Game Recap: Packers Fall to Bucs 31-26 in NFC Championship Game

Sarah Kelliher recaps the Packers’ NFC Championship loss to the Bucs.         

For the second straight year, the Green Bay Packers suffered a gut-wrenching loss in the NFC Championship game. During a season where so much went right for the Packers, they came up short when it mattered the most, falling to quarterback Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-26 at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

The defense was the first to hit the field and, little did we know, the Bucs’ opening drive was just foreshadowing for what was to come. Brady went three for three for 56 yards on the opening drive and, before you could blink, he connected with wide receiver Mike Evans for a 15-yard touchdown to take a quick 7-0 lead.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense had a much different start to their opening drive. After connecting with tight end Marcedes Lewis for a first down, Rodgers couldn’t find a rhythm and was sacked on third down. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, it was the first time since week thirteen against the Eagles that the Packers failed to score on their opening drive.

After the offense’s slow start, the defense seemed to settle down a bit, forcing a Bucs punt after defensive tackle Kenny Clark came up with a monster sack on third down.

Then, things got really fun really quickly. Rodgers, pinned back and dancing around in the Packers’ own end zone, somehow connected with wide receiver Allen Lazard for a 23-yard catch and the first down. Then, after connecting with wide receiver Davante Adams for a 15-yard play and the first down, Rodgers took a shot down field and connected on a 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to tie the game at 7-7.

The Bucs, however, weren’t going down without a fight. Brady tossed one up over the middle of the field and the ball somehow floated just over the finger tips of safety Darnell Savage Jr. and into the hands of wide receiver Chris Godwin for a 50-yard catch. On the next play, Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette stumbled his way through a swarm of green jerseys and into the endzone for a touchdown and the 14-7 lead.

On their next drive, the Packers found some life again. MVS continued to make plays, running backs Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones got involved, both leading the way with first downs and Lewis was blocking for them both like a madman. However, the Packers couldn’t convert in the gold zone and had to settle for a 24-yard field goal to cut the Bucs’ lead to 14-10.

The defense then gifted the Packers’ offense with a stop in a moment where they needed it the most. With 2:10 left in the half, the ball was back in Rodgers’ hands with a chance for the offense to do something great. However, Rodgers was picked off (after what appeared to be a missed holding call on Lazard) and the Bucs had a chance to further extend their lead.

Tampa Bay capitalized, burying Green Bay with a 39-yard touchdown play with one second left on the clock and extending their lead to 21-10 at halftime.

The Packers got the ball to open the second half, and unfortunately things continued to turn for the worse. On their opening drive, Jones fumbled in Bucs territory and Tampa Bay recovered it. On the next play, the Bucs found themselves in the end zone for another touchdown and a 28-10 lead. Jones suffered a chest injury on the fumble play and did not return.

Although a lot of us felt like this one was signed, sealed, and delivered, the Green Bay Packers refused to go down without a fight.

They responded with quick first downs from Adams, MVS and Lazard and quickly made their way into the gold zone. Then, Rodgers connected with tight end Robert Tonyan for an 8-yard touchdown to cut the Bucs’ lead to 28-17.  

The defense picked up on the offense’s newly discovered momentum too. On Tampa Bay’s next drive, safety Adrian Amos picked off Tom Brady and put the ball back in Green Bay’s hands.

Then, the Packers really came to life. Running back AJ Dillon stepped up big time after Jones left the game with an injury, and he barreled his way for 13 yards and a first down. Then, Tonyan and Williams would bring Green Bay even closer before Rodgers connected with Adams on third and goal for a 2-yard touchdown. The Packers attempted to go for the two-point conversion, but wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown dropped the pass and the Packers still trailed 28-23.

After fighting their way back into this championship matchup, the Packers needed to rely on their defense to get a stop. They did that, and more, after cornerback Jaire Alexander picked off Tom Brady just as the Bucs started to re-gain some momentum.

However, the Packers couldn’t capitalize on the moment even a little. They quickly went three-and-out and Rodgers was sacked, once again, before Green Bay was forced to punt. Then, in a twist no one saw coming, Alexander picked off Brady again on the next drive, giving the Packers the ball right back.

However, Green Bay responded the exact same way they did the first time- with a haunting three-and-out.

After failing to capitalize on two Brady interceptions, the Packers were forced to put the ball back in his hands. Luckily for the Packers, the defense was able to hold the Bucs to just a 46-yard field goal, but they still trailed 31-23 with not much time left to play catch-up in this one.

Green Bay responded with a methodical, well-balanced drive and found themselves near gold zone territory after a big 29-yard catch from MVS and another first down from Davante Adams. However, the Packers failed to convert in their own territory, an area they’ve proven to be efficient in all year long. With the game on the line, the Packers decided to put their trust in their defense to try and get a stop. So, Green Bay settled for a 26-yard field goal on the drive to cut the Bucs’ lead to 31-26.  

It wouldn’t be long before that decision came back to haunt them. Just when it appeared the Packers came up with a major stop, the officials threw a late defensive pass interference flag and the Bucs got a huge first down to keep the drive alive and essentially win the game.

The officials let both teams play all afternoon and the moment they decided to finally throw a flag couldn’t have come at a more heartbreaking time for Green Bay. The Packers should’ve never had themselves in that position, but it’s sadly what it came down to in this championship matchup.  

 

What we learned: The Packers Beat Themselves

As I mentioned, the pass interference call at the end of this one was tough to swallow. However, it was really only the giant cherry on top of a handful of shortcomings for the Packers.

Kevin King and Mike Pettine practically teamed up and gave up three touchdowns in the first half. Aaron Jones fumbled in Bucs territory to open the second half. Adams had a rare touchdown drop. The offense had back-to-back three and outs after Alexander gifted them and picked off Brady twice. So many points where left on the field and so many were given up; all because the Packers were their own worst enemy on Sunday.

 

What went right: Second Half Defense  

As messy as the defense was at times, they absolutely came through when they needed to in the second half. Hoping for multiple turnovers is never an easy ask, especially against a player like Tom Brady, and the Packers were able to pick him off three times.   

You could see Rodgers begging the defense for a stop on the sidelines. They did that, and more, and Green Bay still couldn’t close this one out.

 

What went wrong: Leaving Points on the Field After 2 Interceptions

You could pick a handful of things for this section of my recap but when I look back and reflect on this game this is personally my biggest “what if?” moment. If you’re in the NFC Championship game and your defense comes up with interceptions on back-to-back drives, you have to get something, even if it’s just three points on the board.

The Packers were especially good at taking advantage of momentum swings this season, so it was crushing to see them fail in this area when they desperately needed to succeed.  

 

Offensive MVP: MVS

MVS showed the hell up on Sunday. He’s been a topic of conversation all season and he made sure no one had a bad word to say about him in the Packers’ final game of the season. MVS kept numerous drives alive in this one and led the team in receiving at the end of it all with 4 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown (ESPN stats).

 

Defensive MVP: Jaire Alexander

Death. Taxes. Jaire Alexander. You can always count on him to show up and the NFC Championship was no different. Alexander finished the day with 3 total tackles, 2 of which were a loss, 3 pass deflections and 2 interceptions (ESPN stats).

 

A look at some of your takeaways.

  • "I think all three phases of the game contributed to the loss in some way. We had to play perfect football to beat them and unfortunately didn't execute. On to the off season and all the mock drafts." - @baked_robot
  • "Green Bay had plenty of opportunities to win this game. Unfortunately, the offense let the team down when it needed it the most. Hats off to TBs defense for holding on, despite the late turnovers." - @mattydobi
  • "It’s honestly such whiplash hoping for greatness and getting let down so fantastically. Every time it feels like.  We blow off that big loss in the season and it comes right back. 2 years and counting. Let’s bring it next year I guess..." - @jeremyziemann
  • "It sucks but only one team can win... not going down that dark now! still love this team #GoPackGo!" - @Sandro_46

 

Thank you so much to each and every one of you for following along with my game recaps for another season at CHTV. As tough as this loss is to swallow, I still remain optimistic about all that’s to come. Until next season, keep carrying the G. Thanks, all.

 

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV and a podcaster with Pack-A-Day Podcast. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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Comments (77)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Ollie1960's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:01 pm

Never had the lead, are you kidding me?

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ImaPayne's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:34 pm

Funny told wife dire hard pack fan this is not good your playing from behind early but at home. The score was an easy one with lack of pass d. Brady wont forget that

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Ollie1960's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:01 pm

Nice defense. Pettine must go.

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ImaPayne's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:32 pm

This team got so far no way they get rid of him, How about getting rid of the dead wood, Sullivan, Redman, King must be replaced with big defensive backs who can cover and tackle. These three will prevent you from ever to get to the big dance

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Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:17 pm

They tried big DB. Josh Jones was a terrible failure!

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jmcderm15's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:11 pm

you're off on this one... game wasn't lost by the defense

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Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:19 pm

This is on Rodgers, A Jones and Lafleur.

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Thegravedigger's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:29 pm

Kevin king at halftime 6 seconds left no time outs. In press coverage. Gives up a fucking td. No excuses. Worse than the 2014 onside kick. Such a despicable play. Im so disgusted by that play. Him and pettine are 100 percent to blame for that shit.

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Ollie1960's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:02 pm

Rogers did not play his best.

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Packers1985's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:11 pm

Agreed but there was not much help either.. Online gave up too many pressures and sacks , Jones was hurt and didn't play well and coming to Adams he is a little off today.
My only problem with Arod was he forced the ball couple of times to Adams even when he clearly seemed a bit off.
Coming to the last 3rd and goal looks like Arod has a clear lane to run it in instead he chose Adams who was clearly held by the DB...

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Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:21 pm

Jones wasn't hurt. He was benched. Didn't touch the ball or play a snap after his 2bd fumble. Don't buy the injured garbage.

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UGDR's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:25 pm

Contract move. That's what happens when you hire Drew.

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ImaPayne's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:29 pm

Ya he is great, best of all time when he has the time to look and find the guy who cant be intecepted and is open, Otherwise if his guys are covered he sucks becaue he cant run

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ScottW's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:03 pm

Good summary Sarah. This loss will sting for months to come.

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Ollie1960's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:04 pm

Packers could not make the plays when needed.

The dropped INT on 3rd down before the 4th down TD was a killer and will not show up in the "box score."

Bad play calling, bad tackling, of course, and too many big plays given up by the Defense.

Just a horrible effort.

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Ollie1960's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:05 pm

Oh, did I say fire Pettine. Man to man coverage with 8 seconds to go in the half. Are you kidding me?

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Packers1985's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:07 pm

Yes team missed on crucial moment where as Bucs scored on those moments that was difference between the teams... The Bucs got both the turnovers in the better field position. The first half defense especially king put us in this position to start with.
The offense wasn't sharp in the 4th qtr olin gave up sacks and Arod missing some throws and Wr's missing some catches and to make it worse the Ref's threw one of the very few calls in the last minute.
This will haunt us fans like the 2014 championship game against the Seahawks , we came so closing to winning it.

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UGDR's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:17 pm

Bucs response when asked about Packers kicking FG. " We couldn't believe they were kicking it. We knew it was over at that point"

Every chance to make a play or the right call and everyone failed.wvery time. Thanks Clark and MVS for showing up. The rest of the team and coaches should be ashamed at the choke job when it counted most. Rodgers should have ran it in. mLF should have kicked PAT. Adams should have caught back shoulder next play Rodgers should have not locked onto Adams and hit the open lazard. Lazard should catch the ball.MLf should have went for 4th down. Redmon should have picked brady but nope, dropped it so Pettine can call a press man with 8 seconds to play only for king to give up another on am island toast TD.. Turner got smoked, patrick got smoked. King and Jones in biggest contract game of their lives they choke. Brady is the luckiest man to ever walk the earth. Ever. Pathetic attempt at rising to the occasion GBP. Embarrassing

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Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:30 pm

Bottom line. Brady proved he's the GOAT. He capitalized on every opportunity. Rodgers did not. That's not luck, as much as I hate it.

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Philarod's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:50 pm

In what universe did Brady outplay Rodgers today?

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Bure9620's picture

January 25, 2021 at 02:19 am

Brady had 3 picks.........

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edp1959's picture

January 25, 2021 at 04:54 am

Bottom line Brady had the better defense.

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stockholder's picture

January 25, 2021 at 01:02 am

Rodgers should have ran it in. Look closer at the replay on cbs. He would not have made it. The Pat.- I agree. I would have kicked it to keep the momentum going. Instead it put the pressure back on them later. The Kicking of the FG= was because they missed the 2 point conversion. Had the OL not failed so badly. LeFluer would have gone for it.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 25, 2021 at 03:01 am

Players aren't coaches for a reason. The win probability of kicking the field goal is very close to the win probability of going for it on 4th and 8 from the 8 yard line. It is a close decision with very slightly better odds of going for it.

Factors: too far to run. JPP and Barrett will be bringing it against OTs that have failed to protect all game. Defense had clamped down. Ended up with a 3rd and 4 with 1:39 and one GB time out left, but King had the pass interference call.

https://twitter.com/ben_bot_baldwin/status/1353478222801985537/photo/1

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PackBacker's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:18 pm

And so another long intolerable off season begins. I have one little suggestion for how the team can spend some of their time. Scour academia, think tanks, private industry and the greatest sports minds worldwide. Hire 20 of the most brilliant thinkers and give them the nearly impossible task of teaching the Packers how to complete a 2 point conversion.

That decision to go for the field goal with 2 minutes left was because MLF knew they would miss the 2 try. Because this season they pretty much always miss the 2 try. He will never say it but it's the reason. LaFleur was hoping the D could pull one more rabbit out of the hat.

Has there ever been a team that made the championship game that was worse at the 2 point conversion?

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Alberta_Packer's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:19 pm

All things considered, the team went as far as it could, which made for a really good season. However at no time could the Packers defense be considered championship caliber, and, the offense still lacked a player or 2 to be truly unstoppable Even then, had Bakhtiari been able to play - the team might be going to the Super Bowl.

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Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:33 pm

They didn't go as far as they could. The Packers could have gone to the SB. But they beat themselves. TB wasn't better, Packers didn't lose as much as they beat themselves.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:59 pm

TB had something to do with the Packers beating themselves. And the reality is - if the Packers could have gone further - they would have. So onto next year....

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PAPackerbacker's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:26 pm

Defense wins championships and the Bucs got it done while the Packers did not.

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Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:36 pm

The D gave Rodgers the chances he needed to win. Rodgers didn't capitalize, but Brady did.

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ImaPayne's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:26 pm

1. Team was over achievers taking on some teams early that were not pre pared for the season.
2. Team phil is score more points then the opponents, we got Rodgers Adams so defense doesmt matter, we outscore we win
3. Other teams later on realixe pack pass d is achiles heel and use that to put up points. Fact is thee plays, three put 21 points on the board for the VBus, all pass plays in the endzone to guys not covered., End of game, game over

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Lphill's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:28 pm

Special teams kept giving the Bucs great field position, Scott should be cut tomorrow, Pettine was awful ,he had no answer , Rodgers did all he could , they win if King does his job. We all knew the Defense and special teams would cost us but we pretended it was all good.

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:01 pm

Best OL in the NFL? Wolf built his teams with Tackles and CBs. Look what failed the most today. Cbs and Ots. King has been faster. He's shown he had make-up speed in the past. Sullivan wasn't any better. This secondary will be drafted again. The DL and LBs will get neglected again.

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UGDR's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:16 pm

Coach mennengitis and Pettine gotta go.

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13TimeChamps's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:05 pm

....says the guy who predicted the Packers would go 8-8 and miss the playoffs.

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dobber's picture

January 25, 2021 at 09:00 am

Special teams was not a problem last night.

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edp1959's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:36 pm

Without that bullshit defensive crap at the end of first half Packers win 26 -24. Defense lost this game period.

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murf7777's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:57 pm

What about the OL

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dobber's picture

January 25, 2021 at 09:03 am

First time in weeks we've seen the OTs exposed. Wagner couldn't handle Barrett and Turner was getting had on a regular basis by JPP.

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SwedeBayPacker's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:30 pm

Offense lost this game period. Unable to capitalize on turn-overs multiple times is a cardinal sin. If Rodgers had seen a wide open Lazard in the end zone right infront of him instead of forcing the ball to Adams we would have won 31 - 34.

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edp1959's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:05 pm

Do the math it’s real easy. What would the score be without that pathetic crap at the end of the first half? I will make it easy for you, Packers win 26 -24. Defense lost the damn game period.

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SwedeBayPacker's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:15 pm

Offense lost the game, stick that in your crack pipe and smoke it. What would the score be if Rodger's didn't miss a wide open Lazard? The math is real easy.

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edp1959's picture

January 25, 2021 at 04:56 am

Looks like you are the only one smoking crack Skippy.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 25, 2021 at 05:52 am

Your inbred parents did not do you any favor when they homeschooled you.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 25, 2021 at 05:56 am

Do the math? A homeschooled deplorable such as edp cannot add 2+2.

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dobber's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:05 pm

I agree that it was a key play in deciding the outcome of the game, but It's ridiculous to think that the remainder of the game plays out exactly the same based on removing that scoring play at the end of the first half.

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Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:44 pm

The D got 3 INTs and gave Rodgers the chances to get a W and into SB. Rodgers didn't capitalize on his opportunities. Brady took advantage of every one he got. Hate saying it, but makes Brady the GOAT. Rodgers is not. That was the difference in the game!

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edp1959's picture

January 25, 2021 at 04:59 am

It's called having a defense capable of backing up the offense when needed. Tampa has it, Packers don't. How many opportunities did the defense have to prevent a score and didn't? Defense shit the bed and lost this game period.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 25, 2021 at 05:50 am

Volume posting is only making you appear dumber. Actually, check that, it is confirming that are a complete moron. Your use of bodily function curse words confirms that you are incapable of cogently presenting any point based in logical reasoning.

Congratulations, you are in the running with DenePhilips and Ollie1960 to be the most ignorant person here. And it is not a coincidence that all three of you are deplorables.

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RedMN's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:45 pm

The blown play for a td at the end of the half. Fatal error one. Should have held them to a longer field goal attempt. Second half first possession. Jones fumble deep in their own territory. Fatal error 2. Those 2 plays made it an uphill climb from there. They rallied to get close. Had a couple of chances but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Play call at 4th and goal was another bad error. I think if rodgers runs it for 5 or 6 yards on 3rd down they would have gone for it but he tried to force it to adams in double coverage. I know adams is their best wr but rodgers forced it too much to him in goal to go situations. Jones with 2 fumbles. One lost. The first one should have been a warning. When one or 2 guys don't bring their A games it F's the other 51. Rodgers MVS Alexander brought it today. Some others like marceades Lewis tonyan amos kenny clark had really good games. Savage was mixed. A bad play on a 50 yard completion on 3rd down but also forced an errant pass on a blitz that led to a pick . Aaron Jones was bad and then got hurt.This years Brandon Bostick award unanimously goes to Kevin King. So bad that the award shall now be named in his dishonor. Bostick had 1 horrible play. King had 3.2 long tds allowed. Blatant holding call on the final drive. So blatant in fact that the Refs were forced to put down their coffee and raise their noses that were buried in their book Officiating for dummies.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:45 pm

“They let the teams play” ? To me it looked more like they went on vacation until the one PI call on an uncatchable ball.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:14 pm

I appreciate an officiating crew calling things loose and consistent. It beats the game where you wonder if the refs are getting a bonus of each infactrion they flag.

The late PI was no doubt a penalty. And no doubt it was not at all consistent with how they had been officiating it to that point.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 25, 2021 at 03:07 am

The problem with not calling something all game is that late in the game in a critical situation there is going to be video of blatant holding not called. Optics are bad.

I commented about the officials in another thread yesterday and predicted that they would let the DBs on both sides hold and chuck. That probably favors TB.

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mrj007's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:48 pm

A complete failure at almost everything attempted at one point or another by Packers. Especially O Line. Coaches did not have team prepared. Poor play across the board on Defense, Offense, and officiating. ST played as poorly as expected. Packer disappoint in yet ANOTHER NFC championship game with a HOF QB (stop me is you’ve heard this rhetoric before). Team was OVER RATED and it showed again this year. At least this time the Packers were competitive and not completely annihilated in the first 10 minutes. (Forgive me - this rant is my way of self medicating!) Thank you Packers for a really fun and entertaining year! I guess I am just disappointed the season is over.

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canadapacker's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:48 pm

I took some time to settle down - but still think the same way - King single handedly lost the game - 2 badly blown coverages - not even close to his man - and a PI. Now they call that hold and dont call the hold on Rodgers pick - is bs but still King did hold.

Secondly the D actually played quite well except for King and maybe Summers in the middle. The Oline didnt play up to as good enough standard or maybe the Tampa D line was much better than the Rams. Lafleur had to get some better play calls in and more motion etc - and the Gold zone was horrible - do the same thing that wasnt working over and over and over. They took away Davante and the O was lost

KIcking the field goal might have been wrong - but if we didnt we still would have needed to make 2 consecutive plays - TD from the 10 and a 2 pointer - and how good were we at that and that would have only given us a tie.

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bassrock's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:05 pm

Yeah if we score and miss the 2 point conversion, we have the chance to stop them and kick a field goal to win. If we don't make it we have them bottled up inside the 10 and if we stop them we need a touchdown and a 2 point conversion. MLF sucked it up on his spineless call there. Logic was surely not taken into account.

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mrj007's picture

January 24, 2021 at 07:53 pm

Oh yeah - don’t forget the near sickening level of love Troy Aikman kept helping on Tom Brady. I puked in my mouth and had to mute my TV.....,,

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mrj007's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:41 pm

Seems like Jevin King is going to have an enemy year from all the Packer fans

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Dragon5's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:07 pm

My apologies Packer Nation, I too was a homer in today's 33-27 GB prediction, despite wanting to go against the grain with all the Packer victory predictions and stick to what the astrology and numerology suggested all along--that Pettine--being a HORSE in his enemy year of the RAT would ultimately fail. Expect him to be the scapegoat in the coming weeks and be let go. Kudos to Alexander having a sound game albeit a missed tackle or two. What's unfortunate is that despite the defensive shortcomings, the dropped 2pt conversion and dropped TD were enough to win the game. I had mentioned before season kickoff 1) Pettine would ultimately fail 2) heat was coming LaFleur and Murhpy's way given their enemy year is on deck. For reference, I've again left that paragraph below. I believe it's clear that the conservative 4Q field goal decision will be front & center for coach LaFleur, especially given that the defense rarely held serve; I thought we had moved on from McCarthy conservatism to play to WIN...apparently not yet. On to the FA class and draft analysis. Personal feelings aside, given the oppositional energy ahead next year, if I was a GM, I'd strongly consider blowing up the team up while Rodgers value is still sky high off an MVP season--not a popular decision by any means as a playoff caliber QB is everything in this league. An outstanding leader, however, has to make the tough decisions...the lack of patience resigning Bahk has already cost the franchise. Will he compound it retaining Rodgers with 3/5 of the OL and the franchise entering its enemy year? If Gute can get a haul for Aaron he must strongly consider it. Aaron Jones is likely gone, and Davante Adams enemy year is only a year away. Writing (rebuild) is on the wall.

"Earlier this year I warned our OL is in trouble due to numerous GOAT year starters (Turner, Linsley, Bahktiari). Their enemy sign, the OX, approaches and officially begins Feb 12, 2021. We're already seeing issues with Turner. I explained that a patchwork OL is likely by season's end. If the 2020 class OL steps up, we could see Gute win GM of the year if these rookies become starters, and, in conjunction, we see the likes of the 2019 & 2018 class, highlighted by the OX & RAT year players mentioned above, blossom. The worst thing Gute can do to mess this up is to re-up Bahktiari in Bahk's enemy year. While Gute stands to shine, Murphy and LaFleur are also born in GOAT years, so heat is coming their way. For Murphy, that may be repercussions of forcing the LaFleur hire. For LaFleur, that may be retaining Pettine, a HORSE. We are in a RAT year and HORSE and RAT are enemy signs. Despite numerous younger defensive players expected to shine, I'm looking for Pettine to fail to "bring it all together" with his brand of defense and be released after this year. "

-1 points
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2
White92's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:08 pm

First and goal from the 8 and you run 3 plays from an empty shotgun? I don't know I may have had Dillon back there if not to run, to help with the pass rush..

4 points
4
0
Stroh's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:50 pm

2 INTs by Jaire. Both possessions Rodgers 3 passes and punt! That's on Rodgers and Lafleur.

1 points
1
0
HankScorpio's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:09 pm

They finally missed Bahktiari. Turner and Wagner both had rough games. 5 sacks allowed. Ouch.

4 points
4
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 25, 2021 at 03:12 am

GB could have used the "dancing bear" so they could slide protection towards Wagner or RT. If you want to win 10 to 13 regular season games and have consistently successful seasons, GB doesn't need Bakh. Want to win the playoffs? GB needed Bakh.

Some fans are fine with the former.

0 points
0
0
Packers0808's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:12 pm

Really tell it like it is they [team] overall sucked tonight!

0 points
1
1
Packerfansupreme's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:12 pm

This team continues the course when they get beaten by a team in the season they cant beat them in the playoffs. All three stages completely pathetic. Get rid of pettine, kevin king, hunter Bradley, jk scott, and special teams coach

0 points
2
2
stockholder's picture

January 24, 2021 at 08:26 pm

What went wrong: Leaving Points on the Field After 2 Interceptions. = Nice plug for Love. I read SI's column too. = It's easy to blame a Qb when your coach wants to run. Keep in mind. This Offense didn't even gain a 100 yards on the ground. We saw MMs Offense today. Don't blame Rodgers. He didn't have the time Brady had.

-3 points
0
3
UGDR's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:28 pm

Packers embarrassed in trenches just like 3 losses in reg season. Pettine and MLF choked huge!!!.

0 points
1
1
Wikypack's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:28 pm

The pack waited 3-4 years too long to get rid of McCarthy. Don’t make the same mistake with Pettine. They both were riding Rodgers’ coattails. Get a DC that wants to make a statement with his defense, not just come along for the ride. Don’t waste what’s left of Rodgers’ career and LaFleur’s sound offensive scheme. I guarantee Pack will be better without Pettine. Nothing personal Mike, just a sound and necessary business move. Absolute guaranteed defensive improvement...absolute.

1 points
2
1
ImaPayne's picture

January 24, 2021 at 09:46 pm

Pettine like Capers is working with what he has, small defensive backs who are poor at tackling and cant cover a dead fly on their windshield with the wiper. These guys for the entire year were jumping up trying to stop a pass thrown over their head or at the receiver who just ran by them.
Savage poor tackling and cover, Alexander goes missing in games, King is worthless and Sullivan the guy Qb;s look to see who he is covering then tosses the ball to. Ridiculous

-3 points
0
3
BAMABADGER's picture

January 24, 2021 at 11:10 pm

Rodger is now 1-4 in NFC championship games. He has played subpar in most. A regular season GOAT, but does not have the poise and leadership skills as the great one who is going to his 10th super bowl. He was beaten by the better team for the second time this season. TB dominated all 8 quarters. Next years team should look vastly different, we can only hope it includes a new D coordinator and ST coach.

-1 points
0
1
NJMagic's picture

January 24, 2021 at 11:18 pm

Hard to put this one on a defensive breakdown like last year... Aaron had plenty of opportunities, including off TWO int & to tie the game up at the end. Bottom line he & the O didn't come through

This one hurts worse than last year somehow.
Last year our weakness shown through.

This year our strength faltered.

4 points
4
0
RedMN's picture

January 25, 2021 at 05:36 am

Last year our weakness shown through, this year our strength faltered. Very true and well put

0 points
0
0
JohnnyLogan's picture

January 25, 2021 at 12:02 am

Imagine the positions reversed and Arians calls for the FG. Brady would have knocked him out on the sidelines. Rodgers went quietly and sat down. There is a definite difference in the intensity level of the two QBs. I think Rodgers played well today for the most part, but both he and LaFleur, when pressured, seem to wilt. Those two 3 and outs after the interceptions were as bad as anything King did or didn't do today. King was the main reason they lost, the OL was pretty bad, but somewhere in there LaFleur and Rodgers have to bear considerable responsibility. That was not championship level coaching or quarterbacking, and sadly, I believe Rodgers knows it. This was a huge legacy game for him, a man of considerable ego, and it was another fail. It can't all be bad luck, bad defensive coordinators, and refs. At some point, the two most important people on the roster, the coach and QB, have to be held accountable.

0 points
0
0
RedMN's picture

January 25, 2021 at 05:20 am

Yes this one was particularly bad like seattle 2014. 2016 Atlanta they ran out of horses and were starting mules at db. Last year 49ers were just better in almost every way. But this year was packers year. #1 homefield. I can't say I believe Tampa is better overall than Green Bay but I believe their are certain areas of concern on the packers were they have weak links that can be exposed. I think that's what it boils down to. Tampa has less bad links overall. We start pro bowler Alexander on one side and turnstile Kevin King on the other. They almost cancel out eachother. Bottom Line though is im tired of GB losing to the new bandwagon team of the year. Packers are the only ones who year in and out are in the mix. But manage to get caught at the doorstep to the super bowl every year by a different team. Giants 07' Giants 11' 49ers beat them in 12'and I think 13'. They tore it down, sucked for a while then bounced GB again in 19'. Seattle in 14'. Atlanta 16' now Tampa 20'.Scary to think what if desean Jackson doesn't return that punt for a td as time was running out against the giants in 2010. All the punter had to do was kick it away from him. Packers miss the playoffs and Rodgers has 0 superbowls. We were that close to coming up empty. As the bills were the guardians for the NFC superbowl glory in the early 90's. Our team is the gatekeeper for the road to the superbowl. Some will say we should be so lucky and I have to agree to a point. But having your heart broken like this many times over starts to feel more like a curse like seeing the fire but never getting close enough to feel its warmth.

0 points
0
0
GregC's picture

January 25, 2021 at 05:44 am

Not enough attention is being paid to the fact that Tampa Bay protected their QB and Green Bay did not. That was the main reason for the outcome of this game. Rodgers had pass rushers in his face all day, and Brady was barely touched. Even so, Rodgers had a better day statistically than Brady, but he could not get the ball downfield very often, and a lot of the short passing plays were blown up because the O-linemen, especially Turner and Wagner, were getting beaten so quickly. On the other side, the Packer pass rush was a huge disappointment. One sack by Kenny Clark early in the game, and that was it.

The loss of David Bakhtiari turned out to be huge.

0 points
0
0
PackersWinning's picture

January 25, 2021 at 07:26 am

3rd down defense and Kevin King...TB identified the weaknesses and capitalized ...bye bye #20

0 points
0
0