clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pick the top play from the Packers’ week 17 win over the Vikings

The Packers’ unlikely run hit its peak with a drubbing of the Vikings on Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Packers ripped the horseshoe away from the 12-4 Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in a do-or-die January game with a playoff atmosphere. The Packers started this one off with a bang in one of the most unique first quarters we’ve seen in years. While the offense sputtered, the defense and special teams looked downright terrifying. This was the Packers’ first game with a kickoff and interception return for a touchdown since 1967. Jaire Alexander finally got his wish on defense and was matched up with Justin Jefferson for most of the game, following the star receiver wherever he lined up. As a result, Jefferson was completely neutralized, and with him the Vikings’ offense.

If there were ever a shining example of regression to the mean, it would be Kirk Cousins this week. Cousins got cooked to the tune of three interceptions in his worst game of the year. The kicker? Greg Joseph missed two field goals in this one and added insult to injury, proving that life away from a dome is rough for everyone. Plenty of options to choose from this week, so let’s get to it. Here are your top plays of the week 17 win over the Vikings.

Keisean Nixon makes Packers history

The Packers started this one on rocky terrain. After forcing a Vikings 3 and out, the Packers faced similar results on their next drive. The difference was the special teams play that followed. With special teams brilliance comes special teams disaster. All things must live in harmony, meaning the Packers’ blocked punt in the first quarter was practically fated! Dallin Leavitt was able to recover the punt at the Packers’ 4-yard line, setting the Vikings up in prime position. Luckily, the Packers got a brilliant goal-line stand from TJ Slaton and the rest of the defensive line, stuffing Dalvin Cook twice and leaving the Vikings with just three points.

On the ensuing kickoff, a massive hole opened for Keisean Nixon, who exploded like a rocket as every Viking realized they had no chance to catch him. It was the Packers’ first kickoff return in 10 years since Nixon’s current teammate Randall Cobb returned one against the New Orleans Saints in his first-ever NFL game. Nixon has now recorded seven straight games of 95+ kick return yards.

Darnell Savage makes a house call

Another 3 and out followed for the Vikings, but Aaron Rodgers took a disastrous sack on a 4th and 1 try the next drive, giving the Vikings the ball at the Green Bay 45-yard line. On 3rd and 10, Kirk Cousins did what he’s done in so many first halves this season, and threw an ill-advised pass that Darnell Savage picked off on a Rasul Douglas-induced tip drill. Savage returned the ball 75 yards for a touchdown, thriving in his new role.

Just a few drives later, the Vikings moved the ball with relative ease, only being slowed down by penalties until TJ Slaton once again feasted on the Vikings' patchwork line. Slaton tipped Cousins’ pass just enough to create a beautiful, wounded duck that Adrian Amos was in perfect position for. Amos returned the ball to midfield to set the Packers up with six minutes in the half.

Kenny Clark forces the fumble

The Packers quickly moved the ball downfield and scored on a Rodgers to Tonyan connection that gave Rodgers an hour of time in the pocket. 24-3, but not out of the woods yet. To end the half, Mason Crosby would hit his only 50-yard field goal of the season on a 56-yard kick that doinked through the uprights.

Things got markedly worse on the Vikings’ first drive of the second half. As merchants of every kind of luck imaginable this season, you can’t blame anyone for thinking the Vikings may have had a comeback in them. Kenny Clark put that notion to rest. This was Clark’s fourth sack of the season and his league-leading sixth turnover forced by pressure, per Next Gen Stats. With no Garrett Bradbury and the Vikings’ second-string center Austin Schlottmann going out early, Clark had himself a day. The Packers would capitalize on the fumble by twisting the dagger in and taking a 34-3 lead.


Which play from the Packers’ week 17 victory over the Vikings was the best?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Keisean Nixon makes Packers history
    (252 votes)
  • 5%
    Darnell Savage makes a house call
    (16 votes)
  • 6%
    Kenny Clark forces the fumble
    (20 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (leave your pick in the comments)
    (6 votes)
294 votes total Vote Now

That’s it for week 17’s top plays! This was easily the most exciting week of plays thus far and we should be in for another treat in a do-or-die game against the Detroit Lions this Sunday night. Be sure to join us at halftime of the game on Twitter @acmepackingco for a quick Spaces discussion.