*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 first installment is the Top 5 running plays in home games. In chronological order, they are:*
Aaron Rodgers, 35 yards vs. Minnesota (Nov. 1)
Early in the fourth quarter, with the Packers trailing 31-20, the offense faced second-and-4 from midfield. Rodgers dropped back to pass, took off to his right, and scampered 35 yards down the far sideline with help from receiver Greg Jennings, who kept running even further down the sideline with his hand up, drawing a Vikings defender with him and away from Rodgers.
The run was both a season- and career-long for Rodgers, part of his 316 rushing yards on the season, which ranked second in the NFL among quarterbacks. With the ensuing first down on the Minnesota 15, the Packers needed just three plays to score. But unfortunately the 31-26 deficit was as close as Green Bay could get in this one, eventually falling 38-26.
Ryan Grant, 21 yards vs. San Francisco (Nov. 22)
Desperately trying to ward off the 49ers' fourth-quarter comeback, the Packers took over on their own 9-yard line with 5:50 left after San Francisco had cut a 30-10 deficit to 30-24. A 5-yard pass to Jermichael Finley converted a third-and-4 and gave the Packers a much-needed first down at the 20, but four minutes still remained.
Then Grant got the call. Finding nothing up the middle, he bounced the run out to the left and scampered 21 yards for another huge first down and a major shift in field position. That put the offense in need of just one more first down to be able to run out the clock, which it got just prior to the 2-minute warning, and the 49ers never got the ball back.
Grant, 56-yard TD vs. Seattle (Dec. 27)
Coming off long touchdown runs the previous two weeks at Chicago (62 yards) and Pittsburgh (24 yards), Grant posted this one in front of the home fans. With the Packers leading the Seahawks 7-3 in the second quarter, Grant ran off the left side, cut it back to the middle, broke a half-hearted tackle attempt by safety Deon Grant and went the distance for the fourth-longest scoring run of his career.
It was Grant's second TD run of the day. It was also the third two-TD game of his career and second in three weeks following the Chicago contest. As the Packers took a big lead and rested some starters in the second half, Grant finished with 16 carries for 97 yards, narrowly missing his fourth 100-yard game of the season but the fourth time he was in the 90s.
Brandon Jackson, 6-yard TD vs. Seattle (Dec. 27)
This one was in the middle of a banner day for Jackson, who scored three touchdowns for the first time in his pro career and the first time since high school. He also scored on a 13-yard screen pass and a 4-yard run.
But the 6-yarder in the third quarter was his best, as he took a handoff to the left, found absolutely no running room, and then came all the way back to the right side and beat the pursuing defense easily to the pylon for the score.
Ahman Green, 6-yard TD vs. Seattle (Dec. 27)
Green's 6-yard plunge off the left side, running over tacklers along the way, gave the Packers five rushing touchdowns in one game for the first time in 21 years. It also gave the Packers three running backs with rushing touchdowns in the same game for the first time in 30 years.
For Green, it was his first touchdown since November of 2008, playing for the Houston Texans. It was his first touchdown as a member of the Packers since Week 14 of the 2006 season in San Francisco.
There you have it, the first 'Favorite Five' of 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.