Our countdown of the top plays of the Green Bay Packers' 2014 season continues with the No. 6 play of the year. This highlight features the first signature moment of Julius Peppers' tenure with the Packers.
The 2-2 Packers took on hated their divisional rivals from Minnesota inside Lambeau Field for the first of their two matchups against the Vikings in 2014. Two first quarter touchdowns and five straight opening punts for the Vikings gave the Packers a fast 14-0 cushion.
Then, Christian Ponder channeled his inner...well, his inner Christian Ponder.
Ponder was intercepted on the team's sixth and seventh drives, with the picks both being credited to Packers linebackers (Julius Peppers and Jamari Lattimore respectively). Both picks eventually led to touchdowns, but only one was a clear-cut favorite to make our top plays.
On the first play of the Vikings drive, Ponder stood in the pocket looking to find explosive receiver Cordarrelle Patterson after a play-fake. Without much time to think, Ponder was rushed into delivering a pass by Packers undrafted free agent Luther Robinson, as the defensive lineman churned through the Vikings' offensive line to wipe Ponder's vision up field.
A wobbly pass sailed right into the hands of a waiting Peppers, who cut across the field and showed off his 35-year-old speed down the opposite sideline for a touchdown. A key block from Lattimore on Vikings speedster Jerick McKinnon at the 30, along with a quick wall from Clay Matthews on two Minnesota defenders cleared the lane for Peppers.
A dive in the end zone was followed by a point to the stands by safety Morgan Burnett, as Peppers had to be reminded that it was time to do the first Lambeau Leap of his career. The jump capped off Peppers' first big moment as a Packer, which came under the Thursday Night Football lights.
Unlike the other notable plays on our countdown (save for Cobb's catch at number seven), the play didn't come at a really critical time for the Packers. They already had a two-touchdown lead, and the game was on its way to a rather ridiculous final score anyway. The play was only a continuation of the demolition that took place on the field that night. Still, Peppers' first leap and his first truly transcendent play as a Packer make this play worthy of consideration.