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.
With the top-ten countdown nearly in the books, it is time to turn our attention to APC’s top plays of 2019 that just missed the cut. While there was clear separation between the top ten plays and the best of the rest, the first honorable mention did end up relatively close. That play featuring Jimmy Graham gets us started as we detail the next four plays outside our top ten, in descending order of votes.
Honorable Mention #1: Jimmy Graham moves the chains to defeat his old team
In the NFC Divisional Round of the postseason, the Green Bay Packers benefited from a pair of instrumental third-down plays late in the fourth quarter. Davante Adams’ crucial third-and-eight reception against the Seattle Seahawks came in at number seven in our countdown, but the Packers’ victory was clinched by the reception made by Graham.
Facing another third-and-nine obstacle with exactly two minutes remaining, Aaron Rodgers dropped back to pass. Lined up in the slot, Graham strategically waited for Geronimo Allison to legally clear a path over the middle in front of him before running his own crossing route. Catching the ball about four yards from scrimmage, Graham was a little off balance but managed to stretch his six-foot-seven frame just enough to reach the first down marker before being taken down. The conversion, which was confirmed under official review, effectively ended the game with Seattle down to its last timeout.
Honorable Mention #2: Rodgers hits Davante Adams on 4th down to open the scoring against Chicago
At home in Week 15, the Packers faced a critical rivalry matchup against the Bears in their quest to lock down a first-round playoff bye. It was important to get off to an early advantage and Green Bay did just that.
From Chicago’s 29-yard line with 4:53 to play in the first quarter, the Packers decided to go for it on 4th-and-4. From the shotgun, Rodgers fired down the seam to Adams, who had beaten his man off the line of scrimmage. The star receiver hauled in the pass over the Bear defender and shook off his tackle attempt en route to crossing the goal line. The touchdown drew first blood and gave the Packers momentum in what turned out to be a 21-13 victory.
Honorable Mention #3: Allen Lazard beats Darius Slay for the tying touchdown
In the final game of the regular season, the Packers had been playing from behind the entire way against Detroit. With five minutes left in regulation, Green Bay had a chance to change that fortune in the hope of securing the number two seed in the NFC playoff bracket.
Driving down to the Lions’ 28-yard line, Rodgers and the Packers faced a 3rd-and-10. Lined up as the outside man in a trips bunch formation, Lazard streaked down the middle in single coverage with the Pro Bowler Slay. With pressure starting to mount, Rodgers spotted the one-on-one opportunity and floated the ball down to the goal line where Lazard used every bit of his size to outstretch Slay and pluck the ball for a touchdown. With the incredible score, the Packers tied the game and eventually won it five minutes later.
Honorable Mention #4: Jaire Alexander steals the football from Noah Fant
In Week 3, the Packers donned their throwback uniforms to face the Denver Broncos. On the first drive of the second half, Green Bay was still clinging to a 17-10 lead with the Broncos on the offensive. On 3rd-and-2, Joe Flacco completed a pass near the sideline to the tight end Fant, who began to run upfield after the catch. The Broncos thought they had the first down, but Alexander had other ideas.
Fant had Alexander one-on-one and any missed tackle would have led to a play of well over 20 yards. But not only did Alexander drive Fant to the ground with ease, he ripped the ball away from him with two hands. Although Alexander was ultimately ruled down by contact at the spot of the turnover, the Packers’ offense was able to reach the end zone shortly after. It was an aggressive takeaway that helped build the Packers lead and contribute to a 3-0 start to the season.
Stay tuned as we reveal our #1 play later today.