Monday, January 19, 2015

Well, That Sucked.

  • Wow. That hurt. A lot. More than anyone could reasonably expect a sporting event to hurt. In a never-going-to-get-over-this kind of way.

  • There’s plenty of blame to go around. Brandon Bostick for leaving his assignment on the onside kick -- Jordy was going to get that if you just did your job and blocked! (Bostick was very, very sad after the game.); AJ Hawk for his inexplicable decision to chase the punter on Seattle’s fake field goal for a touchdown (apparently he thought a punter 20 yards from the goal line was so dangerous that he needed to leave his man open in the endzone to pursue the punter); Brad Jones for being so bad that Seattle designed the fake punt play around him; Morgan Burnett for his decision to go to the ground on his interception, even though he had open field in front of him (there was so much open field! They could have at least gotten into field goal position! Julius Peppers may have to take some of the blame here, as he was the one who signaled Burnett to go down.); HaHa Clinton-Dix on his pitiful coverage on the Seahawks’ two-point conversion (why didn’t he try?!); and Mike McCarthy. Oh lord. Mike. McCarthy.

Here's a screenshot a split second before Burnett's interception.
Run, Morgan, run!!

  • McCarthy chose to kick field goals on a 4th-and-1 and a 4th-and-2, both on the goal line in the first quarter. I didn’t like those decisions at all. I hated them. Even if you fail to score, Seattle would have had to go 99 yards. At least go for the touchdown on one of those. That said, I do understand that McCarthy was thinking that the Seahawks are incredibly difficult to score against, so there is a real temptation to take any points when you can get them. But still.

If Bostick had just blocked, this was
going straight into Jordy's hands. 

  • The real issue with McCarthy is that he just completely closed his playbook in the fourth quarter, trying to run out the clock while the Seahawks were roaring back. He played way too conservatively and it cost the Packers. He was essentially trying to run a four-minute offense with 15 minutes left in the game, and -- surprise! -- that didn’t work. Green Bay had zero first downs in the fourth quarter.

Here's Hawk worrying that a punter is going to run 20 yards past
two defenders to get into the endzone. Never mind about leaving your guy
unguarded in the endzone.

  • As my brother said after the game, McCarthy coached scared. Instead of putting the ball in the hands of the best quarterback in the league, the Packers had a run-run-incomplete-punt for one fourth-quarter drive and a run-run-run-punt for another. WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? Richard Sherman is playing with one arm! Earl Thomas is playing with a shoulder harness! James Starks sucks! You have really awesome receivers! Again, YOU HAVE AARON RODGERS! You might just as well have taken kneel downs, since the strategy seemed to be just trying to run out the clock and hoping something would happen.

He's really, really good, Mike. 

  • Aaron Rodgers was not happy with the unaggressive approach. He called the Packers “the better team” in his post-game, and echoed several other players when he stated, “We gave the game away.” Rodgers noted that the Packers “weren’t as aggressive as [they] have been.” When asked if he could elaborate on that, Rodgers paused before saying, “No, I can’t.”

  • Here’s a nice gut punch. This succinct summary touches on how many different things had to go wrong for Green Bay to lose.

As Josh Sitton said, "Literally one of 10 plays you can pick that if we get it, we win the game."

  • The Green Bay defense played incredibly well, forcing four Russell Wilson interceptions and racking up five sacks. Marshawn Lynch ran for 157 yards, but, despite the big number, they held him in check better than could be expected for the first three-quarters of the game.  

  • Russell Wilson’s quarterback rating for the first half: 0.0. [This felt a lot better when I typed it at halftime.] At times, he looked so bad, you had to wonder if Wilson was concussed on the blindside block by Clay Matthews. Though Wilson had not been playing well before the hit, he seemed especially off after it. It’s just shocking that a quarterback could play so poorly for 7/8ths of a game, throw four interceptions, and still &%*$ing win. Mind-boggling.

  • Rodgers threw an uncharacteristic two interceptions in the first half. On the first one, which was intercepted by Richard Sherman in the endzone, Rodgers said he thought he saw the defense jump and had a free play. As it turns out, that’s what it should have been.

The Packers obviously had a bajillion chances after this call to win the game, but this is just slicing me open,
pouring lemon juice on the wound, giving it a bit of time to heal, picking off the scab, and putting salt in it.

  • The Seahawks were not able to create any points off of Green Bay’s two turnovers. Green Bay scored a measly %$@#ing six points off of Seattle’s five turnovers.

Now we have to endure a whole offseason without this....

  • With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Green Bay Packers had a 96.1% chance of winning. 96.1%. The Seahawks had 3.9% chance of winning late in the game. The number of things that had to go wrong all within a tiny space of time for the Packers to lose is ridiculous. Ninety-bleeping-six percent chance. One more time: ninety-six point one percent.

...without Tramon's smile...

  • Oh shut up, Doug Baldwin. The Seahawks receiver went on a tirade after the game, screaming at the reporters for being “doubters.” Ummm, dude, you guys were an insulting eight-point favorite in this game, everyone picked you to win the game, you’ve been a Super Bowl pick since preseason, commenters are having “is this the best defense of our generation?” debates about your team, and you’ve all been called the team with the best chance to repeat since the Patriots, so save me your “no one believed in us” crap.

...without sweet, pre-game texts from Eddie Lacy's mom...

  • I tend to have the same feelings as Packers left guard Josh Sitton, who said it felt worse to lose such a close game than getting blown out.

...without Randall's piercing green eyes...

  • I didn’t watch the Patriots-Colts game because I didn’t care. New England won a lot to a little. Don’t care who wins the Super Bowl.

...without Sideline Ninja and his #NinjaBiceps ninja-ing on the sidelines.


*weeps inconsolably*

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