This week, we will be counting down the Top Plays of the Green Bay Packers' 2014 season. Over the next five days, the countdown will break down the most important snaps of the year, those that showed remarkable individual effort on the part of an individual or a few players, and the best additions to the team's highlight reel.
We open up our countdown with the Packers' longest play from scrimmage on the season, one that helps illustrate the synergy that has developed between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
It's week two, and the Packers came home to play the New York Jets following their opening-night loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In the first quarter, the Green and Gold started flat, and they allowed the Jets to jump out to a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter.
Then, the offense woke up.
The Packers moved the ball in the second quarter, converting a pair of field goals to pull within 21-9, and a pair of Randall Cobb touchdowns on either side of halftime gave the Packers a 24-21 lead. Late in the third, the Packers allowed a long drive to the Jets that culminated in a 52-yard field goal by Nick Folk to tie the game again at 24.
On the first play of the Packers' next drive, lightning struck.
At the snap, Aaron Rodgers fakes the handoff left to Eddie Lacy, then settles into the pocket. With plenty of time, he finds Nelson breaking free from Dee Milliner up the sideline. Rodgers puts the pass perfectly over Milliner before safety Calvin Pryor can come over and make a play on the ball. Nelson makes the catch, sidesteps the weak tackle attempt from Pryor, and cruises into the end zone to give the Packers the lead by a touchdown.
This touchdown made the score 31-24, and that would hold up as the final score of the game. The Packers got their first win of the season, something which was very much in doubt after the first one and a half quarters of the game. Nelson finished with nine catches for 209 yards in this game, and helped put him on pace to break the Packers' single-season receiving yardage mark.
As it turned out, getting a win in this game was critical for the Packers, as they would lose in Detroit the following week to start 1-2.
Stay tuned as we reveal play number 9 later today.