Dec 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers (82) catches a game winning touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Green Bay won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
With one untimed down, down 23-21 at their own 39, Green Bay had one final shot to win.
It was miniscule at best — even the highest odds on it were around only 5 percent for a victory — but a chance is a chance no matter how tiny, and I was as excited as anyone in anticipation of the final snap.
The ball is snapped.
Aaron Rodgers drops back.
He bides time, avoiding defenders and rolling out to the right. He makes his way to the line of scrimmage, loads up, then absolutely launches the ball downfield (the pass had to be the highest trajectory by far I’ve ever seen on a pass, higher than plenty of punts I’ve witnessed too).
While it hangs in the air seemingly forever — as these type of plays are wont to do — I (and plenty of you other fans out there I’m sure) felt the emotions build up, ready to either burst out in excitement or despair, depending on the outcome.
Then, as the ball just reaches the end-zone, players prepare to and start jumping up.
One man was in perfect position; he used all 6′ 4″, 257 pounds of himself to reach above the crowd, box out everyone around him, and grab the ball at his highest point: Richard Rodgers.
That catch saved the season for the Packers.
At 8-4, they sit tied atop the NFC North with Minnesota — and still play them at home in Week 17.
There are still issues that need to be worked out, but a win like this can be a major boon to the confidence of a team, propelling them forward at the perfect time of the year.
We will remember this one for a long time.