Each year, Acme Packing Company’s writers vote for the Green Bay Packers’ top plays of the previous season. Our votes are based on the impact of the play, spectacular individual or team effort, or sheer amusement value we compile the votes to list out the top ten plays. Join us over a two-week span as we count down from 10 to 1 in the Packers’ Top Plays of 2021.
After a couple of pivotal plays from an early season game in Cincinnati, we move on to our number 7 pick, Aaron Rodgers’ distinctive pump fake against Jalen Ramsey in the week 12 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Despite Rodgers’ toe injury, the Packers won going away, more than doubling up the Rams 36-17 at one point before a late comeback.
The Packers established themselves as the team to beat in the NFC at the time and were able to breathe just a bit easier in their quest for the number one seed.
After an 8-2 start to the season, the Packers suffered a head scratching loss in Minnesota to a mediocre Vikings squad. It was a loss that cast some doubt over the Packers’ chances at the one seed and set up a crucial clash vs. the Rams in week 12. Los Angeles looked like anything but a future Super Bowl winner, as turnovers were an issue all day, including in the 3rd quarter when Rasul Douglas scored his first NFL touchdown off of a Matthew Stafford interception. The game completed the Packers’ NFC West infinity gauntlet, as they went 4-0 against one of the league’s toughest divisions.
After a punt on the Rams’ opening drive, Green Bay comfortably moved the ball 56 yards on 15 plays, but stalled out at the Rams’ 38-yard line. However, Rashan Gary stopped any chance at momentum for LA. A sack-fumble followed by a Preston Smith recovery put the Packers in business at the Rams’ 6-yard line. The tone had been set for a Packers romp.
After a quick pass to Davante Adams for 5 yards, Rodgers and the Packers found themselves at the goal line ready to punch it in. AJ Dillon was stuffed on the next play, resulting in 3rd down. Hardly a crucial play this early in the game, but one that felt needed against a potent Rams offense. Rodgers faked the handoff to Dillon and pulled the ball once he saw Aaron Donald split a double team. Unfortunately, Jalen Ramsey was waiting with a good angle and perhaps a bit more speed. But Rodgers pulled out one of his favorite magic tricks, which you can see him discuss below. The Aaron Rodgers pump fake beyond the line of scrimmage with no one to actually throw to is as old as time. And yet, time and time again defenders fall for it. Even elite corners like Jalen Ramsey can’t help but bite. Rodgers sent Ramsey into the air on the fake and narrowly beat him to the pylon. 7-0 Packers.
The Packers contributed to the Rams’ slide down the standings as they dropped their 3rd straight game while the Packers headed into the bye week sitting pretty. Aaron Rodgers’ toe proved to be a minor issue in comparison to the media hysteria and his performance against LA was proof. At 9-3, they were tied with the Buccaneers atop the conference. After reeling off four more wins and completing the sweep of the AFC North, the Packers locked up the number one seed.