After a seven-month break from games that actually matter (sorry, preseason) the NFL is back like cooked crack. The defending champion New York Giants are opening the 2012 NFL season tonight against the Dallas Cowboys (8:30 p.m., NBC).

So while you kill time before kick-off, take a look at these vicious, agonizing, and gruesome hits—everything from classic DE blindsides to LB spine-twisters to even punters getting brolic with it. Check out this list for a tour of those game-ending (or season-ending, or even—word to Joe Theismann—career-ending) NFL hits that you crave. Here are the 50 Most Brutal Hits in NFL History.