GREEN BAY – As a new way to review the recently completed season, Packers.com has compiled a select list of “Peak Performances” in various categories.
Here are the top five in clutch situations, recapped in chronological order. Be sure to watch the video highlights package, and vote for your favorite in the poll at the bottom of the page.
(Last week’s winner on special teams was Jeff Janis vs. Dallas in Week 14.)
Clay Matthews at Chicago, Week 1
The Bears trailed the Packers by just eight points with about four minutes left and had driven inside the Green Bay 30-yard line when Matthews stepped in front of Chicago TE Martellus Bennett, picked off QB Jay Cutler’s pass and ran all the way into Chicago territory. The turnover set up the clinching TD drive that sealed a season-opening victory.
Jayrone Elliott vs. Seattle, Week 2
The Packers had just finished off an 80-yard TD drive to take a 24-17 lead with 9½ minutes to go. The Seahawks had a first down on their own 42-yard line when second-year outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott read Seattle’s screen pass to RB Marshawn Lynch all the way, and Elliott intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass. After the Packers tacked on a field goal, Elliott then stripped running back Fred Jackson of the ball after a short reception, closing things out in the final minute with another turnover.
Damarious Randall vs. San Diego, Week 6
With the Packers leading the Chargers, 27-20, the game came down to fourth-and-goal for San Diego from the Green Bay 3-yard line with just 20 seconds left. Chargers QB Philip Rivers tried a short pass into the right flat to RB Danny Woodhead, but Randall dove and knocked it away near the pylon, and the Packers’ rookie corner began a raucous celebration at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers at Detroit, Week 13
The Packers trailed the Lions 20-0 midway through the third quarter when Rodgers finally got the offense going. A 75-yard drive for a TD was followed by a quick turnover and another score, and the game was on. In the fourth quarter, Rodgers capped an 84-yard TD drive with a 17-yard scramble around the left side to the pylon, and not long after, he launched one of the longest, most majestic Hail Mary throws in the history of the game.
Aaron Rodgers at Arizona, NFC divisional playoff
With a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Packers were 96 yards from the tying touchdown. On third down, a potential pass interference on a long throw for WR Jeff Janis wasn’t called, seemingly ending Green Bay’s season. But on fourth-and-20, Rodgers scrambled around in his own end zone and found Janis for a 60-yard gain to keep hope alive. Three plays later, and following an illegal motion penalty, he heaved an impossible Hail Mary, rolling left and falling backwards away from the pass rush, and Janis hauled it in for a 41-yard TD. Two completions, 101 yards, and somehow the game wasn’t over.