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Best Packers Plays of All Time, Day 5: Big guy TDs and Super Bowl scores steal the spotlight

As the second round comes to a close, we examine matchups between multiple classic Packers playoff moments

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Rick Wood via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Round 2 of our Best Packers Plays of All Time bracket finishes today as we send eight plays on to the quarterfinals. Yesterday’s plays included Bart Starr’s legendary QB sneak, Antonio Freeman’s miraculous Monday Night catch, and the NFC North clinching 4th and 8 in 2013. If you missed yesterday’s post, you can still vote here until tomorrow.

More tough decisions await us today as we vote on Matt Hasselbeck’s ill-advised assurance, the greatest “big guy” touchdown ever, and two classic Super Bowl moments. Check out the updated bracket below to view the matchups and see how they break down. Then, read on and make sure to click the links on each play!

Eight more plays face-off on the second day of round two. Today’s matchups are as follows: “We want the ball and we’re gonna score” vs. LeRoy Butler’s first Lambeau Leap, the Miracle in Motown vs. B.J. Raji’s pick-six, Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings on 3rd and 10 in Super Bowl XLV vs. Brett Favre to Sterling Sharpe against the Lions in the 1993 NFC Wild Card game, and lastly, Desmond Howard’s Super Bowl XXXI kick off return vs. Brett Favre’s game against the Raiders after the death of his father
Best Packers Plays of All Time Bracket

Our first matchup of the day is between the infamous “We want the ball and we’re gonna score” and LeRoy Butler’s creation of the Lambeau Leap. These are two undisputable heavyweights despite what seeding says. While one play spawned the greatest celebration in football, the other has a legitimate claim as the best interception of all time.

#3: “We want the ball and we’re gonna score”

Foot, meet mouth. Everyone loves an arrogant guarantee from their favorite players. Broadway Joe in Super Bowl III, Ali knocking out Liston in one round, or Jordan in game 7 vs the Pacers. These moments stand the test of time! Matt Hasselbeck’s guarantee in the 2004 NFC Wild Card is… a bit different. Heading into overtime, Seattle won the toss and was asked what they wanted to do. Hasselbeck emphatically stated, “We want the ball and we’re gonna score!” However, on their 2nd drive of the OT period, Hasselbeck was intercepted by Al Harris, who ran 52 yards for the win, and reminded us all of the power of humility.

#19: LeRoy Butler creating the Lambeau Leap

While countless NFL fan experience pop-ups may let you throw a ball like Rodgers, or run the 40 like Aaron Jones, there is no more interactive experience in sports than the Lambeau Leap. Claustrophobic, sweaty, most likely covered in beer, but oh so worth it. The Leap was first pulled off by LeRoy Butler, who caused a fumble that popped into Reggie White’s massive hands. As White was headed to score, he flipped the ball to Butler just before being tackled. While he may have landed a little short on the jump, there were more than enough eager fans waiting to pull him up. And on the first touchdown of his career, the should be Hall of Famer birthed a tradition like no other.

Poll

Which is the better Packers play?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    "We want the ball and we’re gonna score"
    (288 votes)
  • 50%
    LeRoy Butler’s Creation of the Lambeau Leap
    (290 votes)
578 votes total Vote Now

Our second matchup pits Aaron Rodgers’ hail mary vs. the Lions in 2015 against B.J. Raji’s iconic pick-six vs. the Bears in the 2011 NFC Championship. Most Packers fans will remember exactly where they were for both these moments. It’s hard to believe, but before Rodgers occupied the throne as the King of Hail Marys, he didn’t complete his first one until this game. B.J. Raji’s NFC Championship dagger stands in the way though, and it will be difficult to defeat the pure elation that comes from the serendipitous moment that is a big guy touchdown.

#22: Miracle in Motown

The Miracle in Motown continued Rodgers’ flair for the dramatic, as the team completed their 4th largest comeback ever. Trailing 20-0 at one point, the Packers came roaring back to get it within 3. Deep in their own territory, the Packers had one play left with 6 seconds left. It was a disaster. After a backward pass and a lateral, Rodgers was tackled at the 24-yard line as the clock read triple zeroes. However, the Lions’ Devin Taylor was called for a facemask on the play, setting up one last attempt from the Packers’ 39-yard line. Rodgers rolled right to buy time and launched a moon shot that nearly hit the Ford Field rafters. 70 yards in the air. Jim Nantz asked before the play if Aaron Rodgers “had a vintage moment in him,” and proving that slow and steady wins the race, Richard Rodgers was there in the end zone to secure the pass and bring home the victory. Of course, this was not the Rodgers’ family’s first experience with wild finishes, and Richard Rodgers Sr. was a part of “The Play” between Stanford and Cal, in which the Stanford band came onto the field midway through a kickoff return at the end of the game.

#6: B.J. Raji Pick Six in the NFC Championship

At 6’2” 340 lbs, Raji isn’t exactly what you think of when you think of the “spy” role on defense. But against Caleb Hanie and the Bears in the NFC Championship, Raji played his part to perfection. The big man dropped back into coverage, picked off Hanie’s pass, and rumbled his way to the end zone to give the Pack a commanding 21-7 lead and secure their spot in Super Bowl XLV. And who could forget Raji’s iconic dance in the end zone? The perfect end cap to a play that couldn’t have been written better by Hollywood execs themselves.

Poll

Which is the better Packers play?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Miracle in Motown
    (241 votes)
  • 59%
    B.J. Raji Pick Six vs. the Bears
    (348 votes)
589 votes total Vote Now

In our next matchup, we see a couple more clutch playoff throws from Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Favre’s throw across his body to Sterling Sharpe vs. the Lions in 1993 faces off against Rodgers’ dart to Greg Jennings in Super Bowl XLV. This physical feat from Favre delivered the Packers their first playoff win in over a decade while Rodgers’ incredible 3rd and 10 throw fended off the scrappy Steelers to secure a Green Bay Super Bowl win.

#7: Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings in Super Bowl XLV

Up 28-25 late in the 4th quarter with the Steelers breathing down their necks, Rodgers and Jennings connected on a crucial 3rd and 10 to set up a Mason Crosby field goal and give the Packers the victory. Ike Taylor was nearly blanketing Jennings but like Rodgers has done so many times before, he fit the ball into the tiniest possible window for the 31-yard dime. An unbelievably clutch throw in a game filled with them.

#10: Brett Favre to Sterling Sharpe vs. the Lions in the 1993 NFC Wild Card Round

Another game-winner makes the list, and another incredible Brett Favre throw to go along with it. Hard to believe, but the Packers were playing their first playoff game since 1982. The Lions had the lead late into the 4th quarter and looked like they’d take home the W. After all, they beat the Packers just one week before off of four Favre interceptions. But in spite of the advice of everyone around him at the time, the gunslinger kept slingin’. Down 24-21, Favre scrambled to his left and launched a missile across his body to a streaking Sterling Sharpe down the right sideline, who caught the TD with 55 seconds left on the clock.

Poll

Which is the better Packers play?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings in Super Bowl XLV
    (289 votes)
  • 49%
    Brett Favre to Sterling Sharpe vs. the Lions
    (283 votes)
572 votes total Vote Now

In the final matchup of round 2, Desmond Howard’s Super Bowl XXXI kick return touchdown goes up against Brett Favre’s emotional masterpiece against the Raiders on Monday Night Football. Some liberty had to be taken here as Favre’s performance could not be boiled down to just one play. The spectacular night will go up against a behemoth in Howard’s kick return that stands the test of time in the pantheon of classic Super Bowl moments.

#18: Brett Favre vs. the Raiders on Monday Night Football after the Death of Irvin Favre

While this one isn’t just one play, it is a must to include in any list regarding the history of the Packers. Fantastic statistical efforts and meaningful games were a regularity in Favre’s career. He threw for 4 TD’s over 20 times in his career, but none meant more than the effort against the Raiders in 2003 just one day after the death of his father, Irvin Favre. Believing that his father would have wanted him to play, Favre produced one of his greatest games ever. He threw for 399 yards and 4 TD’s, while only missing 8 throws the entire night. Even the famously hostile Raiders crowd couldn’t help but cheer for the miraculous effort. For a player who consistently dominated on the Monday Night stage, there was no more significant performance than this one.

#2: Desmond Howard’s Kickoff Return Touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI

No snaps on offense. Zero on defense. And a Super Bowl XXXI MVP as the Packers defeated the Patriots 35-21. Howard totaled 244 return yards in the big game, none more important than his 99-yard kickoff return TD in the third quarter that staved off the Patriots and put the exclamation point on the Packers’ victory. At the time, it was the longest play in Super Bowl history.

Poll

Which is the better Packers play?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Brett Favre vs. the Raiders on Monday Night Football
    (226 votes)
  • 60%
    Desmond Howard’s Kickoff Return TD in Super Bowl XXXI
    (342 votes)
568 votes total Vote Now

And with that, round 2 is complete! Tomorrow we head into the quarterfinals as just eight plays will be left standing. As another reminder, don’t forget to vote here on yesterday’s plays, and be sure to check back tomorrow to push your favorite plays on into the final four.