Some football plays stand out for their impact on a game or a season. Others stand out for sheer feats of brilliant athletic ability. The fifth-best play of the Green Bay Packers’ 2015 season, as voted on by the Acme Packing Company writing staff, is an example of the latter.
With the division on the line and the Packers down 13-3, Teddy Bridgewater, who is incredibly accurate on short passes, is facing 3rd and 5 at their own 39 with just over 6 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. The Packer offense is sputtering against a game Viking defense and a score here could seal the game. Aaron Rodgers is having a terrible day averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt and getting sacked 5 times, and both Lacy and Starks are averaging under 3 yards per carry. While the defense is playing very well, the Packers need a spark to get back into this thing and have any chance at a comeback. It’s a passing situation for the Vikings, the Packers know it, and everyone executes to perfection.
We pay to see giant blockbuster movies in which superheros perform impossibly fast martial arts. On rare days we get to see the real thing in real time. Micah Hyde may not be the best defensive back on the Packers, but he is still a professional football player with lightning fast reflexes and super strength. Hyde’s left hand is occupied in tracking Wallace down the field. What his right hand manages to accomplish is staggering.
The Viking offensive line completely collapses allowing Mike Neal and Joe Thomas to get in Bridgewater’s face. Given the fact that the VIkings are nursing a lead, Bridgewater would have been wise to eat the ball and take a sack, but he’s still young. He instead makes the very poor decision to try a desperation heave in the general direction of one of the NFL’s worst receivers in the form of Mike Wallace. It would not end well for the Vikings.
Bridgewater’s throw is bad, without argument, but bad throws more often than not hit the ground. Hyde’s one-handed, back-handed catch is nothing short of miraculous. I don’t even think I could hold a football like that for more than a few seconds. Actually catching a ball, even a severely underthrown ball, in this manner is almost impossible for most people. Hyde gathered the ball and managed to remove any doubt about it potentially hitting the ground by bringing it into his body.
His amazing pick should have set up a comeback as he gave the offensive excellent field position. Instead...
The Hyde play was great, but in a recurring theme for the 2015 season, the offense failed to support the defense. On a 3rd and 12 play on the subsequent drive, Everson Griffen would force Aaron Rodgers to fumble, and Captain Munnerlyn would take it the distance for a game-icing touchdown. Hyde’s pick was a rare turnover that did not pay off at all, and while it was an impressive play that got the Packers right back into the game, it ultimately led to an epic offensive failure. Micah Hyde did his part to set them up for an exciting comeback victory, but unfortunately they were unable to seal the deal.
#10: Damarious Randall’s interception and onside kick recovery
#9: James Jones beats Josh Norman on 4th down
#8: Randall Cobb busts a lung with a one-handed catch
#7: Aaron Rodgers clowns the 49ers’ defense
#6: Jayrone Elliott’s pick seals the deal against Seattle