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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Dan Connolly's return still resonates

By Mike Reiss

With the uncertainty of what is ahead, NFL.com decided to look back at the 267 games played in the 2010 season and answer the question: Which were the 20 most memorable?

NFL RedZone research analyst Elliot Harrison was given the task of coming up with the answers and his work has been ongoing on NFL.com. Today, he ranks the No. 3 game as Packers-Patriots (Dec. 19).

"After a long day on "NFL RedZone," eyes bloodshot and taxed, this was not a game I expected to stay glued to. Yet, I couldn't shut it off," Harrison writes. "Despite [Matt] Flynn at quarterback and the myriad of injuries Green Bay already had prior to losing [Aaron] Rodgers, the Packers showed -- cheesy sounding or not -- the heart of a champion. Meanwhile, New England gave a glimpse of its vulnerability, an ominous sign of an early playoff exit."

One of the highlights, of course, was offensive lineman Dan Connolly's 71-yard kickoff return.

"An O-lineman carrying the rock like it's a suitcase about to burst open for 71 yards -- the longest ever by an offensive lineman -- at an uber-important point in the game; this was one unbelievable kick return," Harrison writes.

This was the first game the Patriots played that showed up on Harrison's list.