Heart Pumping Moments: Win a Copy of EA Sports Active 2

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The Scores Report has teamed up with EA Sports to discuss the best Heart Pumping Moments in sports. We thought it would be fun to take a look at the most heart-pumping Super Bowl moments from the 2000s. If you would like to share your most Heart Pumping Moments, leave them in the comments section and we’ll pick five readers to receive a copy of EA Sports Active 2 for the system of your choice! (Check out the rules and requirements at the bottom of this post.)

On to the heart-pumping Super Bowl moments of the 2000s!

1. David Tyree’s “helmet catch.”
Is there a better Super Bowl moment in the past decade than David Tyree’s “helmet catch?” Super Bowl XLII will best be remembered as one of the best upsets in the history of the NFL. The Patriots were looking to become only the second team in league history to finish the season undefeated and all that stood in their way was a Giants team that had been inconsistent before making the playoffs. The Giants were heavy underdogs coming into the game, but their pass rush stifled Tom Brady and held the explosive New England offense to only 14 points. Down 14-10 with only 1:15 remaining in the game, the Giants faced a 3rd-and-5 at their own 44. Eli Manning took the snap from shotgun and immediately had defensive linemen Richard Seymour, Jarvis Green and Adalius Thomas in his face. Thomas grabbed Manning by the shoulder while Seymour had the back of his jersey. Somehow Manning escaped the sack, scrambled backwards and then heaved a desperation pass downfield towards Tyree at the 34-yard line. Tyree, who had to adjust his route because of the Patriots’ pressure, caught the ball with both hands but safety Rodney Harrison had swiped his other arm. Amazingly, Tyree was able to secure possession of the ball with one hand by pressing it against the top of his helmet as both players fell to the ground. Given the situation, it was easily the play of the decade. It netted 32 yards and four players later, Manning hit Plaxico Burress for a touchdown to eventually give the Giants a 17-14 victory. Remarkable.

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NFL Power Rankings of 2000s decade

Don Banks of SI.com
did a cool feature in which he ranked all 32 teams based on their performance this decade.

1. New England
Regular season: 102-42, .708
Playoff wins/record: 14-3
Super Bowls won/appeared: 3 out of 4
Playoff seasons: 6
Winning seasons: 8
Losing seasons: 1
In the past six seasons, the Patriots have won an astounding 77 games in the regular season (one shy of 13 per year), and 11 more in the playoffs. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that Bill Belichick’s 2001 no-name club authored one of the most remarkable Super Bowl upsets in history. If the 2007 Patriots had just been able to close the deal against the Giants, the only debate would be whether that New England team is the NFL’s greatest ever, not whether the Patriots are the best of the current decade. Alas, the Pats are one miraculous David Tyree helmet catch away from all of that.

He’s top five consists of the Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Eagles and Giants, which is hard to argue with. The Patriots won three of the four Super Bowl appearances they played in, while the Steelers won both of theirs. The Colts made the playoffs eight times this decade and won the Super Bowl in 2006. Even though the Eagles didn’t win their Super Bowl appearance in 2004, they had seven playoff seasons and seven winning seasons.

Giant fans might be a little upset that their team didn’t get a higher ranking than No. 5 after producing one of the best upsets in SB history (if not the best), but they were stomped in their other SB appearance of the decade and had three losing seasons, which was the most of any teams in the top 5. Banks’ ranking was fair.

Not surprisingly, the Lions ranked dead last in Banks’ rankings and there’s little debate that they’re the worst team of this decade.

Brandon Jacobs on Braylon Edwards: “I don’t want him”

When asked recently about the idea of his team possibly adding wide receiver Braylon Edwards, Giants’ running back Brandon Jacobs emphatically said: “no.”

“I don’t want him,” Jacobs said yesterday on ESPN 1050 Radio. “There are great players in the league that I don’t want. I just think the chemistry between the teammates that I have now is great. We don’t need to add a new veteran to the whole group.”
Jacobs also said no to trading for Anquan Boldin.

“I’m good with where we are,” Jacobs said. “I’m glad that we didn’t go forward and get [Edwards] or Boldin. Those guys are great guys [but] I’m not interested in that idea.”

This shouldn’t be taken as a knock to Edwards and Boldin because Jacobs is flat out saying that both players are great. This is more of Jacobs being a team leader and giving a boost to the players already on the Giants’ roster. By saying that the Giants’ are good as is, he’s giving wide receiver teammates Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham, Sinorice Moss, David Tyree and rookies Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden encouragement that they can succeed next season.

If you’re a Giants’ receiver and you hear a captain like Jacobs say that the team doesn’t need to add a great player like Boldin, then that should give you tremendous confidence.

Santonio Holmes vs. David Tyree Super Bowl catches

The last two Super Bowls have given fans two of the greatest catches in NFL history.

It seemed that David Tyree’s amazing “helmet reception” in the Giants’ thrilling upset of the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl would never be topped given the magnitude of the game and the fact that it led to New York’s game-winning touchdown. But after Santonio Holmes’ amazing sideline grab in Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday night, maybe Tyree’s catch was bested.

What catch was better?

David Tyree’s against the Patriots:

Santonio Holmes’ against the Cardinals:

There truly isn’t a wrong answer here because both were freaking phenomenal. But if a gun were placed to my head and I had to choose one, I would go with Holmes’ catch against the Cardinals and not just because it was more recent.

The magnitude of both catches were both incredibly high, as well as the degrees of difficulty. Tyree had to fight with Rodney Harrison in midair just to catch the ball, then as it’s slipping from his grasp, press it against his helmet and make sure that it didn’t bounce out when the two players hit the ground. He also had to make sure that no part of the ball touched the turf, which is probably the most amazing part.

Holmes had to jump up, snag Ben Roethlisberger’s pass as it was heading out of bounds, use only his hands to make the catch, make sure both of his feet came down in bounds and as he was falling to the turf, make sure he remained in complete control. He also had to show immense concentration because three defenders were around him at the time.

Both were amazing, but I give the slight edge to Holmes because his catch actually scored the game-winning touchdown. I know Tyree’s led to the Giants’ game winning touchdown and without it, New York probably doesn’t win the game. But Holmes’s was officially worth six points, so I’m giving the nod to him.

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Holmes’ catch the best ever?

Holmes’ catch the best ever?

Gregg Doyel of CBSSportsline.com writes that Santonio Holmes’ game-winning touchdown grab was the best catch in NFL history.

Santonio HolmesYou can’t dispute that Pittsburgh receiver Santonio Holmes, given the stakes and the degree of difficulty, just gave us the greatest catch in the history of professional football — a 6-yard, leaping, tightrope grab in the back corner of the end zone with 35 seconds left to give the Steelers a 27-23 victory Sunday night against Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII.

The ball was high, and heading out of bounds. Holmes wasn’t merely going to have to make a leaping catch — that’s routine enough; Holmes himself said later that he didn’t leap, but he did a little bit — but he had to make a leaping catch as his momentum was taking him out the side door near the back of the end zone. Leap, focus on the ball long enough to make the catch, then forget about the hands and worry about the feet. Get them down, both of them, because this isn’t Ohio State, son. Two feet down in the NFL, or it’s no catch.

Do all that … oh, and did we mention this is the Super Bowl? And that there is less than a minute left? That the other team leads 23-20?

Doyel goes onto compare Holmes’ catch to Lynn Swann’s in Super Bowl X and David Tyree’s in last year’s Super Bowl.

Swann and Tyree made their catches in the Super Bowl, so they’re still in the running. I guess. But neither guy made his catch in the end zone. Neither guy scored on the play. Swann made the prettiest catch we’ve ever seen, and Tyree made one of the most difficult catches we’ve ever seen, but they came in the middle of the field. Tyree’s grab led to the winning touchdown, true, but it didn’t score it. So give Swann credit for being a ballerina in cleats, and applaud Tyree for making one of the most ridiculous catches you’ve ever seen.

But don’t compare their non-scoring catches to what Holmes did — not just in the end zone in the Super Bowl, but in the final minute with his team trailing 23-20.

I don’t find myself saying this too often but I actually agree with Doyel. I didn’t think that anything could top Tyree’s catch last year considering the degree of difficulty in which he had to hang onto the ball by pressing it against his helmet while he was falling to the ground and wrestling with Rodney Harrison at the same time. But if you were like me last night when Holmes caught that ball you said, “No way – no way was he in.” But he was and it was incredible.

Holmes had to use his hands and his hands only to snag that ball. Not only that, but he also had three defenders around him and while Roethlisberger’s pass was placed in a spot only Holmes could catch it, it was still sailing well out of bounds when the Steeler wideout snagged it out of the air. And as Doyel points out, when you factor in the magnitude of the game and the fact that Holmes had to get two feet down while his momentum was being carried out of bounds, it all adds up to the greatest catch ever.

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