There is no real rhyme or reason to the ranking, just what I find most entertaining. Sometimes for its beauty, sometimes for the chaos, and sometimes for the maniacal portion of my soul. Feel free to reach out and direct me to the plays I missed.
Football Circus: Hot Potato TD
This is straight chaos. One tip, two tip, touchdown. We see quarterbacks attempt to bat tipped passes down in order to end the play. Obviously, that was Russell Wilson’s plan... yet without his effort, the ball likely floats to the ground without harm. When doing too much goes wrong.
10. Run Through The Woods
This play should not gain the nine yards necessary for a first down, let alone the near 49 yards it actually gained. The Cardinals linebackers, and one entire side of their defense, simply overran the play after pursuing the initial catch. That left Todd Gurley, a sprinting Jared Goff, and Robert Woods to beat three Cardinals defenders to the corner. It’s a vital block by Jared Goff, who occupies Patrick Peterson with his face, allowing Woods to sprint through the crease. The Rams just moved at a different speed on this play.
9. Josh Allen, Lead-Foot
In some ways this play is the perfect depiction of Josh Allen’s game. A fumbled snap is corralled and controlled, yet that’s not enough for Allen. The headstrong quarterback lunges for the first down line - stopped. Still not enough, as Allen emerges from the pile, twisting and turning beyond his goal with zero consideration of a potentially negative outcome. He’s a pedal to the floor player, always has been. Right now Allen is running hot with little going wrong, and the Bills are incredibly dangerous because of it.
8. Guice Drops The Hammer
It’s awesome to see these types of angry runs from Derrius Guice in the NFL. They popped up on a near-weekly basis when Guice played at LSU. He displays perfect patience to stay behind Brandon Scherff and then delivers the hammer on Shaq Thompson to create 29 extra yards. More of this, please.
7. Mahomes Finishes The Fade Away
This is pure Patrick Mahomes. Blake Bell allows immediate pressure on the right side. Somehow, when others panic, Mahomes remains perfectly calm and simply drifts away from the line of scrimmage. We’ve all done this in Madden before. But the throw is special, a falling away lob up to Travis Kelce who has inside positioning. Kelce then… levitates… like a cheerleader being lifted by her spotter, and makes a difficult catch look easy. Incredible.
6. James Washington Catches Ducks
If we get the Oklahoma State version of James Washington for the final four weeks of the season, I’ll be very happy. He was a great vertical receiver in college and now has a quarterback at least willing to loft the ball out there for Washington to make a play. And he did. Washington is only able to haul in this touchdown because he completely disregarded the defenders and possible contact. His entire focus is on the football and tracking it.
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5. Tuttle Turtles Matt Ryan
Big man, big stiff arm, big play. We see passes batted down by defensive linemen every game, yet somehow Tuttle was able to hold on to the oblong ball and take off in one *swift* move. I guarantee Tuttle has a running back background during middle school football, just look at him naturally switch to the outside arm and lockdown three points of contact. The stiff arm (TO THE FACE) of Matt Ryan is that little extra sauce that makes it special.
4. Courtland Sutton Erases Inaccuracies
Courtland Sutton’s season deserves more praise. He’s 12th in receiving yards despite catching passes from Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen and now Drew Lock. On this play, you can see why. He turns nothing into something. The corner is holding Sutton’s left off, the throw is off frame. Yet Sutton handles both imperfections and somehow pulls in a touchdown on third down. Sutton has emerged as a receiver who can eliminate his quarterback’s imperfections. Those are uncommon.
3. A Nightmare To Defend
Trick play touchdowns typically get the VIP treatment straight on this list. The quick inside handoff to Andre Roberts busts any man coverage a linebacker might have on Devin Singletary as their reaction is to flow in the receiver’s direction. Both Jourdan Lewis and Jaylon Smith are caught ball watching, with Devin Singletary easily drifting into wide-open spaces. John Brown’s beautiful spiral floats down from the clouds for a walk-in touchdown.
This is a nightmare to defend. Just look at Sean Lee, going round and round with zero clue where the football is or is going.
2. A Drawing Comes To Life
You know the play design is great when only one defender needs to be blocked for the play to be a success. Max Scharping locking up John Simon just enough allows DeAndre Hopkins to draw the corner just as he pitches the football to Deshaun Watson. Consider that Hopkins ran the option better than Mitchell Trubisky.
1. Haack Attack
Leave it to the Dolphins to deliver one of the best plays of the entire season. An early freeze frame could be confused with the Colts’ fake punt fiasco from a few years ago. It’s notable the Dolphins kept their normal center, Daniel Kilgore, in for the snap, as he hooked the defender directly to his left. This bought punter/holder/quarterback Matt Haack a little space to the pitch side, and because Haack is such a dangerous running threat, all three defenders converge on him. This leaves sure-handed kicker/receiver Jason Sanders wide open for the pitch.