Green Bay Packers Deserve The Victory They Earned

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Packers vs. Seahawks "Fail Mary"
The Packers earned a victory and nothing less.

These last 24 hours have been so surreal, I don’t think my adrenaline has stopped pumping at full blast since before kickoff. Time seemed to slow down as I waited in intense anticipation for the Green Bay Packers to take on the Seattle Seahawks in what I figured to be a great football game.

Could I have been more wrong?

It started off with Aaron Rodgers and his offensive line giving up eight sacks in the first half. Eight! Then, the previously contained passing game of Russell Wilson fired off a long touchdown, with errors in the secondary. I was so livid, I could have screamed bloody murder. The game plan for the offense was all wrong, and the defense was briefly exposed by a rookie quarterback.

But I persevered and stayed to watch the second half. Fortunately, Mike McCarthy finally realized the error of his ways and made offensive adjustments that started to get the chains moving.  Things were looking up.

And then it all came crashing down with the officiating. I don’t need to go into the details, because I’m sure we’ve all read about as much as we’re capable of today.

Yet, even after the “Fail Mary,” things continued to get my blood boiling. Watching the Packers have to trot back out as slaughtered lambs to play the extra point. Hearing Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson talk about how well they performed at the end to get the win. Seeing the response by the NFL in support of the final touchdown call.

The icing on the cake, though, goes to all those Packers fans and Packers haters who seem to think the Packers should have won despite the officiating.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY!?

I actually visited this issue after the Packers-Cardinals 2009 playoff game, when missed calls seem to cost Green Bay the overtime win. Here’s a little bit of what I said:

Now let me get this out of the way before I continue: I make no excuses for the Green Bay Packers and the way they played this game. Each team earned their score going into overtime, and if the Packers would have secured the ball better in the first quarter and played better on defense, then perhaps they wouldn’t have been in that situation.

And if Aaron Rodgers would have connected with Greg Jennings on first down, then the proceeding downs wouldn’t have even been played.

In no way does officiating (or the lack thereof) determine the outcome of a game.

But what it does do—and here is the key—is it takes away from the game’s value and each team’s chances.

Now, I still stand behind what I said. The Packers had a chance to win against Arizona, and they blew it. However, I also defend my concluding opinion that bad officiating “takes away chances for a team to earn its own fate, whether it be good or bad.”

Because, in reality, it’s impossible to know how any single call changes a game. Unless you have a way to navigate the multiverse, you’ll never know what might have been. If a team gets a questionable pass interference call to set up good field position and a first down, there’s no guarantee the offense will score. They might fumble on the next handoff. Likewise, if a referee misses a holding call on 3rd-and-12, there’s still a chance the offense could still have converted on 3rd-and-22.

But we’re not talking about a bad call somewhere in the third quarter. This wasn’t a favorable flag that gave the offense a brand new set of downs. “Not this,” writes Matt Bowen on the subject. “Nope. This is bad football.”

It was the last play of the game. It was the play that would decide the winner and loser. At this point, the officiating was no longer just a factor, it was the deciding factor. Although subtle to some, there is a big difference between referees that affect the outcome of the game and ones that decide the outcome of the game.

The crew on Monday night decided the game. Plain and simple.

Nevertheless, people cling to the notion that the Packers could have put themselves in a better position to still win. Are they right? Sure. Does that matter in this case? Absolutely not.

You see, this was a tale of two halves. In the first half, Rodgers and the offense had no rhythm, were continually beaten at the line, and had zero points to show for their efforts. The defense, while it played well and stopped Marshawn Lynch, still gave up a touchdown.

Now, the second half? We got a whole different ballgame. Not only did the Packers consistently drive it down the field, but they were able to put up three scores in the process. (And never did they start a drive beyond their 20 yard line.) They also won the time of possession (18:39 to 11:21), stopped three of Seattle’s drives, and gave up absolutely no points until the final play (if that even counts).

You can’t just throw out the second half and say they should have done better. Great teams find ways to win, even in the face of adversity. Even after a bad first half of play. It’s not just up to the offense, or the defense, or special teams. They all work together to determine their fate.

The Packers did what they needed to do to win. Was it pretty? No. Was it the best they’ve played? No. But it was enough to win. They MADE that interception at the end to seal the game, just like they did against the Philadelphia Eagles in their 2010 Super Bowl run. They EARNED a victory.

The Packers did not face adversity in the officiating, they faced highway robbery, and there’s no other way to spin it.

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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  • Mojo

    Exactly Chad, the Packers earned this victory. A bad first half by the offense sure, but the D played great. GB owned the second half. They outplayed Seattle as a whole. The ref calls on the roughing the passer, PI on Shields and of course the horrible decision on the last play stole a W from the Pack.

    Last year the offense carried the team to 15 wins. The defense carried the team last night and the Packer win(I’m not giving Seattle the victory) was just as legitimate as any last year.

    • since’61

      First let me say that I am not only a Packers fan since 1961 I am a multiple shareholder and I agree the officials and the league got the last play completely wrong. However, the Packers made their share of mistakes in this game without help from the officials. First as Mike McCarthy has admitted his game plan was wrong and he adjusted too late at halftime. Second his decision to go for a 2 point conversion was flawed since if he went for 1 point he could have taken a safety on the 4th down at the end, still have a 4 point lead and gain nearly 30 yards for his punter to free kick from his own 20 versus the back of end zone. Also, running the safety may have taken more time off the clock. Rodgers missed Driver on a sure TD throw and had to settle for field goal, 4 points lost.Finally, the Packers defender should just knock the ball down on the final play, not go for the interception, which he did make, but knocking the ball down preserves the victory. Any of the above would probably have made the last play irrelevant and were not because of bad officiating, which was horrible for both teams all night. It is not the Packers fault that they lost but it may be their fault that they did not win. Thanks since ’61

      • Rick

        No one can see the future to know you were going to be down the close to your goal line later in the game.

        Trying for the extra points so a TD ties was the right call.

      • Chad Toporski

        Let me put it this way.

        I’m a teacher. Your child comes into my classroom and takes a test. He does okay, getting enough right answers to score a B-. Didn’t study enough to get the A, and perhaps he wasn’t as attentive in class, but he got a passing grade.

        Now, I’m tired of grading papers, so I just blaze through the tests and end up giving your child a D+ for missing questions he didn’t actually miss. You come to me with his test, and I say sorry, but that’s how I graded it. Maybe if he would have studied harder and done better overall, he would have at least gotten a passing grade.

        Would you be pissed?

        • Mojo

          Once again, well said Chad. I’ve read quite a few posts from bloggers citing deficiencies in the Packers game last night. We get that. But in the end the Packers, outplayed Seattle on the road with a below par offensive performance. Let me say it again – the Packers DESERVED to win that game.

          • Chad Toporski

            Exactly. I’m more than willing to dissect the play of the offense, and I plan on doing so. But when it comes to the outcome of the game, they were robbed.

            • Sven

              Could it be that the ref that signal touchdown, wanted the Seahawks to win? He is a high school ref from southern California. And Pete Carroll knows that you get what you pay for.
              Before you just dismiss this thought out of hand, ask yourself why it could not have happened.
              Do we not consider it because we dont want it to be true?
              The ref Who made the call was turned down this year to ref div 1 college ball. The NFL has vetted these refs that well as we saw in an earlier NO game. 150 million dollars moved in Vegas based on the outcome of this game. Why do we think that people would try the extreme to control the outcome?

      • cow42

        i can’t believe more people aren’t agreeing with this post.
        everything is 100% true.

        • Chad Toporski

          I agree with just about everything in that post except the last part:

          “Any of the above would probably have made the last play irrelevant and were not because of bad officiating, which was horrible for both teams all night. It is not the Packers fault that they lost but it may be their fault that they did not win.”

          And that’s really my point. I’m fine to admit the deficiencies of the team in that game, but that doesn’t change the fact that they did what they needed to do to win. They outscored their opponent, plain and simple. Whether it comes down to one last play or not is irrelevant, with the exception that this one play was completely botched by the refs and changed the outcome of the game.

          As I noted above, the Packers made a game-clinching INT against the Eagles in their playoff run. They also had one against the Bears in the NFC Championship. Not to mention the last play of the game against the New Orleans Saints last season. Does that mean they shouldn’t have won if the refs had botched one of those calls, as well?

          • cow42

            if they wouldn’t have played like ass, the last play wouldn’t have mattered.

            • Chad Toporski

              You just don’t get it, do you?

              They WON on the last play. The defense WON THEM THE GAME. And the refs took it away.

              Are you really that blind with negativity that you can’t see that?

              • cow42

                i guess i am.
                i always teach my kids to plan ahead…. to take care of business early…
                yes – that last call cost the Packers a win, but you gotta figure that those 8 sacks cost them AT LEAST 3 points.. you gotta figure that the ridiculous play calling in the first half cost them AT LEAST 3 points… and so on and so on.

                the call cost them.
                so did a lot of self-inflicted wounds.

                let’s say your wife catches you cheating on her. she doesn’t leave you. you change your ways and never cheat on her again. later on she hears a rumor that you’re cheating on her again (even though you’re not). this time she says “enough is enough” and leaves… can you blame her? you put yourself in that tenuous situation… you would only have yourself to blame.

          • I bleed green more

            There was so much bad officiating in this game it was not funny. At least 3 calls gave Seattle extra chances and one would have ended the game on the pic by McMillian.

  • Rick

    Pete Carroll and the Tate are douchebags. You know what we all saw. A game out of control and mishandled by ex-Lingerie football officials. These bush league Football officials were fired by them for not being good enought.

    This according to the Lingerie Football League, which claimed in a press release last night:

    “Because of the LFL’s perception it is that much more critical for us to hire officiating crews that are competent, not only for the credibility of our game but to keep our athletes safer. Due to several on-field incompetent officiating we chose to part ways with with a couple crews which apparently are now officiating in the NFL. We have a lot of respect for our officials but we felt the officiating was not in line with our expectations. We have not made public comment to date because we felt it was not our place to do so. However in light of tonight’s event, we felt it was only fair that NFL fans knew the truth as to who are officiating these games.”

    So we the fans have to deal with an inept group of fired ex-lingerie football refs???!!!!

    Great job defending hot garbage NFL!!!

  • Bubbaloo

    The NFL uses the excuse that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call. Which Call? Which Ref? The Packers got jobbed! Fired LFL Refs, inexcusable!

  • Bubbaloo

    To add more fuel to the fire let me say this; while I truly appreciate the fact that McCarthy took the high road, there is no way in hell I would have brought “my” team back out for an P.A.T. after a non-touchdown!

  • aaronqb

    The players and coaches can’t do anything about it. The NFL can, but won’t. But the fans can. The NFL is all about $$ for the owners, so here’s what the fans can do:

    – cancel your subscription to NFL Network and NFL Sunday ticket
    – do not purchase NFL merchandise
    – do not watch the NFL games on TV
    – do not buy products from companies who sponsor the games
    – do not attend games
    – do not bet on nfl games
    – stop playing nfl fantasy football
    – use the $$ and time that you would have otherwise spent on the NFL on other activities. there are many other businesses that deserve your $$ more than the NFL.

    The NFL is putting a substandard product on the field and they know it. It’s time for the customers to speak out

    • Since ’61

      No question that the Packers were robbed at the end of the game. Unfortunately, the NFL owners who have locked out the real officials over a dispute on their pension plan will not yet relent and let the real official return. The NFLPA has written to the league about the increased risk to their players but the owners don’t seem to care about the players and for sure they no care about us, the fans. Therefore some type of boycott may be a possible solution. We can endure this travesty or continue to endure it. For me, I have been a Packers fan since’61 and I am recently retired from an organization whose name is synonymous with the NFL. So, maybe after 51 seasons of NFL this is enough. As os last night I can say that I have seen everything. Thanks since ‘ 61

    • Pat Mc

      I’ve heard that 300,000,000 to 500,000,000 was lost by gamblers by the “Lingerie CALL”.

      If you had a part time job that you knew was not going to last and needed money; would you accept a million in cash to keep the game close?

      Just saying!

      • Sven

        I think you make a good point. The guy who made the call was turned down by Div 1 college footbal earlier this year. I think that a “bought” official is a very real possiblity right.

        Heck, Carroll used to pay player when he wasn’t supposed to why not refs ;)

  • Barutan Seijin

    Y’know, someone at the office bought tickets for Monday’s game, flew all the way out to Seattle with her husband, and this is what they got. The NFL doesn’t think it needs to put a quality product on the field. That’s just sheer contempt for the fans. Screw them.

  • Dan

    I thought our D was outstanding last night. I feel bad for them more then anything. They deserved that win and the got robbed. Aside from one play in the first half, they played great defense. They held a team to 7 pts, on the road, on national tv, in a hostile environment. They were jobbed time and time again by the retards wearing ref uniforms. They fought hard against the run and the pass. They gave everything they had and it was all takin away by clueless amatures !

    • Mudduckcheesehead

      The developmentally disabled had nothing to do with last night’s travesty. Comparing them to scab refs is demeaning.

  • Since ’61

    Dan – nicely said. Last night’s game was a disgrace not just for the Packers and the NFL, but to all sports andcsports fans everywhere. This will leave a bad taste in the mouth for a long time.

  • Dan

    Your right mud, Im apologize for my rude comparison,. The replacement refs are at a much greater disadvantage then our special needs friends.

  • Michael

    Packers extra point defense should still be jumping offsides/running unabated to the holder/line up in the neautral zone until Godell does the right thing…

    • Chad Toporski

      LOL… Madden tactics.

  • I bleed green more

    Both parties have stated get the real refs back. Both President and VP of both parties have called for this to me over. Hmm you think the NFL gives a hoot, I doubt it this will not end till the players walk out.

  • Dan

    Chad is right, as bad as the O played in the 1st half, (and as bad as McCarthy was play calling), they put enough points up in the 2nd half to take the lead. The team as a whole did enough that the win was thiers. The Packers were 2-1, and then the fake ref’s took the victory right away from them.

  • http://lovettpa@msn.com olde packer fan

    As both violation & possesion were called wrong (tate pass interference & possesion of the football jointly by Tate & Jennings)The NFL chose to ignore both & side with their substitute official despite the 2nd official signalling touchback & giving the game to the HOME team. This can affect the Packers chance at a playoff spot & possibly putting seattle “in” as the Season winds down. this will affect $millions of dollars for both teams. You’re rewarding WRONG, a bad way to run a business