Dairyland Madness: Top 2000s performances – Packers Region

Packers quarterback Brett Favre drops back to pass during a snowy Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 2006. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images)
Packers quarterback Brett Favre drops back to pass during a snowy Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 2006. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images) /

With March Madness gone, we all need to get our bracket fix, so over the next few days we’ll be doing Dairyland Madness where you will be able to vote for each matchup of Wisconsin Sports top single-game performances in the 2000s. Starting with the Green Bay Packers’ region.

The 2000s have been kind to the Green Bay Packers, but not so kind to other Wisconsin sports teams. Finding 16 games that Packer players excelled in wasn’t as tough as teams like the Bucks who have had many years of woe before Giannis Antetokounmpo came to town.

A few great single-game performances like Samkon Gado’s 171 yards and a touchdown or James Jones’  11 catches for 178 yards were left off the list simply because there have been so many great games played by Green Bay Packers’ players in the last 20 years.

All 16 performances in this category are worthy of being commended and awed at the skill and work that went into them, but only one can ultimately make the Final Four from this region.

So be sure to click on each link to cast your vote on Twitter and vote based on feelings, vote based on stats, or vote sentimentally or because you were at the game. Vote however you feel, and enjoy the crazy ride of Dairyland Express’ version of March Madness, starting with this Green Bay Packers’ region.

#1 Brett Favre 399 yards 4 TDs vs. #16 Jordy Nelson 10 rec 161 yards

Both of these games need some extra context before you vote. Favre’s game was played following the death of his father and Brett wanted to honor his father with how he played in the game. He definitely had a performance that his dad could be proud of, tearing up the Oakland Raiders’ defense.

Jordy’s game was spectacular as well. 10 catches for 161 yards speaks for itself, but it’s the magnitude of the game that made it so special. This was the final game of the 2013 regular season against the Chicago Bears for the division crown. Everyone remembers the huge touchdown pass to Randall Cobb to win the game, but Nelson put in the work all game to keep them in it.

#8 Ahman Green 218 yards 2 TDs vs. #9 Vonnie Holliday 5 sacks

Ahman Green is the all-time leading rusher in Green Bay Packers’ history, and on this day in 2003, he ran especially wild, setting the Packers’ record for rushing yards in a single game. This record still stands. In the final week of the season, they were tied for 1st in the division with the Minnesota Vikings. Green willed them to a huge 31-3 win and a division championship.

Vonnie Holliday was an absolute animal against the Buffalo Bills in this game in 2002. He had a Packer-record five sacks and did much more. He had seven total tackles, a pass breakup, and three forced fumbles. All of this added up to a 10-0 shutout win for the Green Bay Packers.

#5 Aaron Rodgers 2018 Week 1 comeback vs. #12 Greg Jennings 152 yards 3 TDs

Aaron Rodgers’ stats for this game aren’t fantastic or glamorous, with 286 yards and three touchdowns, but it’s all about the circumstances. He played the entire second half essentially on one leg and managed to shred the Bears defense en route to a 24-23 Green Bay Packers’ win. He couldn’t use his usual talent of navigating around the pocket and managed to still put on a phenomenal show for the Lambeau Field crowd.

It’s somewhat fitting that Jennings is facing Rodgers in round one of this tournament considering all of the things Jennings has said in the past few years about playing with number 12. In this game in 2010, Jennings had a career day, catching seven passes from Rodgers for 152 yards, making an explosive 16.9 yards per catch. Hitting the end zone three times led Green Bay to a 31-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

#4 Charles Woodson all over the field vs # 13 Za’Darius Smith 3.5 sacks, 5 TFLs

Charles Woodson had one of the greatest defensive games in Green Bay Packers’ history in 2009. He did everything possible for a defensive player, he had a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, four passes defended, two interceptions, including a pick-six, and seven total tackles. He was absolutely everywhere as the Packers held the Lions offense to only 12 points in a 34-12 win.

Za’Darius Smith’s week 16 performance this past season is the most recent in the bracket. We all remember how he lived in the Vikings backfield all game. He hit quarterback Kirk Cousins a total of five times and he was simply too much for the Minnesota offensive line as he lined up everywhere on the line of scrimmage and destroyed them on nearly every snap, blowing up run plays and not letting Cousins drop back without breathing down his neck.

#6 Aaron Jones 182 total yards 4 TDs vs # 11 Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl MVP

Earlier this year Aaron Jones had his breakout performance against the Dallas Cowboys. He showed his prowess in the passing game, making 7 catches for 75 yards. His four rushing touchdowns are the reason he’s in this bracket, though. Finding the end zone four times in a 34-24 win made him the difference-maker in the game. He also had a signature moment, waving goodbye to Byron Jones on his way to the end zone.

Speaking of signature moments, the Super Bowl win is probably the defining game of Rodgers’ career to date. When people talk about his legacy, the Super Bowl MVP award is a big part of his resume. He threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, good for a passer rating of 111.5, leading Green Bay to a 31-25 win.

#3 Matt Flynn 480 yards 6 TDs vs. #14 Donald Driver 191 yards 1 TD

Matt Flynn was thrown in as the starting quarterback week 17 in 2012 against the Lions as the Packers had already locked up a playoff spot. This was essentially a throw-away game, but Flynn turned it into a big paycheck that offseason. His 480 yards and 6 TDs are both tied for Green Bay Packers’ records.

A Packers’ list just wouldn’t be a Packers’ list without Donald Driver, the all-time receiving leader in franchise history. His career day came in 2006 when he caught six passes for 191 yards. That’s a ridiculous 31.8 yards per catch. This included his 82-yard touchdown catch from Brett Favre which was the difference-maker in a 23-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

#7 Ryan Grant 201 yards 3 TDs vs  #10 Davante Adams 160 yards 2 TDs

Ryan Grant did not want to go home in the Packers Wild Card round game against the Seahawks in 2008. He was an absolute workhorse, carrying the ball 27 times for 201 yards. He also plowed into the end zone three times, twice from the one-yard line, punching it in with power to score.

Davante Adams didn’t want to go home against the Seahawks either. Earlier this year in the Divisional Round, Adams was busy all game long, catching eight passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He knew he was one of the only effective Packers’ weapons and the Seahawks would try to shut him down, but that didn’t stop Adams. He shimmied and shook his way free just enough to squeak out the 28-23 win.

#2 Aaron Rodgers 338 yards 6 TDs vs. #15 Brett Favre 319 yards 1 TD

Finally, of course, an Aaron Rodgers game had to be the number two seed with Favre’s best game being the number one seed. Maybe they’ll see each other later in the tournament, but for now, he’s facing off against a different Favre game. Rodgers was absolutely on fire throwing for six touchdowns, all in the first half. He definitely could have broken the NFL record for passing touchdowns had he not been pulled out for Matt Flynn after a few drives in the second half. what makes this performance even more special is that it came against the Chicago Bears.

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Brett Favre had a lot of heartbreaking postseason losses, some due to interceptions. There would be no such thing in this game, as Favre managed to throw the ball 38 times without throwing it to an opposing defender. He also led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter that were capped off by 1-yard Ahman Green rushes after going into the fourth quarter down by seven.