In a season filled with fascinating, incredible, and sometimes hilarious plays, we at Acme Packing Company looked back at the 2016 Green Bay Packers to determine which ones were truly the best. Over the next few days, we will reveal our countdown of the top ten plays of the 2016 season, as voted on by 13 APC contributors.
The contributors were asked to vote on what they believed to be the best overall plays of the 2016 season, based on a number of factors. Included in the analysis were impact on the season overall, impact within the game, highlight-reel spectacle, individual effort or achievement, and hilarity or ridiculousness.
Acme Packing Company’s rundown of the top plays of 2016 for the Green Bay Packers has landed on number six today. Aaron Rodgers connects with Randall Cobb at the end of the first half against the New York Giants during the NFC Wild Card game to put the Packers up 14-6.
A hard-fought defensive game was being played in the first half. Both teams struggled drive after drive. The Packers scored their first touchdown of the game on the previous drive to give them a 7-6 lead. The momentum started rolling from there for the Packers.
They held the Giants to a three and out and Micah Hyde returned a punt to the Packers 20-yard line with 1:38 remaining in the half. The Packers jumped into the no huddle offense and drove 38 yard on seven plays to put the ball on the Giants 42 yard line with six seconds remaining in the half.
Mike McCarthy had to make the decision to bring in Mason Crosby for a 50-yard field goal or let Aaron Rodgers heave the ball to the end zone. With the varying winds at Lambeau Field during the winter, McCarthy opted to let Rodgers attempt another magical throw. McCarthy knows the momentum is in the Packers’ favor and opts to bet on Rodgers’ arm over Crosby’s leg.
Rodgers takes the snap from the right hash and rolls to his right. The Giants rush four and they were no match for the Packers offensive line. There is plenty of time for Rodgers as he drifts to the Packers 46-yard line and waits for his receivers to get into the end zone.
Rodgers takes a two-yard step up and launches the ball back to the left side of the field. Jeff Janis, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are in the vicinity of the throw but so are five Giants defenders. A cluster of players gather about seven yards deep in the end zone, four Giants defenders surround Adams and Janis. They become so focused on the throw that they fail to realize Cobb slip behind them all.
While the cluster was expecting the ball to land seven yards deep, it carries to nine, right into the awaiting arms of Cobb. Cobb secures the grab and falls to his knees and rolls out of the back of the end zone. It appears Cobb gets a little push off right before the ball gets to him but a good no call by the officials as almost every scrum for a Hail Mary has some kind of pushing and grabbing.
The touchdown and extra point give the Packers a 14-6 lead going into the half. The Hail Mary seemed to deflate the Giants and put the Packers in high gear, as they would dominate the second half on to a 38-13 victory and a date with the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Playoff round.
Another year and another Hail Mary for Aaron Rodgers. He successfully completed four Hail Marys in the span of a year and a half and made it a viable weapon that teams would have to prepare for whenever Green Bay came up on their schedules.