The Top Five Moments of the NFL Regular Season

NFL regular season

The NFL regular season is the shortest of the major pro sports in North America – even after the addition of Game No. 17. But there’s never any shortage of amazing moments to whet our appetite for the playoffs. We’ve been treated to some great football here at Bodog Sportsbook over the past four months, and here are five special moments that will go down in league history, listed in chronological order.


1. Justin Fields Breaks QB Rushing Record (Week 9)

After one of the most difficult rookie seasons in recent memory, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields was struggling mightily as a sophomore – until the Bears decided to let him improvise a bit more with his feet. Fields broke through in a major way on November 6 when the Miami Dolphins came to town; the former Ohio State standout romped for 178 yards on 15 carries to break Michael Vick’s QB rushing record of 173 yards, which he set back in 2002.

Fields would go on to top the 100-yard mark two more times this year, racking up 147 yards versus the Detroit Lions in Week 10, and another 132 yards versus the same Lions in Week 17. That left Fields at 1,143 yards heading into the regular-season finale, well within reach of Lamar Jackson’s league record of 1,206 yards from the 2019 campaign.

Unfortunately for Fields, he was scratched from Chicago’s Week 18 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings due to a strained hip. But Fields has already made NFL history, and his future with the Bears looks much brighter than it did at this time last year.

2. Tyreek Hill Makes it Five (Week 14)

If we’re counting correctly, there are nine different ways to score a touchdown in the NFL: rushing, receiving, and seven types of returns. On December 11, Hill scooped up a fumble by Dolphins teammate Jeff Wilson and took it 57 yards to the house versus the Los Angeles Chargers. That made Hill the first player in the Super Bowl Era to record five distinct flavours of touchdown.

This wasn’t the first time Hill had made headlines for his versatility. As a rookie in 2016, the former No. 1 wideout in Kansas City caught a touchdown pass, ran for another major and returned a kick-off to complete the hat trick versus the Denver Broncos. KC won that game 30-27; this time around, Hill’s heroics couldn’t stop Miami from losing 23-17.

Can Hill add to his total in 2023? His fifth career touchdown category is punt returns, which has Hill covered for the methods one can most reasonably expect from a receiver/returner. The remaining four categories are returns on interceptions, missed field goals, blocked field goals and blocked punts – blocked PAT returns are now worth just two points. But don’t be surprised if Hill finds new ways to get in the end zone and get amongst the NFL betting in the process.

3. Vikings Mount Biggest Ever Comeback (Week 15)

It’s a bit ridiculous that the Minnesota Vikings won the NFC North at 13-4 (7-9-1 ATS) given their -3 point differential during the regular season. But their opponents kept snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – none more bone-headedly than the Indianapolis Colts, who took a 33-0 lead into the locker room on December 17 and ended up losing 39-36 in overtime. No NFL team in history had ever come back from such a large deficit.


All Indianapolis really needed to do in the second half was keep the clock moving, but interim head coach Jeff Saturday and his staff kept calling unnecessary pass plays, giving Minnesota the time they needed to mount their comeback. It was all too familiar for Colts QB Matt Ryan, who was at the helm of the Atlanta Falcons when they famously blew that 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots at Super Bowl LI.

4. Tom Brady Wins No. 250 (Week 16)

The 2022 regular season was a mixed bag for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who claimed the NFC South title at 8-9 SU and a league-worst 4-12-1 ATS. The advanced stats show Brady remained one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks despite turning 45 in August, but his 25 TD passes were easily his fewest in three years with the Bucs.

Nevertheless, he persisted. Brady reached several career milestones this year, but arguably the most important came on Christmas Day when Tampa Bay came back to beat the Arizona Cardinals 19-16 in overtime. That win made Brady the charter member of The 250 Club, and preserved Tampa’s one-game lead in the NFC South; every other team in the division finished the season 7-10. Isn’t it going to be odd to look back on the NFL regular season highlights in a time when Brady isn’t mentioned?

5. Nyheim Hines Takes Two Back (Week 18)

Undoubtedly the worst moment of the 2022 season was on January 2, when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin had a cardiac arrest episode during their Monday Night Football matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a harrowing moment to say the least, but thankfully, Hamlin was well enough to leave hospital this past Monday and return to Buffalo for further treatment.

While Hamlin was still in recovery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the Bills rallied behind their fallen teammate and defeated the New England Patriots 35-23 during their season finale on January 8. Nyheim Hines returned the opening kick-off 96 yards for a touchdown, then he did it again from 101 yards out in the third quarter to give Buffalo a 21-17 lead they would never relinquish.

It’s impossible to say at this point whether Hamlin will be able to chart the same path as Danish soccer star Christian Eriksen, who suffered a similar incident during a Euro 2020 match against Finland; Eriksen returned to the pitch eight months later and now plays for Manchester United. But if Hamlin recovers well enough to suit up for the Bills again next season, it will be the No. 1 NFL moment on our 2023 list, hands down.

Do you agree with our top five moments of the NFL regular season? Don’t worry if not, there’s plenty of time for further highlights during the playoffs and the Super Bowl. We can’t wait.