I imagine my rankings will cause some controversy, so let me explain my criteria for what makes a great catch catches.
1. The WOW factor
For a catch to have the wow factor, it needs be leave you speechless. It needs to be out of the ordinary. It needs to stand out as one of the highlights of the game, if not the season.
I look at catches like this. If the player went to catch the same pass but dropped it, how would the fans react? Would they boo and think they should have caught it or would they be happy that the receiver made the effort to catch a pass.
If it is the first, it does not make a good catch.
3. Defensive pressure
If being a receiver came down to running routes and catching passes, i think deep down we all believe we could be one.
However, those pesky defensive players are out there to stop us from making those catches. what separates us peasants from the elite receivers is that they can catch a pass with a defensive back draped all over them. Kudos to them.
4. The Al Michaels "He Did What?!" factor
The commentators reactions say it all. Sure, Gus Johnson celebrates every catch like it was the game winner with time expiring in the Super Bowl. However, if you can make somebody rub their eyes with disbelief as to the insanity of your catch, then you are welcome on this list.
I was going to make this a top 50 list however I have a feeling people would be debating that No. 48 should be at No. 47, so I kept it short and sweet. You know where to post obscenities.
P.S I apologise in advance for the links to the video instead of the video on the slide show.
As Bleacher Report doesn't take NFL.com videos, which was the main and only source for the clips, I'll have to post a link on each slide leading to NFL.com, however there are a couple catches that I could only find on YouTube, so no link will be required.
Let's just get something straight. If this happened to any other team, the call would be exactly the same. I know the call must have annoyed every Detroit fan, but please give me a reason why the referees would be biased against the Lions or Calvin Johnson?
Johnson didn't catch ball according to the rules. It sure looked like a catch, but it wasn't. Now let's move on.
I'll put this as an honourable mention as I figured that people would say it was "the catch of the year."
However, when a defensive back bats the ball away and it lands right in your breadbasket, that is not a good catch. However, it is ridiculously lucky.
Great way to end the game? Yes. Great catch? No.
Now on to the top 25.
Randy McMichael vs Houston
Who needs Antonio Gates when you can get catches like this out of Randy McMichael?
One game, you're making a one-handed catch for the touchdown and then the next, you're right back to the bench because Gates is back from injury.
YouTube didn't upload a version of this catch, so I'm afraid your going to have to copy and paste. However, it will be worth it.
The body control Bowe shows to not only swivel the hips but to tap the toes inbounds is incredible. And to think, he was awful at the start of the season.
Lance Moore vs Baltimore
The catch itself is not the most amazing part of the catch. Lance Moore's awareness to find out where the sideline was whilst concentrating on catching the ball off a tip drill is insane. I take it back to the Al Michaels "He Did What?!" factor.
The commentator, and pretty much everyone in M&T bank Stadium figure it was a good awareness from Moore, but he couldn't gain possession of the ball before he hit the ground and before he stepped out.
On a side note, well done to the official who was able to see the feet in bounds and control of the ball because I doubt anyone did at the time.
You almost come to accept that Reggie Wayne can do these kinds of things. Not only does he lay out to catch the ball, but he also realises if he doesn't protect himself, he's going to end up like Austin Collie.
Very smart play from Wayne. And a nice catch too.
Miles Austin vs Tennessee
If you ever wondered what the catch in traffic rating was for in Madden, this would be it. Not only was Austin able to contest for a ball against two Titans, but he was able to keep his balance and take it to the house.
Jacoby Ford vs Miami
Why is it that great things always happen when Gus Johnson is commentating? You could easily be mistaken into believing that Ford was the defensive back on this play making a great interception.
In truth, Chris Clemons probably should have been chewed out by his coaches as there is no way that Jacoby Ford should be making this catch. As a former sprinter, it's easy to see how Bruce Gradkowski under threw him, but the catch is sensational
As somebody pointed out in the comments section of this video, take a look at the block Darren McFadden makes on this play. It's nearly as good as the catch.
Brandon Lloyd vs Kansas City
Simple mathematics dictates that this catch is better than Jacoby Ford's. Brandon Lloyd caught this ball whilst in between two defender. Jacoby ford caught the pass against one defender. Not taking anything away from Ford's catch, but two is more than one.
Otherwise, the catches are pretty much the same. Also, the picture shows exactly how much Lloyd had to do to catch the ball, with Brandon Carr trying to get a mid-air piggyback
Antwaan Randle El's career will be remembered for throwing a touchdown in the Super Bowl. However, I'd like to remember this catch against the Bengals.
I'll admit before we go on, I've got a soft spot for one-handed catches. Nothing demoralises a defense more than saying I could catch this with two hands, but I don't think I need to.
Brandon Lloyd had a comeback year and did it in style, making his second appearance on this list already. This is very painful to witness as a Bears fan who watched Lloyd fail to separate himself from such competition as Marty Booker, Devin Hester and Rashied Davis.
However, I also feel the pain of Washington Redskins fans who had to bear (no pun intended) through watching Lloyd play horrendously for them, yet blossoming with the Broncos.
Just to put into perspective, in the three years he played for Washington and Chicago, he accumulated 51 receptions for 743 yards and two touchdowns. Last year alone for Denver, Lloyd caught 77 passes, led the league with1,448 yards receiving and scored 11 TD's.
Not that we are sour though.
Devin Hester vs Dallas
You say the name Devin Hester, a couple of things come to mind. Blistering pace. Greatest kick returner of all time. Hurdling over Todd Sauerbrun on the way to the end zone.
However, spectacular catch probably doesn't make the top ten. A rare display of great receiving skills by Hester makes you think he may actually be able to play as a starting receiver in the NFL.
Sidney Rice vs Buffalo
Sidney Rice is the prototypical wide receiver who you can throw a ball up and he will beat the defender. Now when a quarterback finds himself one of these weapons, they can result to throwing them passes no matter what coverage, such as having two defenders within a couple of inches of the player.
Any quarterback coach will tell you that you should not try to force the ball into what is perfect coverage from Leodis McKelvin. Sidney Rice makes an incredible catch, going over the shoulder of McKelvin and having on after the safety comes in with a hit.
Now we are in the top 15, I imagine most of you won't be reading what I put here, so I'll keep it short and sweet.
Donald Driver. Catch. One hand. Good. Watch. Next.
Jericho Cotchery vs Cleveland
Now, if this catch wasn't good enough as it is, Cotchery pulls up with a tweaked hamstring. No he could have gone for the Albert Haynesworth way out and just lie on the floor and watch the rest of the play develop, but he's a man, and men don't do that (take note Albert)!
Little known fact, Cotchery was born with six fingers on his left hand. Before you ask, it was removed well before this catch, though it would of explained how he made this catch.
Six fingers or five, it's still a great catch.
Hakeem Nicks could have caught this with two hands. It would have been less hassle, it would have been easier and the success rate of the pass would be much greater.
Instead, Nicks used what looks like his spidey senses to shoot a web from his hand, corral the ball and catch the pass.
Side note, this is the third reception on this list against the Dallas Cowboys. Now that's just bad luck!
Brandon Tate vs Chicago
Not many of you would have seen this catch. Or at least i didn't on my online stream. New England were dominating this game and just after half time, the bad people at CBS switched games.
As demoralising as it was as a Chicago fan, it proved CBS wrong as they missed this outstanding diving catch by Brandon Tate.
Davone Bess vs New England
Again, last game of the season, blowout victory again for New England, so not many people will have seen this. Like I said before, I'm a sucker for one-handed grabs and this was sublime.
The elegance of Bess when he leaps up and bring the ball in is something reminiscent of a ballet dancer.
Now, this was the only video I could find of the catch, which is a travesty. You never really get a good camera shot of the catch, but the catch is jaw dropping.
I could practise that all day, and I could never accomplish that. Then you throw a defender who is on your back, and it seems physically impossible.
What a way to kickoff what is inside the top 10.
Jimmy Graham vs Baltimore
I'm going to try and get through this without mentioning basketball.
Jimmy Graham is a match-up nightmare. You can't put a linebacker on him because of the his 4.5 speed and you can't put a defensive back on him because of his height of 6'6".
Now Jeremy Shockey is gone, Jimmy Graham will be a breakout contender this year not only for New Orleans but for your fantasy team. Also, this catch is pretty nice.
There. That wasn't hard. Now why does every commentator have to mention his basketball background or liken what he does to something in basketball whenever he catches a pass?!
Marcedes Lewis vs Indianapolis
As hard as this may be to believe, this catch is harder to make than it looks. Lewis is running inside towards the safety and knows one of two thing are going to happen.
The first is that the safety is lining him up and is about to lay the smackdown. The other possibility is that the safety is going to try to intercept or bat down the ball, so he'll have to protect the ball.
Therefore, the risk Marcedes Lewis is taking to go for the ball with one hand, leaving his entire ribcage open for what could be a bone crunching hit takes balls. However, the safety did neither of these. He went straight past him.
Antonio Gates vs Seattle
This pass is thrown way behind Antonio Gates. In these situation, a receiver will stick their hand out, it will go past their hand and the quarterback will be to blame.
What most receivers forget is that not only can they catch with their hands, but they can somehow trap a pointy egg-shaped ball against their knee. Antonio Gates is a genius.
Tony Moeaki vs San Francisco
What is it with tight ends and their ridiculous hands? For those counting at home, the last four catches on this list have been from tight ends.
This catch boarders on ridiculous. Full stretch, one hand, airborne, touchdown, this has all the ingredients for a great catch and the finished product is delicious.
Malcolm Floyd vs Denver
Malcolm Floyd is a very underestimated receiver in my opinion. This helps justify my case. Seriously, are you kidding me? When a cornerback takes your left hand away, who cares?
The icing on the cake for this catch is that Floyd gets up and gets some more yards. Doesn't matter that there is a flag thrown, doesn't matter that you just made one of the best catches of the season, he gets up and finishes the play.
I realise that has no implications on the catch itself, but I do like a player who hustles.
Randy Moss vs New York
... and this was the point I realised I would never make it in the NFL.
So first, Moss beats Darrelle Revis, something barely anybody in the league can say they have done. Secondly he sticks his hand up just to let not only Tom Brady but Revis know that he's beaten his man and is wide open.
Finally, as nonchalant and half-arsed as possible, he brings the ball in with one hand, as smooth as you like, without having to bring the other hand over to secure the ball or use the body.
This is an NFL game against your division rival, and you're up against the best cornerback in the league, a player who shuts down opposing receivers on a weekly basis.
You could be mistaken into thinking this was practise, not a game in from of 80,000 angry, J-E-T-S screaming New Yorkers.
Danny Amendola vs Seattle
Yes, the picture is of the player who made the second best catch of the 2010 NFL season. This catch will make your jaw drop to the floor.
Amendola lays out horizontally, controls the ball with one hand, brings it into his body and gains full control of it.
If you go to your local park and try that catch 100 times, you will drop that pass 100 times. This catch may be No. 2, but it is the most aesthetically pleasing catch of the list.
Pierre Garcon vs Washington
Again, even though this catch is one of the best I have ever seen, the picture demonstrates exactly how inconsistent Garcon is.
However, back to the catch.
WOW. Actions speak loader than words, so I will shut up as nobody is reading this.
Congratulations! You have reached the bonus slide!
Thank you for watching and again, I apologise for all the links but it was either that or handheld videos on camera phones of people in the crowd or people filming it on their TVs.
I leave you with a picture of Jay Cutler taking a hit because everyone enjoys seeing Jay Cutler being beat up!