*Continuing an annual series now in its third year, Packers.com has again compiled a series of "Favorite Fives," various Top 5 lists of big plays from this past 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 2009.
The fifth installment is the Top 5 pass plays in road games. In chronological order, they are:*
Donald Driver, 46 yards at St. Louis (Sept. 27)
This was the first of Driver's two catches like this in 2009. Early in the second quarter in St. Louis, Driver was being covered one-on-one by Rams rookie cornerback Bradley Fletcher deep down the left sideline. Aaron Rodgers' rainbow throw was on target, and while Driver was getting one arm held by Fletcher, he used the other to catch the ball and pin it slightly against his helmet (a la David Tyree of the Giants in the Super Bowl) as he crashed to the turf.
Fletcher was flagged for pass interference, but no matter. Driver made the spectacular catch for a big gain, and four plays later the Packers were in the end zone to take a 16-0 lead.
Jermichael Finley, 62-yard TD at Minnesota (Oct. 5)
Finley arrived on the national stage in this Monday night showdown at the Metrodome. He helped the Packers erase an early 7-0 deficit by hauling in Rodgers' throw over the middle, avoiding a tackle attempt by safety Tyrell Johnson and going all the way for the longest score of his career.
The 62-yarder marked the longest scoring reception by a Green Bay tight end since Jackie Harris' 66-yarder vs. Denver on Oct. 10, 1993. Finley finished the game with six catches for 128 yards, tying with Harris in that same Denver game for the most receiving yards by a Packers tight end since 1966.
Driver, 68 yards at Detroit (Nov. 26)
Packers receivers have said over the last two years that Rodgers throws a beautiful deep ball, and they don't get any deeper than this one. Trailing the Lions 7-0 late in the first quarter and facing third-and-11 at his own 25, Rodgers got ample pass protection and took considerable time surveying the field for an open receiver.
Meanwhile Driver just kept sauntering downfield, figuring safety Marvin White had given up on him because he didn't think Rodgers could throw it that far. But then Rodgers let fly from his own 20, and the ball traveled 70 yards in the air all the way to the Detroit 10, where Driver jumped up to haul it in as White caught up with him and made the tackle at the 7. On the next snap after the quarter break, tight end Donald Lee found the end zone to knot the score.
Greg 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 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.
Jennings, 6-yard TD at Arizona (Jan. 10)
Trailing the Cardinals 31-10 in the third quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff, the Packers' valiant comeback started with this sensational catch. On third-and-goal from the Arizona 6, Rodgers whipped a pass out to the right that appeared as though it would zoom by Jennings, who was facing the wrong way.
But Jennings turned his body just enough, stuck out his left hand, and brought the ball in for the catch with one arm to give the desperate Packers a much-needed touchdown. Jennings later made another spectacular grab, tip-toeing along the sideline to haul in a floater for 22 yards, but the short TD grab was as good as it gets.
*There you have it, another 'Favorite Five' for 2009, with more to come. Don't forget to watch the video and vote for your favorite in the fan poll on the left-hand side of the page.
Last week's voting results: For the top run play on the road, Ryan Grant's 62-yard TD at Chicago earned 71 percent of a little more than 20,000 votes. Next was Rodgers' 14-yard TD at Pittsburgh (14 percent), followed by Grant's 24-yard TD at Pittsburgh (7 percent), Rodgers' 12-yard TD at Tampa Bay (4 percent) and Rodgers' 4-yard TD at St. Louis (1 percent).*