Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception Named NFL Network's Top Play in NFL History

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2019

Former NFL player Franco Harris arrives for the induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

If a football play is so incredible that it is called the "Immaculate Reception," it better rank high on any list of all-time greatest plays.

According to NFL Network, Franco Harris' game-winning play in the 1972 AFC divisional playoffs between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers is the best play in NFL history.

In addition to being an incredible moment because it led to the Steelers' first playoff win in franchise history, it's also one of the most debated NFL plays ever.

The main source of controversy stems from whether Steelers halfback Frenchy Fuqua was the only person to touch the ball before it landed in Harris' hands. At the time, the NFL had a double-touch rule that made it illegal for an offensive player to touch the ball if it was deflected by a teammate.

Former NFL supervisor of officials Art McNally ended the controversy in 2012, telling USA Today's Gary Mihoces two members of the officiating crew said the catch was legal because the ball was touched by Raiders defensive back Jack Tatum.

Harris' 60-yard score gave the Steelers a 13-7 win over the Raiders and remains a staple of NFL highlight packages.

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