Falcons would get the ball back, drive down field, and score a touchdown. Then in overtime, the Falcons won the coin toss, got the ball, and never gave it back.
The Vikings' Anderson missed his chance to win the game, but the Falcons' Morten Anderson didn't. The ball was placed in the exact same spot as Gary kicked from. Morten made the field goal and the Vikings miracle 15-1 season, came to a close.
7) The Catch
Joe Montana to Dwight Clark, simply titled: “The Catch” is one of the most famous plays ever. With 51 seconds left in the game, Montana looked as if he was attempting to just throw the ball away and give his team one last chance on 4th down, but as the ball left Montana's hand, the 6'4" Dwight Clark left his feet, raised his hands above his head and made the catch that would win the game for the San Francisco 49ers, sending them to Super Bowl XVI, which they would win against the Cincinnati Bengals. This not only launched the 49ers dynasty, it killed the Cowboys dynasty.
6) The Immaculate Reception
One of the greatest plays in NFL history or one of the biggest foul ups? Controversy has followed this play but there is no doubt the impact and shock waves that this play created. The question was, who did the ball deflect off of? Raiders safety Jack Tatum, or Steelers halfback John Fuqua?
If the ball deflected off of Tatum, the reception would be illegal. It is common belief that the referees were afraid for their lives and ruled it a touchdown in fear of Pittsburgh Steeler fans' potential retaliation. The Steelers would go on to win this game then go on to win the Super Bowl.
5) One Yard Short
Mike Keith and Pat Ryan calling the play:
"McNair drops, throws, right side for Dyson. He dives for the end zone!"
"Didn't make it."
"He came up one yard short!”
With six seconds remaining on the clock, Steve McNair hiked the ball and threw the ball to Wide Receiver Kevin Dyson, in which Dyson was wrapped up by St. Louis Ram linebacker Mike Jones and tackled on the one-yard line.
To me, this is without a doubt the biggest tackle in NFL history. One yard was the difference between the St. Louis Rams winning the Super Bowl or the Tennessee Titans potentially tying the game barring an extra point. The Rams won the game, making the Gateway to the West, the Gateway to the Best, football team in the world.
4) The Tuck Rule
NFL Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2: "When a Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his hand starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble."
On a snowy night in Foxboro Stadium, the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders did battle in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff game, in which controversy would ensure. Trailing by three with seconds lefts to play, Tom Brady takes the snap from center, pump fakes and gets blasted from his blind side by Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson and the ball was recovered by the Raiders.
At first, the officials claimed that Brady had fumbled the ball, and that Oakland recovered but upon further review it was said by Walt Coleman, “The quarterback's arm was moving forward, it is an incomplete pass.” And as this was heard by the Patriot fans, the stadium erupted. Adam Vinatieri then launched the Patriots dynasty off with one of the greatest kicks in NFL history. Many criticize the officials for the call of the Tuck Rule, but it is in the rule book, in black and white.
3) Music City Miracle
“10, 5, endzone...touchdown, Titans! There are no flags on the field! It's a miracle! Tennessee has pulled a miracle! A miracle for the Titans!"
The Buffalo Bills misfortune seems to follow them no matter what team they play or what season they are in. In 1999, the Titans played the Bills in Nashville in the Playoffs Wild Card. After Buffalo had a slight quarterback controversy, led the Buffalo Bills down field to score what seemed to be the game winning score, but on the ensuing kickoff, the Titans preformed a miracle.
Buffalo Bills kicker, Steve Cristine kicked the ball off, the kick was rather short and was fielded by the fullback Lorenzo Neal. He then handed the ball off to tight end Frank Wycheck who threw the ball across his body, and lateraled it back to wide receiver Kevin Dyson who ran down the sideline, 75 yards for a touchdown. This propelled the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV.
2) John Elway: Helicopter
After 15 long years in the NFL, John Elway's day finally came. He won a Super Bowl. But Elway's career will always be defined by the play he did on 3rd down, while on the Green Bay Packers' 12 yard line.
John Elway took off and began running. With the first down marker in sight Elway didn't do as most quarterbacks would do and slide to avoid the hit, he threw caution to the wind, left his feet, and went airborne. Elway was blindsided while in the air and spun around, leading to the nickname; “Helicopter.”
But, even though this may only go down in the books as an 8-yard rush and a first down, it was symbolically, much more than that. It showed the courage of man, who knew his career would eventually end, but was willing to put his body at risk to finally fulfill his lifelong goal, to win a Super Bowl.
1) David Tyree's Catch
As a Patriots fan nothing hurts me more than to see this play, but my own personal feelings aside, this is the single greatest play in NFL history. The Patriots with their historic offense, currently 18-0, took on the Cinderella story New York Giants who defeated the Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Packers all on the road to make it to Super Bowl XLII.
With 1:15 remaining in the game, the Giants were down 14-10. It was 3rd and 5, Eli Manning took the snap from center and rolled out. Somehow, Eli Manning eluded Patriot defenders and threw the ball 32 yards down field to a completely covered wide receiver, David Tyree.
Tyree leapt into the air, grabbed the ball, and pulled it down on top of his helmet while Patriots safety Rodney Harrison was slamming Tyree to the ground.
Eli Manning would later connect with Plaxico Burress on a touchdown pass to win the game and upset the Patriots.