Packers 22, Seahawks 28: I Love This Team

Words cannot express my emotions at the end of the NFC North Championship game, where the Green Bay Packers all but gift-wrapped the victory for the Seattle Seahawks in the final minutes. One momentum play after another, one bad bounce after another, and the domino effect of mistakes took their toll. Still, I couldn’t love this team any more than I do right now.

This one definitely hurts, but even we fans probably don’t feel the pain the players and coaches are feeling today. My mind raced last night with all of the “what-ifs,” and I didn’t even play the game. I didn’t put over six months of sweat, blood, and devotion to playing professional football at one of the highest levels we’ve seen lately. How bad do these players want to have back those chances, those moments, those opportunities?

I have my criticisms like everyone else, but right now, I’m not going to let them consume me. I’m not going to let them take away what an unbelievable season this was.

And really, I’m not going to let them take away the guts this Packers team showed during the game. Yes, they lost in excruciating fashion, but for a team that was a big underdog and not given an ice cube’s chance in hell by the media pundits, I was so proud of their performance. They dominated the entire first half of that game. They stole five possessions away from the Seahawks. They punched that team in the mouth and made them look vulnerable in all three phases.

This 2014 Green Bay Packers team is a Super Bowl team to me. They missed the big game, but they showed that they had what it takes.

That’s also why this game was so devastating, though. Their plane tickets to Arizona were all but printed. We can go through and look at every play that changed the ending, but where does it lead us? What do you make of a game where Brad Jones forces a fumble and never gets a penalty? Or where Ha Ha Clinton-Dix makes two fantastic interceptions but lets by a floater for the 2-pt. conversion? Or where Russell Wilson’s first good throw of the game was the only one that mattered? Or where Mason Crosby makes all five of his field goals and the team still loses?

Pardon my language, but s–t happens. And sometimes it happens to good teams, to good players, to good people. I can complain and I can criticize, but I can’t stop loving my Green Bay Packers.

In the end, this season was phenomenal. I had a lot of fun watching this team play, through both the ups and downs. (Really, isn’t that what it’s all about?) That said, I’ll close with why I have a lot of hope for the future:

  • Home Playoff Monkey Gone – Sure, the playoff blues continue for Green Bay, but at least they got one monkey off their back. They showed that they can win at Lambeau again in the postseason. And really, how can you be that angry at a team for reaching a round that 28 other teams have to watch from home? This is the best season they’ve had since 2010. By far.
  • Aaron Rodgers – People say we’re wasting his best years, but then I look at Tom Brady and laugh at them. Rodgers is the one person that makes this team a perennial contender, and he will continue to play great for a while. There are a lot of legendary quarterbacks with only one ring . . . and some with none.
  • Offensive Line – Wow. That unit dominated every game they played the second half of this season. They will continue to do great things in the coming years, because I only see them getting better.
  • Wide Receivers – Cobb will be back, count on it. He and Nelson will keep this unit great for a while. Throw in the rising Davante Adams who should make a jump in production next year, the hopeful Jared Abbrederis, and the wild card Jeff Janis, and we could see a Big Five offensive set that makes defenses sweat.
  • Richard Rodgers – We’ve been looking for a tight end since Jermichael Finley’s fall, and Rodgers could be the one. If he builds on what he did this season, he could be a deadly force in the middle of the field next year.
  • Solid Safeties – We have playmakers again! Burnett and Clinton-Dix have become a great tandem in the secondary. They complement each other like peanut butter and jelly. Clinton-Dix’s ability to play the high cover safety has allowed Burnett to shine against the running game. Good things are ahead for these two.

Go Pack Go! We are Cheeseheads for life.


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


35 thoughts on “Packers 22, Seahawks 28: I Love This Team

  1. Of course we all wanted a win but I agree with everything you said Chad. Although the defense was great for 3 quarters, it wasn’t as good as Seattle’s. Or put another way, our offense couldn’t best them in the 4th quarter when they needed a couple of first downs to kill the clock. Still, this defense did get better as the season wore on and they will likely get more parts next year. When the can lead the league in fewest points allowed, like in 2010, 1996, and during Lombardi’s 5 championships, then they will return to the top. All in all though, they provided many magic moments this year. 9 and 0 at home, beating both the Patriots and Cowboys, winning the NFC North for the 4th strait year, the beard tug on Jeremy Wilcox followed by Rodgers’ magic are just a few. I am thankful that my uncle in Chicago made me a Packer when I was child during the end of the Lombardi run or else I would be a suffering Bear fan now. Go Pack Go!

    1. Agree with everything Chad and Mark said. The best team lost yesterday. Thanks to Al and everyone with allgbp for adding to a great season!

    1. Sean Peyton is a solid HC but get off the ‘Katrina’ bravado train and that SB win….who has done better since.
      I’ll grant this….MM is to tame for an OC duties.

          1. “Who has done better since” — which is what you actually wrote — is an open-ended question. And it’s a perfectly fine question, so i ran with it.

  2. Thanks, Chad. An enjoyable read and I second most of your sentiments. I thought these guys played their tails off yesterday. I was in sheer disbelief more than anything else at the end of the game, and as I get more distance the frustrations over the outcome tend to rise to the surface…but that happens with most losses.

  3. Great season but inexcusable conclusion. A few questions I have that no one seems to be talking about:
    1. Is there some reason that we didn’t go after Sherman while playing with one arm? Rodgers post game answer that we were “aware but didn’t execute” is completely unsatisfactory. I know he Rodgers was hurt and then rolled his ankle to boot but he just played really bad yesterday! Gotta be one of his worst game of the year! Red zone production was horrid and a recurring issue.

    2. When CMIII left the game, the defense collapsed. How on god’s earth do you give up a 3rd & 31?! How do you suddenly start giving up multiple 30 yrd pass plays after shutting them down for 3.5 quarters? CMIII leaving the nickel package killed us.

    3. The Patriots showed that your foot stays on the gas the entire game. Pour on the points at all costs. How can you get 5 turnovers on the road and lose the game after only getting 6 points from them? Out of a 100 games, a team that got 5 turnovers on the road will win that game 99 times! Red zone complacency in the form of play calling and execution continue to be a problem for this offense. It needs to get fixed permanently! There is no reason for it. Great running game, great line, great receivers, and one of the best QB’s in the game. What the hell is the problem?! As Sitton said today, I would have rather not made the playoffs that to have the team commit suicide on national television! Great season but one of the most epic meltdowns the NFL has ever seen! GB couldn’t have hoped for a better start in this game and they just collapsed during the last 5 min before their SB berth. If they played this well and lost, under what circumstances can they ever hope to beat SEA? It’s really troubling as a fan:(

    1. “The Patriots showed that your foot stays on the gas the entire game.”

      First you need to find the gas pedal and then know how to step on it…..we did neither the whole game.

      1. Taryn,
        I agree with you. That was the point I was trying to make. The SEA defense is considerably better than the Colts. I wouldn’t expect 45 points but I damn sure would expect SOME red zone production. Point is that you have to stay aggressive and put teams away on both sides of the ball. Instead, the Packers had simultaneous collapses on both sides of the ball and I don’t think anyone still knows why?:(

    2. “As Sitton said today, I would have rather not made the playoffs that to have the team commit suicide on national television!”

      Better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved at all.

        1. I know. It hurts me like everyone else. That’s why I found it helpful to just step back and look at all the great things this team DID accomplish.

          Many fans would have loved to be in our shoes, even with the loss.

  4. Definitely a glass half full approach to the team and the season. And while we are grateful for the general success, you have to wonder if this is the ceiling for this team. There are chronic problems for the Packers that seem to always show up and undermine our ultimate goal. Our linebackers and run defense have been weak links for the last 4 years. Our secondary can play well but is very prone to confusion lapses. Is our defense too complex for the guys playing the scheme? In Chad’s light, the defense is good and has improved. Is it championship caliber? Will it be Seattle better next year? I wouldn’t bet on it.

    The offense is good and Aaron can make some great throws. Regular season stats are always great. Against the better defenses we almost always sputter, particularly in the red zone. Are we predictable? Can we run right side? What gets us over the hump before Rodgers turns into Favre.

    I won’t even talk about special teams because they are garbage. MM will give us his 20 run target excuse or a spiel about the self-scout process and that will be that. We’ll all expect a 11-5 or 12-4 season another division title for next year and hope that we don’t run into another young, well coached team. I just don’t have a sense that this scenario won’t play out again next year and well be asked to be grateful for the good season

    1. If I had a child, and his/her school sports team made it to the semi-finals every year they were on the team, but always missed getting to the finals, I would still be a damn proud parent.

  5. There was a point in the Shermie-Favre reign when you just knew they wouldn’t do anything even if they made the playoffs. They’d find a way to lose. The team gave me that Shermie vibe yesterday. Awful. Under Mike McSchottenheimer, this team is getting hard to love.

  6. This is a much bigger deal than many think. To be literally seconds to going to the superbowl and effing it up, is not cool. Took us 5 years to get this close again. Could be another 5 or more to do it again. How couldn’t the adrenaline kick in and help someone make a play. Heartless end to the season. Being a Cubs fan I can always say, “look out for next year, we are going all the way”

    1. True Big T. We had it. And we blew it. But it can be overcome. It can be like the 95 Pack or the 12 Seahawks where a devastating “we had it” game in the playoffs leads to a couple years of take-no-prisoners-ass-kicking which nets us a couple Lombardis.

      The roster is in a really good place and so is the salary cap. Peppers is the only descending guy (age wise) on contract for next year that we might be counting on.

      The team will be better next year.

  7. Right on Chad.

    Yes, yesterday sucked. Today I’m still struggling. I probably will for at least a week. It was that way in 2007 – and this is the 2nd worst loss over the course of my fandom (and in many ways worse) than that was.

    BUT – 2 things:

    1. Let’s look at yesterday again. Yes. MM/SS and Bostick. And Burnett. Sigh. But this is the same team that out-coached and out-executed New England just 6 weeks ago. Russell Wilson has a horseshoe planted firmly up his ass and someday soon it’s going to go away. We were the better team. Yes, we choked, but much of the last 5 minutes was completely random. That game is played 10 times and we win 9.99.

    2. Look at the roster and the salary cap. We have 1 must sign and 3 maybe’s. Cobb – Bulaga – Tramon – Raji – Peppers (will we keep him). Cobb is the only must sign. We’ve got draft picks with the only holes on the roster being ILB and NT. Maybe OLB if/when Clay moves back outside. (I personally liked him more inside).

    Yes, today hurts. But the future is still bright. Peyton is done. Brady is close to done. Brees the same. Luck has no defense and no running game and a salary cap that is all out of whack. Kaepernick sucks. Wilson is about to get PAID. Ditto Wagner. Seattle can’t keep the whole team together – and their OL and DL need a LOT of work. So – WHO is going to be better in the near future? Maybe the Vikes if everything goes right for them – but I’d say GB is much more likely to retain dominance in our division and set up nicely to be the team to beat for years to come.

    This team WILL win another Lombardi before ARod is done. Possibly 2. And we will look back on this period in Packer history with fond memories and pride.

    1. Bearmeat – I agree with you, but this team still has a way to go. It is not about what happens to the other teams, it’s about what the Packers do, how they do it and what they want to become. They need an attitude adjustment, especially in big games. They need to play smarter and get nastier. This team has the skills but they don’t have the attitude and I’m not sure that the coaches have the right attitude either. There is no excuse for yesterday. The team ultimately failed in every phase of the game. Offense, no 1st downs in the 4th quarter, defense walked off the field with about 3 1/2 minutes to play and the STs blew their 2 biggest plays. Not to mention Daniels unnecessary and stupid penalty, dropped passes and picks, and the usual missed tackles. It’s a loss that is on the players and coaches. The Packers were well prepared and played hard and I’m proud of that, but they did not play smart when they needed to and they couldn’t get the job done in crunch time. If we’re going to dominate the next few seasons we need to get address these questions, make the right decisions, and not allow a repeat of yesterday’s mistakes. Thank, Since ’61

      1. Yeah. But 61 – this was the same coaching staff and key players (minus Collins and Woodson) that made the run in 2010. A complete overhaul isn’t necessary. MM went for the kill against NE. Just 6 weeks ago.

        Slocumb needs to go. But sometimes “the best” team win in a 1 game and your out” playoff.

        This was one of those cases.

        1. Bearmeat – I’m not saying that we need a complete overhaul, I’m just saying that the team needs an attitude adjustment. They need to play smarter and get nastier, especially in big games. And yes, Slocum needs to go. Thanks, Since ’61

          1. 61 – I guess I just don’t see that. They screwed the pooch yesterday. And against the NYG in 2011 and SF in 2012. But you can’t call 2013 screwing up against what was a more physical 49er team. I guess you could call the fireworks show in 09 against Warner and the Cards screwing up – but IMO that was a shootout that could have gone either way – and we’d have lost to the Saints in the next round anyways.

            Look at the “model” of consistency in the NFL – the Pats. They haven’t won since 03. They lost so SANCHEZ TWICE in the playoffs. Flacco twice. Roethlisberger once. Eli twice.

            Honestly, the “one and done” playoffs are every bit as random as the NCAA tourney. Crazy things happen. Which is why you want a good running game and good D in the playoffs, because that usually doesn’t have as much variance as a high-flying passing attack. Look at Peyton’s Colts. Peyton’s Broncos! Brees’ Saints!

            There is no formula. You can build your team on a QB and win a lot of games and have the shot to win it all. Or you can build it on a defense and try to win it all. Not both. Salary cap doesn’t allow it.

            Honestly? I’d fire Slocumb. But that’s it. Capers unit improved a lot this year. I’d like MM to think about hiring a game manager – no matter how smart he is, he’s got too much to do on Sundays.

            Yeah. The better team lost yesterday. It happens to someone every year. Sucks that it was us this year. But we’ll be back. I’m sad. But proud. This team WILL win it all at least 1x more before ARod is done. Probably 2x more.

            1. Bearmeat – I’m with you on Slocum. And I agree that we will win at least one more SB with AR. My point about smarter and nastier is about eliminating stupid penalties and making big stops on defense when you need them. It also means not using a 3 man rush when you have been harassing Wilson all game with a 4 man rush, etc…, etc. The more I look at the Seattle game the more I realize that Rodgers being unable to run was a deciding factor. We were 3/14 on 3rd downs. If Rodgers has his legs he runs for at least 2-3 more 1st downs, keeps drives alive and runs down more clock which reduces or eliminates time for a Seattle comeback. His injury probably cost us a trip to the SB. We’ll be back. Thanks, Since ’61

  8. Awesome article. It said something I am feeling these days. I’m from other side of the Globe and believe it or not I was so proud on Packers for yesterday game. They showed to the world who is the truly champion. They lost. Like parent hurt for his child loss you can do nothing else but love them more. And yes. Few good draft picks and Packers will have the best roster in NFL. I was so sure this year is that look out year. It was, almost. And I can tell you, if Packer was winners there is no team in NFL who might beat them in SB this year. That is why I’m so sad, but proud!

  9. Chad – good article and I appreciate your points. This team still has some major issues to get through to get back to and win this game and the SB next year and in future seasons. First, yesterday’s frustrations include Rodger’s injury along with the complete 4th quarter melt down. If Rodgers were completely healthy the half time score would have between 24 – 35 to nothing. Rodgers could not run and on top of that his accuracy was off. Then we have the poor play calling and as many mistakes during the final 3 minutes for a full season.
    First this team needs to play smarter in big games.
    Second we need a quality alternative to Rodgers when he is injured.
    Third we need a leader on the defense like a Nitschke or Reggie White for the D to rally around and to maintain their focus, especially in big games.
    The defense checked out of yesterday’s game after Burnett’s pick. I realize that he went down to prevent a possible fumble but he still had room to run. Continue up the field towards the sideline and when someone gets close step out of bounds. I was coached this as a safety in High School a long time ago. No excuse.
    Dix’s play on the 2 point conversion is inexcusable.
    Fourth, either fire Capers or at least tell him that if he ever uses a 3 man rush again he will be fired.
    Fifth, cut Hawk and draft real ILBs.
    Sixth, fire Slocum and hire a real ST coach.
    Seventh tell the team that the game is 60 minutes long.
    Eight, lock the players in a room and replay their stupid penalties until they realize how stupid they are.
    Nine, have the team, including the coaches, watch films of the Lombardi Packers until they understand how to win and what it takes.
    Ten, MM needs to learn to go for the kill and stop playing mamby-pamby football. Chad, I love the Packers also. It’s the only way I could remain a long distance fan over 50 years. The difference is that you believe this is an SB team and I believe that yesterday proved that this team needs help in several fundamental football areas. Most importantly, they need an attitude adjustment towards nasty. They have the skills, they need the attitude. The accomplishments that you listed are fine but they do not make for a championship and there is only one champion at the end of the season. Thanks, Since ’61

  10. Aaron Rodgers: 2 picks with his team in field goal range and another misfire with a receiver wide open for a touchdown. Any other result and he’d be going to Arizona. What an “MVP”!

  11. Very nice post. I can say this, GB went toe to toe physically with Seattle in there building. I saw a physicality level in the defense and offensive line that I have not witnessed since 2010 SB. This bodes very well for the future of this franchise. I don’t think this will affect the team next year. Look for the team to once again be in play for a bye and home-field advantage. I am glad I am a Packer fan and have the chance to watch my favourite team compete and be a contender every year in January.

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