A wildly entertaining 2018
As the regular season comes to a close, it gives football fans a chance to reflect on the wildly entertaining year we saw in 2018.
This season treated fans to a flurry of unforgettable plays, games and unique moments that helped tell the story of the NFL.
In a season with breakout stars and major disappointments, it came as no surprise when we saw some truly memorable highlights and a few mind-blowing lowlights as well.
Here are the 10 most memorable highlights and lowlights from the 2018 NFL season.
Lowlight: Aaron Rodgers consoles Mason Crosby after disastrous game
In a season full of disastrous moments by kickers this season, Crosby’s outing against the Detroit Lions probably goes down as the worst. Yet even at Crosby’s lowest moment and one of the worst for the team, Rodgers backed his friend and teammate.
This was truly a nightmare day for Crosby and it all took place in an indoor stadium. One of the game’s best kickers couldn’t convert a kick for nearly four quarters with four consecutive missed field goals and a botched extra-point attempt.
Crosby’s missed kicks took 13 potential points off the board and Green Bay lost 31-23. Even after the devastating loss, Rodgers stood by Crosby’s side and supported his friend. Of course, there wasn’t quite as much support for his now former head coach.
Highlight: Dolphins shock the Patriots on “Miami Miracle”
Many fans across the NFL rejoice whenever the Patriots lose and no moment captured that more perfectly than the Miracle in Miami.
The Dolphins trailed 33-28 with seven seconds left in the game and pinned inside their own 35-yard line. Ryan Tannehill didn’t have enough arm strength for a Hail Mary, so the Dolphins truly needed a miracle to even have a shot.
Sure enough, that is exactly what happened. Two laterals near midfield and some beautiful moves by Kenyan Drake turned a no-win situation into the most improbable touchdown. It will be a moment many cherish forever, even if New England goes on to win the Super Bowl.
Lowlight: Mike McCarthy flips out after another ridiculous call on Clay Matthews
McCarthy’s final season in Green Bay offered very few positive moments to embrace, but his tantrum against the refs is something everyone should look back on and embrace.
No one could fault McCarthy for losing his cool. Green Bay was robbed of a win the previous week on a brutal roughing the passer penalty. A week later, a different officiating crew called Matthews for another weak roughing the passer penalty.
At this point, McCarthy had enough and simply lost it on the ref. The red face and sprint down the sideline to unleash more anger towards the officials will be one of the few pleasant moments Green Bay fans remember.
Highlight: Patrick Mahomes throws insane no-look bullet pass
There are so many jaw-dropping highlights to pick from to highlight Mahomes, so narrowing it down to just one speaks volumes to the throw.
The 23-year-old’s stunning play started with a move inside to avoid an oncoming pass rusher. Once he cleared that, Mahomes looked down the middle of the field and launched a no-look bullet to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for a huge gain.
He is a magician who can evade all kinds of pressure to throw touchdowns and can even throw a left-handed pass for a first down. Ultimately, this no-look pass jumps out as one of the most stunning plays by a quarterback this season.
Lowlight: Patriots fan spills beer on Tyreek Hill, flips him off after game-tying TD
The Sunday Night Football battle between Kansas City and New England not only provided one of the most thrilling finishes of the season, it also gave us a very memorable sequence.
Tyreek Hill burned New England’s defense for a game-tying touchdown in the final minutes to stun the home crowd. Patriots fans were furious, including one man in Foxborough. The disgruntled fan saw Hill coming his way and flipped him off then spilled beer on him.
New England came back to win the game so that fan went home happy. Perhaps Hill and the Chiefs can have the last laugh if the teams meet up again in the playoffs.
Highlight: Derrick Henry humiliates Jaguars on 99-yard touchdown run
Henry’s 2018 season had been fairly quiet until one magical Thursday night when everything changed. A matchup against the Jaguars and one unbelievable run changed all of that.
The Titans sat back at their one-yard line with little hope of picking up points or even flipping the field on the drive. Instead, a handoff to Henry that was meant to just create some distance from the end zone turned into a sensational 99-yard touchdown run.
This magical run goes beyond the incredible distance and the rarity of the play. Henry’s two stiff arms humiliated defenders and cleared the way for his historic sprint.
Lowlight: Washington Redskins player forgets what team he plays for
It was a disastrous season for Washington with crippling injuries forcing backups into primary roles. When veterans go down and inexperienced players step in, mistakes are made. None were more embarrassing than this blunder.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook’s 74-yard punt return touchdown injected life into Jacksonville. What some missed was the the big running lane at the end that Redskins running back Byron Marshall opened by taking out the blocker impeding Westsbrook’s path.
While he didn’t take out his own teammate, Marshall’s odd decision to not make an attempt at Westbrook and instead clear a lane for him to run is comical.
Highlight: Michael Thomas scores game-clinching TD, pays homage to Joe Horn
In a thrilling game between two exciting teams, Thomas provided one of the best combo of a touchdown and celebration in all of football.
New Orleans found itself in a critical situation on third down with a three-point lead. At that moment, Thomas roasted Rams cornerback Marcus Peters for a 72-yard touchdown.
The game-clinching score was then capped off with a brilliant celebration as Thomas grabbed a cell phone from the post and made a call, an homage to Joe Horn’s celebration. It was a huge play and an even bigger celebration in a moment with everything on the line.
Lowlight: Jared Goff turns disaster into worst turnover of the year
Once talked about as an MVP candidate, Goff went through stretches of brilliance and ugliness in 2018. In a brutal performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, one play specifically stands out as the worst gaffe by a player this season.
After his offensive lineman stepped on his foot and caused him to stumble, Goff fell to the ground. Instead of living for the next drive, Goff got up and made an ugly throw as he was tackled.
The ball deflected into the air and was promptly returned inside the 20-yard line. Philadelphia quickly punched it into the end zone and turned a 23-13 lead into a 30-13 lead. Goff’s embarrassing blunder cost Los Angeles the win and the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Highlight: Linval Joseph goes the distance with 63-yard fat man touchdown
While they were all enjoyable, none matched the joy everyone felt from Joseph’s scamper to the end zone.
The 329-pound Joseph grabbed a football out of the air and rumbled for every inch of his 63-yard defensive touchdown. We all know how exhausted Joseph hard to be after running 63 yards, but it was certainly worth it. Hopefully, the Vikings find some ways to put the ball in Joseph’s hands on offense in 2019.