As Bryan mentioned last week, we will be doing a new feature where we do a random sports related top 5. For those of you that didn’t watch last night’s kickoff to the 2009 NFL season, Troy Polamalu had an amazing interception that actually ended up being number one on Sports Centers top 10 plays. So with that in mind, I decided to go with the Top 5 Troy Polamalu plays, or at least the top five that I could find youtube videos for. The top four were easy, but the last one was a little more difficult to decide on. Here it is:
5. A phenomenal tackle.
This is just a great tackle. The video doesn’t do it much justice but being able to make a tackle like that against two blockers and basically while you’re falling on your back is just insane. Add to it the fact that he pulled it off to stop Tatum Bell from getting a first down and on top of that if he hadn’t made the tackle it would very likely have been a touchdown, that’s just amazing.
4. Breaking up the desperation last play and scoring a touchdown.
What amazes me most here was his quickness to get in and break up a lateral and also just the fact that he went for the ball rather than just tackling the player. I know that seems like it would be the obvious thing to do but the large majority of the time the defender will go to tackle the player receiving the pitch or the one who just pitched it and even if they do go for the ball they usually aren’t quick enough to actually get it. So for him to be able to knock this ball away but then for the cherry on top to be able to pick it up and get into the end zone is awesome.
3. AFC Championship Winner
This is essentially the play that won the AFC Championship for the Steelers last year, sending them to the Super Bowl, which they went on to win. The interception itself isn’t that spectacular, but when you add in the impressive return for a touchdown it makes it great. What makes this play number three on the list though is the magnitude of the situation that they were in; AFC Championship game, late in the fourth quarter, up by two, and they must get a stop. This play was clutch all the way around.
2. One-handed Interception
This is the great play from last night. In terms of athleticism and ability this is just incredible. The play also should have been an offensive pass interference call. The receiver clearly pushed him right as he was about to jump up for the ball. So to be able to go up and snatch the ball out of the air with one hand like that despite being pushed in the back is just insane. What truly makes this pick so spectacular though is the ability to have that much concentration and combine it with physical ability. Nothing can top this play in that department.
1. Did he just catch that?!
Did I just say that nothing could top that last one in terms of concentration mixed with physical ability. I’m sorry but I lied. This catch is just absurd. It doesn’t even make any sense in my mind. I can’t even register the level of awesomeness that is contained in this play. He even had a pretty awesome return in the works until he ran into the back of one of his own teammates. But the catch is what matters here. I don’t think any catch ever could possibly be closer than that one.