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Published: July 20, 2012 at 08:00 p.m.

Elliot Harrison's Top 20 games of 2011

The 2011 NFL season was filled with great matchups and amazing finishes. Narrowing the field to just 20 best games was tough. Fortunately, Elliot Harrison was up to the task. After much debate and consideration, here are his top 20 games of the 2011 season.

20 Photos Total

  • Cam Newton's explosive NFL debut against the Cardinals didn't result in a Panthers win, but it did make Elliot Harrison's list as <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Carolina-Panthers-at-Arizona-Cardinals.jsp">the 20th-best game of 2011</a>. 20

    Ralph Freso/Associated Press

    No. 20: Panthers at Cardinals, Week 1

    Cam Newton's explosive NFL debut against the Cardinals didn't result in a Panthers win, but it did make Elliot Harrison's list as the 20th-best game of 2011.

  • The Chiefs' shocking Week 15 victory over the undefeated Packers comes in at <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Green-Bay-Packers-at-Kansas-City-Chiefs.jsp">No. 19 on the Top 20 Games of 2011</a>. Relive the performance that earned Romeo Crennel a head-coaching gig. 19

    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    No. 19: Packers at Chiefs - Week 15

    The Chiefs' shocking Week 15 victory over the undefeated Packers comes in at No. 19 on the Top 20 Games of 2011. Relive the performance that earned Romeo Crennel a head-coaching gig.

  • The Giants and 49ers wound up meeting in the NFC title game, but their Week 10 clash provided championship-level drama, making it <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/New-York-Giants-at-San-Francisco-49ers.jsp">Elliot Harrison's 18th-ranked game of 2011</a>. 18

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    No. 18: Giants at 49ers - Week 10

    The Giants and 49ers wound up meeting in the NFC title game, but their Week 10 clash provided championship-level drama, making it Elliot Harrison's 18th-ranked game of 2011.

  • Despite his late-game dramatics, Jake Locker couldn't outduel Drew Brees in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/New-Orleans-Saints-at-Tennessee-Titans.jsp">the No. 17 game</a> on Elliot Harrison's list of the 20 best games of the 2011 season. 17

    Frederick Breedon/Associated Press

    No. 17: Saints at Titans - Week 14

    Despite his late-game dramatics, Jake Locker couldn't outduel Drew Brees in the No. 17 game on Elliot Harrison's list of the 20 best games of the 2011 season.

  • Turnovers were the name of the game for the Chargers in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/San-Diego-Chargers-at-Kansas-City-Chiefs.jsp">this Week 8 divisional game</a>, specifically a mishandled snap from Philip Rivers that the Chiefs recovered on their way to a 23-20 overtime win. 16

    Denny Medley/US Presswire

    No. 16: Chargers at Chiefs - Week 8

    Turnovers were the name of the game for the Chargers in this Week 8 divisional game, specifically a mishandled snap from Philip Rivers that the Chiefs recovered on their way to a 23-20 overtime win.

  • Two teams on the brink of the playoffs. Two young quarterbacks coming of age. The storylines were ripe for the picking in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Houston-Texans-at-Cincinnati-Bengals.jsp">game No. 15 of the 2011 season</a>, which turned out to be a first-class thriller. 15

    David Kohl/Associated Press

    No. 15: Texans at Bengals - Week 14

    Two teams on the brink of the playoffs. Two young quarterbacks coming of age. The storylines were ripe for the picking in game No. 15 of the 2011 season, which turned out to be a first-class thriller.

  • Matt Prater's two 50-yard field goals extended the myth of Tebow Time as the Broncos beat the Bears in overtime in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Chicago-Bears-at-Denver-Broncos.jsp">game No. 14</a> of Elliot Harrison's Top 20 Games of 2011. 14

    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    No. 14: Bears at Broncos - Week 14

    Matt Prater's two 50-yard field goals extended the myth of Tebow Time as the Broncos beat the Bears in overtime in game No. 14 of Elliot Harrison's Top 20 Games of 2011.

  • Coach Mike Smith's daring call set up failure for the Falcons. With the score tied in overtime, Smith sent his offense in for a 4th-and-1 deep in their own territory. The gamble predictably failed, setting up <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/New-Orleans-Saints-at-Atlanta-Falcons.jsp">an easy Saints victory</a>. 13

    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    No. 13: Saints at Falcons - Week 10

    Coach Mike Smith's daring call set up failure for the Falcons. With the score tied in overtime, Smith sent his offense in for a 4th-and-1 deep in their own territory. The gamble predictably failed, setting up an easy Saints victory.

  • Mario Manningham's celebrated fourth-quarter catch in Indianapolis summed up the Giants' title-clinching victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Super-Bowl-XLVI.jsp">Elliot Harrison's No. 12 game of 2011</a>. 12

    Perry Knotts/NFL

    No. 12: Patriots vs. Giants - Super Bowl XLVI

    Mario Manningham's celebrated fourth-quarter catch in Indianapolis summed up the Giants' title-clinching victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, Elliot Harrison's No. 12 game of 2011.

  • Forgoing their traditional styles, the Ravens and Steelers <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Baltimore-Ravens-at-Pittsburgh-Steelers.jsp">took to the air in Week 9</a> - a shootout that ended in thrilling fashion with a Torrey Smith TD catch, and a Ravens season sweep of their rival. 11

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    No. 11: Ravens at Steelers - Week 9

    Forgoing their traditional styles, the Ravens and Steelers took to the air in Week 9 - a shootout that ended in thrilling fashion with a Torrey Smith TD catch, and a Ravens season sweep of their rival.

  • One of the defining storylines of last season was Green Bay's bid to go undefeated - a dream they kept alive in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Green-Bay-Packers-at-New-York-Giants.jsp">Elliot Harrison's No. 10 game of 2011</a>. 10

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    No. 10: Packers at Giants - Week 13

    One of the defining storylines of last season was Green Bay's bid to go undefeated - a dream they kept alive in Elliot Harrison's No. 10 game of 2011.

  • Tony Romo overcame the pain of a cracked rib to lead the Cowboys to a thrilling win in overtime against the 49ers in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Dallas-Cowboys-at-San-Francisco-49ers.jsp">game No. 9</a> of Elliot Harrison's Top 20 Games of 2011. 9

    Jason O. Watson/US Presswire

    No. 9: Cowboys at 49ers - Week 2

    Tony Romo overcame the pain of a cracked rib to lead the Cowboys to a thrilling win in overtime against the 49ers in game No. 9 of Elliot Harrison's Top 20 Games of 2011.

  • The Raiders honored the memory of Al Davis with an inspirational win over the Houston Texans in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Oakland-Raiders-at-Houston-Texans.jsp">game No. 8</a> of Elliot Harrison's list of the best games of last season. 8

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    No. 8: Raiders at Texans - Week 5

    The Raiders honored the memory of Al Davis with an inspirational win over the Houston Texans in game No. 8 of Elliot Harrison's list of the best games of last season.

  • The Bills put an abrupt end to their 15-game losing streak to the Patriots with a thrilling second-half comeback in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/New-England-Patriots-at-Buffalo-Bills.jsp">Elliot Harrison's seventh-best game of the 2011 season</a>. 7

    Richard Mackson/US Presswire

    No. 7: Patriots at Bills - Week 3

    The Bills put an abrupt end to their 15-game losing streak to the Patriots with a thrilling second-half comeback in Elliot Harrison's seventh-best game of the 2011 season.

  • Tebowmania reached its climax in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Pittsburgh-Steelers-at-Denver-Broncos.jsp">the Broncos' wild card win over the Steelers</a>, as the controversial quarterback lifted his team to victory with for an overtime-ending, 80-yard touchdown pass to receiver Demaryius Thomas. 6

    Joe Mahoney/Associated Press

    No. 6: Steelers at Broncos - Wild Card Weekend

    Tebowmania reached its climax in the Broncos' wild card win over the Steelers, as the controversial quarterback lifted his team to victory with for an overtime-ending, 80-yard touchdown pass to receiver Demaryius Thomas.

  • The opening game of the 2011 season provided football-starved fans with a glut of offensive plays and made it into <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/New-Orleans-Saints-at-Green-Bay-Packers.jsp">the No. 5 spot</a> in Elliot Harrison's list of the Top 20 Games of 2011. 5

    MIchael Young/Associated Press

    No. 5: Saints at Packers - Week 1

    The opening game of the 2011 season provided football-starved fans with a glut of offensive plays and made it into the No. 5 spot in Elliot Harrison's list of the Top 20 Games of 2011.

  • The AFC Championship Game provided plenty of drama in <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/Baltimore-Ravens-at-New-England-Patriots.jsp">game No. 4 of 2011</a> as kicker Billy Cundiff missed a game-tying field goal with seconds left, and the Patriots celebrated a return to the Super Bowl. 4

    David Drapkin/Associated Press

    No. 4: Ravens at Patriots - AFC Championship Game

    The AFC Championship Game provided plenty of drama in game No. 4 of 2011 as kicker Billy Cundiff missed a game-tying field goal with seconds left, and the Patriots celebrated a return to the Super Bowl.

  • The Giants proved the adage that defense wins championships, holding off the surging 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship Game, <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/New-York-Giants-at-San-Francisco-49ers-NFC-Championship.jsp">Elliot Harrison's No. 3 game of the 2011 season</a>. 3

    Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

    No. 3: Giants at 49ers - NFC Championship Game

    The Giants proved the adage that defense wins championships, holding off the surging 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship Game, Elliot Harrison's No. 3 game of the 2011 season.

  • They didn't know it yet, but the Giants' season <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/New-York-Giants-at-Dallas-Cowboys.jsp">hung in the balance against the Cowboys in Week 14</a>. Fortunately for them, Jason Pierre-Paul came through with a game-clinching blocked kick, paving their way to the playoffs (and later the Super Bowl). 2

    Tim Heitman/US Presswire

    No. 2: Giants at Cowboys - Week 14

    They didn't know it yet, but the Giants' season hung in the balance against the Cowboys in Week 14. Fortunately for them, Jason Pierre-Paul came through with a game-clinching blocked kick, paving their way to the playoffs (and later the Super Bowl).

  • <a href="http://www.nfl.com/qs/top20games/2011/index.jsp">Elliot Harrison's No. 1 game of 2011</a> was truly one for the ages. The Saints and 49ers battled all the way to the end in a ferocious back and forth that had fans on the edge of their seats right down to the final moment, when Vernon Davis hauled in a game-winning touchdown catch that will forever be etched in 49ers lore. 1

    Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

    No. 1: Saints at 49ers - Divisional playoff round

    Elliot Harrison's No. 1 game of 2011 was truly one for the ages. The Saints and 49ers battled all the way to the end in a ferocious back and forth that had fans on the edge of their seats right down to the final moment, when Vernon Davis hauled in a game-winning touchdown catch that will forever be etched in 49ers lore.

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