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St. Patrick's Day Countdown: The NFL's Luckiest Plays

With St. Patrick's Day today, the luck of the Irish is in the air. Which means it's time to look back at some of the luckiest plays in NFL history. In no particular order, here are seven of the luckiest. If they didn't already have a name, we gave a half-hearted attempt at coining a new one.

Monday Night Magic

I remember staying up late to watch the overtime finish of this game. Boy, was it worth it. It was hard to see live, but I thought Freeman had made the catch, whether through some form of mysticism or pure luck I wasn't sure. The television replays later confirmed that Freeman was on the right side of one of the luckiest bounces in NFL history. Kudos to Freeman though for being aware enough to make the ridiculous grab and run into into the endzone for the game-winner. AG

The Helmet Catch

This play was incredible (and incredibly lucky) for a number of reasons. To start, how in the world does Manning elude that much pressure? The guy typically is about as agile as those fainting goats, but he somehow managed to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge his way out of the pocket. Then, David Tyree (who'd only caught four passes during the regular season) manages to hold onto the ball as the hard-hitting Rodney Harrison tries to wrench it from his hands, err helmet. Lastly, this whole play was set up by a stroke of luck when Asante Samuel dropped what should have been the game-clinching interception. AG

The Immaculate Reception

No list of lucky plays would be complete without this gem. From the way the ball bounced back to Franco Harris to the way the ball was also just out of the camera view, there isn't anything about this play that isn't lucky. AG

The Butler Did It

Malcolm Butler's game-ending interception at the conclusion of Super Bowl XLIX may well go down as the most iconic (and lucky) play in Super Bowl history. With the Seattle Seahawks mere yards away from securing their second-straight Lombardi Trophy, the New England Patriots needed lady luck to shine brightly on them in order to pull out the win. Fortunately, she did when Seahawks coach Pete Carroll opted to throw the ball instead of handing off to Beast Mode himself, Marshawn Lynch. CL

The Miracle at the Meadowlands

Footballs have a tendency to bounce whatever way they so choose causing havoc on the field. Yet this football decided to bounce directly into the outstretched hands of Herm Edwards. My favorite part about this play is that when it originally happened the TV broadcast credits were rolling across the screen because they had assumed the game was over. And you know what they say about assuming... AG

Hail to Mr. Rodgers

Back in Week 13 of the 2015 season, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers led his team to an improbable win on the road against the Detroit Lions thanks to a game-ending Hail Mary pass that somehow found its way into the hands of tight end Richard Rodgers. They say lightning doesn't strike twice, but they obviously haven't met Rodgers. In the Packers' 2015 divisional round game against the Arizona Cardinals, Rodgers once again brought his team back from the brink by hooking up with wide receiver Jeff Janis as time expired, tying up the game and sending it into overtime. The Packers ultimately lost, but that play stands as one of the luckiest in NFL history. CL

Music City Miracle

The Titans needed a miracle, and they got it. I added this play to the "lucky" list because if Kevin Dyson doesn't take that step back, the refs probably throw a flag for an illegal forward pass and we're reminiscing the Music City Mistake instead. Whether or not he actually stepped back far enough for it to be legal lateral remains up for debate. But the Titans are lucky Dyson took that fateful step to spark their playoff run that unfortunately ended on a rather unlucky play for Titans fans. AG

You can follow Alex and Colin on Twitter @AlexGelhar and @TheSportsHero.

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