The worst part about the Green Bay Packers choking away the NFC Championship game in Seattle is the fact that it’s going to be a full year before the Packers have a shot at redemption.
At this point, the regular season is basically a formality for the Packers. They’ll win between 10 and 13 games next season, contend for the division title, and be in the mix for a top-seed in the playoffs. Just like they are every season.
Next season, like just about every season during the Favre/Rodgers era, will be full of memorable moments, big wins, and bigger performances from the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Clay Matthews.
But through it all, what happened on Sunday will linger in the back of my mind and the minds of all Packers fans. We’ll love what happens on the march toward another NFC North title, but we’ll constantly be looking ahead to the postseason, and wondering if it’s all going to be washed away by yet another playoff meltdown.
Not only have the Packers been one of the most successful and exciting teams in football during the Favre/Rodgers era, they also lead the league in gut-wrenching postseason defeats. Vikings fans will claim to be the leader in the gut-wrenching defeat category, but that’s yet another area where they can’t match the Packers.
Super Bowl 32, The Terrell Owens catch, the Michael Vick game, 4th and 26, the 2007 NFC championship, the strip-sack fumble OT loss in Arizona, losing in the divisional round after a 15-1 regular season, and whatever the hell you want to call Sunday’s meltdown — all of those add up to a level of postseason failures that would make the Atlanta Braves blush.
Thankfully, none of that overshadows the two Super Bowls the Packers have won amidst all those tear-your-heart-out losses. And, with all due respect to Josh Sitton, I’d much rather root for a team that has a legit shot to win it all every season and collapses 80 percent of the time instead of a team that is lucky to reach the postseason twice per decade.
But what happened on Sunday hurts, and it’s going to hurt for a long time. Redemption will only come if the Packers make their way back to the NFC title game a year from now and win the damn thing.
That might be harsh and unfair, but another division title and playoff disappointment won’t heal the hole blasted in my Packers psyche on Sunday. Doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy whatever thrilling ride the Packers take me on next season and appreciate everything they will probably accomplish. It just means true redemption is at least a year way, and that’s a long time to wait.
On to the final Packers Stock Report of this season:
Crosby trotted onto the field far too often for my liking, but man, what a kick to send the game into overtime.
Of all the Packers players I feel for today, I might feel the most for Peppers. He deserved a shot at the Super Bowl.
I know I’ll get flack for this one, but I don’t care. Rodgers wasn’t anything special on Sunday, but he did a damn fine job going up against the league’s best defense on one leg. Most healthy quarterbacks would not have been able to do what Rodgers did Sunday against that defense on the road.
Another great effort in pass blocking from the offensive line. I say re-sign Bryan Bulaga and keep this group together for next season.
I’m looking forward to Rodgers taking the next step in 2015.
Be nice to Bostick, Packers fans. He’s far from the only reason Green Bay pissed that game away.
Sometimes I wonder if the Packers success running the ball early in games hurts them later in games. Does it give McCarthy reason to think he’s coaching the 1993 Dallas Cowboys instead of the high-flying Packers led by Aaron Rodgers? Going conservative and pointlessly running up the middle over and over again in the fourth quarter was hard to watch. So was settling for field goals twice on Seattle’s 1-yard line. Mike should’ve tried to punch it in at least once.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .