Green Bay Packers: 5 most important defensive plays

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January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback

Sam Shields

(37) celebrates after he intercepts a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver

Jermaine Kearse

(15) during the first half in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively, the Green Bay Packers took a huge step forward in 2014.

After a horrendous 2013 campaign by Dom Capers’ unit, improvements were made in free agency and through the draft to help them bounce back.

“We’re going to be a better defense this year. You can write that in big letters. We’ll be a better defense this year,” Mike McCarthy said back in May

A number of factors were key in the improvements. 

It all started with the shock free agency signing of Julius Peppers.

He was followed by first-round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who helped improve a team of safeties that failed to snare a single interception in 2013.

The unit stayed relatively healthy, too. This is something that simply wasn’t the case in 2013. Nose tackle B.J. Raji suffered a season-ending injury in training camp, but other than that the defensive unit was able to stay about as healthy as one could hope.

After the steady improvement on the defensive side of the ball, which plays from the 2014 season stood out?

Which plays turned the momentum in the Packers’ favor?

Here are my five most important defensive plays of 2014 …

Next: What play ranks at number five?