The Green Bay Packers' 2013 season was a year defined by injuries, but also by unique and memorable plays. Here at Acme Packing Company, we will spend the next two weeks looking back at the ten best plays of the 2013 season as voted on by our writing staff.
Each person had their own criteria for deciding which plays were the best, but we took into account how memorable the play was, how big an impact it had within a particular game and for the season overall, how impressive a display of effort or athleticism the play had, and finally any hilarity or novelty factor.
Without further ado, here is our choice for the 10th-best play of the Packers' 2013 season:
Eddie Lacy's Corkscrew
Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers
Venue: Lambeau Field
The Packers entered their matchup with Pittsburgh fresh off a dramatic come-from-behind win over the Dallas Cowboys (which we'll undoubtedly revisit later on in this series), and carried a record of 7-6-1 back into Lambeau Field. Matt Flynn seemed to be on a bit of a roll, as the Packers won two straight games to claw back into the thick of the NFC North race. A win against Pittsburgh would guarantee Green Bay a chance to win the division the following week against the Bears, who played later in the evening against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Packers were set up with a first-and-10 at the Steelers' 14-yard line, coming out of the two-minute warning in the second quarter. Both teams were tied at the time, thanks to a Flynn-to-Jarrett Boykin score from 5 yards out and a Ben Roethlisberger one-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, both in the first quarter.
The Packers were set up in their inverted wishbone formation, with John Kuhn (left) and Andrew Quarless (right) lined up as split fullbacks, Eddie Lacy at tailback, James Jones split out left, and Jordy Nelson on the right.
Just after receiving the handoff, Lacy looks to follow Quarless off the right side, but sees that end of the line blocked off with some running room off left tackle. He cuts back to the left, where David Bakhtiari is engaged with linebacker Chris Carter and John Kuhn has Troy Polamalu occupied. Lacy gets to the edge before Carter or Polamalu can disengage, and as he's rumbling towards the end zone he sees Ike Taylor ready to try to make a low tackle. This is where the fun happens - Lacy takes a leap at full-speed from the two yard line, does a barrel roll over Taylor before Ryan Clark can arrive, and falls successfully into the end zone.
Here's a GIF of the spin itself:
This score gave the Packers a 14-7 lead in the game near halftime, though the Steelers would tack on a field goal to make the score 14-10 at the half. Green Bay would eventually lose this game 38-31, but by no fault of Lacy's - he added a second touchdown on the day and finished with 15 carries for 84 yards. This 14-yarder was the long run of the day for the Packers, though.
Stay tuned tomorrow for our 9th-best play of the 2013 season.