'Favorite Fives' of 2008: Top Defensive Plays

Continuing a series begun a year ago, Packers.com has again compiled a series of "Favorite Fives," various Top 5 lists of big plays from this past regular season.

Each list will be accompanied by a brief description of the context, plus video clips of the plays. The Packers Fan Poll on the left side of the page will allow fans to vote for their favorite. A new "Favorite Five" will appear each week for the next several weeks, with a new corresponding poll.

After all the lists have appeared, votes will be tabulated to compile a final "Favorite Five," and Packers.com visitors can then vote for their favorite play of the year for 2008.

The fifth installment is the Top 5 defensive plays. In chronological order, they are:

Charles Woodson, 41-yard INT return TD at Detroit (Sept. 14)

Woodson had picked off a pass on the previous series intended for Calvin Johnson, setting up a touchdown to put the Packers ahead 34-25. This time he stepped in front of Mike Furrey on a sideline route and had clear sailing to the end zone, sealing the win and giving the Packers the first of their six interception returns for a touchdown in 2008. Nick Collins added No. 2 in this game moments later, but that wasn't as good or meaningful as ...

Nick Collins, 62-yard INT return TD vs. Indianapolis (Oct. 19)

...this one. With the Packers leading the Colts 17-7 in the third quarter, Indianapolis drove out to midfield and was looking to get back into the game when Peyton Manning's pass for Reggie Wayne was deflected up into the air. Collins ran under it for the interception and turned in a sparkling return, cutting between two groups of defenders to find the end zone and put the Packers in complete control, up 17 points.

Aaron Rouse, 99-yard INT return TD vs. Indianapolis (Oct. 19)

Later in that same game, the Colts put together a long drive from their own 20 to the Green Bay 6-yard line. But on the 13th play of the drive, Manning tried to hit Anthony Gonzalez in the left flat near the goal line and Rouse jumped the route perfectly. The pick and subsequent 99-yard runback tied the franchise record for longest interception return, equaling the 99-yard return of Tim Lewis against the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 18, 1984.

Collins, 59-yard INT return TD at Minnesota (Nov. 9)

Fellow defensive backs Woodson and Tramon Williams already had picked off Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte in this game when Collins got into the act. With the Packers trailing 21-10 in the third quarter, Frerotte tried to throw over the middle to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe but Collins broke on the ball and snagged it in stride. He weaved his way through traffic for the 59-yard score to give himself an NFL-best three interception returns for scores on the season. That number also tied the franchise single-season record, originally set by Herb Adderley in 1965.

Jason Hunter, 54-yard fumble return TD vs. Chicago (Nov. 16)

This was the last of the Packers' seven defensive touchdowns in 2008, and the only one not by interception return. The rout was already on, with the Packers ahead 27-3 midway through the fourth quarter, when Bears quarterback Kyle Orton fumbled a fourth-down snap. Hunter eventually scooped it up and went the distance for the score, the third-year pro's first NFL touchdown.

So there you have it, another "Favorite Five" of 2008, with more to come. Don't forget to watch the video of all five plays, and to vote in the fan poll on the left side of the page.

Last week's results

In the voting for Top Pass Plays On The Road, Greg Jennings' 48-yard touchdown at Tampa Bay earned 54 percent of more than 13,000 votes cast. Jennings' 45-yard TD at Seattle was next with 18 percent, followed by Jordy Nelson's 29-yard TD at Detroit and Ryan Grant's 17-yard TD at Chicago each with 9 percent, and James Jones' 40-yard catch at Jacksonville with 7 percent.

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