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 first installment is the Top 5 running plays in home games. In chronological order, they are:
Ryan Grant, 57 yards vs. Minnesota (Sept. 8)
With the Packers clinging to a 17-12 lead midway through the fourth quarter of the season opener on Monday Night Football, Grant took a handoff off right tackle and might have gone 59 yards for a touchdown had it not been for his hamstring injury that kept him out of the entire preseason. As it was, with the help of fullback Korey Hall's flattening of Vikings safety Darren Sharper, he got all the way to the 2-yard line at less than full speed before being hauled down by linebacker Chad Greenway for what turned out to be his longest run of the season. It set up ...
Aaron Rodgers, 1-yard TD vs. Minnesota (Sept. 8)
...the game clinching-score. Two snaps after Grant's long run, Rodgers snuck into the end zone behind left guard Daryn Colledge for his first NFL rushing touchdown, which he punctuated with an emphatic spike and his first Lambeau Leap. The touchdown with 6:05 remaining in the game put the Packers ahead 24-12 in a game they eventually won 24-19. This was the first of Rodgers' four rushing touchdowns on the season, tied for the team lead and the most by a Packers quarterback since 1989.
Grant, 35 yards vs. Chicago (Nov. 16)
Against one of the more stout run defenses in the league, Grant took his second carry of the game off the left side and scampered 35 yards, his first run longer than 17 yards since that season-opener against the Vikings. The draw play, which featured big blocks by Hall on linebacker Nick Roach and by receiver Greg Jennings on cornerback Nathan Vasher, set the stage for his season-high 145-yard day, which also included runs of 18 and 22 yards. As a team, the Packers rushed for 200 yards in the blowout over the Bears, a season-best until the final game against Detroit.
Grant, 4-yard TD vs. Chicago (Nov. 16)
This play more than any other showed how the Packers dominated the line of scrimmage against the Bears in the 37-3 victory. Leading 7-3 late in the second quarter, the Packers had first-and-goal on the Chicago 4-yard line after Grant's 18-yard run. When he took the next handoff to the right, fullback John Kuhn threw a solid block on Roach and the offensive line cleared a massive hole for what was probably the easiest touchdown run of Grant's career. Ahead 14-3 with just 1:11 left in the first half, the Packers tacked on a field goal by halftime and the rout was on.
DeShawn Wynn, 73-yard TD vs. Detroit (Dec. 28)
Getting an opportunity late in the season because of an injury to Brandon Jackson, Wynn wasted no time before making an impact. On his second carry of the game, a third-and-4, Wynn took a pitch to the right and was untouched around the corner and down the sideline for the Packers' longest play of the 2008 season. Colledge ran some expert interference downfield, having a hand in blocking as many as four Lions defenders, and wide receiver Donald Driver got in the way of the last couple of pursuers near the goal line. The score put the Packers ahead 7-0, as Wynn went on to rush for a career-high 106 yards and the Packers piled up a season-best 211 yards on the ground in the 31-21 win.
So there you have it, the first "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.