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.
The Packers’ recent success against the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T stadium was cause for a lot confidence when the Packers sauntered down to Texas at 3-1 during Week 5. The Cowboys, also 3-1, had been crushing teams in their three wins to start the season – putting up at least 31 points in each win – but had managed a measly 10 points against the New Orleans Saints the week before in a 12-10 dud that was being hyped as a possible game of the season. The Packers, meanwhile, were coming off a narrow loss against the Philadelphia Eagles that was being interpreted as the green-and-gold coming back to Earth after winning three straight to start the season.
Before our third-ranked play had taken form, the Cowboys seemed to have not yet found their early-season spark and were still shell-shocked from a brutal Week 4 game. The Packers were up 17-0 early into the third quarter and were showing no signs of slowing down. The Packers jumped out to a quick 14-0 start in the first quarter of the early October bout behind a pair of Aaron Jones touchdown runs and tacked on three more points before halftime. During the first half, the Packers defense came up with two interceptions and the special teams managed to come off the field celebrating a missing field goal by the Cowboys.
After halftime, the Cowboys were looking to rally, but they started with the ball and ended that first drive with a punt after going three plays and only six yards. The Packers got the ball back and started a drive that ended with two third down conversions, took seven plays, and gained Aaron Jones his third of what would be a four-touchdown day for him.
Deep in Cowboys territory on the five-yard line, the Packers lined up in shotgun formation with Jones to Aaron Rodgers’ right. Geronimo Allison and Jake Kumerow were split out right, but close, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling was split left with Marcedes Lewis off David Bakhtiari’s left shoulder after cutting across the formation in motion.
On the snap, Jones received the handoff as Lewis cut back right behind the line of scrimmage to seal the edge and allow Bryan Bulaga to get to the second level. The inside lane for Jones was plugged up, so he used his incredible lateral movement to bounce left to the outside. MVS was sealing a block and the other defenders were focused on where they thought the run was initially going to go. Cowboys defense back, Byron Jones had over-committed to the play and wasn’t able to keep outside contain. Outside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch wasn’t fast enough to bounce back outside either as Jones was able to take the corner.
The gifted runner from UTEP made a mad dash for the pylon, but not before putting his hand up to wave goodbye to the Cowboys defenders.
Aaron Jones waves at Byron Jones as he runs past him and into the end zone lmao pic.twitter.com/ILy5KVbANm— Sam Cooper (@SamDCooper) October 6, 2019
After taking a 24-0 lead, the Packers held on for a 34-24 victory, and it wasn’t long before the Packers were all waving goodbye out of Arlington.
The Packers took the game and with it a 4-1 record. Aaron Jones finished with a bloated box score of 19 carries for 107 yards, four touchdowns, seven catches for 75 yards, and a ton of happy fantasy football players with Aaron Jones stock. While the image that was produced turned out to be emblematic of the recent history for the Packers against the Cowboys (Green Bay has won eight of the past nine games against them), it was not without cost to Jones’ pocket book – he was fined $10,575 for taunting by the league.
“I definitely got a nice picture out of it, but it hurts my pocket a little bit,” Jones said at the time.
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
#5: Kevin King saves the day with an end zone interception
#4: Allen Lazard refuses to lose to the Lions