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 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 sixth-best play of the Packers' 2013 season:
Sam Shields makes an acrobatic interception on Tony Romo
Opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Venue: Jerry World (AKA AT&T Stadium)
The Packers came into the game at 6-6-1, and were on the brink of elimination from playoff contention, on the road, against a team that was also fighting for its playoff life. The majority of the fanbase had lost its optimism on the 2013 season by this point, and a do-or-die situation in a city which has haunted many Packer teams in the past seemed to be a recipe for disaster.
As many fans feared, the game got out of hand early. The Cowboys would take a commanding 26-3 halftime lead, and were in total control of the game. However, the Packers would come storming back in the second half, and cut the lead to 36-31 with under four minutes remaining in the game. The Packers needed a quick defensive stop if they were going to have any chance to complete the historical comeback victory.
The Packers had used two of their timeouts on the current drive, and were preparing to stuff the run, and hope for the best as the clock approached the two-minute warning. As we all know, Tony Romo is bound to make a mistake or two, and this play seems to be one that he made at the line of scrimmage.
On second-and-six from the Dallas 35-yard line, Romo takes a quick step back and appears to look for a quick slant across the middle. The only problem is that Clay Matthews is coming unblocked right at his face. As the caption explains, Romo has just enough elusive athleticism to turn sacks into interceptions, and that's basically what happens here.
Romo actually doesn't throw a bad pass considering what's going on around him, but Sam Shields shows off his elite-level recovery speed on the play, jumps in front of Miles Austin and makes one of the biggest plays of the game.
The interception ultimately led to the Packers taking the lead on a one-yard touchdown plunge from Eddie Lacy with 1:31 remaining in the game. Shields' interception made the greatest comeback in team history possible, and kept the team alive for both the NFC North title and making the playoffs.