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Packers Best Plays of 2022, #2: Keisean Nixon makes a house call

Keisean Nixon stakes his claim as the league’s most electrifying return man.

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

Our series rolls on today as we’re just one play away from revealing the Best Play of 2022 as voted on by APC contributors. Today, we’re taking a look at our second-ranked play and returning to the special teams well.

If you had told me before the 2022 season that two kickoff returns made it onto any top 10 list besides a list of blunders, I’d call you insane and ask if it was 1996 again. Today’s play came in a blowout victory that provided a glimmer of light in an otherwise dark season: an NFC North battle that brought to mind tables being run and relaxation.

#2: Keisean Nixon stiff-arms his way to glory

For a breath of fresh air and false hope, the Packers came into their week 17 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings riding a 3-game winning streak. In no way, shape, or form had the tide turned, but the squad was firmly in wild card contention at 7-8. Standing in the way was a 12-3 Vikings squad still pushing for the number one seed in the NFC. After a blocked punt on the Packers’ first possession, the Vikings got the scoring underway with a field goal.

The ensuing kickoff return is where the magic happened. Keisean Nixon caught the kickoff about five yards deep in his own end zone and almost immediately had a lane. Thanks to Jonathan Garvin’s block on Josh Metellus and the combined efforts of Kingsley Enagbare, Josiah Deguara, and Tyler Davis, Nixon burst through a hole fit for an 18-wheeler. From there, the Vikings had no shot. Kicker Greg Joseph was the last line of defense and got hit with a wicked stiff arm, and Nixon was off to the races.

This etched Nixon’s name not just into Packers history, but the entire league’s as he became the sixth player ever to tally 95-plus return yards in seven straight games. The Packers would go on to win this one 41-17 after the spark from their blazing-fast return man. I suppose that’s the outcome when you, as Nixon put it postgame, “woke up feeling like a Ferrari.”

Nixon is primed for more big moments in 2023, as he humbly put it in a recent interview with Wes Hodkiewicz. During OTAs in May, Nixon put out a warning to the league, saying “I don’t really feel like I accomplished much,” and that “I was just getting my feet wet, honestly. That’s why this year is going to be really special.”

That’s all for our 2nd best play of 2022! Check back tomorrow for the top play of the year: an explosive effort from the Packers’ stud rookie receiver and the beginning of a new era in the Frozen Tundra.