Although we had to slosh through months of lockout talk, the 2011 NFL season has been worth the wait. We have seen the Green Bay Packers dominate and the Philadelphia Eagles fail to live up to expectations. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is ready to set a new single season passing yardage mark, while Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots has already broken the seasonal record for touchdown catches by a tight end. Plus the phenomenon that is Tim Tebow. All in all it has been an interesting season
Then we have the singular moments that stand out. The plays that we will happily watch over and over again, that is of course if that play wasn’t made against your favorite team. So here are my five top plays from 2011. This list only includes the regular season games, not the playoff games that took place last January; if those were included Marshawn Lynch would top the list. As always let me know if you disagree with my choices by leaving a comment down at the bottom.
5. Blount rumbles for six: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had a disappointing season with a record of 4-10. In Week 11 they played the Packers tough for much of the game, but wound up losing 35-26. The Bucs did have the most exciting play of the game, a 54 yard run by LeGarrette Blount. During the play Blount left a half dozen Packers in his wake.
4. Peterson ends game: In Week 9 the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals went to overtime tied at 13-13. The Rams won the toss and managed to pick up one first down before having to punt. Cardinals rookie Patrick Peterson was back to receive the punt and returned it 99 yards for a game ending score. My favorite part of the play is how he is running backwards for about four yards in the middle of the play.
3. Cobb makes big debut: Another rookie and another huge return. On opening night the Packers were hosting the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. In the third quarter the Saints kicked off and Randall Cobb took the ball out of the end zone from about eight yards deep. Cobb was nearly taken down at the Packers 23 yard line, but amazingly managed to keep his balance. He would scamper for a total of 108 yards and help the Packers win 42-34.
2. Bowe’s crazy catch: Dwayne Bowe has teased Kansas City Chiefs fans for five seasons. Sometimes he appears to be one of the best receivers in the league, and at other times he is dropping the easiest of receptions. In Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts Bowe he was the former. Bowe had 128 yards receiving, six of those yards coming on an incredible touchdown catch. Bowe managed to tip the ball twice before securing it for the score.
1. Cruz control: Another spectacular catch from Week 5 happened in New York, okay okay it is was actually New Jersey. The Giants trailed the Seattle Seahawks 19-14 early in the fourth quarter. The Giants had the ball on their 32 yard line. Eli Manning decided to go for a bomb on a third and 13 play. Victor Cruz was running down the right side of the field and had double coverage on him. That didn’t matter as Cruz caught a tipped ball at the Seahawks 25 yard line, with one hand, and motored in for the score and the lead. Unfortunately, for Giants fans, it wasn’t enough as their team lost 36-25.
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