For Green Bay Packers fans we have seen it all before.
Terrell Owens improbable 25 yard catch from Steve Young in front of Darren Sharper in San Francisco in the game’s final seconds to send the Packers home from the Wild Card round in 1999 with a 30-27 defeat.
There was the fourth and 26 with mouthy Freddie Mitchell doing the damage and cementing a loss to the Eagles in the 2004 Divisional Playoff round resulting in a 20-17 stunner.
There was Super Bowl XXXII, where as a double digit favorite, the Packers gave it up to John Elway to forever add “the helicopter run” as part of his Hall of Fame career legacy.
Brett Favre, in what would be his last game as a Packer, throws an interception in the waning moments of the 2008 NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field resulting in a 23-20 loss.
Most recently the 2011 dismantling of the heavily favored Packers in the divisional round at Lambeau Field by the Giants by a 37-20 score.
Add yesterday’s 28-22 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle as another crushing blow to this proud organization and their fans. It might go down as, if not the most painful, surely one of the most shocking.
Ahead for the entire game, they sat near mid-field after yet another interception of Russell Wilson, with the ball in their possession, a 12 point lead and only 5:02 on the final game clock.
First down and game over.
The Packers were the better team. They shut out the heavily favored Seahawks until the third quarter and had their way with the vaunted Seahawk defense for most of the game. Yet they lose and go home. And now we collectively have to endure watching the Seahawks play in OUR Super Bowl in two weeks. To add to our woes we must ponder what should have been for more than seven months until our next meaningful game.
But the Packers couldn’t put them away. Five field goals. If even one of those is a TD, they win. They have no one to blame but themselves for this loss. And there are plenty of fingers to point out the blame.
The easy target for scorn is scapegoat Brandon Bostick for muffing the onside kick and allowing the Seahawks to recover the kick and score. His job, he admitted post-game, was to block not to try to recover the ball. He did neither. After the game he sat in his locker and bravely endured the scornful questions from the press, while gallantly shouldering the blame for the loss.
He needn’t have done that. There were plenty of others to share the blame.
Plenty of Blame to Go Around
How about Tramon Williams, in what might have been his final game in a Packers uniform, giving up the winning touchdown in overtime? After the game he commented that he thought he played a good game.
How about the Special Teams? The season long train wreck continued yesterday with a lollypop touchdown pass from former Packers punter Jon Ryan as well as the on-side kick fiasco. Shawn Slocum’s group has been on the verge of losing a big game for the Packers all year long and yesterday they fulfilled the ugly promise.
How about a defense which had pretty much held Marshawn Lynch in check most of the day yet allowed him to run free, with the help of plenty of missed tackles, for a 24 yard touchdown run shortly after burning them on a wheel route down the sidelines late in the fourth quarter?
How about Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s sudden aversion to defending the pass on a high, floating Hail Mary throw on the successful two point conversion attempt?
And lastly, how about Coach McCarthy whose play-calling throughout the second half looked like a coach who was playing not to lose rather than putting Seattle away once and for all for the win.
Fans Shocked by Loss
There aren’t enough words to make it feel better today Packers fans. It is going to hurt, today, tomorrow, next week and for years to come. We cannot pull a re-do. There will be no reversal. We just have to grit our teeth and endure.
Packers fans are now left to ponder not only what could have been but what should have been.——————
Jeff Albrecht grew up just north of Green Bay and was lucky enough to attend some of the Lombardi Era classic games, like the 1962 championship and the Ice Bowl. Jeff went on to play HS football in the Green Bay area and College ball at UW - Stevens Point. Jeff is retired but still does some writing for his local paper. Jeff is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @pointerjeff .