Anatomy of a Collapse: How 21 Missed Opportunities Cost the Packers a Trip to the Super Bowl

A gentle reminder of how many missed opportunities it really took to cost the Packers a trip to the Super Bowl. 

Richard Sherman grabs an interception in front of Davante Adams—Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports.

Richard Sherman grabs an interception in front of Davante Adams—Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports.

You can’t count on two hands how many times the Seattle Seahawks were staggered and nearly beaten—a prized fighter pushed to the very limit of survival, one knockout blow away from a 10-count—during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers. 

Left standing, the defending champions staged a comeback for the ages—eventually leaving the Packers flat on their back and in stunned amazement that a trip to Glendale, Arizona wasn’t next on the schedule. 

Missed opportunities. If there’s any one reason why the Packers’ season ended Sunday in Seattle and not two Sundays from now in Arizona, it’s the cascade of blown chances to finish off the Seahawks in their own building. 

"There's no reason we shouldn't have won the game," guard Josh Sitton said. "Literally one of 10 plays you can pick that if we get it, we win the game.” 

Sitton, arguably the most dejected player in the Packers locker room Monday, was exactly right. He was just wrong on the number. 

No game is won or lost on a single play. The Packers and Seahawks staged 135 plays from scrimmage Sunday. But rewind a game that was at one point 16-0 and at another 19-7, and just one play was often the difference between putting the final nail in the Seahawks and keeping the defending champions alive. 

Just how many swings and misses did the Packers have Sunday? Not 10. Not 12. Try 21. 

Here are all the missed opportunities, all the botched chances, all the bungled plays that created the framework for a collapse and eventually cost the Packers a trip to Super Bowl XLIX: 

 

1. Rodgers’ first interception cost Green Bay a chance at three points. It was almost as if Richard Sherman baited Rodgers into the bad decision. And it was a bad decision. With simply an incompletion, kicker Mason Crosby would have been looking at about a 45-yard field goal. He eventually finished 5-for-5 in the game, with two makes over 40. Good chance he knocks it through. 

 

2. The Packers had first-and-goal from the 7-yard line, but settled for three points. Both John Kuhn and Eddie Lacy received cracks at scoring from the 1-yard line and failed. Uninterested in seeing a third failed attempt, Mike McCarthy played it safe and took the for sure three points. Conservative, but understandable. 

3. The Packers had first-and-goal from the 7-yard line, again. The Packers settled for three points, again. On second-and-goal, Rodgers had Jordy Nelson wide open in the end zone on an out-breaking route but missed him by a hand’s length. A third-down combo route to Randall Cobb was rushed and came up about a yard-and-a-half short. McCarthy decided to kick the field goal, later citing the need for certain points in a game he figured wouldn’t have many. But given the chance to score seven after what amounted to a free possession, kicking was a questionable choice. Punch it in and it’s suddenly 10-0. Get stopped and it’s like the Seahawks returned the original kickoff to the 1-yard line. 

 

4. Up 13-0, the Packers force a punt—which Micah Hyde promptly returned to the Seattle 33-yard line. A touchdown would have put Green Bay up 20-0 roughly 20 minutes into the contest. The opportunity was there, but Rodgers missed a wide open Cobb on third down from the 36. With a good throw, Cobb probably sprints into the end zone untouched for six points. 

 

5. An illegal hands to the face penalty gave the Packers new life at the Seattle 31. The next three plays: Lacy for 4 yards, Cobb for 3 yards and Lacy for 2 yards. Fourth-and-1, again. A field goal, again. 16-0 on scoreboard, a handful of inches away from 28-0. 

 

6. Clay Matthews’ 15-yard penalty on Ha Ha Clinton Dix’s second interception set the Packers up at the Green Bay 44 instead of the Seattle 41. Nelson picked up all 15 of those yards plus eight more on second down, putting the Packers in business at the Seattle 33. Points on the drive and Green Bay is up 19-0 or 23-0. Instead, Rodgers threw a pick on first down when Cobb sat down on a short hitch while Rodgers expected him to break outside. Unforced error. A huge unforced error. 

 

7. Sam Shields’ interception gave the Packers a fourth takeaway of the first half. Green Bay’s ensuing drive started down the field but was then short-circuited by Cobb’s first down false start. The Packers got off schedule and eventually punted. Not a glaring miss, but a miss nonetheless. Points before the half would have been helpful, especially off a turnover. The Packers wound up scoring just nine points off five takeaways. 

 

8. Another defensive stop to start the second was followed by Hyde’s return to the Green Bay 39. Good field position. After two runs, Rodgers’ connected with Cobb on a slant—but the ball was badly placed, low. Cobb had beat Jeremy Lane clean to the inside, and with an accurate throw he easily gets past the sticks. Needing about a yard-and-a-half near midfield, McCarthy trusted his dominate defense and punted the football. 

 

9. Second-and-31, third-and-19. The officials wrongly assessed a personal foul, which should have been a dead-ball penalty and an automatic 15 yards. Still, defending 31 yards over two plays is child’s play in the NFL, and the Packers made it look solving a Rubik’s cube. Somehow, Russell Wilson found a wide open receiver despite facing a two-man rush, one-man spy and eight-man coverage. No excuse for the mistake. An offense should punt 100 percent of the time when needing 31 yards on second down and 19 on third. 

 

10. Fake field goal for a touchdown. Credit the Seahawks for scouting Green Bay’s field goal coverage, and also credit Shawn Slocum for not self-scouting his own unit. What a disaster. Per Robert Klemko of MMQB, the Seahawks identified on tape Brad Jones crashing down against every kick. So when he came on the field with 4:46 left in the third quarter, Seattle pounced. Jones crashed down again, allowing Jon Ryan to spin to his left and throw to an eligible offensive tackle in the end zone. Who knows why A.J. Hawk left his coverage. He apparently didn’t trust Davon House to run down a punter. Instead of a 16-3 score, it’s 16-7. Game on. 

 

11. Two plays into the next drive, Rodgers attempted to throw a screen to Lacy. He twisted his right ankle backing up and his attempt was off the mark. Had the screen been completed, Lacy might have had a huge play. The Seahawks blitzed and the Packers had blockers out front, with a clear lane in front of Lacy. A play later, Rodgers is sacked. Drive over. Punt. 

 

12. Two tough runs from Lacy, a 32-yard scamper from James Starks and Richard Rodgers’ third-down conversion set the Packers up with first down at the Seattle 33. On second down, Rodgers scrambled to his right and threw to Starks, who nearly made a tough catch inside the 5-yard line. The Packers had to settle for Crosby’s 48-yard field goal. Three big points, but also inches away from another potential touchdown.  

 

13. Clinton-Dix had a golden opportunity for a third pick. Wilson essentially threw it right to the rookie, who made a perfect jump on the underneath route. It went through his hands. Had Clinton-Dix made the interception, he might have run the football back for a touchdown. It would have been close. The Seahawks eventually punted, but missed turnovers are always big misses. 

 

14. Two runs set up third-and-4 with roughly five-and-a-half minutes left. The Packers went back to a familiar play: tight end Andrew Quarless split out wide against a linebacker, with Rodgers throwing the back shoulder. K.J. Wright made the play, getting an arm in at the last second to break up the attempt. A completion there and the Packers move the chains, providing an opportunity to either melt a good chunk of the clock or force the Seahawks to burn three timeouts. Instead, the Packers punted, and the Seahawks took over with 5:13 left. 

 

15. The first play of the next drive was intercepted by Morgan Burnett, who almost immediately slid down at the Green Bay 43. He certainly could have gained an easy 10-15 yards on the return, with the possibility of taking the pick back for a game-clinching touchdown. The Packers took over with 5:04 left. 

 

16. Three straight runs with Lacy forced Seattle to use two timeouts but netted minus-3 yards. A run on first down was expected, but once at second-and-14, why isn’t the call to throw twice and attempt to get the first down? The decision at that point was to burn clock/timeouts or aggressively go for just one first down, which would have nearly put the game out of reach. If there’s a fourth quarter playcall to question, it’s the second down give-up run. 

 

17. 2nd-and-10, 2:52 to play. As a defense, the only play you absolutely can’t give up is a deep shot. What do the Packers allow? A deep shot. It was somewhat unexpectedly to Marshawn Lynch, but still inexcusable. Seattle nearly burned Green Bay with the same play earlier in the game. The Packers needed to make the Seahawks work up the field and burn more clock. Instead, Seattle scored in just 1:43. 

 

18. Onside kick. Instead of blocking away a defender for Jordy Nelson, Brandon Bostick—a former college basketball forward—went for the rebound and missed badly. Right threw his hands, off his facemask and into the arms of C.J. Matthews. It was an easy, routine play for Bostick, but if he just blocked Matthews like he was assigned to, it was an even easier, more routine play for the sure-handed Nelson, who was waiting all alone for the football. Seattle takes over. Recover the onside kick and the game is all but over. 

 

19. The botched onside kick set up Seattle’s go-ahead score, but it did not allow it. The Packers defense was methodically gashed by the Seahawks. Make a stop and the game is over. Go back and watch A.J. Hawk on Lynch’s touchdown. It’s as poor an effort against the run as you’ll see. 

 

20. Two point conversion. Has a professional defensive back ever made a worse attempt on a ball in the air as Clinton-Dix? Unaware, unathletic, unacceptable. Fail Mary Part II? The game should have been 20-19, which would have made the ensuing field goal drive a game-winning drive. 

 

21. A coin flip has never won overtime. Tails failed, and then the Packers defense failed. The Seahawks started their drive at the Seattle 13. Make a stop and all Rodgers and the offense needed was a field goal drive. Instead, Wilson’s walk-off winner after just six plays sent the Packers home with arguably the worst postseason loss in franchise history. 

 

And after 21 missed opportunities to change the final score or seal the game, the Packers throughly deserved it.

 

Zach Kruse contributes to Cheesehead TV. He is also the Lead Writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

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Comments (68)

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dullgeek's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:01 am

The thing about this is that *ALL* 21 of these things had to happen. Change any one of those and it's Packers in the SB. If each of those has a 50% chance of going Packers way, then the odds of all of them happening is 0.5^21 = 0.00004768372% or roughly 1 in 2 million.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:48 am

True. But Seattle could make its own list of 21 screw-ups. One through Five would be turnovers....

Reading through this list it becomes pretty obvious that Rodgers was not himself. That's why I had (and still have) no problem with McCarthy's strategy down the stretch. Lacy was a monster. The defense was stellar. Rodgers had been off all day. Up until the final Packer drive, Rodgers had six opportunities to pick up a first down with a pass. He converted ONE of them (and had a pick).

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Imma Fubared's picture

January 20, 2015 at 09:38 am

Lacy a monster? He was given the ball 22 times and ran for 73 yards. Stark's got five carries for 44 yards and an 8.1 yard per carry day. Starks had the highest average of any back in the playoffs that day.
The reason he aint playing. Mike came from the Steel curtain. You run the ball down peoples throats and that's your game plan, mano to mano. No pratice, no strategy. Worked in Pittsburgh must work for us.
and quit calling his team soft. He will show you his team is not soft. Lets run Lacy over the left side for that touchdown.

This is who Mike is and why this team is never going any farther than it did last Sunday. There is this dam stubborness of his and he will not alter it for anyone.

There were three minds never in the game: Mike M, Dom C and Aaron Rogers. None of them were functioning.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 20, 2015 at 04:09 pm

Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Eric Dickerson, Roger Craig....none of these backs would have made positive yardage in that situation. You should really look at the film. I sent Mr. Nagler a post regarding this exact series of plays. If he decides to post it to the site you'll understand. Personnel and front have a lot to do with running success. This run was doomed before it ever began.

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Ct Sharpe Cheddar's picture

January 20, 2015 at 01:34 pm

Never going any where ahhh 2010?

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JimTaylor31's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:21 am

The Seahawks were intent on giving us this game. An aggressive coach would have taken advantage of their mistakes and poor execution and put the hammer down on them. McCarthey and the players went into the game afraid to make a mistake assuming it would be a defensive game. He never realized that the Hawks had handed him a gift and by stepping on the gas he could've blown them out of the water. Instead he was oblivious. If the Packers cough up 5 TOs, Carroll pours it on and we lose by 30 points. The Hawks cough up 5 TOs and Mike just stands there, unable to adjust his thinking, totally clueless to what's been given him.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:55 am

How exactly should the Packers have "stepped on the gas"? People act like scoring against the Seahawks is the easiest thing in the world and the fact that the Packers didn't put up more point was because of a lack of trying. Two drives ended on INTs. Another four drives ended when Rodgers couldn't convert on third-down.

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JimTaylor31's picture

January 20, 2015 at 09:48 am

Lets just say with the gifts they were given they (coaches and players) did a pretty piss poor job of taking advantage. When I say "stepped on the gas" I am referring to MMs overly conservative play calling in the 2nd half. I'm not saying they didn't try. I'm just saying when you get 5 TOs and score 22 points against Seattle you're probably gonna lose. You can sit on a lead against Josh McCown and the Bucs and you'll be OK. Against Seattle not so much.

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C's picture

January 20, 2015 at 11:26 am

Not with 10 defenders in the box and the 11th 7 yards off the line of scrimmage, no.

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JimTaylor31's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:47 pm

Yep. That defense Seattle was using was something you'd see against Tebow. They basically knew the Packers had become 1 dimensional and MM wouldn't challenge them. He played right into their hands. Hell, even Rodgers was pissed post-game with the too conservative play selection. Face it. We went up against the heavyweight champ and instead of going for the KO we spent the last 6 rounds running around the ring hoping he wouldn't hit us. He did. KO.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 20, 2015 at 04:11 pm

"We went up against the heavyweight champ and instead of going for the KO we spent the last 6 rounds running around the ring hoping he wouldn't hit us. He did. KO."

This is the best analogy I've heard in a long time. Well done sir.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 20, 2015 at 04:13 pm

And this is a fact that can't be disputed. In the coaching profession we say, "the tape doesn't lie."

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C's picture

January 20, 2015 at 11:37 am

Wilson's QBR was roughly 8 for 56 minutes of the game, yet aggressively moving the ball down the field passing seemed to work fine in the clutch.

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C's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:35 pm

Safety was 7 yards off the line of scrimmage, 10 guys in the box. You specifically referenced pass vs. run stats as evidence as to why McCarthy called it correctly. I'm saying you apply situational stats only and never full game statistical trends as evidence. McCarthy lectures about Situational football and adversity; McCarthy failed to rise to either while Carroll and Russell responded to both.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 20, 2015 at 04:06 pm

Seattle presented Rodgers with a 9 man front from their base Under defense. Earl Thomas was at 8 yds depth. Essentially this was a 10 man front to combat the 22 personnel Green Bay had on the field. Sherman was in man coverage on Jordy. Seattle was either in zero coverage or man free. Either way, it was a form of man coverage and based on Thomas's leverage in the defense he would not have been able to make a play on a go route by Jordy. So yes....very similar defenses.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:31 pm

Painfully true. Had to be blind not to see it watching the game. I realize now why I worry with Every game. You always have to wonder what MM will do to make nearly every game a nail biter when it shouldn't, and worse lose those you have a great opportunity to dominate. Can't wait til draft time, so we can improve more and have the talent to carry our coach.

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Bugeater's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:29 am

Thanks for writing this Zach - I can only assume it was as painful to write as it was to read. But yet and still...you have to learn from history. Sigh.

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Brian's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:21 pm

Will McCarthy learn from history or is he doomed to repeat it?

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Nick Perry's picture

January 22, 2015 at 07:18 am

McCarthy is the epitome of insanity, doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That first down run behind Sitton when Lacy lost 4 yards, Seattle knew that was coming before they took the field. It reminded me of the loss to Cincinnati last year when 2 of the 4 passes by Rodgers on the last series were batted down. THEY KNEW WHAT WAS COMING, then and now. Both of those games the Packers defense had 5 TO. Both resulted in FG instead of TD's after the turnovers.

McCarthy is a good coach but in certain situations very, very predictable. He's a lousy game manager though. The Packers need 3 points to tie and a TD to win with 3 timeouts and 1:25 to go. They used one TO with 19 seconds left. WTF! How many times this season have we saw the Packers have to take a TO early in games because the play clock would expire, this from a team that runs a hurry up. I'd be very much in favor in McCarthy getting a OC that either he trusts to call plays or manage the game. MM can't seem to do both, especially in big moments.

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PKrBkrRog's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:34 am

Awesome analysis! I'm now heading to the bathroom to throw up!

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Jimmy James's picture

January 20, 2015 at 10:17 am

Big oversight in this article, and everywhere else, is the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty GB had on their second trip to the red zone (Ha Ha's int and return to the 5). I believe it was Sherrod (no. it was Daniels, thanks for the correction) who ran over and taunted the Seahawks - right in front of the ref no less!

15 yd penalty pushes GB back to the 20. Instead of taking three cracks at the endzone from 5 yards or less, the Packers only got one.

To me, that's so much worse than any mistake made during a play.

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 09:51 am

Who knows what he said, but what Daniels did (seek out and talk trash to another player) was no different than what Sherman did to Adams after his INT.

It was a stupid, undisciplined penalty, yes (and Daniels had a few other overaggressive post-play issues in the first half.)

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Zach Kruse's picture

January 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

It really wasn't a huge penalty because the Packers eventually had 1st-and-goal from the 7. Lacy and Kuhn both took cracks from the 1-yard line. Penalty was mostly a non-factor in the outcome.

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Jimmy James's picture

January 20, 2015 at 10:27 am

Well let's see, if they managed to get to the 1 from the 7, then **hypothetically** they score from the 5. But I think the main thing Daniels cost them is momentum. It's a lot easier for coaches/players/fans to get their heads on straight on 1st and 10 from the 20 than 1st and goal on the 5.

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 10:28 am

"Well let's see, if they managed to get to the 1 from the 7, then **hypothetically** they score from the 5."

Uhhhh...not really sure that's how it works.

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Jimmy James's picture

January 20, 2015 at 12:17 pm

How it works is that all else being equal, the 6 yards they gained in 3 downs would have been enough if they had started at the 5. That is to say, 7-6=1 but 5-6=TD.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 20, 2015 at 12:18 pm

You must've JUST posted that.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 20, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Oh, yeah... time stamp.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 20, 2015 at 12:18 pm

7-1=6 yds

5 yd line -6 yds = TD

I see where he's going. Not saying that's how it would've shaken out.

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 01:17 pm

No, I get the "math" part of it...but it's way too over simplistic of an analysis, especially considering they had been getting stonewalled inside the red zone all day.

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Point-Packer's picture

January 20, 2015 at 10:11 am

I'm not yet in a condition to be able to read this.

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zoellner25's picture

January 20, 2015 at 10:17 am

Makes me sick to think about all this again. MM should be embarrassed.

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C's picture

January 20, 2015 at 11:24 am

Baranczyk's Press Gazette analysis indicated Jones did as he should on the fake field goal and it was House that failed to react properly, crashed, and placed Hawk in an unwinnable position.

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

It wasn't that Jones did anything "wrong" - just that the Seahawks recognized and took advantage of his over aggressiveness on FGs.

I feel like House could have caught Ryan from behind before the 1st so Hawk should have hung with the releasing lineman.

In any event, I don't fully blame any of the players on that play - I blame Slocum for not having them prepared for the fake. A FG does them nothing in that situation - they should have stayed in their traditional D. Played fake 100%.

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C's picture

January 20, 2015 at 11:39 am

At the time, I didn't get the advantage of crashing anywhere off the edge on such a high percentage kick from that distance.

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dullgeek's picture

January 20, 2015 at 01:00 pm

This. Right here. Concede the 3 points. How do you not play "kick safe" (*) on that play? Heck, just rush 3. Give them the points.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:12 pm

We can blame Hawk and House and Jones. But this is all on Slocum. He never gave anyone an alert to watch out for a fake FG.

In that situation, why are they selling out for the FG in that situation? That is purely entirely on Slocum for not having his special teams ready for that.

He must go!!!

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:19 pm

Anyone who has ever played Madden more than a handful of times would have played that correctly.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:28 pm

Since McCarthy will likely keep Slocum, should all of us fans go in together and buy Slocum an XBOX one or PS4 and Madden?

You are correct, that just about anyone would have had that called correctly.

I just don't get it. The only thing in that spot that hurts the Packers is a fake FG for TD or first down. FG doesn't hurt them in that spot. They would be up 19-3. They would have had to of scored 3 times to take the lead.

I just hope that we have seen the last of Slocum.

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:35 pm

My gut says he'll be gone.

Bill Simmons always talks about how NFL coaches are pretty much terrible at clock management across the board and he insists NFL teams should just hire some Madden Pro Gamer to be in charge of clock management.

Seems idiotic...but maybe not? ha

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:49 pm

my gut says he will too.

I mean 2 huge plays against them in the game that they could have went to the Super Bowl. To me that is just the topping on the cake.
Add in what 7 blocked kicks. Basically nothing for return yardage this year on kick returns.

I also find it interesting that on the fake FG, there wasn't one player that said it was on them to watch for the fake. They all basically said they had no instructions to watch out for a fake. Which to me is throwing Slocum under the bus.

My opinion he should be gone. (for the record, i am one that typcially doesn't like to over react and fire people)

How about hiring a madden pro gamer to help creativity in play design. Or coming up with new ideas.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 20, 2015 at 04:15 pm

Reviewing the tape I said the same thing. House crashed and allowed Ryan to get the edge. Yet, even though Hawk was placed in a bind you always, always take the receiver. Give em' a 1st down rather than a touchdown. Live to fight another series. Hawk was at fault too.

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Imma Fubared's picture

January 20, 2015 at 04:48 pm

Ya and you don't need a special team coach to tell you that! The bigger question, why would you ever have a slow,non physical guy like Hawk out there? You rush the kick with speed guys!

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Tundraboy's picture

January 22, 2015 at 08:41 am

Assignment sure but what was the assignment?

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THEMichaelRose's picture

January 20, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Zach, this is excellent, if only it weren't so sad. A succinct version of this should be printed in all caps and bold and put in the locker room.

I know it counts for nothing tangible, but I still feel very proud of how they came in and did what they did the majority of that game. Obviously will always regret not seeing it through. But thankful to even be on the ride. Fun team to be a fan of.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 20, 2015 at 12:20 pm

I'm still sick to my stomach. Seriously.

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bkshimada's picture

January 20, 2015 at 01:40 pm

Rodgers thought the Seahawks were offside on the first INT but yes, that doesn't change that it was still a bad decision because you can't count on flags.

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Huskergbfan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 01:40 pm

I still don't get the Burnett slide. In my opinion Burnett picks up at least 15 yards at a bare minimum, by the time one of those offensive (guys who aren't trained to tackle) bring him down. And there is a relatively good chance, I'm guessing (and its pure biased/opinionated guessing) its >20%, that he scores or gets inside the five. I think you worry about fumbling, but if that is the case just hold it high and tight. I have thought about this endlessly and it will never change but if that is a seabird that picks it off he is running until an offensive guy brings him down. Still an excellent analysis of what could have been or plays we could have made, but here Morgan makes the play but then doesn't do anything with the "play" he just made. With this rant I am sure at some point next year he picks off a ball, attempts to run it back and fumbles, that's just how things seem to work out for the Pack. Here is an article with some images I have looked at (http://thebiglead.com/2015/01/19/morgan-burnett-went-down-after-an-inter...)

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 02:04 pm

I cut Burnett a little slack - big play, adrenaline, sees Peppers telling him to get down. I can get not thinking totally straight and just doing down.

But, man, I saw a still from the all-22 video a minute ago and he had wide open space. He would have scored.

It was after that, I think, when I texted my friends saying "Guys, we're going to the Super Bowl." In 99 games out of 100, it would have been true.

EDIT: The still: https://usatthebiglead.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/morgan-burnett-why.jp...

That's Peppers in the box (signaling for him to go down) with Burnett at the 42 right after the pick (I think with Hyde). He just had to outrun some linemen and Wilson to the edge with the help of Peppers and Hyde blocking.

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Huskergbfan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 02:17 pm

Yeah that image will haunt me forever (I know, I know, its just a game), but I think there are two people that can get him down; one is Russell Wilson and the other is Marshawn Lynch (who is on the bottom of the frame and looks like he is already taking an angle towards the pylon to tackle him). I suppose we can dissect this disaster for the rest of our lives but man a live I wish this team had a killer instinct or at least gets one from this incident. When people tell me there were plays to be made all over the field on Sunday all I can think about is even though we made a/the play, it just wasn't finished off.

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66EP's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:34 pm

The first question should be: "What would Seattle's DBs done in the same situation?" The answer: They would ran it back and celebrated! Period... Peppers should have turned around and blocked for Burnett. From Pop Warner through college ball they teach DB's to yell a signal for an interception, and run it back or out of bounds at angle to gain more yardage. The other questions are: Why hasn't Peppers spoken up about this? Did anyone signal from the sidelines? Peppers should be held accountable also.

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White92's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:37 pm

thanks for the picture.

revolting.

it'll take a long time to get over this.

On the bright side, the gap beween GB and the Seachiken is no where near what most national "experts" thought it was.

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Evan's picture

January 20, 2015 at 03:44 pm

Not remotely.

And it should only get smaller as Wilson gets his pay day and the Packers rookies continue to develop.

Bright side!

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Nick Perry's picture

January 22, 2015 at 08:45 pm

Let's just hope this doesn't have lingering effect on the Packers. 5:04 to the Super Bowl after the Burnett interception. Had Burnett JUST RAN until a possible tackler was near him he'd been to the 20 yard line or so. Kick even a FG there it's 22-7 and more time off clock, Seattle spirit most busted. Instead they hold Green Bay and we watched what happened. There's just SO MANY examples of "What If" in this game. It's Thursday now and I still can't watch anything to do with SB, what about the Players.... Damn!

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 20, 2015 at 04:18 pm

Morgan could have run for more yardage and even scored.....BUT....he did the most important thing by giving possession of the ball back to the offense. The series of plays after the interception was the biggest culprit. The Packers had the ball in a position of strength and failed to capitalize by moving the ball 10 yds. via poor game management by McCarthy.

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Nerd's picture

January 20, 2015 at 05:10 pm

It really seemed like they were TERRIFIED of getting too far ahead.

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4thand1's picture

January 20, 2015 at 06:45 pm

Apparently Peppers should be kicking himself. WTF, he helped blow his chance for a ring. Even another 10 to 20 yards would have been big. I still can't get that image and the on side kick from my brain. FUCKER.

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Brian's picture

January 20, 2015 at 09:27 pm

Just a stupid f'n decision by Peppers and Burnett. You wonder if the coaches reinforced this type of thing at half-time or in the second half that Peppers even signals to Burnett to slide.

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ballark's picture

January 20, 2015 at 02:16 pm

I'm so sad, guys. Could barely get out of bed yesterday. Today hasn't been much better. Like Sitton said, to piss something away so blatantly, in so many ways, it just makes the whole thing seem pointless. It's hard to think of anything else right now.

But I can predict something: As painful as right now seems, I can promise that next September, brats will still taste delicious, Sundays will still be fun, Lacy will still break tackles. Rodgers will still throw touchdowns. And come playoff time, we'll have our chance once again.

Until then...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcxHjwygFgg

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Nerd's picture

January 20, 2015 at 05:11 pm

It really seemed to me they were TRYING to take a dive. I mean, downing that INT with an open field in front of him?

But it's hard to say. This is a repeating pattern for this team. Remember Julio Jones a few weeks ago?

This is Mike's M.O.

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4thand1's picture

January 20, 2015 at 06:47 pm

fuck Julio jones, they won that game.

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Nerd's picture

January 20, 2015 at 11:12 pm

So that makes it ok then, right?

So the problem goes uncorrected. And eventually we end up with this current fiasco.

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kebab24's picture

January 20, 2015 at 06:10 pm

As I have pondered this a little more......and yes I am still sick to my stomach. I do think that the offense should have been more aggressive after the Burnett interception, however I can live with the play calling. What makes me "sickest" is the defensive play in the last four minutes. Seattle needed to score two touchdowns and they had not scored one all day. How could any defense let this happen? Why weren't the coaches on the sidelines coaching these players to still play hard... everyone was acting like the game was over after the Burnett interception. Yes the on-side kick was bad, however they still had to go 50 yards to score a touchdown and our defense just let them. I feel that our defense has let us down in several playoff games over the past few years (against Giants, San Fran twice). It can't just always be the players. The coaches need to take accountability. I have never been a fan of Capers and am ticked off that after the biggest collapse in NFL playoff history this entire coaching staff still appear to have their jobs.

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mrj007's picture

January 21, 2015 at 02:30 am

To me Burnett curling up in the fetal position epitomizes the Packers play - uninspired. Rodgers Played poorly and the team needed the kind of play Burnett COULD have at least attempted. Yet with an open field in front of him and a chance to end all momentum and re ignite his team, Burnett ultimately falls down and curls up. Emblematic of the teams play is those final minutes of what should have been a statement win and superbowl berth

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Klincker's picture

January 20, 2015 at 08:21 pm

Could've used video highlights along with Benny Hill background music for some of the missed opportunities.

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mrj007's picture

January 21, 2015 at 02:21 am

It is like reliving an account of how the Titanic sunk!

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Evan's picture

January 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

One final thought - there is so much negativity to focus on, but what's not getting enough attention, in my opinion, was the play of Crosby. Especially that last kick to tie it - that was a HUGE kick. What a turnaround for him.

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egbertsouse's picture

January 21, 2015 at 01:25 pm

An epic collapse in every facet of the game is the fault of the coaches. This team is not mentally tough or disciplined, lost focus in the face of adversity and the wheels totally came off the whole team in the lasr 5 minutes.

If coaching changes aren't made (new ST coach, DC, and OC with play-calling responsibility) it'll be the same old result; close, but no cigar.

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