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Packers’ Best Plays of 2022, #5: The Rodgers to Lewis sideline throw vs Miami

Big Dog came up big time in a big moment.

Green Bay Packers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

There are few things that have given me as much joy as the random clutch catch by tight end Marcedes Lewis over the years. Cracking the top five of Acme Packing Company’s best Green Bay Packers plays of 2022, we introduce to you possibly Lewis’ best reception in his Packers career.

Best known as a blocking tight end, Lewis only caught 57 receptions for 582 yards and six touchdowns in his 81 games (including 64 starts) and five seasons with the Packers. Still, one of the biggest momentum swings the Packers had at their disposal was a big throw to Lewis, which would inevitably lead to the entire sideline erupting as “Big Dog” finally got on the box score.

On Christmas Day 2020, the Packers were looking for a little boost. The then 6-8 Green Bay team was on the ropes — in regard to its playoff hopes. At the time of Lewis’ catch, the Packers, unfortunately, were down 20-13 to the Miami Dolphins — who themselves were also in the postseason hunt. With 9:28 on the clock in the third quarter of the game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was just 15-of-25 for 139 yards and a touchdown, well below the standard he had set over his long NFL career.

Enter Marcedes Lewis.

Green Bay lined up in a “YY” set that put Lewis next to his fellow tight end Robert Tonyan to the left boundary of Rodgers. Flushed by pressure that broke through third-string running back Patrick Taylor in pass protection, Rodgers bought himself enough time to throw a scramble drill throw to the backside of the passing concept, which first saw Lewis flash into the flat before turning up the sideline.

Safety Eric Rowe, who was initially playing the flat zone on the play, only turned back to run with Lewis as Rodgers got the ball off. Because of this, Rowe never got to see the football and actually had to time a swat attempt on Lewis by watching when the tight end decided to flash his hands for a catch attempt. The result was a beautiful catch and throw from Rodgers to Lewis that looked like it had no margin of error in real-time.

The play was officially documented as a 31-yard gain, Lewis’ second reception of the day after a one-yard touchdown. It was also Lewis’ second-longest catch in his Packers’ career, behind only a 36-yard reception against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2020 season.

Two plays later, running back A.J. Dillon ran the ball for a one-yard touchdown and kicker Mason Crosby kicked an extra point to tie the game up at 20 points. The Dolphins never regained the lead as Crosby kicked two more field goals to give the Packers a 26-20 win on the day.

APC will continue its top plays of 2022 countdown throughout the week, with the top play being revealed on Friday.