A look back at 5 top plays of the Packers season

Martin Hendricks
Special to Packer Plus
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Aaron Rodgers (right) and Richard Rodgers celebrate the Packers' game-winning touchdown against the Cowboys on Oct. 8.

A 7-9 season was not what the Packers organization or their ardent fan base envisioned in 2017. But in a season with several dramatic victories at the end of regulation or overtime, there were game-changing plays. Here's a look back at five of the top plays of 2017:

POLL:  Click here to vote for the top play of the season


Packers 27, Bengals 24, Sept. 24, at Lambeau Field (Video)

Crosby not only booted the game-winning kick in overtime to complete Green Bay’s second-half comeback, but he tied it at 24 with just 17 seconds remaining in regulation play with an extra point.

At halftime, the underdog Bengals led 21-7 and quarterback Aaron Rodgers was just 9 of 15 for 73 yards with one touchdown and a pick-six. Rodgers returned to form after intermission and led the Packers on a 12-play, 75-yard drive, capped with a perfect 3-yard touchdown pass to favorite target Jordy Nelson with just 17 seconds left.

In overtime, Rodgers did what he does best. On 3rd down and 10 from the Green Bay 21, he drew Cincinnati offside and them completed a 72-yard pass to Geronimo Allison to set up Crosby’s 27-yard game-winning field goal two plays later.

Crosby celebrated briefly with his teammates on the field before rushing to the stands behind the Packers’ bench. The veteran kicker hugged his wife and held his son for photographs before embracing Rodgers, who earned the first overtime win of his career and now had beaten all other 31 franchises.

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby hits a game-winning 27-yard field goal in overtime to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 24.


Packers 35, Cowboys 31, Oct. 8, at AT&T Stadium (Video)

What a difference a week made for Randall.

Against the Bears in Green Bay’s previous game, the Packers cornerback was benched and later sent to the locker room early by head coach Mike McCarthy after arguing with an assistant coach. Randall rose from the doghouse to difference-maker in the Packers’ signature victory of the season against the Cowboys to improve to 4-1 on the season.

This contest was not a pretty one for the defenses, as the Green Bay and Dallas units gave up a combined 51 first downs, 750 yards, and 66 points. But Packers weren’t in a position to win at AT&T Stadium without a pick-six from Randall at crunch time.

Randall was beaten by Dez Bryant for a touchdown in the second quarter, but came through with a momentum-swinging takeaway in the fourth quarter with Dallas holding a 24-22 lead. With just under 10 minutes left, Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams had a catchable short pass from Dak Prescott bounce off his hands. Randall swooped in for the interception and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown for a 28-24 lead.

“Scoring points on defense leads to a lot of wins,” Randall said. “That is what our coaches have been preaching. . . I saw the ball, picked it off. My eyes just lit up on the touchdown.”

Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall celebrates with teammates after returning an interception thrown by Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott for a 21-yard touchdown on Oct. 8.


Packers 35, Cowboys 31, Oct. 8, at AT&T Stadium (Video)

Just 10 days after a vicious hit to the head against the Chicago Bears, which hospitalized him for a night and kept him in concussion protocol all week, Davante Adams returned to action on a mission.

The Packers receiver teamed with quarterback Aaron Rodgers to start and finish the scoring in a wild comeback victory.

Dallas took a 31-28 lead with a textbook 8:43 drive late in the fourth quarter, but left too much time on the clock for Rodgers and company. In the ensuing 62 seconds, the Packers methodically drove 75 yards in 9 plays, culminated with a perfect 12-yard back-shoulder touchdown pass to Adams in the corner of the end zone.

A play earlier, Rodgers had thrown the ball short on the same route. As the team huddled, Rodgers said after the game that, “Te’ came back and said, ‘Call it again.’ With his eyes, he (Adams) said, ‘Throw a better ball.’”

Rodgers did, and Adams leaped in the air to snare the ball with two hands over cornerback Jourdan Lewis. He spun and easily landed two feet in bounds for the game-winner with 11 seconds, and then launched the football into the AT&T Stadium crowd.

Packers receiver Davante Adams secures the game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds remaining over Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis on Oct. 8.


Packers 26, Bucs 20, Dec. 3, at Lambeau Field (Video)

It almost looked like an error in Green Bay’s post-game statistics: 199 yards rushing, 84 yards passing.

In a close game at Lambeau Field against Tampa Bay, the Green Bay offense relied on the run game to wear down the Buccaneers and prevail in overtime to even its season record at 6-6 and keep playoff hopes alive.

Jamaal Williams was the workhorse, rushing 21 times for 113 yards for a 5.4-yard average. While Hundley struggled throwing the football on the cloudy 42-degree afternoon, he rushed seven times for 66 yards and a 9.4-yard average.

The final 20 yards came on the game-winning carry by Jones—his only rushing attempt of the game. Mason Crosby’s 22-yard field goal with 2:01 left in regulation play tied the game at 20. In overtime, Green Bay won the coin toss and marched 72 yards in eight plays. On the final play, Jones took the handoff and started up the clogged middle of the line of scrimmage, then bounced outside to the left and went untouched to the end zone.

“I feel like (Williams) set up that last play by wearing them out all game, fighting for the extra yards,” Jones said. “When I came in, I was fresh legs. I was just able to get around the corner, and, boom.”

Aaron Jones’ 20-yard scamper in overtime gave the Packers a comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 3.


Packers 27, Browns 21, Dec. 10, at FirstEnergy Stadium (Video)

For three quarters, Green Bay looked listless on the road against the worst franchise in the NFL: the winless Browns.

All three phases came to life in the fourth quarter and contributed to pull out a dramatic overtime victory at FirstEnergy Stadium and improve the Packers’ record to 7-6 and set the stage for the return of Aaron Rodgers the next week against the Carolina Panthers.

Trailing 21-7 early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Brett Hundley elevated his play. Completing 14 of 17 passes, Hundley directed the Green Bay on two scoring drives that tied the game at 21—the last climaxed by a 1-yard touchdown pass to Adams with 17 seconds remaining.

In overtime, the Packers defense forced an interception that put the offense in prime position to win the game. Hundley took full advantage, and teamed with Adams split out wide left on a quick hitter at the Browns’ 25-yard line. Adams spun out of a tackle and his momentum took him outside and he outraced two Cleveland defenders to the end zone, then kept running up the stadium tunnel.

“We’re finding different ways to win—and that’s what you have to do,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “We are excited to get out of here with a win and more excited to keep playing.”

Davante Adams catches a game-winning throw from Brett Hundley in overtime on Dec. 10 to defeat the Cleveland Browns.
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