The Green Bay Packers won 14 games in 2019, compiling a 13-3 regular season record and a home victory in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Many tremendous individual plays contributed to that success, and with the summer upon us we at Acme Packing Company have ranked our favorites from the entire season.
Compared to 2018, when the Packers finished 6-9-1, 2019 was much more fun and had far more memorable plays to look back on. This year’s countdown was one of the toughest to decide in recent memory, with the top two plays separated by a single point. 11 APC contributors pitched in, each ranking our 15 favorite plays in order. After compiling the rankings, we finalized our top ten and will present them in reverse order over the next several days.
Keep it here at APC as we reveal our picks for the top ten plays of the Packers’ 2019 season. Today we continue the countdown at number five with a game-ending inception by one of the top Packers cornerbacks.
The Green Bay Packers were taking on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 of the NFL season. They had just beaten the Chicago Bears and the Matt LaFleur era was off to a good start. The Minnesota Vikings were coming off a win in week one also, and many people suspected that this game would be one of the keys in deciding who would eventually be crowned the NFC North champion out of these two teams.
Much like most of the games in 2019, the Packers offense hummed in the first half. The game started with a 39-yard pass to Davante Adams, and the offense kept clicking from there. They were quickly up 7-0 on the Vikings, and two turnovers in the first half for the Vikings allowed the Packers offense to have a ton of chances. They continued to strike and before the Vikings knew what hit them, the Packers were up 21-0 and the game looked almost out of reach.
Dalvin Cook came alive in the second quarter and ran for a 75-yard touchdown. The turnover luck had switched. The Packers had two fumbles, one of which was a blunder by center Corey Linsley. This allowed Cousins to throw a 45-yard touchdown to Stefon Diggs, who had burned Kevin King all day. The Vikings also added a field goal, and they were on a 16-0 run and stormed back after the Packers offense became stale and could hardly move the ball.
The Vikings got the ball again down 21-16 and were driving down the field in the 4th quarter. They ended up in the red zone with a chance to take the lead and deflate all the cheeseheads in the stadium.
Kirk Cousins was not having his best day, but he seemed to find his wideouts when he needed them. It was first and goal for the Vikings from the 8-yard line. A touchdown would give them the lead, and would tilt the scales in their favor of who would be in early control of the NFC North. The Vikings had Adam Thielen on one side covered by Jaire Alexander and Stefon Diggs on the other side, covered by Kevin King.
Kevin King had been having a tough day against Diggs, and many had assumed this ball was going in his direction.
Cousins called hike, faked a handoff to the red-hot Cook, and rolled to his right. For a split second it looked like Cousins thought Diggs was open (he was not), so he launched a prayer of off his back foot towards the back of the end zone.
Out of nowhere, Kevin King leaped into the air with the grace of a ballet dancer, and was suspended in the air longer than Michael Jordan was on his free throw line dunk. He came down with the a clutch interception in the back of the end zone, closing the book on the Vikings’ comeback hopes and redeeming himself after a rough game.
Kevin King won the day and saved the Packers, much like the defense would do all season long.
After that interception, the Vikings really never had a chance to get into the end zone again, and the Packers went on to 2-0. This game gave them the sole lead in the NFC North, and they never looked back.
2019 Top Plays Countdown
#10: Davante Adams’ second TD helps put the Seahawks away
#9: Aaron Jones’ spinning TD catch makes up for a previous drop
#8: Aaron Jones secures NFC North title for the Packers
#7: Rodgers hits Adams for huge third-down conversion to all but clinch playoff win
#6: Packers’ goal-line stand on Christian McCaffrey with no time left