It is easy to put all the blame on the Packers for not finishing the job against Seattle. And I will get to that shortly. But first I want to give credit to Seattle for doing what it took to get back in the game and rip victory from the jaws of sure defeat. The Seahawks proved their mettle as reigning Super Bowl Champions. They came back against a tough Packers team in the biggest game of the year for them. The game was incredible and I feel bad for the losers and can’t imagine the elation of the guys on the winning side.
Now for the anatomy of the meltdown. Green Bay was in control from the start of the game. The defense was on point, setting up the Packers offense at every turn. They did not give up a single point to the Hawks offense until very late in the game. The special teams are to blame for the touchdown given up on the fake field goal by sneaky Pete Carroll.
The much hailed Packers offense was to blame for not helping their defense out more. Sure they put up points in the first half against the NFL’s best defensive unit. I will give them that credit. However, they have to score touchdowns in that first half. They were in position to get six but failed. I think McCarthy should have went for it on fourth and inches on the goal line, but I am not going to kill him for that decision like many analysts will do today. If he went and they failed to make it, it would be a big story as the media mainly looks at results when judging play calling. The Packers players are to blame for not sniffing out the goal line when they were close. You have to score when you are in the midst of a run or catch that is anywhere near the end zone. It is a simple statement, but players don’t realize how their failure to go an extra two feet can turn a game around eventually.
The Packers led at halftime 16-0. A comfortable lead with their defense playing so well. Once the team gave up a touchdown on the fake field goal, they were not panicking, but some seed of doubt had to be planted. They added a field goal themselves to go up 19-7 with only five minutes left in the game. After that is when the Green Bay defense joined the offense in playing not to lose. Seattle marched down the field behind the running of the hardest balling man in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch. They capped the drive with a Wilson run to make the score dangerously close at 19-14. You see, touchdowns add up quicker than FGs Mr. McCarthy.
The next play was the onside kick in which the Packers’ Brandon Bostick will be forever remembered as the goat of the game. He did screw up in a major way as he didn’t block as instructed. He tried to field the ball instead letting the hands guys behind him snatch it. But he is not solely to blame. To do so is like putting all the blame on one wrong move in a game of chess. The meltdown was team wide and stretched throughout the entire 60 minutes.
Once Seattle got the onside kick, I had little doubt that they would score a touchdown….even with Russell Wilson having the worst game of his young life which included four interceptions! The Packers defense could not stop the Seahawks offense any longer. They were done. Lynch put Seattle up 20-19 with a huge 24 yard run after playing the best game any back could imagine himself having in such a big game.
The two point conversion was as big as the onside kick miscue. Russell Wilson was under crazy pressure, yet somehow escaped, miles behind the line of scrimmage. He then lofts up a duck that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, collector of Wilson passes on the day, fails to make a play on. The joke was on Ha Ha this time as Luke Wilson made the grab to increase Seattle’s lead to three.
To the Pack’s credit, they did make it down the field to get the thing knotted up at 22 with a long field goal from their clutch kicker in the rain. McCarthy should have ran some more time off before the kick, but that didn’t come back to bite him luckily.
The last domino of the meltdown fell when the Seahawks won the coin toss. The updated overtime rules of a few years back would not help Green Bay in this game. The champions were emboldened by their success in the last five minutes of regulation. They made a few plays to put the Packers on the ropes, then Wilson delivered a perfect pass to Kearse for the touchdown which ended the game right then and there. I feel kind of sorry for the few uneducated Packers fans who must have thought that Aaron Rodgers would have advance to match the score. That is not the case of course with a TD so #12 never made it back on the field. Game over. Meltdown complete. Champs move on. Packers go home. Thanks for coming.