With 2017 coming to a close and making way for 2018, it’s time to take a look back at the world of sports from the past 12 months. There were some amazing games and some equally amazing individual performances from some of the best athletes on the entire planet. This article in particular will be looking at some of the best single-game performances from 2017, and will talk about why they were so legendary.
Some of these are in the NFL, some in the NBA and many others in other sports as well. These performances will live on for years. The athletes who achieved these remarkable days will have their place in the history books as a result. So without any further ado, here are 10 of the best single-game performances from 2017.
10. Colton Sissons Defeats the Ducks
The Nashville Predators made it to the Stanley Cup finals last season, and almost won it all. However, without the amazing play of Colton Sissons in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, they may have never gotten there in the first place. Sissons put up a hat trick in a game where his team needed a leader after a late comeback attempt by the Ducks. He was on fire all game and seemed like he was always in the right place at the right time. Sissons didn’t do much offensively for the Predators during the regular season (just 10 points in 58 games), but turned it on during the playoffs, when his team needed him the most.
9. Jean-Gabriel Pageau Lights the Lamp Four Times
Before last year’s playoff run, Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau was just known by diehard fans for his tenacious shutdown defensive abilities. However, when the Sens needed a hero in Game 2 of their playoff series against the New York Rangers, he rose to the occasion.
Pageau not only recorded a natural hat trick in regulation, but he also scored the game winning goal in double overtime to give his team the win. Interestingly enough, Pageau also had a hat trick in a playoff game back in 2013, so the guy has a knack for showing up when his team needs it the most.
8. Adrian Clayborn Dominates the Cowboys Offensive Line
Players on the offensive and defensive lines of NFL teams hardly get the recognition and praise they deserve for the grueling job they do every single play. However, when they have legendary performances like Adrian Clayborn did in 2017, they can’t help but be noticed.
During a game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons’ defensive end went on an absolute tear. Over the course of a single football game, he got six sacks — which was also a Falcons franchise record. He was only one short of the NFL record of seven. Getting one sack in a game is usually hard enough, but getting six is something very few players will ever get to say they did.
7. Kareem Hunt Make’s Quite the Debut
Making your NFL debut is always a nervous time, but this goes double when you are forced into a starting role due to the original starter picking up an injury. Well, that’s exactly the situation Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt found himself in during the first game of the year — against the New England Patriots, no less.
It got off to a disastrous start, as he fumbled his first ever carry. However, he was able to turn the game around quickly and put on one of the best performances we have ever seen out of a running back. In his debut, Hunt had almost 250 total yards from scrimmage, to go along with three touchdowns (one rushing, two receiving), as the Chiefs crushed the defending Super Bowl champs 42-27.
6. Deshaun Watson Throws Five Touchdowns
Before going down with an ACL injury earlier in the season, Deshaun Watson was on pace to walk away with the NFL Rookie of the Year award with ease. After beginning the season on the bench, he exploded onto the scene in Week 4 throwing for 283 yards and four touchdowns. Many thought he couldn’t keep it up, but he followed that performance up the following week with an even better stat line of 261 passing yards and a whopping five TDs. Watson proved he was for real and now fans are excitedly waiting to see how he will fare in his return to the NFL next season, hopefully able to stay healthy.
5. Eddie Jackson — Two Defensive Touchdowns of 75+ Yards
Before this NFL season, the name Eddie Jackson didn’t mean a lot to sports fans. But now, that name will be etched into the history books forever. Eddie Jackson is a rookie safety with the Chicago Bears and had the game of his life in a matchup with the Carolina Panthers earlier this season.
In the first quarter, he returned a fumble 75-yard for a touchdown. Only a quarter later, he intercepted Cam Newton and took it 76-yards to the house. He is the first and only player to have two defensive touchdowns of over 75 yards in a single game.
4. Justin Thomas Shoots a 59
Golf is an incredibly tough and frustrating sport to learn and is one of the hardest things to master on the planet. Even getting to a point where you are merely shooting par will take years and years of practice, plus a good, all around effort. So when professional players are able to shoot way under par, it is truly something special to witness.
In 2017, we witnessed Justin Thomas took it to another level, shooting an outstanding 59 during a round at the Sony Open. He is one of only a few players to ever hit a 59 (in this case, he was 11 under par after the opening day) and was the youngest ever to do it at 23. He has quite a bright future ahead of him. Oh, and he won the tournament.
3. Devin Booker’s 70 Points
To give you some context here, if a player scores over 30 points it is considered a pretty outstanding night. However, Booker thought he would double it, and then some. Booker scored 70 points in a game against the Celtics that saw him put up 40 shots and take nearly 30 free throws. Booker became the youngest ever to score 70 and was only the sixth player in NBA history to put up 70 points in an NBA game. Also considering this guy is only 21-years-old now (and was still just 20 when he achieved the feat), don’t be shocked to see him do it again one day. He will surely be one of the top five scorers in the NBA sooner rather than later.
2. Anthony Rendon Has a Day on the Plate
Baseball is often a tough game for hitters. If you get a hit on one out of every three plate appearances, you are considered elite. Of course, players hit better than that plenty of times, but you would be hard pressed to find a better hitting game than one Anthony Rendon had on April 30th of 2017.
Not only did he go 6-for-6, but he also had three home runs and an outstanding 10 RBI. He is one of only 13 players in the history of baseball to have 10 RBI and is one of only two to have 10 RBI while also having six hits and three dingers. Also, before this performance, Rendon was struggling mightily, and this helped him to turn it around in a big way.
1. Russell Westbrook’s Record Breaking Performance
In my mind, there was no greater performance in the 2017 calendar year that Russell Westbrook’s absolute stunner against the Denver Nuggets on April 9th of 2017. This game comes in at number one for a variety of different reasons. The first reason is because it was his 42nd triple double of the season, which broke the record for the most in a single season. Secondly, his stat line was a disgusting 50 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and only two turnovers. Also, he hit a game-winner from nearly half-court to cap off the best game of his career.