Top photos from 2011 honored by Hall of Fame

Football is a visually thrilling sport filled with moments of grace and power, a photographer's dream. The men and women who chronicle the game from the sidelines live to capture those moments, crystallizing the drama and creating images that will live on forever.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is celebrating the best of the photographs from the 2011 NFL season (and the photographers who took them) with the 44th Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest.

Winning photos were of leaping touchdown grabs and helmet-loosening hits, as well as moments of contemplation and passion. Take a look by clicking through to our photo essay, or take in the video posted above.

The winning photographers will be honored as part of the Hall of Fame's Enshrinement Festival on Sun., Aug. 5.

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