The best plays from Week 17: Bad news, Bears

The best plays in Week 17 were book-ended by the Bears. Apologies go out to the Windy City.

The wait is a long one if you're a fan of one of the 20 NFL teams eliminated from the playoffs. That pain can be eased a little with the best GIFs in the NFL from Week 17, and there were some good ones.

This can't be happening

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We love a good underdog story, unless you live in Chicago. There's something pure about watching a team fight back that was close to being dead a buried.

The 2013 season gave us Peyton Manning's stunning record-breaking performance, and Nick Foles acsending to the stratosphere out of nowhere -- all the while Aaron Rodgers tended to be forgotten. This is no simple play. Rodgers doesn't just evade a pass rusher, he slips Julius Peppers and throws one of the most perfect deep passes the league has seen all year.

It was a play that left the Wisconsin Badgers jumping for joy.

No helmet? Duval don't care

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First we'll get the disclaimer out of the way: Don't try this under any circumstance. This is the kind of play Roger Goodell will have in a detailed Powerpoint presentation on player safety in the Spring.

Now that's out of the way, let's take about the subtle beauty in why this is more than losing a helmet and making a tackle. Everything's about context, and in a meaningless game in a lost season there's something pure about seeing a player laying everything on the line, desperate to make a play.

Sure, you can by cynical about it and point to the fact LaRoy Reynolds is an undrafted free agent who has to make an impact on special teams to solidify a spot in 2014, but it maybe it's just a team doing everything -- even when there's nothing to gain.

The highest paid punter in the world

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Tom Brady punting is a singularly exquisite event.

We know it's happened before, but this surprise 3rd and 32 punt was one of the best moments of the year. The quick zoom in on Brady's face to admire is work was a nice touch too.

Tackling isn't fun

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Week 17 gave us two attempted tackles that didn't go so well.

Rookie defensive lineman Damion Square is almost 80-pounds heavier than DeMarco Murray, but that doesn't matter when you get a healthy dose of helmet to your chest. Should this have been flagged? Probably, but it wasn't and this GIF is still pretty great.

Then there's William Moore, poor William Moore.

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Is it worse to get laid out by a (potentially) illegal hit, or bounce off like you're nothing? We'll let you decide.

Not the play of the week: WHAT ARE YOU DOING CHICAGO?

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Lapses in concentration happen in the NFL. It's a pressure cooker where a single assumed incomplete pass can make the difference between victory and defeat -- and it did on Sunday.

"Play until the whistle blows" is one of the most cliched football phrases out there, but it's probably time Chicago remembers it for 2013. Allowing this fumble to be returned for a touchdown was very definitely a game-winner for Green Bay, even if the sides didn't know it at the time.

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