Well folks I know it's another depressing January Monday in Wisconsin but we can take solace in this; we never even had a chance to beat the Niners yesterday. Not with Nature Boy Ric Flair pumping up the Niners on Saturday night. Like I had no less than 50 (3) people post this on my facebook wall on Sunday morning and when I woke up and checked it out my heart sank. Just no way you're going to beat a team that's been styled and profiled less than 24 hours before a big game. We were basically a member of the Foot Clan or a Puddy standing in the way of a Ninja Turtle or Power Ranger. My only question for Ric is...why? All we do every Monday morning is play Packer highlights and WHOOOOO's all morning! Trying to help you pay off that divorce one 41 cent royalty check at a time. And then you go and do something like this? Et tu Nature Boy?
Anyhow I'm not going to break this thing down moment by moment because what this game came down to was missed opportunities. The Micah Hyde non-pick is basically what everyone is talking about this morning and rightfully so. That ball looked like it had 50 shades of Al Harris 'we want the ball and we're gonna score' written all over it. Make that play and it's over. But there were other moments where it felt like we left points on the field. The first exchange after the half I thought was sneaky huge. Our defense holds them to a quick 3 and out (wait, what?), we take over at our own 45 and what do we do with it? Nothing. The other big one was not being able to get a touchdown when we were down 20-17 and had first and goal at their 9. You just knew that was going to be huge when we couldn't get in the end zone. And what was the first run play to Randall Cobb all about on that set of downs? Look I get that Cobb is dynamic, but when it's 0 degrees outside and Cobb hasn't run from the backfield since October, maybe late in a Wild Card game isn't the best time to try and get cute. You have a beast, feed him.
And of course no Packer game this season would be complete without more injuries. Shields, Neal, Mulumba, House and Bakhtiari all go down for stretches. Kind of a microcosm of our season. Honestly I know the popular sentiment it to bring in the Bobs to have a sit down with Dom Capers but I'd rather try and get to the bottom of why our injury list reads longer than the Vang section in my high school yearbook every single season. I'd like for just one season to come and go without us losing 40% of our anticipated roster before the playoffs hit. I don't know if that's necessarily something you can 'figure out' or 'fix' but at the very least we need to look into our off season training regiment. You're not going to win playoff games with Marshall Newhouse and Jarret Bush playing important snaps.
So all things considered it was an entertaining season that saw the Pack overcome a ton of odds to win another NFC North title. Dramatic comeback in Dallas, 4th down play to take down Chicago were two major highlights. Overcoming 8 weeks sans Rodgers was trying but we made it through. Still though, can't help but feel a little hollow given that another year of Rodgers' prime is gone and no return trip to the Super Bowl. I think we all look back at the Favre years and think 'man how did we only win ONE Super Bowl in all that time.' I'm not saying that's going to be how Rodgers' career plays out, but I'm just saying let's make the moves to make sure it doesn't.
PS: Only thing that might have countered the Niners with Nature Boy would have been for McCarthy to bring in the Iron Sheik. Eyemuffs kids!