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Highlight of the Week: The Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary game-winner

Welcome to another edition of Highlight of the Week, where we feature videos of heart-stopping sports plays, such as last week’s CFL game-winning touchdown. In this post, we look at another game-winner, courtesy NFL’s Thursday night game.

Zero seconds in the fourth quarter, and the Packers had one more play to run thanks to a face-mask penalty by the Lions. At their own 39-yard line, the Packers were down 23-21, against a stingy Lions defense.

QB Rodgers hutted the play, scrambled around the pocket, avoiding a sack, and threw a 61-yard Hail Mary pass into the endzone. Lions and Packers players leapt to try to snag the ball…and Packers receiver Richard Rodgers (no relation) soared to snag the unlikely game-winner!

In fact, the play was designed from the start, right from how Rodgers threw it.

“When you throw it with that arch you have a chance, because it gives guys a chance to fight for position,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s the whole design of it, and there’s a design to where you try to get to and the triangle that you’re trying to form (with teammates) down there. Richard is the perfect guy for that type of situation, big body and his ability to go up – you see his old basketball skills – and high-point the football.”

Other Packers players knew the receiver Rodgers was the ideal candidate to catch that long shot. “When you see Richard’s big paws underneath it, that was a good sign,” Packers backup quarterback Scott Tolzien said to media. “He has true mitts. I mean, Richie does not drop passes.”

The Packers sorely needed this stunner of a win. A game behind Minnesota in the NFC North, a loss at Detroit would slot them in playoff bubble territory, with very little to indicate they’d be digging themselves out of the hole anytime soon.

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