Week One was dominated by headlines on Peyton Manning debuting
as quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Robert Griffin III's rookie start
for Washington, and the buzz over wide receiver Randy Moss joining
the high-octane offence of the San Francisco 49ers.
But for the football addict who just wants to ooh and ahh at the wildly athletic talent on the field, the first week featured dazzling plays worth more than one instant replay. Below are the top five plays from the Sunday games, each including a link to the NFL video streaming the highlight:
Schaub to Johnson just before the half
In the dying seconds of the second quarter, Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub lobbed a pass to Andre Johnson for an impressive 14-yard TD against the Miami Dolphins.
In a fade-left play, Johnson wrestled off a defender to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Schaub placed the pass perfectly, giving Johnson his 53rd career TD catch.
Houston ended up demolishing the Dolphins 30-10.
Catch the highlight here
Blount hurdles a Panther
It didn't get his team any points, but Legarrette Blount, Tampa Bay's running back, dropped a few jaws when he hurdled over a Carolina Panther linebacker coming for the tackle.
Tampa was up 10-0 with 9:33 left in the second quarter when they ran a screen pass play on first and 10. Blount sized up his man quickly before deciding to hurdle over the incoming tackler. You don't see a hurdle every day. Alas, Blount was quickly taken down by another Carolina defender.
Tampa Bay won the game 16-10.
Watch the highlight here
When the Saints go marching into the end zone
In a losing cause, New Orleans had a few bright spots in their opening game against the Washington Redskins. Saints defender Martez Wilson pierced the offensive-line during a punt attempt and blocked the punt. Then Courtney Roby from the Saints picked up the loose ball and ran it in for an easy TD.
The rare play cut the Redskins lead to 6 by the end of the first half. But the Redskins' offense was too much for the Saints and they won 40-32.
Watch the blocked punt and TD here
Megatron leaps for incredible grab
Calvin "Megatron" Johnson is known for highlight-reel plays
as a receiver for the Detroit Lions. He got 2012 off to a right start when he leaped high to haul in a 51-yard pass from QQ Matthew Stafford.
Johnson was surrounded by three St. Louis Rams defenders but soared over their outstretched arms, like a basketball player out-rebounding his fellow centers. On his way down from the catch, Johnson had his helmet struck off his head by the closest Rams player, but both players were unhurt in the incident.
Johnson ended the game with 111 yards on six receptions.
Check out the catch here
Welcome to the 63-yard FG club, Akers
A booming kick was heard all across the league. San Fran's David Akers nailed a 63-yard field goal in his game against the Green Bay Packers, tying the NFL record
. He joins an auspicious club of only thee other kickers.
The first half expired just as Akers struck the field goal that saw the ball hit the lower crossbar and drop in the "good" part of the field.
SF won their first game, beating Green Bay 30-22.
Watch the incredibly long kick here
Did you see other plays that should've made this list? Link to the clip below!