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35 Awesome Football Tackle GIFs

by: JamieD On  Friday, March 8, 2013

When watching a football game (whether in the comfort of your own home or at your favorite sports bar) there are two types of plays that always elicit excited, nacho-spilling outbursts. The first is an incredible, physics-defying catch that no one saw coming. The second is a bone-crushing hit that knocks a guy out of hit cleats.

On occasion, the Super Bowl provides moments like these—David Tyree’s helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII comes to mind. But usually it doesn’t. So today we thought we’d provide you with the dose of excitement you probably won’t be getting with you sit down to watch the Giants and Pats duke it out 10 days from now.

Thus, here are 20 awesome (and, in some cases, mesmerizing) tackle GIFs that will remind you why you like football to begin with. They might also make you glad that you yourself do not play football. Either way, we think you’ll enjoy them.

35. Invisible Tackler

Wait for it, wait for it…

34. Knee Tackle

That’s gotta hurt both the tacklers head and the ball carriers knee.

33. Learn 2 Tackle

Who ever taught this guy how to tackle should be fired.

32. Woodson Missed Tackle

A Superbowl Champ can make a better tackle than that.

31. Marshawn Lynch Beast Mode

Get Marshawn some skittles for this great effort!

30. Cowboy Kills Cardinal

If you watched the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, then you saw OSU’s Markelle Martin plow into Stanford’s Ty Montgomery and realize that Montgomery just popped right back up, no worse for wear. But when you watch the hit in GIF form, it looks so much worse. You think, whoa, that guy must be dead.

And that, friends, is the beauty of watching tackle GIFs. So enjoy the next 19.

29. Bruin Bashing

The worst part of this one is the way the guy’s head snaps and hits the ground right at the very end. That can’t feel good.

28. Two Gophers Take Each Other Out

This isn’t the most brutal tackle, I admit. But I’m a sucker for guys taking out their own teammates. That poor Nebraska player got robbed of a tackle.

27. Gronkowski Clipped & Flipped

Doesn’t it must seem like the human spine shouldn’t be able to bend like that? Then again, like I said before, everything looks worse in GIF form, where a split second is isolated and repeated.

26. Wild Cats Butt Heads

Afterward, on the sidelines:

“Dude, WTF?! I obviously had the guy. You totally didn’t need to come barging in and give me a f@#king concussion.”

25. Dallas Cowboy Takes Out A Cheerleader

Don’t feel sorry for this cheerleader. They train for this sort of thing. It’s in their contracts. And you can tell by watching the blond cheerleader on the right. She doesn’t even flinch while the whole thing goes down. She’s like one of those guards at Buckingham Palace.

24. Harrison Playin' Dirty

This one happened December 8, 2011. Pittsburgh’s James Harrison got a one game suspension for this nasty helmet-to-helmet hit on old Colt McCoy. For that one game, Harrison lost $73,529 in salary. (Wouldn’t you like to have that kind of problem?)

23. Gator Tamed By Ref

Not sure what’s funnier here: the fact that the referee takes a player out, or the fact said player goes down so easily.

(Note to angry Gators fans: yes, I realize there’s probably more to this play than shown in this GIF that would explain why the player went down so easy. Just relax, okay?)

22. Ryan Clark Clobbers Gronkowski Head-First

Wow, Gronkowski has taken a beating this year. This is the Super Bowl-bound TE’s second appearance on this list. But at least when he goes home at night he can call up Bibi Jones and she can, er, um, “console him.” (Cause they’re just friends.)

21. Hot Chick Gets Plowed

I don’t know what this is from, but I just watched is for about 3 straight minutes.

20. Put Your Legs Into It

Now that’s a sumo tackle. The guy doesn’t even leave his feet. He just crouches down ever so slightly, allows the guy to smash into him, then extends his legs and let’s his big belly send him flying.

Great technique.

19. Nasty No-Helmet Tackle

There are two parts of this sequence that make me cringe. The first is the initial impact, where you see the guy’s bare head collide with the other guy’s helmet. The other part is when the helmetless Razorback is on the ground and his head is crunched with the helmet again.

You gotta hand it to this guy for taking a team-first attitude. Still, that couldn’t have been pleasant.

18. Amani Toomer Hammered

On first look, this one looked like a pretty cheap tackle to me. The Tampa player is too lazy to go to all the work of diving and tackling at the waste, so he just puts his forearm up and blows into Amani Toomer’s head. But after I watched it for another minute, I realized that he probably had to “tackle” (or karate chop) him this way to make sure Toomer didn’t hold on to the ball.

17. Supermannn

Who does Troy Polamalu think he is… Superman?

16. Ray Lewis SMASH!

Maybe Dustin Keller owed Ray Lewis some money?

15. Landry Jones KO

I think that should be a penalty…. OUCH!

14. Crushhhhhhhhhinnnnggggg!

Didn’t your coach tell you to always keep your head up?

13. Bodies Shouldn't Bend That Way


I can hardly watch!

12. Wheelchair Guy Gets OWNED

Hopefully he was ready.

11. Bradford Tries But Fails!

You’ll get it one day!

10. Cop Tackles Georgia Tech Player

You might think that a Georgia State Trooper would be unbiased in a matchup between Georgia and Georgia Tech, since they’re both from his state. But no, apparently this guy is a Bulldogs fan.

9. Long Hair And Football Don't Mix

If you ever watch a football game with a woman who isn’t a big football fan, it’s guaranteed that she will ask you this question when she notices that one (or several) of the players have really long locks: “won’t they pull on that guy’s hair?”

It’s not ignorance, you see. It’s empathy. Girls have long hair, and they can imagine how much it would hurt to have it yanked.

I usually answer this question with something like, “yeah, I guess it would, but usually it seems like it’s defensive players who have long hair, so it doesn’t happen that much.”

Of course, sometimes it does happen. Like this. And yes, it had to hurt.


No need to tackle when you can just strip the ball from the player.

7. Making Everyone Miss

Common boys, you can’t make a tackle like that if you expect to win the game.

6. Freshman Tackled By Own Teammate (2012 Fiesta Bowl)

This one comes from the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, just like #20. It also features the same player getting hit: Stanford’s Ty Montgomery.

Now, as I’ve already explained, I’m a sucker for guys tackling their own teammates. But this one is even better because, for once, the teammate tackle is intentional. Jeremy Stewart wants to make damn sure his freshman teammate doesn’t make the mistake of leaving the endzone with the ball on a punt return, so he just knocks him down himself.

It’s a classic sports moment.

5. Helmet To The Nads

“Penalty on the play, helmet to the balls, half the distance to the goal line: first down.”

4. This Is Whiplash

Sorry, I know this one isn’t exactly in HD, but I love watching that ball just pop out and go flying over and over and over…it’s hypnotizing. It’s also as hard a hit as you’ll ever see.

3. When Bucs Collide

This is how to evade a tackle. Chicago Bears running back Kahlil Bell jukes, two Bucs defenders collide. Simply beautiful.

It’s a shame the Bears were so awful.

2. Wicked Suplex Tackle

It looks like Nate Irving of NC State may have watched a little too much pro wrestling growing up, because the dude absolutely destroys Wake Forest’s Michael Companaro.

1. Call The Ambulence

When you get this HARD, you lose minimum 10 years of your life.