- So many “if onlys”! If only Micah Hyde had hung onto that interception on the last drive. If only Aaron hadn’t underthrown James Jones on that long pass. If only James Jones hadn’t dropped that underthrown pass. If only Davon House had blocked that last field goal.* (*House was offsides on the play, so it wouldn't have counted. But still.)
- Here’s how close the Pack was to blocking the field goal (again, though, it wouldn't have counted ... but still.):
|IT GOES RIGHT THROUGH HIS ARMS.|
- The biggest if only was if only Sam Shields had not gotten injured early in the first quarter. If Shields hadn’t been hurt, Jarrett Bush would not have been the one coming on the corner blitz on the final drive. Bush came at Kaepernick and -- for reasons absolutely unknown -- went inside, trying to bat the pass, rather than outside to keep Kaepernick contained in the pocket. As soon as he went inside, Kaepernick was able to step out to the side and run for the first down. Seriously, Jarrett Bush should only ever play special teams. Ever.
|Why, Jarrett? Why did ya do it?|
- In addition to losing Shields, the Packers also lost linebackers Mike Neal and Andy Mulamba. Mulamba returned to the game, but the Packers were without a right outside linebacker while he was gone. They also loss left tackle David Bakhtiari, who was replaced by professional turnstile Marshall Newhouse.
|This is not a picture of Marshall Newhouse. But this is a|
picture of what happens when Marshall Newhouse plays.
- Unlike most people, I really actually though Green Bay was going to win. I certainly didn’t foresee the offense being the main reason they lost. The offense put up only 281 yards in the game, and Rodgers had only 177, his fewest passing yards in a playoff game. San Fran forced the Packers to punt five times in the game, four of those being three-and-outs.
- Didn’t it totally feel like the stars were aligned, though?? The incredible Dallas comeback; the never-ending injury list that the Packers kept on overcoming; Rodgers triumphant return in Week 17; the 4th-and-8 touchdown pass to Cobb to make the playoffs … it all seemed like something special was going to happen.
|Remember how happy we all were just a week ago?|
- The defense broke down on the last drive in an awful way, but they were quite impressive, overall. Without their best linebacker (Clay Matthews), their best defensive lineman (Johnny Jolly), and their two best cornerbacks (Casey Hayward, then Shields), as well as a litany of other injuries on defense, they really stepped up, won the turnover battle, and gave Green Bay a fighting chance.
- Tramon Williams, who may have played his last game as a Packer, had a strong game. He had solid coverage, as well as an interception. He actually gained more yards on his interception return than the entire Green Bay offense to that point in the game (eek). And I have to say that, even though it wasn't very nice, I loooooved how Tramon was about to step out of bounds, but came back to put a lick on Niners' quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
- The defense's strong showing was against a team that has averaged 537 yards against them in the last two meetings, and a quarterback that has put up 878 yards against them in the last two games.
- While I was pleased, I was also shocked at how little San Francisco ran the ball. This a team that is third in the league in rushing yards going against a Packers defense that’s ranked 25th in the league in stopping the run, and yet they threw the ball as much as they ran it (30 attempts apiece). Not sure at all what Jim Harbaugh was thinking.
|In all his be-khakied glory.|
- Poor Randall Cobb took the loss pretty hard, assigning himself the blame for getting tackled at the 9-yard line; the Packers ended up settling for a field goal. "I’ve got to get better at breaking tackles," he said, "If I want to be a great player, not just a good player, I have to do more; I have to be more."
|Oh, no, Green Eyes, you're perfect! It's not your fault! It's|
Jarrett Bush's fault!
- Eddie Lacy continued to be a beast, gaining 81 very hard-earned yards. I'm so glad we have him now.
|I have to find the positives from the season.|
- John Kuhn scored a touchdown, but had a little trouble on the Lambeau Leap. Watch out for that ice patch, Kuhn!
- HOW DID AARON RODGERS DO THAT? (*Answer: there was a huge hold that wasn't called. But still amazing.)
- Colin Kaepernick’s hat is stupid. He looks like a damned smurf.
- Three coaches have notched playoff victory in each of their three seasons -- Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh are two of them. Blech.
- If you’re the Kansas City Chiefs, what’s the absolute worst thing that can happen? Oh, losing star running back Jamaal Charles, which is exactly what happened on the first drive of their game against the Colts. Charles accounted for one-third of the Chiefs offensive yards on the season. He's the kind of guy who can do this:
- I was pretty tired on Saturday, so after the Chiefs went up 38-10 on the Colts, I turned the game off. Not my best call. When I turned it on again, Indianapolis was in victory formation. Crazy!
- The Chiefs did lost several players to injury during the game, but how do you collapse like that?? Once the Colts got going, everything seemed to go their way, including this unlucky, then really lucky, play:
- I love how Luck doesn’t even hesitate diving in; pure instinct.(*NB: that is a lucky play, not a Luck-y play. That "pun" is not clever, it's overused, and it's time it died a merciful death.)
- Someone should tell Dwayne Bowe that cornrows with a center part is not a good look.
- And they’re messy.
- I’ll bet KC kicker Ryan Succop was really quiet in school. You don’t want to be the one answering the teacher’s questions when your name is “Succop.”
- Philip Rivers was downright giddy in his postgame conference. Must have been the bolo tie, which is not his first bolo tie of the season.
|"Hey, if you were wearing this, you'd feel pretty good, too."|
- After squeaking into the playoffs, San Diego got the easiest win of Wild Card Weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals. Philip Rivers was very excited (even without the bolo tie).
- Luckily for the Chargers, they were playing Andy Dalton, who threw two really bad interceptions, in addition to a fumble. He was so bad that people on Twitter started calling him Andy Romo. (Seriously, people? Poor Tony can’t catch a break even when he’s recovering from back surgery and has nothing to do with the games that are being played.) I’m not football-smart enough to know how much is on Dalton and how much is on head coach Marvin Lewis, but Dalton looked like he was melting down for all of the 4th quarter.
- Andy Dalton did throw his first postseason touchdown on Sunday, but the Bengals extended their streak without a playoff win to 23 years. Dalton has led his team to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, but has failed to get a win. It's hard to say about a guy who's 3-for-3 in making the playoffs, but it might be time to move on from the Andy Dalton Experiment.
|(I still think the fact that his hair matches his uniform is some kind|
of bad omen. They shoulda known.)
- I’m not a huge fan of Mike Mayock announcing games, but, on Saturday, he correctly used “effect” as a verb. I was quite impressed. *Golf clap*
- The Cleveland Browns don’t do much right (obvs), but trading away Trent Richardson was one of them. They got draft picks and the Colts got a guy who fumbles the ball, unforced, on his first touch of the postseason.
- The Texans fired defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. I have to think this is because Phillips wanted to be head coach and not defensive coordinator. If not, that’s one of the stupidest things in the world. He took a team that was ranked 30th in defense in 2010 and made them a top 10 defense in each of the next three seasons.
- Davon House has a blog? I love that! He and I are totes going to become blogging buddies.
- San Francisco offensive lineman Anthony Davis doesn’t like Green Bay, apparently. WATCH YO MOUTH!
- Seattle’s running back Marshawn Lynch was fined $50,000 by the league for refusing to speak to the media (which is in his contract) all season long. The weird part is that the league just noticed that Lynch hadn’t fulfilled his media obligations for the previous, oh, five months. The NFL notices when guys don’t wear the right colored socks, but not when a marquee player doesn’t talk to the media for an entire season??
- Aaron Rodgers holds the top TWO spots for completion percentage to a particular receiver over the last three seasons. Those are my boys!
|They also hold the unofficial record for |
Hottest Superstar Trio.
- Jay Cutler signed a seven-year contract with the Chicago Bears. (Which, I have to say, is the smart move. Cutler knows the offense and has a good relationship with his receivers. Josh McCown played well, but there's a long line of backups who played well for a short period of time before crumbling as starters [See Flynn, Matt]. The Bears will be able to cut him in three years without much of financial hit, if they so desire.) But I'm just really, really, really happy that Green Bay will get to play Jay at least twice a year for the foreseeable future.
|"Fine. Seven Years. Sure. Whatever. I don't care."|
- The Minnesota Vikings continue to be the Minnesota Vikings, even in the offseason. Middle linebacker Erin Henderson was arrested on suspicion of a DUI, which is par for the course for NFL players, but Henderson really stands out, as this is his second DUI arrest in six weeks. Skoal!
- Mike Pereira, the most insufferable man alive, wrote the most insufferable article, titled "What an Amazing Weekend for the NFL Officials," in which he trumpeted how great the officiating this weekend was (i.e. no terribly botched calls). This comes after a season in which the refs embarrassed the league week after week, but, hey, great job at meeting the minimum requirements of your duties, guys!
|Ugh. His face makes me want to throw up.|
- Also, I hate football and I don’t care at all about next week.