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Instant Debate

What is this season's Play of the Year?

Heading into NFL Honors -- a two-hour primetime awards special airing nationally on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 9-11 p.m. ET on NBC -- we've asked our analysts to chime in with their thoughts on the most notable awards.

Today's topic is 2011 Play of the Year. And this one's actually up to you, the fans. We've narrowed the list down to 20 plays. Now it's up to you to click here, watch the videos and vote for your top 10. The winner will be revealed during NFL Honors on Saturday night.

Which play did we deem the best? Our analysts debate ...

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  • Jeff Darlington
  • Simpson's flip will be shown on highlight reels for decades to come

No play this season resonated with a broader audience this year than Tim Tebow's overtime touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in the playoff upset of the Steelers. It wasn't overly brilliant or complicated, but I've never witnessed more emotions from a wider demographic in football than I did at that moment. It doesn't get more dramatic.

But for the sake of abiding by the rules (regular season only), I'll go with another play that will resonate in sports history for a different reason: Jerome Simpson's flip into the end zone displayed the elite athleticism of NFL players in a way that will be shown over and over again on highlight reels for decades to come.

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  • Jason Smith
  • Peterson's walk-off punt return announced his arrival as a star

This is my favorite play for two reasons. One, the sheer talent he has to be able to overcome the bad decision of fielding a punt inside his own 5 by outrunning coverage that was still hanging back. It's one thing to return a punt when you blow by nine players within the first 10 yards, but to do it when the majority of the punt-coverage team is still in front of you ... That's special.

The second reason is because I love plays that announce a player's arrival as a star. And this play was it for Peterson. I would have taken him No. 1 overall in the draft last April.

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  • Steve Wyche
  • Simpson's flip wins in a landslide

No doubt about it, Jerome Simpson's over-the-top flip with the two-footed stick in the end zone.

We love to use the cliché that this and that isn't about style points ... Well, this is about style points and Simpson wins in a landslide.

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  • Pat Kirwan
  • Cruz's 99-yard touchdown carries unparalleled significance

The Giants are in the Super Bowl and have been on a roll since that win over the Jets. The Play of the Year for me was the 99-yard touchdown reception by Victor Cruz in a third-and-10 situation.

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