GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In the Green Bay Packers’ playbook, you won’t find the words “Hail Mary” anywhere. But the play they used to shock the Detroit Lions on Thursday night does have a name:
Two Jet Rebound Pass
“We think we’re going to go catch it like a rebound,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. “So it’s called a rebound pass.”
However, because the Packers had different personnel on the field for the final play of Thursday night's 27-23 win at the Detroit Lions, it actually turned into Scat Two Rebound Pass.
Whatever you want to call Aaron Rodgers’ 61-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Rodgers, which was the longest game-winning, game-ending Hail Mary pass in NFL history, McCarthy had another description for it.
“That’s probably the best throw I’ve seen in my time in this game,” McCarthy said Friday. “Just the arc that you want to put on the ball and obviously the distance, so great throw.”
That’s coming from someone who also coached Joe Montana in Kansas City and Brett Favre in Green Bay.
McCarthy said it was the first play he watched when he boarded the plane in Detroit.
“It’s the beauty of fast-forward,” he said. “I obviously went right to the last play and then watched the tape. I just wanted to see the specifics of it. Then saw it on TV last night, or this morning, I guess you would say. I couldn’t sleep, so I sat up and watched it a few times on TV. It was a phenomenal play.”
It capped a comeback from a 20-0 deficit in the third quarter.
“Outside of the Super Bowl -- to me, that’s our greatest regular-season win,” McCarthy said. “It’s more about -- obviously, the play -- but the reaction on the sideline. That’s the stuff you remember. I get the biggest kick just seeing our guys, the joy that they had and the excitement and the locker room. It was phenomenal.”
The celebration began immediately in the end zone, but the game wasn’t technically over. Referee Carl Cheffers had to remind the Packers that they still had to attempt the point after touchdown.
“I kind of laughed and said, ‘It’s going to be a couple minutes; I’m not stopping this, you have to be kidding me,’” McCarthy said. “We laughed about it. He said, ‘You’re really going to kick it?’ I said, ‘I’ve never really been in this spot before, Carl.’
“Then I said, ‘Well, I should just kneel on it.’ He says, oh yeah, that’s what he would do. I said, ‘OK, let’s kneel on it.’ It was good to have great help from the officiating.”