<
>

Plays that shaped the season: No. 6 (and 6a)

1/9/2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers were on the field for 2,216 plays combined on offense and defense this season, and several hundred more on special teams.

As we look back on the season, we will examine 10 plays, subjectively chosen, as the ones that most shaped the Packers’ season that ended with Sunday’s 23-20 NFC wild-card playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.

The list, so far, in reverse order (Nos. 1-5 will be revealed next week):

No. 10: Micah Hyde’s near interception against the 49ers.

No. 9: Enter Matt Flynn in relief against the Vikings.

No. 8: Johnathan Franklin’s fourth-and-1 fumble against the Bengals.

No. 7: Eddie Lacy’s 60-yard run against the Cowboys.

Here’s No. 6 (and 6a):

Date: Dec. 15, 2013.

Location: AT&T Stadium; Dallas.

Game: Packers at Cowboys.

The play(s): Sam Shields' interception of Tony Romo in the fourth quarter (and Tramon Williams' interception of Romo in the fourth quarter).

Why they mattered: After trailing 26-3 at halftime, the Packers pulled to within 36-31. The Cowboys faced a second-and-6 from their own 35-yard line with 2:58 remaining, Romo had a run-pass option based on what the Packers' defense showed. Romo checked to the pass (the right move according to Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan). He avoided a sack by Clay Matthews and rolled to his left, where receiver Miles Austin had Shields beat over the middle. But Shields closed quickly and picked off the pass. Seven plays later, the Packers scored the go-ahead touchdown on Eddie Lacy’s 1-yard run with 1:31 to play.

On the ensuing Cowboys possession, Williams picked off Romo with 1:24 remaining to seal the game. The play was originally ruled an incomplete pass, but replay showed it was a clean interception. Earlier in the fourth quarter, Williams thought he had an interception, but it was overturned and ruled incomplete after Dallas challenged the ruling.

Quotable: “You can a pick a couple of plays of the game, but that’s how you win those kind of games,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “For us to get those turnovers there in the fourth quarter was huge.”