Most Memorable Plays in Football (NFL/College) EverThere have been many fantastic plays that have been embedded in American football history. From the "Immaculate Reception" to "The Music City Miracle". From the "Miracle in Michigan" to Alabama's Goal Line Stands. Most of us know of these plays from stories, sports documentaries, or even witnessed it in person or on live television. These plays have gone down in history and will be remembered for generations. But which one is the most memorable of all time?
The Top Ten
The Immaculate Reception is one of the most famous plays in NFL history. It occurred on December 23, 1972 in the AFC Divisional Playoff between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers were trailing Oakland 7-6 with roughly 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Future Hall of Famer quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass intended for Pittsburgh wideout John Fuqua. Oakland safety Jack Tatum fought against Fuqua for the ball only to have it bounce off their hands. The play appeared to be over, but out of nowhere, Steelers running back Franco Harris bent over whilst running to catch the ball. The whistle was never blown and Franco Harris ran for a 60 yard receiving touchdown to seal the victory for Pittsburgh 13-7.
"The Kick" is one of the most memorable plays in Alabama football history. It happened in the 1985 50th anniversary of the Iron Bowl, the annual rivalry game between Alabama and Auburn. The game was played in Birmingham at Legion Field between Alabama (7-2-1) and Auburn (8-2). The game kept going back and forth with Auburn 23-22 with under a minute left. Alabama drove down the field and ran out play out of bounds to the Auburn 35 yard line right before last play. Van Tiffin jogged onto the field with the outcome of the game resting on his shoulders. He set up his tee, stretched his leg, and step out his position. Ahead of him was 52 yards between him and the uprights. Miraculously, he nailed the kick right in the middle of the uprights with a few yards to spare. The kick gave Alabama the victory 25-23.
Every play on here might not exactly be pleasant, but are memorable nonetheless. "Wrong Way, Marshall" happened on October 25, 1964 in a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers. Jim Marshall, a defensive end for the Vikings, is the victim of this memorable moment. The 49ers were in possession of the ball and driving down the field. The 49ers elected to run the ball. During the play, the 49ers fumbled and Jim Marshall scooped up the ball and ran with it. However, Marshall was running in the opposite direction towards the 49ers end zone. Confused, Marshall ran 66 yards entering the 49ers end zone. Thinking that he had scored a touchdown, he threw the ball out of bounds in celebration resulting in two points for the 49ers. Despite the boneheaded play, Marshall and the Vikings left with a 27-22 victory.
"Jim, you did the most interesting thing in this game today."
In 2007, a game between FCS Appalachian State and FBS powerhouse Michigan turned out to be the biggest upset in FBS history. At the time, Michigan was ranked 5th in the nation according to the AP and Coaches poll. Appalachian State came into the game with a chip on their shoulder and ended up leading the Wolverines at halftime 24-17. The second half was much closer, though. App St. scored only 3 points in the 3rd quarter, but Michigan scored 9. Heading into the 4th quarter, App St. was leading 27-26. Michigan appeared to able to come back and win. App St. scored another field goal, but Michigan scored 6 points. As the game was coming to an end, Michigan was driving down the field and ended up being in field goal range. The only thing keeping Michigan from winning was a 37 yard field goal attempt as time expired. The ball was snapped, but the Mountaineers broke through the protection and blocked the attempt and recovered the blocked kick. To this day, it is the largest upset in FBS ...more
In 1972, the Miami Dolphins faced the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl. The score is 14-0 with Miami in the lead with less than two minutes left in the game. Garo Yepremian sets up to kick a 42-yard field goal that will give the Dolphins a guaranteed win. Everything goes right except that the kick is blocked and bounces around on the ground. Yepremian chases down the ball and picks it up instead of falling on it. Yepremian decides to try to throw the ball down the field, but what ensues is the most embarrassing thing to happen to an NFL player. The ball slips out of Yepremian's hand and bounces off his helmet into the hands of a Redskins defender. Yepremian missed the tackle and the defender marches down the field for a 50-yard touchdown. Luckily for the Dolphins, they kept their lead and won 14-7.
In 2010, the New York Giants faced the Philadelphia Eagles in a division round game. The Eagles were down 31-10 and looked lifeless. Somehow, Michael Vick leads the Eagles offense on an incredible 8 minute drive to tie the game up at 31. With 14 seconds left on the clock and 4th down, the Giants elected to punt to try and get the game to go into overtime. The punt is high and far and Desean Jackson muffed the ball but picked it back up on the run. He runs up the middle of the field for a few yards causing a few defenders to miss tackles. He then gets a few blocks and runs down the sideline. He beats the Giants punter, turns and runs down the 1 yard line, then finally enters the end zone and chucks the ball into the stands. There's no time on the clock and the Eagles have won and advanced to the divisional title game.
In the 1987 AFC Championship Game, John Elway's Denver Broncos are trailing the Cleveland Browns 20-13 with 5 minutes left in the game. John Elway comes out with his offense with 98 yards of field in front of him. Somehow, the Browns can't stop the Broncos offense and they march down the field. Even being sacked for a loss of 8 yards couldn't stop the Broncos. With 39 seconds left in the game, John Elway threw a short pass to Mark Johnson for a 5-yard touchdown. The game goes to overtime when the Broncos kicked a field goal to advance to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XLII, and Giants down 14-10 against New England. Third and Five. 1:16 left in the game. Giants on their won 44-yard line. The lineman snaps the ball, and then New York Quarterback Eli Manning gets the ball. Manning has to escape a near sack, and then throws up a desperation ball to David Tyree. In a jump ball against safety Rodney Harrison, Tyree secures the ball by pinning it against his helmet. They got 32 yards off that play. Four plays later, their victory was sealed with a touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, ending the New England's bid for a perfect season(New England had won every previous game that season). To this day, David Tyree pinning the ball against his helmet has been remembered as one of the miraculous plays in Super Bowl history in one of the best Super Bowls ever.
In 1997, Elway's Broncos faced Brett Favre's Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. Elway is 37 and is on his last leg. It seems like a no contest because of how the Packers dominated over the entire season. Late in the 3rd quarter, old Elway made the gutsiest play of his career. On 3rd and six, Elway drops back and scans the field for an open receiver. He couldn't see anyone open, so he decided to run before the pocket collapsed. He passes the first down marker, but continues to run. Two Packer defenders close in on Elway, but instead of sliding, Elway lowers his shoulder and takes the collision. He first gets hit on the back of his shoulder pads and is sent in the air. While falling, he gets hit again causing him to spin in midair like a helicopter propeller. He holds on to the ball and Denver would go on to score a touchdown and win the game.
With less than 20 seconds in the first half of Super Bowl XLIII, the Arizona Cardinals are in the redzone on the Steelers' 2 yard line. The score is 10-7 with the Steelers leading. Kurt Warner takes the snap from the shotgun and immediately looks towards Larry Fitzgerald who is running a short slant run. Warner throws to Fitzgerald, but James Harrison, the Steelers' outside linebacker, steps in front of Fitzgerald and picks the pass off. Harrison has a large group of blockers leading the way. Harrison manages to slip past Arizona players and heads down the sideline. Larry Fitzgerald catches him, but Harrison is already at the two yard line when Fitzgerald jumps on him. Harrison crosses the goal line and scores a touchdown. To this day, it is still the longest interception return in Super Bowl history.
One of the craziest, jaw-dropping moments I’ve seen. I watched that whole game including that part I couldn’t believe it even happened. Bama getting beat last minute to Auburn when they have always been so good?! Crazy has to be on here
Back to Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. With less than two minutes left in the game, Ben Roethlisberger leads the Steelers offense out on to the field. Big Ben wouldn't be denied and drives his team 72 yards towards the Arizona end zone. The score is 23-20 and Pittsburgh desperately needs to score. With 35 seconds left on the clock, the Steelers are on the Arizona 6 yard line. It's 3rd and goal and Pittsburgh wasn't going for a tie. Roethlisberger takes the snap and looks for an open receiver. The pocket is closing and Ben throws towards Pittsburgh receiver Santonio Holmes who is covered well by two Cardinal defenders. The ball sails just over the defenders, but is in reach of Holmes. Holmes reaches his hands out over the boundary line and catches the ball. Miraculously, Holmes kept his left foot on the ground with his right foot behind it. The play is reviewed, but the play stands and the touchdown is confirmed. The Steelers became Super ...more
With 9 mins left in the game the Dallas Cowboys were down against the Green Bay packers in the 2014 conference championship. On 4th down the Cowboys were down 6 points and knew they couldn't give the ball back to the Packers without scoring. Desperately Tony Romo throws up a long ball to Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant was heavily guarded but still came don with the ball before it being called a Touchdown and the Cowboys would take the lead. Packers coach Mike McCarthy than challenge it and it was overturned giving the ball back to the packers and ending the Cowboys championship run hopes. Later the NFL came out and said the referees in the game made a mistake and should have been a Cowboys touchdown. The #ItWasACatch Than came out with now over 17 million posts of angry cowboys fans still to this day. #ItWasACatch
The catch with joe Montana and Dwight Clark. One of the most talked about NFL plays with Joe Cool and winning that game against Dallas to make it to the super bowl it has to be on this list!