Video: Watch Our 11 Favorite NFL Trick Plays of the 2011 Season
Rushing, passing and kicking may be the primary ways of moving the ball in football, but sometimes that gets boring. Sometimes the most exciting action you'll find on a football season comes in the form of trick plays.
Whether they come in the form of a sneaky reverse, an unexpected onside kick, or major misdirection, these plays are some of the most fun to watch.
Not only can not only get the fans out of their seats, but the plays can also lead to some major gains and scoring opportunities.
Here are our 11 favorite trick plays of the 2011 NFL season.
Devin Hester's Punt Return Switcheroo
This may have been waved off for a (dubious) holding penalty, but this punt return from the Chicago Bears Devin Hester and Johnny Knox against the Green Bay Packers was one of the most ambitious special teams plays ever attempted.
To accomplish the fake-out, Hester (the team's normal return man) stepped up into space, to create the impression he was making a fair catch.
However, as the Packers would soon learn, the ball was nowhere close to Hester, and instead was with Knox. With no nearby defenders, Knox would cruise the length of the field for the easy touchdown.
Although the holding call took away this monumental play, it is definitely one to remember.
Rice's Crispy Pass
The Seattle Seahawks paid big money to recruit wide receiver Sidney Rice in, so it's only fair that they try him in every position possible to get their money's worth.
In this play, the team lined him up at quarterback, allowing him to connect on a 55-yard pass to fellow wide receiver Mike Williams.
While the Seahawks haven't been able to follow up on their playoff appearance from 2010, they should feel confident about their wide receiver talent as long as they have Rice.
A Good Ol Fashioned Fumblerooski
The Carolina Panthers showed their confidence in a win against the Houston Texans with this devious fumblerooski play.
Taking the snap, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton proceeded to slide the ball between the legs of tight end Richie Brockel before shifting himself to the right (pulling the defense with him). Given room to operate, Brockel strolled in for an easy seven yard score.
After the game, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said he got the idea for the play from the film Little Giants.
Pass Back Perfection
The Carolina Panthers fooled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with this snappy fake involving quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Legedu Naanee. Dishing the ball off to Naanee, Newton then slid out to the left flat (unmarked), which gave him the room to catch a nicely thrown ball from his receiver.
With a little bit of blocking help (and the patience to wait for it to slowly come together), Newton took the reception 27 yards.
Reversal of Fortune
Another clip, another bad fake-out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This time its the Tennessee Titans practicing its best trickery, executing a perfect reverse on a kickoff return to score a touchdown.
The Titans' Marc Mariani took the kick, and he moved it 16 yards out of the end zone before handing the ball off to Tommie Campbell, who sprinted it the remaining 84 yards.
Campbell went in nearly untouched, and the return would be a huge difference in a close Titans win, 23-17.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was given plenty of space against the Seattle Seahawks in the backfield, and for that Rice made them pay.
Given a hand off near the goal line by quarterback Joe Flacco, Rice moved as though he would rush it in, before chucking it to Ed Dickson for the short touchdown.
While the touchdown was impressive, it just wasn't enough, as the Ravens would fall 22-17.
Banks on the Money
The Washington Redskins got a big boost against the New England Patriots with this pass from wide receiver Brandon Banks to wide receiver Santana Moss.
Taking the reverse pitch from running back Roy Helu, Banks threw a long pass to an open Moss. Moss was then able to burn his defender for the nice 49-yard score.
Despite these fireworks, the Redskins would fall 34-27.
Lulled to Sleep
The San Francisco 49ers had seen the New York Giants falling back when receiving kick-offs, and so it tried a nice fake to take advantage.
Instead of sending a late second quarter kickoff the Giants’ way, the Niners instead went with an onside kick. Niners kicker David Akers set the team up with a beauty.
Scoring a field goal off the resulting drive, the Niners were able to take the win 27-20.
Four Fakes Later...
Fake Kick Baffles Browns
The Oakland Raiders figured they might be able to pull a fast one on the Cleveland Browns, and succeeded with this nice fake field goal. Taking a pass from Raiders punter Shane Lechler, tight end Kevin Boss was able to cruise in casually for a 35-yard touchdown.
Punt Pass Impresses
In a then-tightly contested game against the Tennessee Titans, the Pittsburgh Steelers put the pressure on punter Dan Sepulveda to make things happen with a fake kick. Taking the snap, he was able to find wide receiver Ryan Mundy for a huge 33 yard gain and a first down.
The Steelers would score a touchdown later in the game, and would go on to win 38-17.