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

Jayden Reed shined again as the Packers put on a Sunday night show.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Survive and advance. That was the name of the game for the Packers as they strolled into the wretched hive of scum and villainy, U.S. Bank Stadium. Not even the sight of shirtless Kirk Cousins soft-launching his “link in bio” could save the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. Jordan Love and the Packers played like a team with something to prove; a team absolutely disgusted by Jaren Hall being favored in any professional football game. Against a defense ranked 5th in DVOA coming in, the Packers’ offense hummed from the jump.

While Jaren Hall was severely underprepared for such a matchup in his second career start, Joe Barry’s defense showed encouraging signs of improvement. In another do-or-die rivalry game this Sunday, that momentum could mean everything. Before we press on to the biggest game of the season and of Jordan Love’s career, let’s get into the top plays of the Week 17 drubbing of the Vikings.


After three-and-out drives to start the game for both sides, Jordan Love and the Packers got into a rhythm the Vikings had trouble breaking all night.

Bo Melton and Romeo Doubs came up big on 3rd down conversions on the Packers’ second drive, and Malik Heath’s block sprung Aaron Jones loose to the MIN 18. A rare third-down failure followed, and Danielle Hunter blew past Josh Myers to force the Packers to settle for three.

Corey Ballentine makes the rookie pay

Starting cornerback Eric Stokes returned to IR on Saturday afternoon due to a lingering hamstring injury. In turn, fifth-year cornerback Corey Ballentine was inserted into the starting lineup and delivered his best performance in the biggest game of the Packers’ season. Ballentine set the tone for the defense after a disastrous month on that side of the ball, forcing Jaren Hall’s first big mistake of the game. Down 3-0, Hall placed a ball behind Johnny Mundt, who started in place of the injured TJ Hockenson. The pass bounced off Mundt’s hands right into Corey Ballentine’s, giving the offense a chance to shut down a raucous playoff-like environment in Minneapolis.

Jayden Reed scores first

The offense didn’t take long to make good on the turnover. It’s not often you get to capture a franchise record held since 1988. Even less likely when you consider the record holder, Sterling Sharpe, is one of the best to ever do it. With his second catch of the game, Jayden Reed etched his name into the annals of Packers history. On the next play, Reed split the Vikings’ post-snap Tampa 2 look, and Jordan Love nailed him wide-open in the endzone on a gorgeous throw that no Viking had a shot at.

Down just 10, Minnesota drove into Packers territory but fizzled out at the 35 after Colby Wooden and Isaiah McDuffie crushed Jaren Hall and forced the field goal.

Love truck sticks for six

With the moment proving too big for Jaren Hall, it felt like the Packers had a chance to put the Vikings away with just one more touchdown. Love and the offense must have felt similarly as they moved the ball into Vikings territory effortlessly. After a hands-to-the-face penalty inside the 20, Love ran a keeper from the 2-yard line and trucked Camryn Bynum for 6.

After both sides punted, the Vikings received the ball with 0:39 left in the quarter, desperate for any momentum heading into the half. Just two plays in, disaster struck in what was Jaren Hall’s last play of the game. Preston Smith continued his absolute heater of the previous few weeks and swung past Christian Darrisaw to force the sack fumble.

Jayden Reed makes more magic

With just 26 seconds to spare, the Packers poured it on. Off motion, Jayden Reed faked a wheel route and cut back inside, snagging the ball at the 22 and showing an incredible burst to shake off four Vikings on his way to the end zone. Reed’s eighth receiving touchdown of the year inched him closer to the rookie leader, Jordan Addison, with nine.

A halftime quarterback change to Nick Mullens energized the Vikings but did not result in an improvement on the scoreboard, and the Packers took over on downs at their own 10.

If the game was not already over, Jordan Love made sure to slam the door shut. Love overcame the absence of Jayden Reed, who left with a chest injury, and flicked a backfoot touchdown to a wide-open Bo Melton to extend the lead to 27.

A Samori Toure punt return fumble led to the Vikings’ first touchdown, but the Packers chewed up the clock to eventually bring out newly appointed Human Victory Cigar, Sean Clifford. Clifford completed his first career pass to, who else, Bo Melton—game, set, match.


Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Corey Ballentine makes the rookie pay
    (11 votes)
  • 30%
    Jayden Reed scores first
    (50 votes)
  • 12%
    Love truck sticks for six
    (20 votes)
  • 50%
    Jayden Reed makes more magic
    (84 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now

That’s it for Week 17’s top plays! This time next week, we’ll know if the youngest team in the NFL is playoff-bound after a win-and-in showdown with the Chicago Bears. Check back next week for all the top plays in that one.