The 20 Most Important Plays of the NFL Season

The 20 Most Important Plays of the NFL Season

NFL

The 20 Most Important Plays of the NFL Season

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#10 Albert Wilson turns short pass into long TD versus Bears

The Bears defense has been stout almost all year. But for one brief moment, they ran into Brock-Tober. Leading by seven points, the Bears allowed Albert Wilson of the Dolphins to take a short pass and turn it into a game-tying effort, and the Dolphins would win in overtime.

Little did we know that such a play wouldn’t even come close to registering as the biggest for Miami this year, and if Chicago doesn’t surrender that big chunk, they might be in position for a bye right now.

#9 Zane Gonzalez gets blocked, Browns and Steelers tie

You want to know how long the season is? Flashback to this one in week 1. Zane Gonzalez was blocked by T.J. Watt, to give the Steelers a tie. You can see the befuddled look on Hue Jackson’s face in the highlight.

If the Browns can win that game in overtime, the Steelers are in much worse shape, and Cleveland is very much alive for a playoff spot, sitting just one game behind both the Steelers and Ravens.

#8 Jason Garrett turtles up and punts in overtime versus Texans

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

On 4th and 1 from the Houston 42 in overtime, Jason Garrett did not play for the win. He punted the ball away, and a few plays later Deshaun Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 49-yard play that set up the winning field goal for Houston. That decision drew the ire of his owner the next day with public comments.

If Dallas wins that game, they are already NFC East Champs and Houston is in a dogfight for the AFC South.

#7 Mike Vrabel gets aggressive vs. Eagles in overtime

Tennessee was down by 3 in overtime at the defending Super Bowl champions. They had already converted a 4th-and-4 on the drive, and then facing 4th-and-2 with the possibility of a long field goal to tie, Vrabel went for it. The Titans converted on a pass to Dion Lewis, and Marcus Mariota hit Corey Davis for the game winner a few plays later.

If Tennessee loses that game, they are basically eliminated from the playoffs right now, with no chance to win the AFC South and needing multiple losses from Baltimore. The Eagles, meanwhile, would be in much better shape to get back to the playoffs

#6 Clay Matthews roughing versus the Vikings

I want you to imagine how this year is different if the league didn’t start by using Clay Matthews as the poster boy for enforcing a roughing the passer rule that magically disappeared a few weeks later.

The Packers got what should have been a game-sealing interception up by 8 late against the Vikings. Instead, it was called back because of a terrible roughing call against Matthews.

Green Bay is still mathematically alive with a win there, and the Vikings are in a flat-footed tie with the Eagles and Redskins for a playoff spot.

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