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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Colts face tough personnel decisions following 2010 season

Ever since Peyton Manning’s second year in the league, NFL fans have just grown accustomed to the Colts being in the playoffs every season. Manning is, and will be until he retires, the catalyst for the horseshoe helmet’s success.

But as the Indianapolis Star points out, Jim Irsay and Bill Polian will be faced with several tough decisions after the 2010 season because the Colts will have 19 players seeking new contracts. There’s no doubt that the team will make sure Manning retires a Colt, but will his contract impede Irsay from signing other free agents?

That might be a reference to the size of Manning’s signing bonus. It undoubtedly will surpass the $34.5 million bonus he received as part of his seven-year, $98 million contract in 2004.

Funneling too much up-front money to Manning, though, could make retaining other critical players difficult.

“We have to be wise in that we don’t corner ourselves and make sure we have room to keep some of the key guys,” Irsay said. “It’s a myth to say you can just have Peyton and you’re automatically 12-4.

“Peyton gives you such an edge . . . but we need the supporting cast if we want to do what we really want to do, and that’s win another world championship.”

As long as Manning remains under center, the Colts will always be competitive. But as Irsay points out, he needs to be able to field a competitive team around his quarterback if the franchise wants to win another Super Bowl before Manning hangs up his cleats. Aside from Peyton, several key starters including Joseph Addai, Antoine Bethea, Melvin Bullitt, Clint Session and Adam Vinatieri (among others) will need new deals. The Colts can’t bring everyone back, especially after they get done paying Manning.

It’s only May, so this is obviously not a problem that the Colts need to concern themselves with right now. But it’s worth noting that after this season, the Colts will have a ton of internal decisions to make – ones that will certainly affect the future success of the franchise.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Top 10 active NFL field goal percentage leaders

It’s almost fantasy football time, and many of you, like me, have already been doing your research. So let’s take a look at a category that you may not pay much attention to, and many experts will tell you not to anyway. That’s field goal percentage. I realize choosing a kicker is like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, but good references are to pick those on good offensive teams, or those that can’t score TDs and create more field goal attempts. But it’s also good to pick an accurate kicker, whether that kicker plays in a dome or not. I mean, why take your chances on someone who kicks 25 field goals but misses another 25? So here is a list of the active Top 10 in field goal percentage. You can thank me later.

1. Nick Folk, Dallas Cowboys (86.79%)—For as good as Folk’s rookie season was in 2007, he had less attempts but was even more accurate in 2008, kicking 20 of 22 field goals (90.9%). Which reminds me, what the hell ever happened to Mike Vanderjagt?

2. Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers (86.13%)—Sure, he kicks mostly in warm weather, but Kaeding is about as automatic as they come.

3. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears (85.94%)—If you’re hitting better than 17 out of 20 times when your home field is in the WINDY city, you’re damn good.

4. Shayne Graham, Cincinnati Bengals (85.64%)—One of the lone bright spots on a team that is perpetually going nowhere.

5. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots (85.56%)—No Adam Vinatieri? No problem. This kid stepped in as a rookie in 2006 and has improved each year, hitting 36 of 40 field goal attempts last season (90%) and leading the NFL in total points (148).

6. Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans (84.50%)—Bironas is extremely dependable, but nothing topped his 2007 All-Pro campaign, when dude kicked an NFL record 8 field goals against Houston.

7. Matt Stover, free agent (83.70%)—The amazing thing about Stover is that he’s been doing it for so long. He broke in with the Browns in 1991 and moved with the team to Baltimore in 1996, where he played until last season.

8. Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns (82.81%)—One of the original “expansion” Browns, Dawson, like his counterpart Graham in southern Ohio, has been a bright spot on a bad team for years.

9. Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh Steelers (82.65%)—Every year they seem to talk about how hard it is to kick in Heinz Field, so the fact that Jeff Reed is even on this list says a lot about his ability. I’d love to know what the guy could do playing in Minnesota for a year.

10. John Carney, free agent (82.59%)—Carney stepped in for Lawrence Tynes last season and all he did was hit 35 of 38 field goal attempts, an amazing 92.1% clip. It’s even more amazing because Carney played half his games in windy Giants Stadium, and because he did it at the age of 44.

Source: Pro Football Reference

Top 10 Super Bowl Finishes

The Love of Sports compiled a list of the top 10 Super Bowl finishes of all-time.

Super Bowl XLII2. Super Bowl XLII: New York Pulls Off Giant Upset (2007)
Maybe it was due to the historical implications, with New England looking to go down as the greatest team in NFL history, but the ending was epic and had fans on the edge of their seats (and couches) with history unfolding in front of their eyes. The Giants were a resilient bunch late in the game to pull off the upset and secure its place as the second most exciting finish. Eli Manning, of course, drove his team downfield with 35 seconds left after Randy Moss helped the undefeated Patriots take a 14-10 lead. Similar to the Patriots-Panthers game in ’03, there wasn’t much scoring early, as both teams could only muster points on their first possessions of the game. The AFC representatives only led 7-3 at the half on the strength of a Laurence Maroney score, but it was the quest for an undefeated season that kept things intriguing – until late in the fourth quarter when both teams marched up and down the field Down 10-7 after David Tyree put New York on top, Tom Brady engineered an 80-yard touchdown drive, after the Giants defensive line shut him down during the first three and a half quarters. Moss’ six-yard TD catch crushed the hearts of those anti-Patriots supporters, seemingly sealing the deal. The Patriots looked destined for perfection, but the student (Eli) beat the master (Brady). Eli, taking a page out of Peyton’s book, calmly marched his offense down the field in the final two minutes. He eluded three Patriot defenders to set up Tyree’s unbelievable one-handed-to-helmet catch before Plaxico Burress’ game-winning score. 21 points were tallied in the final frame to make it a great finish, with the Giants winning 17-14 in arguably the second greatest upset in Super Bowl history.

1. Super Bowl XXXVIII: Vinatieri’s Second Act (2003)
A game that was so dull in the first quarter and a half, with neither team scoring until late second quarter amidst a tight defensive battle, turned out to be the best finishes ever. A 14-10 halftime score was met by another scoreless quarter in the third before the fun really began. After an Antowain Smith two-yard TD run to open the fourth, the Panthers’ offense can alive on its next two possessions. The latter of which resulted in a thrilling 85-yard catch and run by Muhsin Muhammad into the end-zone to give Carolina its first lead, 22-21, with a little under seven minutes left. This was just the start of something special under the domed Reliant Stadium in Houston! Mike Vrabel was the recipient of his first of two career Super Bowl touchdowns to put the Patriots back on top, ahead 29-22 with 2:51 remaining. Just over a minute left in the game, Delhomme marched the Panthers downfield and hit Ricky Proehl to tie it up (his second game-tying TD against New England). At this point, the game was almost destined for overtime. But then, Carolina kicker John Kasay makes the mistake of his life, booting it out of bounds with 14 seconds left to give Tom Brady prime field position – and we all know what he can do in the two-minute drill. He put the Pats in field-goal range and Adam Vinatieri did his thing with another game-winning kick with no time on the clock. New England won its second title in three years with a 32-29 victory to cap off the greatest ending to any Super Bowl.

Considering the amount of points scored in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XXXVIII, I could see why the boys at TLOS would choose that finish as the best. But last year’s ending with Eli avoiding the sack, Tyree’s catch and Burress’s game-winning score was my top finish. Given the magnitude of the Patriots’ undefeated season being on the line, that was one of the best Super Bowls ever played and that finish got your heart racing. Either way – this is a great list.

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