When the good folks at NFL UK asked me to pick my favourite games of the 2019 season, my first thought was 'Where do I start?' Every NFL season serves up great contests that have us talking about them until the following Sunday.
Here are my eight favourites from the 2019 campaign, chosen for a variety of reasons. Allow me to explain.
This Monday Night Football capper to Week 1 was a regular shootout in the Superdome that saw Deshaun Watson and Drew Brees trade blow after blow. Watson threw for 268 yards and three scores, while Brees racked up 370 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Houston grabbed an early 14-3 lead but trailed 27-21 going into the game's final minute. The outstanding Watson then launched a 37-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills that gave the visitors a one-point lead with 37 seconds remaining. That was more than enough time for Brees to move the Saints 35 yards in six plays, setting up a monster 58-yard game-winning field goal from Will Lutz.
This London game makes my list because it marked the historic debut of what is already being tabbed as one of the finest NFL venues anywhere in the world, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It also helped that it was a very enjoyable and competitive contest which saw the Silver and Black upset the favoured Bears.
This game was a coming out party, of sorts, for Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs as he rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns. But it was a rough night for Chicago quarterback Chase Daniel - subbing for the injured Mitchell Trubisky - as he tossed two interceptions and was sacked four times.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson called this "the craziest game I've ever been a part of". It was certainly a wild and entertaining one that looked to be heading for a tie before Jason Myers kicked his game-winner from 42 yards late in the extra period.
This game had it all. The 49ers led 10-0, trailed 21-10 and eventually forced overtime with Chase McLaughlin's 47-yard kick with one second left. In for the injured Robbie Gould, McLaughlin had a chance to be the hero in sudden death but his kick was spun so far left it disappeared down the tunnel...in the corner of the end zone!! That paved the way for Wilson to lead the Hawks to a memorable win.
This was not one for lovers of outstanding defensive displays. New Orleans started fast and led 27-14 midway through the second quarter. But the Niners - coming off a tough loss to Baltimore the previous week - dug deep and led by a point at the half.
Jimmy Garoppolo and Drew Brees were outstanding throughout. Jimmy G tossed four touchdown strikes, while Brees threw five; including what looked like being a game-winning 18-yarder to Tre'Quan Smith with one minute remaining. With the Superdome crowd screaming their lungs out, the 49ers faced a fourth-and-two in the dying seconds. Garoppolo connected with tight end George Kittle for 33 yards with another 15 added for a facemask penalty. That was enough to move San Francisco into position for Robbie Gould's game-winning 30-yard kick.
I went into this game just hoping the Dolphins would hang around long enough to give us something to get excited about on Sky Sports. Week 17 can so often be a challenge in terms of having enough compelling games. If the Dolphins could hang around, it would create a bit of drama before New England surely secured the second seed in the AFC and a playoff bye.
The Dolphins more than hung around. They took it to the Patriots and jumped into a 10-0 lead. Of course, the Pats eventually woke up and it seemed Miami's valiant fight was over when James White scored with 2:53 left. But that was more than enough time for some Fitzmagic. Ryan Fitzpatrick led Miami on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that was capped with his touchdown strike to tight end Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds remaining. That score was most vehemently celebrated at Arrowhead Stadium where Kansas City learned it was they - and not New England - who would be getting a week off in the Wild Card round.
The opening game in the playoffs threatened another 'one and done' disaster for the hometown Houston Texans as they trailed the creative and pumped-up Bills 16-0 in the third period. And then Deshaun Watson took centre stage and Buffalo had few answers.
Watson scored on a 20-yard run and also threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Hyde. But his most memorable play came in overtime when he spun out of a sure-fire sack to complete a 34-yard pass to Taiwan Jones to set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's game-winner from 28 yards out. Afterwards, Watson said: 'The game is never over.'
This was a game that just made you shake your head and think how wonderful the NFL truly is. We actually said in our Sky Sports Studio at the time that this was a game that required very little analysis. All we had to do was sit back and watch it as fans just like everybody else.
The Texans raced into a 24-0 lead and one night after the top-seed Baltimore Ravens were dumped out of the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans, it felt like the Chiefs were going the same way at the hands of Deshaun Watson. Patrick Mahomes was not ready to give up and the next 41 points in this memorable contest were scored by the Chiefs. It was stunning to see that KC trailed by 24 and won by 20, taking a big step towards Super Bowl glory.
Two weeks of hype led to this showdown between the free-scoring Chiefs and the 49ers, who had flexed their physical muscle on both sides of the ball throughout the NFC playoffs. After an even first half where the teams went into the break tied 10-10, San Francisco took control in the third quarter, moving into a 20-10 lead.
Mahomes threw his second interception of the game in the fourth period and when KC faced a third-and-15 on their own 35-yard line midway through the final quarter it felt a long way back against the best-rated pass defense to play in a Super Bowl in more than a decade. But Mahomes connected on a 44-yard bomb with Tyreek Hill to set up a Travis Kelce touchdown. Two more scores from Damien Williams followed in quick succession. The Chiefs were Super Bowl champs and San Francisco were left to wonder how things went so wrong, so quickly.