GREEN BAY—Signature Snaps is back, our look at the top plays from the previous season, along with a poll allowing you to vote for your favorite.
We’ll continue our review of 2013 with the top five defensive plays, listed and described here in chronological order.
Be sure to watch the video and vote in the poll. The top vote-getter in each Signature Snaps category will qualify for the final posting in the series, Play of the Year.
Top 5 defensive plays of 2013
M.D. Jennings, 24-yard fumble return TD at Cincinnati, Week 3
Rallying from an early 14-0 deficit, the Packers turned to their defense. Clay Matthews’ tackle and strip of Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis was scooped up by Jennings and returned for a score, the third of four consecutive turnovers forced by Green Bay that got the Packers back into the game.
Goal-line stand at Baltimore, Week 6
There were a number of heroes in this sequence, on which the Packers stopped four consecutive Ravens runs from the 4-yard line and in. The last two were both from the 1, with Morgan Burnett making a dynamite play to string Ray Rice to the outside on third down, and then Mike Daniels, Micah Hyde and a host of others collapsing on Bernard Pierce on fourth down. The big stand preserved a 3-0 lead at the time in a game the Packers won by two points.
Sam Shields, INT at Dallas, Week 15
As valiantly as the Packers rallied in the second half against the Cowboys, the game probably doesn’t end in Green Bay’s favor without Shields’ clutch pick. Dallas had the ball on its own 35-yard line with less than three minutes left, and the Packers had just one timeout remaining. But as Matthews nearly sacked Tony Romo, the Cowboys QB was forced to throw off-balance to a crossing Miles Austin, and Shields undercut the route for an interception at midfield.
Seven plays later, the Packers were in the end zone for the fifth straight possession and took their first lead of the game.
Tramon Williams, INT at Dallas, Week 15
Trailing 37-36, the Cowboys still had a minute and 31 seconds to drive for a winning field goal, but their last chance lasted only two plays. Romo’s quick out to WR Cole Beasley was off target, and Williams made a diving grab. Initially ruled an incomplete pass, the play was reviewed and replays showed Williams clearly plucked the ball without it touching the turf. The Packers then kneeled on the ball three times, and the team’s biggest comeback in 31 years was complete.
Tramon Williams, INT vs. San Francisco, Wild Card playoffs
Williams continued his banner finish to the season with his fourth interception over the last eight games, and at a time the Packers needed it most in the wild-card playoff game. San Francisco led 6-0 and was driving for another score when Williams jumped in front of TE Vernon Davis along the sideline and picked off the pass, delivering a big hit to 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick on the tackle as well. The offense converted the turnover into its initial first down and its first points of the contest, and the Packers were in the game the rest of the way.
Be sure to watch the video and vote for your favorite in the poll.