Acme Packing Company's countdown of the top ten plays of the Green Bay Packers' 2016 season begins with a play from the final week of the regular season when the Packers turned Aaron Rodgers' "run the table" promise into a prophecy. Aaron Rodgers scrambled for nearly nine seconds before finding Geronimo Allison for a touchdown.
Detroit would only get within one score again with less than a minute remaining in the game as the Packers won the NFC North for the fifth time in six seasons.
Green Bay was holding onto a 17-14 lead with just over ten minutes remaining in the game. The Packers had the ball at the Detroit 10 yard line and were facing a third down with nine yards to go. The game had been fairly even matched at that point so a two score lead for the Packers would be huge.
Rodgers lined up in the shotgun with and empty backfield and five receivers (Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook, Jeff Janis, Davante Adams and Allison) spread wide.
Rodgers took the snap and the Lions rushed four. After hanging in the pocket for a few seconds, Rodgers was flushed out to his left after Kerry Hyder pushed Bryan Bulaga backwards a bit.
He was able to keep his eye in the end zone and set his feet before again being flushed further left by former Packer draft pick Khyri Thornton. Luckily for Rodgers, Lane Taylor made just enough of a block to give the quarterback just an extra second to find Allison in the back of the end zone.
Detroit was in man coverage, and when Rodgers has 8.78 seconds (per the NBC broadcast) to scan the field someone will open up.
Allison did. To quote Cris Collinsworth, "this is what is so hard to defend." When Rodgers is given that much time to make a play, magic is usually the result.
Green Bay went up 24-14 and Detroit only made it interesting again when a late Matthew Stanford pass brought Detroit to within a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. A failed Lions onside kick would then hand the Packers a 31-24 win and the NFC North crown.
This was a play that earlier in the season would result in some trouble. Rodgers would hold the ball too long forcing either a sack or a thrown away ball. Now, with Rodgers and his receivers finally on the same page again, it was an exhilarating play.
Had the game ended the other way, Green Bay still would have been in the playoffs except they would have had to go to Seattle instead of hosting the New York Giants.
In the end, it was 8.78 seconds that set up Green Bay's playoff run. Sure there were more spectacular plays, but this one was really important.