Fan Vote: Best Falcons play of the decade – Round 1

Sweet16 Bracket

Over the coming week, Atlanta Falcons fans can vote to determine the best play of the past decade. Voting will take place within each article published throughout the course of the week, with the winner determined through a bracket that separates offensive plays from those that occurred on defense or special teams.

While the bracket consists mostly of individual plays, the weight of the moment in which they occurred was a factor considered when selecting the original pool of contenders. From here, it's all up to the fans to determine the Falcons' best play of the decade.

NOTE: The voting for Round 1 has closed. Click here to vote for Round 2.

OFFENSE

Roddy White starts comeback vs. Panthers with huge catch: Backed up to the literal goal line, the Falcons trailed the Panthers 28-27 with under a minute remaining. Atlanta needed to make something special happen, and that's exactly what they did – with Matt Ryan hitting White for a 59-yard gain on first down. That sparked a drive that ended in classic Falcons' fashion – a Matt Bryant game-winning field goal.

Julio Jones ends Panthers' perfect season: The 2015 season didn't have too many bright spots during the second half of the year, but this was easily the play of the season. Matched up against Luke Kuechly, one of the best defenders in the NFL, Jones elevated and hauled in a 70-yard touchdown. The score helped lead Atlanta to a 20-13 victory and ended the Panthers' bid for a perfect season in Week 16!

Julio Jones makes The Big Game's biggest catch: One of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history shouldn't be overshadowed the by eventual outcome. Jones' greatness was cemented in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI, when he laid out to match a sideline catch over two Patriots defenders while somehow managing to keep both feet inbounds. Jones is one of the most athletic receivers the NFL has ever seen, and this is likely his most athletic catch.

Julio Jones shows off speed in NFC title game: Just two weeks prior to the Super Bowl, Jones made another incredible play. This one didn't involve the coordination or flexibility of his catch against the Patriots, instead, it was all about speed and power. Jones had the opportunity to showcase just how difficult he is to tackle against the Green Bay Packers, taking a slant 73 yards for the touchdown.

Roddy White dusts Richard Sherman: In Matt Ryan's first playoff victory, it was White who seemingly put the nail in the Seahawks' coffin near the end of the first half. White blew past Sherman to haul in a 47-yard pass from Ryan to give Atlanta a 20-0 lead heading into halftime. Given the way this game played out, every point mattered, and White's touchdown was certainly huge.

Tony G's one-handed grab vs. Eagles: Michael Vick's return to the Georgia Dome as a starting quarterback was full of highlights and one of the best games of the season. The Falcons kept pace in their eventual 35-31 victory thanks to a phenomenal grab by Gonzalez at the end of the first half.

"How bad does No. 2 want it?": The Falcons exorcised some playoff demons against the Packers in their 44-21 NFC Championship game rout. Ryan had four passing touchdowns in the victory, but it was his 14-yard scramble that gave the Falcons an early 17-0 lead that remains one of the most memorable moments from this game.

Matt and Julio burn Panthers: Possibly the most fun game for Falcons fans of this decade, there simply were too many incredible plays from Ryan and Jones in this 48-33 blowout victory. Ryan threw for 503 yards and four touchdowns, while Jones gained 300 yards and scored on a 75-yard catch. Take your pick from this highlight-reel of a game.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Robert Alford steals a pick-six off Tom Brady: Before Tom Brady joined the NFC South, he was already getting victimized by Falcons defenders. In the second quarter of the Super Bowl, Alford stepped in front of Brady's pass and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown, giving the Falcons a 21-0 lead.

Devin Hester breaks Prime Time's record: The first special teams play on this list comes from the greatest return man in NFL history. During a 56-14 blowout against the Buccaneers on "Thursday Night Football," Hester returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown. It was the 20th return touchdown of his career, which broke Deion Sanders' old NFL record. Better yet, Sanders was in the house to watch Hester imitate his signature high step into the end zone.

Robert Alford wins it for Falcons with OT pick-six: One year before picking off Brady and taking the interception all the way, Alford was practicing the move against Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins. With Washington threaten to cross midfield during its first possession of overtime, Alford jumped Cousin's pass and raced 59 yards to give Atlanta a 25-19 win.

Eric Weems takes it all the way against Packers: While Hester is the G.O.A.T when it comes to kick returns, it was Weems who dominated the first part of the decades as the Falcons' top returner. A Pro Bowler in 2010, Weems showcased his magic in the postseason, returning a kickoff 102 yards for a score early in the second quarter.

Deion Jones saves the day: The Falcons and Saints have one of the NFL's best rivalries, and it's partially because of plays like the one Jones made at the end of the game in 2017. In front of a national audience, Jones leapt up to snag Drew Brees' pass for Josh Hill in the end zone, sending the crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium into a frenzy and clinching the win for Atlanta.

Asante Samuel helps keep Falcons perfect: Samuel made play after play during his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he brought those talents to Atlanta for more highlights. One of his most impactful came late in the fourth quarter of a 2012 game against the Oakland Raiders. Samuel snagged an interception and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown that helped the Falcons move to 6-0 heading into the bye week.

William Moore Hulks out: Most of the defensive plays on this list are interceptions, and understandably so, but sometimes it's a good thing to reward a good old-fashioned tackle. Moore provided one of the best tackles of any Falcons defender in 2013, when he channeled his inner Goldberg and slammed Mike McNeil to the turf.

Matt Bryant sends the Seahawks packing: What began as a dominant showing in the first half of the 2012 NFC Divisional game against the Seahawks quickly turned into a second-half nightmare. That is, until we saw something the Falcons have done so many times with Ryan leading the way – a last-minute comeback drive. Bryant punctuated the drive with a huge 49-yard field goal to give Ryan his first playoff win.

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