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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Five plays to remember
Special to ESPN Classic

  • Lynn Swann, 1976: The Pittsburgh receiver had three great catches (four receptions in all), including the game-winner.

    The most memorable, though, was his second. Swann and Dallas cornerback Mark Washington went up together for a deep pass from Terry Bradshaw. Swann tipped the ball up as the two fell toward the turf. Keeping his concentration, the wide receiver stretched out and caught the ball as he tumbled over Washington, who was already on the ground. The play was good for 53 yards. Pittsburgh won 21-17.

  • Garo Yepremian, 1973: The Miami kicker tried to do something he'd never done before -- pass the ball -- and it put his team's unbeaten season in jeopardy.

    The Dolphins led the Redskins 14-0 with two minutes left when Yepremian lined up for a field goal. Bill Brundige blocked the kick, the ball bouncing away. Yepremian retrieved it and tried to pass, but the ball slipped from his grasp and went upwards. Washington's Mike Bass snared it and ran for a 49-yard touchdown. Miami held on to win 14-7.

    Said Yepremian: "I'll never be a quarterback."

  • Mike Jones, 2000: One play stood between the St. Louis Rams linebacker and victory. One receiver as well.

    The Rams led 23-16 with six seconds left and Tennessee in possession at the St. Louis 10. Steve McNair hit Kevin Dyson with a slant pass inside the 5, and Jones tackled Dyson almost immediately. Dyson stretched toward the goal line but fell a yard short.

    The play saved the Rams' victory and provided the most dramatic Super Bowl finish.

  • John Mackey, 1971: In a game marred by turnovers, the Baltimore tight end delivered a stunner in the second period of the Colts' 16-13 win over Dallas.

    Johnny Unitas, who later left the game because of an injury, threw a pass from his 25 that went off the fingertips of receiver Eddie Hinton. The ball then bounced off defensive back Mel Renfro, straight to Mackey, who had a clear path to the end zone.

    The 75-yard play tied the score at 6 and was the Colts' only passing touchdown of the day.

  • Desmond Howard, 1997: Capping a day of 244 return yards, the Green Bay speedster broke open the game against New England in the third quarter.

    After the Patriots closed to 27-21, Howard took a kickoff at his one-yard line, found a couple blocks and broke into the clear.

    "I was thinking I don't want anyone to catch me from behind," Howard said. "Not in front of 800 million viewers."

    No one caught Howard, whose 99-yard jaunt was the fourth Super Bowl kickoff return for a touchdown. Green Bay won 35-21.

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