You could probably find 100 reasons Green Bay lost, but let’s countdown the most significant ways the Packers blew a surefire trip to Super Bowl XLIX. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
1. At halftime I texted my brother, “Packers have blown those 4 turnovers. This game should be over.” (Of course I prefaced that statement with doubting Seattle’s offense’s ability to comeback, but no one needs to know that.) Anyway, the Packers tallied only 6 points off 4 Seattle turnovers. That’s unacceptable at home. On the road, it’s flirting with disaster.
2. With just over 5 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, the Seahawks needed two touchdowns to keep their playoff hopes alive. Already desperate for points, Russell Wilson threw his 4th interception of the game. Instead of returning the interception, Morgan Burnett opted to drop to the ground and give himself up at the Green Bay 39. At the very least, Burnett could have ran for 10-15 yards before another Seahawk was available to make a tackle. That would have put the Packers one 1st down away from field goal range and a 15 point lead. It’s possible Burnett even scores. Who knows? But we know he at least gets the Packers on the Seattle side of the field.
3. After the Burnett interception, the Packers showed no urgency to finish the game with the ball in their possession. Instead they casually ran three running plays for a total of -4 yards. Way to close, Green Bay.
4. The Packers as a whole, and especially the defense, shut down the engines before the final whistle. Once you clock out for the night it’s not as easy as flipping a switch to get that intensity back. Green Bay’s defense offered no resistance over the final 7 minutes of the game.
5. Brandon Bostick bobbled and dropped the onside kick. Had Bostick held on, the Packers are flying home NFC Champions. Instead, Seattle’s Chris Matthews snatched the football out of the air, giving Seattle life. I feel awful for Bostick. No one deserves to feel what he feels today. Also, does it make sense to have your 3rd string tight end in such a crucial situation? I’m sure he has great hands, but he hadn’t caught a pass all day. Unless he was on the sideline catching footballs, his hands were probably cold and stiff. Perhaps he was only there to protect Jordy Nelson and foolishly jumped for the football. We’ll likely never know, but if you’re the Packers you definitely want Jordy Nelson bringing that ball in. Not Brandon Bostick.
6. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix second-guessed himself and allowed a crucial 2 point conversion on what equated to a Hail Mary. If you watch the replay, it appears Dix’s initial reaction is to go up and knock the ball away. Then it appears he misjudged the football and opts to go for the tackle instead. Whatever happened, it was a disaster. Dix played such a great game up to that point, too.
7. Aaron Rodgers aggravated his injured calf. With over a minute to go and three timeouts, Rodgers and the Packers had plenty of time to tie or win the game. On their first three plays of the potential game-winning drive, the Packers marched 42 yards. Unfortunately, the final 12 yards proved costly as Rodgers pulled up lame on a 12 yard scramble. After that play Rodgers looked stiff in the pocket, unable to escape any pressure like he had earlier on the drive. Now I’m not saying the Packers definitely win, but it felt like Rodgers was going to coolly march Green Bay into the end zone and thus, the Super Bowl. Again, we’ll never know.
8. Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks were resilient. They were the deaf frog in the deep pail of water. While the noise around them focused on a loss and an embarrassing performance, Seattle kept on, never losing hope. Though they made more mistakes than Green Bay, they capitalized on nearly every one of the Packers’ miscues.
9. Like Omar Little taught us, “You come at the king, you best not miss.” The Packers missed.