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Shutdown Corner

Vick Ballard has one of the plays of the year to give the Colts an OT win

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

Vick Ballard had 5 yards to the goal line and a Colts win when he dove in the air.

He twisted in the air, somehow leaping over Ryan Mouton's low tackle attempt as he turned in midair. He kept floating toward the end zone and was blasted by Titans safety Michael Griffin at the goal line. But Ballard's leap got all 15 feet he needed, as he crossed the goal line to give Indianapolis the overtime victory.

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(US Presswire)

The combination of Ballard's athleticism and the drama of the situation instantly makes that a play of the year candidate. It's no less impressive than Jerome Simpson's crazy somersault into the end zone from last year, and it was in a much bigger situation.

[Also: Pittsburgh Steelers give us new era of regrettable uniforms]

Although that play will be the enduring highlight, without quarterback Andrew Luck's huge play just before that, Ballard never would have gotten that shot.

With the new overtime rules, if a team scores a field goal on the first possession, the other team gets a possession and a shot at the win. But if the first team to get the ball scores a touchdown, the game is over. So when the Colts faced third-and-8 at Tennessee's 36-yard line (just on the edge of Adam Vinatieri's field-goal range) on the first possession of overtime, it was a huge situation. Luck, a rookie who plays like he's been in the league 10 years, calmly hit Reggie Wayne for a 20-yard catch to keep the Colts' drive alive.

After an incomplete pass, Luck hit a throwback screen to Ballard, who willed his way into the end zone on an incredible play for the 19-13 victory.

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