NFL Week 1: Best Play from Each Game (with Video)

Adam Friedgood@AfriedgoodContributor IIISeptember 15, 2011

NFL Week 1: Best Play from Each Game (with Video)

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    Thank god football is finally back.  I don’t know about you guys, but I couldn’t wait for Week 1 to arrive. 

    This week there were many memorable plays, including multiple kickoff/punt returns for touchdowns, some great forced turnovers on defense and a couple of great touchdown grabs. 

    Some of the best plays of the day were performed by rookies trying to prove they were worthy of their high draft selections.  Other top plays were executed by veterans showing off that they are still on top of their game.

    Here is the best play from every game during Week 1 with video.     


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    Randell Cobb 108-Yard Kickoff Return for a TD


    I was high on Cobb before this game even started, but he definitely exceeded the expectations I had for him during his first game.  He was extremely impressive in the open field, scoring on a 32-yard reception, as well as a 108-yard kickoff return.  The barrel roll he did to avoid going down on the kickoff return could possibly be the play of the year in the first game of the season. 

    I will definitely be tuning into the Packers game next Sunday during kickoff returns to see what other tricks Cobb has up his sleeve.    


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    Brian Urlacher Forces 2 Turnovers


    Brian Urlacher proved today why he’s still one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He is able to drop back in coverage and made a spectacular diving interception to keep the Falcons from scoring when they were in field goal range.  Then, he goes and picks up a fumble and runs it in for a touchdown in the third quarter to ice the game for the Bears.  It doesn’t appear that Urlacher has lost a step at all.  


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    Colt Mccoy Throws a Bomb to Massaquoi


    This was probably the game with the least amount of exciting plays in it.  All of the touchdowns were average at best, mostly were caused by complete breakdowns in the coverage. 

    This one pass by McCoy was impressive though.  He found himself in trouble and on the run, but somehow was able to throw a bullet to a streaking Mohamed Massaquoi while falling down.


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    Steve Johnson Leaping TD 


    The Buffalo Bills definitely surprised me this weekend.  No one expected them to come out and compete with the Chiefs, let alone completely manhandle them the way they did. 

    Fitzpatrick threw four touchdowns on the day, but none were better than the one Steve Johnson caught over Brandon Flowers.  He really went up there and caught that ball at its highest point, even with a defender all over him.  


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    Steven Jackson Scores TD on First Play of the Season


    This was a great run by Steven Jackson, but I bet you the Rams’ fans would give it back if they could. 

    On the opening play from scrimmage for the Rams, Steven Jackson broke free and scampered for a 47-yard touchdown.  This would normally be a play to celebrate, but Jackson strained his quad in the process and only had one more carry the rest of the game.  He is also not expected to be ready to go by the Rams’ Week 2 game versus the Giants on Monday night.  This is not how the Rams wanted to open their season.  


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    Calvin Johnson Makes a Spectacular TD Catch


    Megatron proved why he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL with this grab, where he showed off his great hands and leaping ability.  You should expect to see Calvin Johnson on the top 10 all year long with catches like this.  As long as him and all the rest of his Lions’ teammates can stay healthy the whole season, I think they have a chance to make a legitimate playoff push for the first time in a while.  


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    Kenny Britt With an 80-Yard TD


    This play was a little more luck than great execution, but regardless it was worthy of the play of the game.  Hasselbeck did an excellent job moving around the pocket and buying time for Britt to get open coming across the middle. 

    This entire play could have been prevented though if Clint Session didn’t completely whiff on a tackle that would have stopped Britt on his own 30-yard line.  


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    Anquan Boldin Makes a Great TD Catch


    This had to be the biggest surprise of the weekend.  The Steelers/Ravens rivalry is one of the best in the NFL. The games are usually extremely close when these two teams meet. 

    Flacco torched the Steelers secondary during this game though, connecting on three touchdown passes and throwing no picks.  The best one was this grab by Boldin, who was able to make this spectacular catch with a defender all over him.  I expect the Steelers to bounce back from this game, though, and compete with the Ravens for the AFC North Championship all season.  


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    Reggie Wayne Makes a One-Handed TD Catch


    This had to be the only bright spot on the day for Colts, if they even had any.  They looked so deflated all game without their leader, even on defense and special teams when he isn’t on the field anyway. 

    In order for the Colts to salvage this season, Reggie Wayne is going to need to keep making spectacular catches like this one to bail out Kerry Collins until Peyton is ready to dominate once again. 


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    Ryan Kerrigan Scores on a Pick 6


    Kerrigan showed why he was worthy of a first-round pick with this play.  It was a huge surprise to see him get this interception though, considering he didn’t have any during his entire career at Purdue. 

    This play was great because not only did he make a deflection on the pass, but also he was able to regain his composure to find the ball and run it in for a touchdown.  Great work by Ryan Kerrigan to make an impact in his first game.   


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    Ted Ginn Scores 2 Return TDs in Less Than a Minute


    To quote Neil Everett from the SportsCenter last weekend, “Ted Ginn went H.A.M. on the Seahawks.”  I don’t know what’s more impressive, the fact that he was able to score two touchdowns in under a minute, or the fact that both were on special teams. 

    If Ginn wants to stay relevant in San Francisco, though, he needs to keep up his return game, since he only recorded one reception when he was actually in on offense.   


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    Percy Harvin Returns the Opening Kickoff to the House


    Percy Harvin wasted no time finding the end zone during this game when he was able to score off of the opening kickoff. 

    If he wanted to score a touchdown this game, Harvin was going to need to do it on special teams, since McNabb was having trouble finding his receivers all game.  Harvin finished the game with only seven yards receiving on just two catches.  McNabb connected on only seven passes the entire game and finished with one of his career worst passer ratings, 47.9.  This was not the way he wanted to start out the season with his new team.  


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    Patrick Peterson Returns a Punt for a TD


    Patrick Peterson didn’t waste any time showing why he was worthy of a top-five overall pick in the last draft.  Not only did he start at cornerback in first career game, but he also excelled in the punt return game, scoring a touchdown on this incredible punt return in the fourth quarter.  He almost got caught celebrating too early, but he used his breakaway speed and amazing leaping ability to fly into the end zone for his first of many career touchdowns. 


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    Joe McKnight Blocks a Punt in the 4th Quarter


    Joe McKnight hasn’t been able to find his place in the offense yet, but he is still trying to do anything he can to contribute to this team on special teams.  Late in the fourth quarter, with the Jets down by a touchdown, McKnight was able to find a crease in the blockers and went unblocked through the line for a crucial blocked punt. 

    You have to also give Isaiah Trufant credit for being in the right place at the right time and making a great catch off the bounce for the easy score.   


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    Tom Brady Connects with Wes Welker on a 99-Yard TD Pass


    The 99-yard touchdown pass is an extremely rare play that has only occurred 12 times in NFL history. 

    When Brady dropped back seven yards deep in his own end zone, no one would have predicted that Wes Welker would be able to take that pass to the house.  He was able to use his speed to get past his defender though and only needed to make one stiff arm to make it all the way to the end zone.   


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    Sebastian Janikowski Hits a 63-Yard FG


    If one person in the NFL could hit a field goal that long, it’s Sebastian Janikowski.  The dude looks more like a linebacker than a kicker at 250 pounds.  This kick tied the record for longest field goal in NFL history.  He is always attempting extremely long field goals and I expect to see Janikowski connect on another 55+ yarder this season.