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Aaron Rodgers’ 3 Iconic Hail Marys Prove He’s the King of Clutch
Screenshot from YouTube: NFL

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has one of the greatest arms in the history of the NFL. Along with precision accuracy and sneaky scrambling ability, the cannon attached to his right shoulder are why he’s a Super Bowl champion, three-time NFL MVP, nine-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro.

Rodgers may need to refine his beer-chugging skills, but there’s no question he’s beloved in Wisconsin by the cheeseheads who’ve appreciated him the moment the Packers drafted him out of California in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. The 37-year-old has helped blossom the careers of wide receivers like Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones since earning the starting role in 2008.

Rodgers signature play is without a doubt the Hail Mary. There’s no other quarterback on Earth who can uncork a last-minute prayer pass from the 50-yard line like Rodgers. Defenders should beware whenever Rodgers throws from that distance, because it results in a touchdown at a surprisingly high rate compared with other passers.

Three. That’s the number of times an Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary has worked. For whatever reason, magic fills Lambeau Field and opposing stadiums when Rodgers lets one of these high-arching passes fly at the end of the second half of games.

From the “Miracle in Motown” to the other two postseason stunners, here are all of Aaron Rodgers’ jaw-dropping Hail Mary passes.

3. The Miracle in Motown (Rodgers to Rodgers)

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The only regular season Hail Mary on this list, the Miracle in Motown was Rodgers’ first successful last-second heave. The Packers were down 21-23 to their NFC North rival Detroit Lions and things looked bleak at Ford Field as Rodgers took the snap on the final play of the game on Dec. 3, 2015.

Rodgers scrambled out of the pocket before launching a pass from his own 40-yard line. Tight end Richard Rodgers incredibly came down with it in the end zone for the 61-yard touchdown and Green Bay won the game walk-off style, 27-23.

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2. Rodgers Sends It to Overtime (Rodgers to Janis)

Rodgers did it again more than a month after the Miracle in Motown. The Packers faced a seven-point deficit down 13-20 on the final play of the fourth quarter in a divisional round playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals on January 16, 2016.

Rodgers rolled out to his left and flung a Hail Mary into the sky at University of Phoenix Stadium. Wide receiver Jeff Janis, who had caught just two passes all season, drifted back into the end zone and came down with the touchdown over two defenders, one of which was All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson.

The touchdown sent the game to overtime, but the Packers wound up losing 26-20. Months later, Rodgers trolled Peterson over the divisional playoff Hail Mary pass at a celebrity golf tournament.

“The first thing (Rodgers) brought up was, ‘How in the hell did you let that guy catch the Hail Mary? He only caught four passes all year,'” Peterson told ABC15‘s Craig Fouhy. Wrong, Patrick, it was two.

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1. A Giant Hail Mary (Rodgers to Cobb)

This one was a little different scenario. The Packers were up just 7-6 as the final seconds of the first half wound down in a wild card game against the New York Giants in the 2017 NFL playoffs on January 8, 2017. Once again, Rodgers catapulted a pass from behind the 50-yard line.

It found wide receiver Randall Cobb in the back of the end zone behind the scrum of defensive backs. The Hail Mary touchdown pass before halftime helped propel the Packers to a 38-13 win at Lambeau Field.

And, because why not, here’s all three of those successful Hail Mary passes in one video. Aaron Rodgers really is unbelievable. Head coach Mike McCarthy was lucky to have him.

All of Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary Passes

Nobody is safe from an Aaron Rodgers last-second pass. Every team in the NFL — the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins included — better be ready for the best Hail Mary-thrower in NFL history. Let’s see Tom Brady complete these.

This post was originally published on January 16, 2020. 

MORE: Aaron Rodgers’ Net Worth Proves He Could Retire Today

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Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras before spending two seasons writing for Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. He lives in South Florida but his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.
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