GREEN BAY – For the second time in five years, the Packers have produced the most spectacular and memorable play of the entire NFL season.
Aaron Rodgers’ 61-yard Hail Mary to tight end Richard Rodgers on the final play of Green Bay’s game in Detroit on Thursday, Dec. 3, has been named the NFL’s Play of the Year.
The game-winning touchdown pass gave the Packers a stunning 27-23 victory over the Lions at Ford Field.
Both Aaron and Richard Rodgers were at the NFL Honors show to receive the award.
"I still love seeing that replay, man," Aaron Rodgers said. "That was a special night. One I'll never forget."
Added Richard Rodgers: "I don't have much to say. I'm the other Rodgers on the team."
The Packers also had the Play of the Year in 2011, when Randall Cobb ran a kickoff back a (then) NFL-record 108 yards for a TD against New Orleans in the kickoff opener at Lambeau Field.
The Packers had a second Hail Mary this past season, of course, a 41-yarder to Jeff Janis to send the NFC divisional playoff at Arizona into overtime.
Only regular-season action was considered for Play of the Year in voting on NFL.com. A compilation of 32 plays was whittled down to five finalists, and the Packers’ improbable pass was named the winner.
The Packers had two of the top five plays of the season in 2015. DB Micah Hyde's backhanded interception of a Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater pass in Week 17 at Lambeau Field was one of the other finalists, coming in at No. 3.
The other three finalists were Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry’s one-handed catch against the Colts in Week 16, Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s diving TD catch at Washington in Week 12, and Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota's 87-yard scramble for a TD vs. Jacksonville in Week 13.
The “Miracle in the Motor City” actually occurred with no time on the clock. It was an untimed down following a facemask penalty on the Lions on the previous play, when Detroit’s Devin Taylor spun Aaron Rodgers’ head around while tackling him at the end of a failed series of laterals at the Green Bay 24-yard line as the clock ran out.
The penalty moved the ball to the 39-yard line and gave the Packers one final shot.
The thrilling win helped pull the Packers out of a frustrating stretch during which they lost four of five games, and they went on to win three straight and clinch a playoff berth for the seventh consecutive season.