Video: Watch the Top 25 Plays of the 2011 NFL Season
The NFL is winding down, as just two weeks remain in the regular season.
2011 has been one of the most exciting seasons in years for fans, as they have witnessed a team nearly go undefeated and another nearly go winless, as well as many other highlights.
The 2011 season has featured some of the best plays ever seen, as the ridiculous athletes littered across the NFL make their mark with tremendous plays each and every week.
Here are the 25 best plays in the NFL this season.
25. Brent Celek Tipped Catch
Tight ends may be big, but they are some of the most athletic players in the league.
This is evident in Eagles tight end Brent Celek's amazing catch against the Redskins.
Celek tips it to himself twice before making an unbelievable grab just as he hits the ground.
Philadelphia fans have not had a lot to cheer about this season, but this highlight catch would have brought a smile to anyone's face.
24. Joe McKnight Saves Game with Blocked Punt
Joe McKnight was not much of a factor for the Jets in his rookie season, but he has emerged as a difference maker in his sophomore campaign.
The former USC running back has been a terrific returner this year, but perhaps his biggest play was this blocked punt in Week 1.
With New York trailing by seven late in the fourth quarter, McKnight burst through the Cowboys offensive line and blocked a key punt that was brought back for a touchdown.
The clutch play was key in a Jets comeback victory.
23. Brandon Banks Flings It to Santana Moss for a TD
The Washington Redskins have struggled this season, but they gave it their all when the New England Patriots came to town.
The Redskins managed to compete throughout the entire game, mainly due to a terrific offensive display.
This perfectly executed trick play showed the Patriots that Washington came to play in Week 13.
22. Carolina Panthers Think Outside the Box
Carolina was a massive underdog when it traveled to Houston to play the playoff bound Texans in Week 15.
However, Cam Newton and company managed to blow out a strong Houston squad by playing terrific football, as well as thinking a little bit outside the box.
Deep in the redzone, the Panthers used the "Fumblerooskie" from the Disney movie Little Giants to fool the Texans and score a touchdown that clinched the massive upset.
21. Jacoby Ford's Amazing Touchdown Grab
Jacoby Ford is one of the emerging young wideouts in the game today.
The young Raiders star has terrific speed and agility. This was on full display when he came down with one of the catches of the year in the Black Hole.
In a tight game against a divisional rival, Ford made an outstanding toe-tapping catch in the corner of the endzone to give Oakland a comfortable lead.
20. Darrelle Revis' Ridiculous Pick Six
Darrelle Revis has silenced the debate over who the best cover corner in the NFL is this season.
The Pro Bowler has had a terrific season and is right in the middle of the Defensive Player of the Year debate.
The Jets star's biggest play came in Week 6, when he picked off Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore in his own end zone and brought it all the way back for a Gang Green touchdown.
19. Rob Gronkowski Trucks Through Redskins
Patriots star Rob Gronkowski has had the greatest tight end season in NFL history in 2011.
The sophomore has dominated opposing defenses and has racked up over 1,000 yards receiving, as well as 15 touchdowns.
Gronkowski has amazing strength and on-field smarts, both of which were on display during this unbelievable catch and run in Week 13.
18. Plaxico Burress Makes Unbelievable Catch
Plaxico Burress has had a controversial career, but no one has ever questioned his ball catching ability.
The former Super Bowl hero has had his share of highlights as a Jet, but perhaps his best was this amazing grab against the Buffalo Bills.
The one-handed catch helped continue a game-winning drive for New York, and perhaps saved Gang Green's playoff hopes.
17. Vincent Jackson's Amazing One-Handed Catch
Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is known for making acrobatic catches on a regular basis.
However, his one-handed catch against the New England Patriots was just not human.
The Pro Bowler leaped in between three Pats defenders and came down with the ball for a Bolts touchdown. The ridiculous catch kept San Diego in the game in Foxborough.
16. Marshawn Lynch Tastes the Rainbow
Right after eating his favorite snack, Skittles, Marshawn Lynch brought "Beast Mode" back to life.
On a Thursday night football game against the Eagles, the Seahawks running back physically dominated a weak Philadelphia defense.
The former Bills star ran for over 100 yards and two touchdowns, including this amazing 17-yard run in which he took on a slew of defenders before exploding for the end zone.
15. Gronk Goes Airborn vs. Kansas City
Rob Gronkowski continued his assault on the league against the Chiefs.
The former second-round draft pick racked up two more touchdowns, including this amazing catch and run in in the third quarter of a close game.
Gronkowski avoided several tackles before diving into the end zone to seal the deal for New England.
The play showed the tight end's effort and determination on any given play.
14. Kyle Rudolph Makes Broncos Defender Look Silly
Kyle Rudolph may not be one of the biggest names in the league, but he is responsible for making one of the best plays.
The Vikings tight end made a tremendous catch over a Broncos linebacker for a touchdown earlier this season.
Even with all of the amazing football from tight ends like Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski this year, Rudolph's catch was perhaps the finest individual play.
13. Victor Cruz Makes Unbelievable Grab vs. Seahawks
Victor Cruz has emerged as one of the standout wide receivers in the league this season.
The second year man has established himself as Eli Manning's go-to-guy in the Big Apple, mainly due to making terrific catches like this one.
Cruz leaps over two Seattle defenders, tips the ball up and then catches it with one hand as it comes down. The Giants star then jogs into the end zone to complete the amazing play.
12. AJ Green Makes Steelers Safeties Looks Like Amateurs
Rookie wide receiver AJ Green has established himself as one of the game's premier deep threats this season.
The Georgia product is responsible for making some of the best deep ball catches of the year, but none were finer than this one against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Green, being guarded by Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, leaps and makes a terrific 50-yard catch in the end zone over the two star safeties.
The Bengal star's terrific play makes him one of the most promising wideouts to hit the NFL in years.
11. Julio Jones' Superb Diving Catch
Another rookie standout receiver, Julio Jones, makes the list with an amazing catch in Indianapolis.
The Alabama product was being guarded by three Colts defenders before making a unbelievable diving catch for a 50-yard score.
Jones' outstanding athleticism makes him impossible to defend by an average defensive back.
10. Victor Cruz Embarrases Nnamdi Asomugha
Giants resurgent wide receiver Victor Cruz makes the list again with another super grab.
Cruz, being covered by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and safety Jarrad Page, leaped and made an amazing catch on the edge of the end zone.
The score embarrassed the two Philadelphia defensive backs and gave Big Blue the lead with just a few minutes remaining.
9. Steve Smith's Acrobatic Catch and Run
The connection between rookie quarterback Cam Newton and veteran wide receiver Steve Smith has been a special one this season.
The two have combined for many highlight reel plays, but none as awesome as this one.
Newton uses his excellent athleticism to escape the New Orleans pass rush before throwing an accurate throw in the direction of Smith. Smith then out leaps Saints cornerback Jabari Greer and leaves him in the dust.
The Saints were left shocked and angry, evident by the pushing after the score.
8. Wes Welker Goes 99
Tom Brady and the Patriots offense began the 2011 season clicking on all cylinders.
They lit up a helpless Dolphins secondary all night long, but it was the astounding catch and run by speedy wide receiver Wes Welker that sealed the deal.
On his own 1-yard line, Brady lined up with an empty backfield. He soon hit an open Welker with a terrific touch pass. The Pro Bowl receiver then stiff armed a defender and was off to the races.
7. Dwayne Bowe's Juggling Act in Indy
Chiefs dynamic wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been one of the game's best playmakers in recent years.
The LSU product has continued his domination of the league this season even with horrific quarterback play.
The 26-year-old showed off his amazing hand eye coordination in Indianapolis earlier this year, as he tipped the ball up numerous times over a Colts defender before diving and making an unbelievable catch.
What makes the catch even better was the fact that the Indianapolis cornerback was guilty of pass interference on the play.
6. Calvin Johnson Owns Three Dallas Defenders
Calvin Johnson is the most physically dominant receiver the NFL has ever seen.
The former first round pick has lit up opposing defenses all year long, and he has established himself as the most dangerous offensive weapon in the NFC.
Against the Cowboys, Megatron's athleticism was on full display. The Lions wide receiver called for the ball in triple coverage and then made mince meat out of three Cowboys defenders. Johnson leaped and made an absolutely ridiculous touchdown grab.
Life is easy for Matthew Stafford.
5. Chiefs Have Their Prayer Answered in Chicago
The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the least effective offenses in football, largely in part to devastating injuries to many key offensive pieces.
The Chiefs offense was dominated all day by the Bears when the two teams met earlier this season. Kansas City put up just 10 points, and seven of them came on one of the most unbelievable plays of the regular season.
Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko chucked up a Hail Mary in the last seconds of the first half. The ball was knocked down by Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher in the end zone, and it landed right into Dexter McCluster's arms.
The lucky score turned out to be the difference, as the Chiefs won the game, 10-3.
4. Tebow Time Shocks the Jets in Mile High
Tim Tebow has been the talk of the league this season.
The Florida product has led his Broncos to a 7-2 record as a starter, and he has them in the middle of the playoff race.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has had multiple comeback victories, but perhaps none as shocking as in Week 10 against the Jets.
Tebow led a previously struggling Denver offense 95 yards downfield on a stingy New York defense, capping the amazing drive off with a scramble into the end zone in the final minute.
3. Calvin Johnson's Game Winner in the Black Hole
Calvin Johnson's superb season results in another top play.
Megatron had a monster game against the Oakland Raiders in Week 16, as he racked up over 200 yards and two touchdowns.
The Georgia Tech product's biggest catch came in the final seconds, though, as he caught a Matthew Stafford pass in the back of the end zone to give Detroit the win, and a likely playoff berth.
2. LeGarrette Blount Channels His Inner Beast Mode
It has been a disappointing season for the Buccaneers and their fans, but at least they are responsible for one of the best plays of the 2011 season.
Bucs bruising running back LeGarrette Blount bowled over the entire Packer defense on his way to a 54-yard touchdown run to keep the Tampa Bay in the game.
Is this run better than Marshawn Lynch's in the playoffs last year?
1. Patrick Peterson's Game-Winning Punt Return in OT
Rookie Patrick Peterson has been one of the most exciting players in the league this season.
The LSU product has returned a league-high four punts for touchdowns. The star cornerback might challenge Devin Hester for the title of best returner in the game some day.
His best return came against the St. Louis Rams in overtime. Peterson fielded the punt at his own 1-yard line and then used his amazing speed and agility to avoid defenders and score the game-winning touchdown.
Thank you, Patrick Peterson, for giving football fans one of the best plays of 2011.