Week 8 in the NFL gave plenty of near-records, but on a micro level there were some amazing plays. Sunday's game between the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions was a treasure trove on a day where Calvin Johnson almost broke the single game receiving record, but the play of the game came in its waning moments.
Matthew Stafford executed a 79-yard drive with just over a minute on the clock to put his team on the 1-yard line with seconds left on the clock. The Lions quarterback barked at his offense, urging players to run to the line for a spike so he could stop the clock and give his team four chances to punch it in.
Unbeknownst to the Cowboys defense Stafford took the snap and leapt over the offensive line for a touchdown. The bewildered defensive line barely made it out of their stance, while the secondary was left to desperately appeal to the referees that Stafford didn't break the plane. It's fitting that a quarterback known for his passing was able to win on the back of one gutsy play and an impressive leap.
New England Patriots, volleyball All Stars
Tom Brady needed a little help on Sunday. The Patriots quarterback played through a swollen hand he sustained against the New York Jets, and needed his teammates to pick up the slack. Players answered, including this impressive interception that derailed one of Miami's few possible deep completions on Sunday.
Devin McCourty elevated backwards, but still had the awareness to realize where he was in relation to the sideline, despite having no vision of where he was set to land. Okay, so maybe he had no clue and attempted to make the catch himself -- but that doesn't make the play any less impressive.
Your mascot has nothing on Jaxson, and Jaxson has nothing on
England has a long history of streaking at sporting events. When a crowd of thousand inebriated cricket fans sit in the sun for eight hours you're bound to find someone willing to strip and get their five seconds of fame before being taken out of the stadium.
Jaxson de Ville tapped into this cultural touchstone when he showed London exactly what he's made of. This isn't the first time Jaxson has taken it all off, he posed in a bikini following a lost bet to the Denver Broncos and sported a thong as he was pelted with paint balls after losing another.
He's self-deprecating, funny and willing to make a fool of himself. Jaxson is everything the hyper-serious NFL needs, and we love him for it.
Dez Bryant and his helmet
There's no such thing as a high or wide throw with Dez Bryant on the case. Before his fuming lit up the Cowboys' bench, Bryant was torching the Lions' secondary.
Calvin Johnson might have had the last laugh, but with the aid of his helmet Bryant made two defenders look silly. This was the catch of the weekend, there just weren't enough of them.
Pryor's record-breaking run
Terrelle Pryor ran for more yards than he passed against the Pittsburgh Steelers on the back of this 93-yard touchdown that set the NFL record for a run by a quarterback. The elusive Pryor ran off right tackle and no defender was able to come within 5-yards on this serpentine run.
It's unclear whether he can be the long-term option for Oakland as a passer, but he's certainly an offensive weapon this team needs.
Not the top play: Punters and people too ... OR ARE THEY?!
The snap is impressive enough as the Giants long snapper somehow managed to send the ball 15 feet in the air, but Weatherford had several options on how to handle the situation.
1. Dive on the ball and result in a loss of downs
2. Kick the ball out of the end zone for a safety
3. Pick in up and try and bizarre rugby punt
4. Crab walk over the ball and do nothing, allowing an Eagles touchdown
Steve chose the fourth option, and entered our hearts with his ineptitude.