Thursday, January 16, 2014
Plays that shaped the season: No. 2
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers were on the field for more than 2,000 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 the 23-20 NFC wild-card playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.
Game: Packers vs. Bears in the regular-season finale.
The play: Aaron Rodgers' 48-yard touchdown pass to Cobb with 38 seconds remaining.
Why it mattered: It was fourth-and-8, and the Packers trailed 28-27. They had converted two fourth downs already on this drive. The Bears called an all-out blitz, sending seven defenders after Rodgers. Fullback John Kuhn got just enough of a block on defensive end Julius Peppers, and it allowed Rodgers to sidestep Peppers. When he did, he saw Cobb running straight down the field behind the Bears' secondary and he unloaded a bomb. It was the deciding play in a game that decided the NFC North title and sent the Packers into the playoffs for the fifth straight season, and it provided a dramatic ending to the game in which both Rodgers and Cobb returned after long injury absences. It was Rodgers' first game since he broke his collarbone on Nov. 4 and Cobb's first since he fractured his tibia on Oct. 13.
Quotable: “Aaron and Randall just made a phenomenal play,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. “It's two guys making a great, great play that'll be running on the highlights now for the rest of my time on this earth. What a great finish.”