Acme Packing Company’s writers have watched the film on the Green Bay Packers’ 2020 season and compiled our lists of the best plays from last year. Each writer voted on their favorite plays, combining qualities that include a play’s impact on a game or the season, outstanding individual or team effort, and amusement or hilarity factor.
Ten APC contributors submitted votes for the 15 best plays of the season, which we have combined and whittled down to the top ten plays of 2020. Please enjoy our countdown over the next two weeks!
The countdown continues with the 4th-ranked play, which featured Aaron Jones blowing away the Eagles’ defense to stave off a comeback attempt.
November 2020 was a weird month for the Packers. They opened the month with a disappointing 28-22 loss to the Vikings, handled the 49ers on Thursday Night Football a few days later amidst a COVID outbreak, sweated out a sloppy four-point win over the Jaguars, earned every bit of an overtime loss to the Colts, then pasted the Bears on Sunday Night Football.
Things didn’t appear to be getting any less weird as the calendar flipped over to December, as the Eagles arrived at Lambeau Field amidst a quarterback controversy. Carson Wentz, the former first-round pick, was going down in flames, and it seemed to be a matter of not if but when the Eagles would make a change at quarterback. Would the Packers spark that change? Or would they continue to feast on the sloppy quarterback play that plagued their opponents throughout much of November?
For a while, it seemed like a feast was, in fact, in order. Wentz labored through the first half, completing just six passes on 15 attempts for 79 yards, while the Packers sacked him four times.
Shortly after halftime, the Eagles pulled the trigger. Wentz got the hook, and Jalen Hurts appeared in relief, not that it made much difference in the short term. After a Mason Crosby field goal, the Packers led 23-3 early in the fourth quarter, and it looked like the Packers were just a play or two away from turning the game into a laugher.
But the Eagles didn’t let it go that way. Hurts piloted Philadelphia down the field for a score on their next drive, reeling off runs of 10 and 13 yards before finishing the drive with a 32-yard touchdown strike on 4th and 18. After a three-and-out on the next Packers drive, Philadelphia earned another score as Jalen Reagor took a punt 73 yards for a touchdown. The Eagles missed the PAT, but after another three-and-out by the Packers, Philadelphia took possession with a chance to tie.
Their next drive stalled out, but with just under three minutes to go and in possession of all three timeouts, all the Eagles had to do was make another stop for a final chance at tying the game.
After a first down run gained just three yards, the Eagles burned their first time out. Jones got another crack at running out the clock on the very next play, though, and he did a heck of a lot more than that.
After a nifty cutback behind the line, Jones knifed through the defense and was off to the races — and so was everybody else on the Packers, apparently.
Accompanied by Marquez Valdes-Scantling, David Bakhtiari, Robert Tonyan, Davante Adams, Elgton Jenkins and even — improbably — Aaron Rodgers, Jones outran, outdodged, outhustled the Eagles all the way to a 77-yard touchdown.
Schematically, there’s little that’s terribly exciting about the play, but the Packers’ execution was phenomenal. Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis cave in the left side of the Eagles’ line, and David Bakhtiari quickly jumped to the second level, sealing off pursuit before following Jones down the field.
Knowing the entire concept of the play. The moment he played that fast backside and upfield, I knew he took himself out of the play. So I kept climbing and looked for work.— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) June 11, 2021
Now down 14, the Eagles made one last push down the field, but the Packers defense held. A sack by Dean Lowry was followed two plays later by Darnell Savage nabbing an interception, and the Packers hung on to earn their ninth win of the season. The win was the second in a row for the Packers, who would finish the regular season on a six-game winning streak, earning the NFC’s top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.