NFL 2011: Try Topping These Top 20 Catches of the 2010 Regular Season
Nothing gets me out of my seat more than a sick catch—it’s my favorite part of football. The acrobatics, coordination, finesse, strength, speed and chemistry that makes a great reception is out of this world. Every year we see remarkable plays for some of the most heralded and unknown receivers in the NFL.
From Randy Moss and Andre Johnson to rookies such as Tony Moeaki and Jacoby Ford, the 2010 season was littered with spectacular receptions every single week. We saw controversy with Calvin Johnson in Week 1 to one of the great Hail Mary’s ever with Jacksonville’s Mike Thomas.
The 2010 season was one of the most exciting and as we impatiently wait for the lockout to end, let’s take a look back at what the 2011 season will try to top.
20. Devin Hester vs Dallas Cowboys, Week 2
Easily Devin Hester’s best reception of his career, I remember scratching my head in disbelief that Devin Hester of all people made this catch. A converted cornerback, Hester shines on special teams but finally made an impact as a receiver with this out of character touchdown grab.
19. Malcom Floyd vs Denver Broncos, Week 17
Malcom Floyd is a big receiver with fine speed, which makes him one of the better deep threats in the league. With Philip Rivers throwing the rock down the field, you know his receivers are going to have an opportunity to make a play—but this one, this one was all Floyd.
He lays out and makes a spectacular one-handed grab.
18. Marcedes Lewis vs Indianapolis Colts, Week 15
Marcedes Lewis exploded last year to finally put together that Pro Bowl season many envisioned out of UCLA. He is a huge target with fantastic athleticism and receiving abilities.
In a huge division game, he showed up and hauled in an one-hander that made him look more like Stretch Armstrong than Marcedes Lewis.
17. Terrell Owens vs Miami Dolphins, Week 8
Terrell Owens can still get it done despite being on the downside of his career. He still has great speed and is one of the most physically imposing receivers in the league. This reception was pure luck, but it still was amazing to see!
16. Calvin Johnson vs Green Bay Packers, Week 4
Honorable Mention: Calvin Johnson vs Chicago Bears, Week 1
In Week 1, Calvin Johnson put down one of the top game-winning touchdowns of the year—except the referees ruled it incomplete.
Total crock if you ask me, but hey, the rules are the rules, right?
OK, so Calvin just had to do it again.
Against Green Bay, he pulled down a similarly impressive touchdown. If I had one receiver to choose from in the league today, Megatron would be my guy. He can do it all.
Lions fans, get ready for the ride in 2011.
15. Antwaan Randle-El vs Cincinnati Bengals, Week 14
Antwaan Randle-El is a great specialty player, but every now and then he’ll come through with a clutch catch. This wasn’t his most clutch catch or play, but it may have been his greatest reception.
He jumps up and extends himself all the way to pull down this one-hander of beauty.
14. Brandon Lloyd vs Oakland Raiders, Week 15
Brandon Lloyd was easily one of the most impressive receivers in 2010 as he enjoyed his breakout season. He was usually good for one or two circus catches a year as he floated around the league, but in 2010, he was hauling in a spectacular reception or two every single week. This entire list could have probably been filled with just Brandon Lloyd catches, but I narrowed it down to two, with this being the first.
Sliding to the ground as the balls drops to his chest, everyone thought this was just another incomplete pass. On second and third looks, it just turned out to be another out-of-this-world circus catch from one of the best magicians in NFL history.
13. Danny Amendola vs Seattle Seahawks, Week 4
Danny Amendola gets no love in this league for two reasons:
1. He plays for the Rams.
2. He’s Danny Amendola.
Still, this was an incredible one-handed grab. He jerks to the side and extends all the way to pull in an oddly thrown pass from the usually accurate Sam Bradford. I remember jumping out of my seat watching this one live.
12. Miles Austin vs Tennessee Titans, Week 5
One of the most underrated receptions of the season, Miles Austin goes up between two defenders, hauls it in and scampers unscathed for the touchdown. This is becoming Austin’s signature play as he consistently fights for every pass and beats double teams. I remember watching this live and just shaking my head at how unreal it was.
11. Jacoby Ford vs Kansas City Chiefs, Week 9
Few rookie receivers were more impressive in the second half of the season than Jacoby Ford. I really think this kid has the potential to be the No. 1 receiver Oakland has desired since their Super Bowl run earlier in the new millennium. He has the speed, leaping ability, separation skills and hands—and he proves it on this play at the 4:10 mark.
10. Andre Johnson vs Baltimore Ravens, Week 14
Andre Johnson is one of the premier receivers in the league, and he proves it every single week. He simply cannot be guarded and showed that against the Ravens when he helped pull off one of the greatest modern day comebacks of all time, despite the eventual overtime loss. His balance act during this play was pure perfection.
9. Jacoby Ford vs Miami Dolphins, Week 12
Once again, Jacoby Ford makes the list. This was his best catch of the season at the one minute mark as he snatches the ball out of the air from the defender. This was a tough catch for any receiver as he finds the ball in the air and then prevents the interception with his strong hands.
8. Mike Thomas vs Houston Texans, Week 10
Easily one of the greatest Hail Mary’s in the history of the game, everyone thought this one was over with. This is one of the luckiest plays in the history of the game, but who am I to rain on Jacksonville’s parade? This is a classic case of being in the right place at the right time as Mike Sims-Walker helps bat the ball back into Mike Thomas’ hands for the win. I doubt Thomas will ever be able to top this moment.
Gus Johnson’s commentating completes this as it adds extra effect.
7. Brandon Lloyd vs Kansas City Chiefs, Week 10
I had to get Brandon Lloyd back on the list as he was simply too good last year with his incredible circus receptions. The play at the 2:20 mark of the video was my favorite of his 2010 receptions. He fights between two defenders to find the ball and haul in one of the toughest passes of the season.
6. Davone Bess vs New England Patriots, Week 17
Davone Bess is one of my most underrated receivers in the entire league. He is a fantastic possession receiver and has reliable hands with solid speed and separation skills. This catch against New England at the 1:30 mark was a bit out of character, which makes it even better.
He fights for every inch on this play and manages to pull down the pass over the defender. He extends his body and catches the pass with one hand and keeps both feet in bounds. Simply fantastic.
5. Lance Moore vs Baltimore Ravens, Week 15
Although another lucky touchdown, Lance Moore’s complete concentration on this play is what makes it so high. He quickly sees the ball deflected, snatches it out of the air as he’s falling out of bounds but is able to get both feet in bounds with less than inches to the sidelines.
4. Sidney Rice vs Buffalo Bills, Week 13
This is my favorite Sidney Rice play of all time. After Brett Favre leaves due to injury, Sidney Rice takes the team on his back and goes all out. Streaking down the sideline, he hauls in one of the toughest receptions of the season for a touchdown. The concentration and dedication for this ball is top notch as he extends his arms to haul in the pass and gets rocked by two defenders.
3. Tony Moeaki vs San Francisco 49ers, Week 3
Goodbye Tony Gonzalez, hello Tony Moeaki.
The new Tony in town quickly shows that the Chiefs have found their next franchise tight end as he hauls in one of the best one-handed receptions of the season. He completely extends his entire body to pull in this touchdown. He maintains control all the way through as he drops to the ground inbounds with one hand—one of the best I’ve ever seen from a tight end.
2. Pierre Garcon vs Washington Redskins, Week 6
Pierre Garcon is quickly making a name for himself as one of the better circus receivers in the league. This is easily my favorite from him as grabs this high pass with the opposite hand falling towards the sideline.
Usually players haul it in with the other hand, but Garcon knows he doesn’t have the angle and has to throw up his near hand as he extends all the way.
1. Randy Moss vs New York Jets, Week 2
It didn’t take long for Randy Moss to wow the world as he owned Darrelle Revis in Week 2 for this all-time great one-handed catch. The Tom Brady pass drops right into his hand in stride for the touchdown. The effortless nature of the reception is what stands out most for me as he makes it just seem routine, but this is truly one of the more difficult receptions.
I exploded out of my seat when I saw this—two of the all-time greats at their position and easily one of the best one-handers ever.