I’ve already seen the catch by New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham several dozen times and I still can’t believe it.
Neither will you:
Note that the Dallas Cowboy defender, Brandon Carr, was pawing, grabbing, and holding on to Odell during the catch, giving his best impression of a mugger. The only way to catch the ball was one-handed, so necessity became the mother of invention for Odell in this case.
But where does it rank in the pantheon of great NFL catches?
It should be noted that the catch, however spectacular, was made in a relatively meaningless regular season game with Beckham’s Giants at 3-7 — hardly playoff bound — and the Cowboys at 7-3. Plus, the Cowboys won the game, which takes a little luster off the historical greatness of the catch.
If we’re talking about sheer athleticism and talent, Beckham’s catch has to be right up there. But it may not even be the best catch in Giants’ history. Another Giant, David Tyree, made an otherworldly catch in the waning moments of New York’s Super Bowl XLII upset of the undefeated New England Patriots.
You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.
For sheer drama, you can’t beat Dwight Clark’s leaping grab of Joe Montana’s desperation heave into the back of the end zone to beat Dallas in the 1982 NFC Championship Game.
Stone cold beautiful.
Ultimately, Beckham’s catch will be a stand-alone accomplishment. Those other catches were made when everything was on the line and the pressure was at its most intense. They may not have been as athletic as Beckham’s catch, but they will almost certainly be remembered longer.
Still, the twitterverse had a lot of fun with it:
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 24, 2014
The young man in the glasses is named Steve Bartman. As a Chicagoan, the incident is too painful to write about, even to this day. You can read the incredible story here.
Beckham meets Michelangelo:
The Odell Beckham catch was certainly pretty… pic.twitter.com/2NLRkqLABI
— Chemmy (@felixpotvin) November 24, 2014
Man, Odell Beckham can do anything!
— nick pants (@nick_pants) November 24, 2014
Here’s the top 5 catches in NFL history as compiled by ESPN’s John Clayton. In addition to the Clark, Tyree and Beckham catches, Clayton adds Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” — a play of dubious legality under the rules at the time — which occurred in the 1972 AFC Divisional playoffs. He also notes the great catch by Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII.
Leave your own candidates for best catches in NFL history in the comments.