'Favorite Fives' of 2009: Play Of The Year

Over the last several weeks, Packers.com has compiled a series of "Favorite Fives," lists of Top 5 plays from the 2009 season, and from each list, fans have voted for their favorites.

The top vote-getters are here in our final "Favorite Five," the Play of the Year. Video clips and short descriptions of the plays are included, and voting for Play of the Year can be done in the poll on the left side of the page.

Let us know your choice for Play of the Year. The nominees, in chronological order, are:

Greg Jennings, 50-yard TD vs. Chicago (Sept. 13)

This one not only got the Packers out of the gates in 2009 with a big victory over an arch-rival, it also laid to rest all the doubts about whether Aaron Rodgers could lead the team to victory in a down-to-the-wire game.

The Bears had just taken a 15-13 lead on a field goal with 2:35 left. The Packers took over on their own 28-yard line, a short pass to Jennings picked up a first down, and a 9-yard scramble by Rodgers made it third-and-1 at midfield. On the next snap, blitzing linebacker Nick Roach incorrectly chased a play-action fake to running back Ryan Grant, allowing Rodgers enough time to loft one down the left sideline to Jennings, who had easily beaten Nathan Vasher's one-on-one coverage. The touchdown and ensuing 2-point conversion, also to Jennings, with 1:11 left gave the Packers a 21-15 win.

Clay Matthews, 42-yard fumble return TD at Minnesota (Oct. 5)

Getting the first start of his NFL career at the Metrodome, Matthews took advantage by making a play that will be on his highlight reel for years to come. With the Packers' run defense stringing out Vikings running back Adrian Peterson toward the sideline, Matthews attacked Peterson from the side and got both hands on the ball.

He not only ripped it out, he held onto it and raced 42 yards the other direction for a touchdown that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. Matthews would go on to post two forced fumbles and four recoveries on the season, including playoffs, but he got one of each on the same play here.

Charles Woodson, sack/fumble of QB Tony Romo vs. Dallas (Nov. 15)

In what almost certainly ranks as the best performance by an individual Green Bay defensive player this past season if not many seasons, Woodson made three spectacular plays against the Cowboys. He stripped receiver Roy Williams after a long gain (with teammate Matthews recovering the fumble) and he picked off a pass at the goal line intended for tight end Jason Witten.

But this play was the best in this game, as Woodson came unblocked on a blitz from Romo's blind side early in the fourth quarter. He buried the quarterback and knocked the ball free, with Matthews eventually recovering the loose ball to give the Packers a first-and-goal on the Dallas 3-yard line. Three plays later the Packers were in the end zone and had a commanding 17-0 lead.

Ryan Grant, 62-yard TD at Chicago (Dec. 13)

The Packers hadn't scored on their first offensive play from scrimmage in a game since Antonio Freeman's 80-yard TD reception on Nov. 1, 1998, against San Francisco. Until now.

After the defense forced a three-and-out on Chicago's opening possession, the Packers took over on their own 38 and handed off to Grant off the left side. He broke through a big hole as fullback John Kuhn laid a key block on Chicago linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, and then Grant outran Charles Tillman down the sideline for his longest TD run since a 66-yarder two years prior, also at Soldier Field.

Jennings, 83-yard TD at Pittsburgh (Dec. 20)

Rodgers had taken a few early hits, and the Packers' offense looked stagnant on its first two possessions. But Green Bay finally showed signs of life -- in a game that turned into a shootout -- on this play, a third-and-5 from the Packers' 17.

Jennings ran a deep seam route down the middle, Rodgers hit him in stride in fairly tight coverage, and no one could catch him as he posted the longest TD catch of his career - beating his overtime game-winner in Denver in 2007 by one yard. It was also the longest TD pass of Rodgers' career.


So there they are, your nominees for Play of the Year. Remember to watch the video and cast your vote in the poll on the left side of the page.

Previous Packers.com Play of the Year winners

2007: Greg Jennings, 82-yard TD catch in OT @ Denver

2008: Aaron Rouse, 99-yard INT return TD vs. Indianapolis

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