We’re back another entry on our Best Plays of 2022 countdown! In the lead-up to training camp, we’ll be taking a look at our favorite moments of the 2022 season, as voted on by APC contributors. The #7 play on our list was the dagger in a surprisingly close December contest against the Chicago Bears, cementing the idea that the Packers’ newest big-play wide receiver is more than just a deep shot threat.
You can watch the whole play here.
#7: Christian Watson takes a jet sweep 46 yards to the house.
Late in the 4th quarter, with the Packers up by a single point, the Bears actually managed to drive into Packer territory before Jaire Alexander picked off an errant Justin Fields pass intended for former Packer Equanimeous St. Brown. That play showed up earlier on our countdown, tying for the 10th spot.
Afterwards, Aaron Rodgers and crew took over at their own 32 yard line with 2:52 left on the clock, and the Bears still in possession of all three time outs. With the two-minute warning still pending, it was imperative that the offense pick up a first down or two to put the game away. On first down, Rodgers Christian hit Watson for a 19-yard gain, moving the chains. Then, after a 3-yard A.J. Dillon run took the clock to the 2-minute warning, Watson put this one to bed.
The Packers won this play almost immediately, as the Bears stacked the bottom of the formation anticipating an AJ Dillon run. Rodgers makes an outstanding fake toss,
And you can see here just how doomed the Bears were.
There are 9 Bears in this picture, and not a single one has any chance of catching Watson. The only Bear player heading in the correct direction is DB Josh Blackwell. Blackwell is a burner, but he’s already trailing Watson.
The only other player with shot is corner Jaylon Johnson, assigned to single coverage on outside receiver Sammy Watkins.
Watkins doesn’t throw the greatest block of all time, but he does a very nice job impeding both Blackwell and Johnson, at which point it’s off to the races.
Jet motion can be a great way to fool an overloaded defense through counter motion, and here, that’s exactly what happened. With the Bears expecting Green Bay to pound Dillon into the line, LaFleur hit them where they were weakest, and ensured that there would be no comeback.
When the Packers drafted Watson, more than one analyst had him pegged as a deep ball replacement for Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Plays like this serve to highlight just how much more Watson can be.
Check back in later on as we move on to play number 6 on our countdown.