By Nick Shook
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We’ve seen plenty of stunning plays come from the workings of the artist, the man with a title belt celebration, Aaron Rodgers. Sunday produced another one, but this was different. This was reminiscent of one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history.
Rodgers’ shot for six led Week 1’s Top “Performance Moments of the Week,” presented by Bridgestone.
Trailing 17-14, Rodgers faced third-and-10 from his own 31-yard line with 20 seconds left before halftime. Green Bay went shotgun, with trips to teh right and a running back alongside Rodgers to his left. Jacksonville rushed five, including a blitzing defensive back, who forced Rodgers to step up in the pocket and into the teeth of the rush. He didn’t crumble.
Surrounded on all sides by blockers and defenders in a pocket filled with raging chaos, Rodgers kept his eyes down field as he cut to the lone open space the remained. Jalen Ramsey got a fistful of Rodgers’ jersey, pulling Rodgers backward toward the ground as he uncorked a heave with about as little momentum as possible.
Much like a homing missle meets its target, Rodgers’ pass found Davante Adams, single-covered at the goal line by former Packer Davon House, for a diving grab and a Packers touchdown. Adams stood in elation, spiked the ball and pointed at the back of his jersey. All those in attendance could say was ‘wow’.
In Denver, Chris Harris Jr. made an interception that forced the momentum to do a 180 in favor of Denver. Fresh off a touchdown to cut Carolina’s lead to 3, Harris blanketed Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin, meeting him just as the ball arrived and tipping the pass in the air, free for the taking. Selfishly, Harris caught the ball himself for the pick, which set up the Broncos for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
Also in the countdown: A clutch play by Derek Carr brings the Raiders closer to a win, but the gutsy call gets the win … DeMarco Murray takes flight in Nashville … Jason Verrett pulls a magic trick and an interception out of a hat (and pair of hands) … Carr goes head over heels to move the chains … Mike Evans makes a wild grab for six … Brandin Cooks might need a fire extinguisher for his shoes after burning the entire defense for a score … Fitz shows he’s still got it after all these years … and Charles Sims shows so much determination en route to the end zone.