Acme Packing Company's rundown of the top plays of the Green Bay Packers' 2014 season continues with a selection that fans will likely find bittersweet. While the Packers scored on the play, it appeared they had lost the most important member of the franchise.
Control of the NFC North came down the season's final week with the Green Bay Packers facing off against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau. Neither team could get on a roll offensively during first half, with only Green Bay managing a score through 27 minutes of play.
However, with the two-minute warning approaching, the Packers set themselves up deep in Lions territory by virtue of a 34-yard catch and run from Randall Cobb and a defensive holding penalty, setting up 1st-and-goal from the Detroit 4.
The Packers line up in a balanced four-receiver set with Davante Adams and Randall Cobb to the left, Andrew Quarless and Jordy Nelson to the right. Eddie Lacy stands behind and to the right of Aaron Rodgers, who is in the shotgun.
Rushing from a wide-9 position, Detroit defensive end Ziggy Ansah gets behind left tackle David Bakhtiari, forcing Rodgers to move up and out of the pocket. Now scrambling to his right, the quarterback spots Randall Cobb alone in the end zone. Just as he's getting ready to throw, his left calf gives out.
Rodgers gets the ball out and into the waiting hands of Cobb before he tumbles to the ground, but the damage is done. While the Packers have extended their lead, their franchise player is lying on the ground in obvious pain.
Rodgers required assistance getting off the field, casting a shadow over the touchdown Green Bay scored. By the time the broadcast returned from commercial break, Rodgers had already been carted off to the locker room with no indication as to whether he may return.
The loss of Rodgers appeared to impact the Packers morale, as the defense quickly relinquished a touchdown. The trend continued in the second half, as Green Bay went three-and-out before allowing the Lions to score again.
Rodgers returned to the game and pushed the Packers to victory, but the injury would impact him the rest of the season, leaving fans to wonder what the team may have accomplished in the postseason with a two-legged quarterback.