Shutdown Corner - NFL

9. Week 4: Vikings 30, Packers 23. Favre's first game against Green Bay.

You know how much I love some good Brett Favre(notes) hype, but the amount of it leading up to Favre's first game against Green Bay was almost too much. Somehow, though, the game almost lived up to it, as Favre was excellent and Aaron Rodgers(notes) was pretty damn good, too. In the end, though, it was Jared Allen(notes) who ended up stealing the show with 4½ sacks.

8. Week 5: Dolphins 31, Jets 27. Five lead changes.

Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder(notes) and Jets head coach Rex Ryan exchanged some pointed trash talk before the game, and Ryan had been rather dismissive of Miami's prowess out of the Wildcat formation. Perhaps poetically, it was the Wildcat that scored the winning touchdown against the Jets with :06 left on the clock.

7. Week 13: Raiders 27, Steelers 24. Bruce Gradkowski's(notes) homecoming.

Someone in the Raiders' organization finally had the good sense to put Bruce Gradkowski in the starting lineup ahead of JaMarcus Russell(notes), and it resulted in arguably the upset of the season. Gradkowski had to drive the length of the field in under two minutes, and to the absolute shock of everyone, including his teammates, he did it. With :09 left, Louis Murphy(notes) caught Gradkowski's third touchdown pass of the fourth quarter.

6. Week 13: Saints 33, Redskins 30. Suisham!

Perhaps the most painful Sunday in a season full of them for the Redskins, they came up just short against the then-undefeated Saints. This game also featured what may have been the play of the year, when Robert Meacham stripped the ball away from a Redskins defender who had intercepted a Drew Brees(notes) pass. With 1:52 to play, Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham(notes) could have given the Redskins a 10-point lead, but he blew a chip shot field goal. The Saints scored quickly, forced overtime, and got the win.

5. Week 12: Titans 20, Cardinals 17. Vince Young's(notes) perfect drive.

Vince Young found a great big pile of redemption this year, best typified by his efforts late in this game. With 2:37 to play and in need of a touchdown, Young had to start a drive at his own 1-yard line. Eighteen plays later, there were zeroes on the clock, and Vince Young was celebrating because he had just hit Kenny Britt(notes) in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

4. Week 15: Steelers 37, Packers 36. Mike Wallace's(notes) tippy-toes.

This one went back-and-forth with big plays all game long, including an extremely unconventional onside kick by Mike Tomlin that proved to be kind of brilliant. On the final play of the game, Ben Roethlisberger(notes) went over 500 passing yards and made a spectacular throw to Mike Wallace in the end zone, and he made an equally spectacular catch.

3. Week 3: Vikings 27, 49ers 24. Brett Favre to Greg Lewis(notes) Hail Mary.

Another expiring clock, another brilliant throw and another brilliant catch ... even more brilliant than the last one. Favre was flushed from the pocket, moved to his left, heaved up a prayer to Lewis in the back of the end zone, and the prayer ended up being perfectly placed. It still required an amazing effort from Greg Lewis who made the leaping grab, and stamped both his feet down in the back of the end zone.

2. Week 10: Colts 35, Patriots 34. The Fourth-and-2 Game.

Probably the most talked-about game of the season, this Sunday nighter is most famous for Bill Belichick's decision to go for a fourth-and-2 deep in his own territory late in the game. The Pats came up short on the play, the Colts quickly scored, and that was the ballgame. Belichick's gamble was discussed and debated for days afterward.

1. Week 11: Lions 38, Browns 37. The "What the Fudge?" Game.

Would you call it an important game? By no means. But it was damn entertaining, and the odds it overcame to be entertaining vault it into the top spot. No one expected this thing to be worth watching on any level. It figured to be a 6-3 snoozefest, or something of that sort. Out of nowhere, though, it turned into a back-and-forth shootout that ended with some dramatic injury-overcoming heroics from Matthew Stafford(notes).

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