*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 seventh installment is the Top 5 special teams plays. In chronological order, they are:*
Brett Swain & Desmond Bishop stop a fake punt vs. Chicago (Sept. 13)
The call was a curious one, considering it was fourth-and-11 from their own 26-yard line and they were protecting a 12-10 lead in early in the fourth quarter. But the Bears, who said afterward they were trying to catch the Packers with 12 men on the field, snapped the ball to running back Garrett Wolfe while in punt formation, and Swain and Bishop snuffed it out, tackling Wolfe after just a 4-yard pickup.
The stop gave the Packers great field position, which they turned into a go-ahead field goal 2 1/2 minutes later.
Johnny Jolly blocks a field goal at St. Louis (Sept. 27)
The Rams took the opening kickoff and had the Packers on their heels a bit, getting a good kickoff return and then picking up two quick first downs to get into field-goal range. But Jolly blocked Josh Brown's 48-yard try, and Will Blackmon caught the deflected kick in mid-air, returning it 18 yards to give the Packers good field position for their own opening drive for a field goal.
It was the Packers' first blocked field goal since Week 7 of the 2008 season when Jolly got one against Adam Vinatieri and the Indianapolis Colts. Later in that first quarter against the Rams, Jolly also recovered a fumble. Those two plays, along with his interception against the Bears in Week 1, made Jolly the first Green Bay player to post an interception, fumble recovery and blocked field goal in the same season since cornerback Doug Evans in 1993, and Jolly did it all in the first nine quarters of the season.
Tramon Williams, 45-yard punt return vs. Detroit (Oct. 18)
The Packers didn't have many highlights in the return game in 2009, but this was their longest punt return of the campaign. Already ahead 17-0 in the second quarter, the Packers forced the Lions to punt and Williams took Nick Harris' short kick, made some nifty moves and scampered 45 yards to the Detroit 29 to set up a field goal for a 20-0 advantage.
Nick Collins, fumble recovery on kickoff vs. Minnesota (Nov. 1)
This play may have been as pivotal as any in the comeback from a 21-point deficit to the Vikings. The Packers had just kicked a field goal to get within 24-6 in the third quarter when Minnesota's Brian Robison fielded a squib kick but was hit by Bishop and coughed it up.
In the ensuing scrum, Collins recovered at the Minnesota 41, setting up the first of two straight touchdown drives that got the Packers back in the game.
Mason Crosby & Brandon Underwood combine for a successful onside kick at Arizona (Jan. 10)
This was another crucial contribution from special teams in a comeback effort. Just after scoring a touchdown to get within 31-17 in the NFC Wild Card playoff against the Cardinals, the Packers surprised everyone with an onside kick.
Crosby chopped a high bouncer toward the Green Bay sideline that Underwood recovered with no interference at the 43-yard line, and the Packers went on to score another touchdown and make a game of it. It was the second onside kick the Packers had recovered on the season, the other coming in Week 2 against Cincinnati. Williams recovered that one, but the desperation drive ended at the 10-yard line and didn't produce any points in the late rally against the Bengals.
*There you have it, the last 'Favorite Five' for 2009, with only the 'Play of the Year' left 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: In the voting for top defensive plays on the road, Clay Matthews' strip and fumble return for a TD at Minnesota collected 61 percent of more than 28,000 votes. Charles Woodson's interception return for a TD at Arizona was next at 20 percent, followed by Woodson's INT-TD at Detroit (7 percent), Woodson's strip of Larry Fitzgerald and Matthews' recovery at Arizona in the playoffs (6 percent) and Nick Collins' interception at Chicago (4 percent).*