Monday, January 11, 2010

I Don't Know

That is really the only thing I can use to describe what happened. I don't know.

Two of my bosses (one of whom is almost as much of a fan as me, and who was distraught, and one of whom is not even close (i.e. will now root for the Vikings because they are in the same division) and is seemingly going to move on with his life like nothing happened) tried to talk to me about the game. And I really couldn't say anything. It is almost hard to believe that it happened at all. Like it was some sort of elaborate dream/nightmare that I endured starting back in August, with everything coming crashing down yesterday. I'm not sure that it is fair to just look at yesterday to realize how insane yesterday was. I don't know.

I think to get the full effect, you need to start in the preseason. The whole season was a roller coaster that ended with a 500 foot drop into a brick wall. In the preseason, we dominated everything in sight, and went from possible playoff contender, but probably not a playoff team, to a trendy Super Bowl pick. Then the season shaky, eventually leading to the Tampa loss, which was rock bottom and everyone had unanimously counted us out of any chance of the playoffs (me included). Then everything clicked, on both sides of the ball (except for the 500 yd blip at Pittsburgh), especially on offense, and we rolled to 7-1, and were pretty big presumptive favorites at Arizona.

I had quit at least three times yesterday. Down 17-0, with the offense not working well, and the defense stopping nobody, I didn't have alot of confidence, and I was pretty bummed. Then, we get to 24-10, I'm feeling slightly better, but still not real confident. Then 31-10, I give up again. Then Rodgers starts matching Warner (who by the way, was placed in a Delorean by (Sports Bottle's) god before the game with the flux capacitor set to 1999) throw for throw, we get a ballsy onside kick and eventually things are tied up. Then, we make the mistake of allowing the Cardinals to get the ball back with more than 30 seconds and they march down into chip shot range (give up #3), and Rackers fucking gags. Then we win the toss and I scream, which should tell you right there the problem with the NFL playoff system. Basically, I was convinced that the coin flip was going to decide our season. Well, it turns out that 400+ yds, 4TD passes and a TD run can be wiped out by an unblocked blitzing corner. Enter the brick wall.

Oddly, that was possibly the least soul crushing, soul crushing loss I've ever experienced. Had we been up by three TDs and blew it, it would have been the worst ever. But the fact that the Pack's offense stepped up and played like they did, and McCarthy's decisions on offense and kicking that onside at the absolute perfect time led to a huge comeback made this easier to swallow. At least three times the game was over. We had no business winning that game. You could look at it one way and say "If we score 45, we should win 100% of the time" which is absolutely true. But if you give up 51, and lose the turnover battle 3 to 1, you should lose every time. I'm not at all taking this well mind you, but I'm not going to look back on this loss ten years from now and cringe/panic to change the channel ala: 4th and 26, The Interception/Ice Bowl III (NFC Title loss to Giants), Horse Tooth Helicopter/Super Bowl XXXII, The Fumble/The Catch II. And it SUCKS being on the wrong end of an all-time NFL classic playoff game. And believe me, we will be seeing replays of this game 20 years from now.

Now that I have the "positive" or rather non-negative things out of the way. FIFTY ONE FUCKING POINTS!?!?!!? I don't get it at all. I stole the defensive game plan, and here it was: 1) Don't get within 5 yards of anyone wearing red, they have AIDS; 2) let all of the receivers run free; 3) When they do catch a pass, leave your feet and dive at the receivers with one arm (this applies especially to any linebacker not named Clay Matthews); 4) All blitzing linebacker other than Matthews should get picked up by whatever running back stays into block (see the rest of the year); 5) Repeat. Did we just get completely out game planned on defense? We had the number one defense in the fucking league and we got WORKED. Warner was unreal, but most NFL caliber QBs are going to dominate when they are not being touched and throwing to wide open receivers. By the second half I was chuckling to myself, because I couldn't believe what I was watching. It became funny. And even funnier when we started doing the same thing to them. I can't come up with one single reason why it was that bad. Atari Bigby getting hurt doesn't help, but he wasn't that good to begin with. I don't know. We don't get to the playoffs without the defense, but that was despicable. I don't know.

I just don't know.

1 comment:

Bear said...

Couple of things, I didn't ever feel like we were gonna lose the game until they got inside the 50 with 45 seconds left, I knew they'd get in FG range, figured Rackers had it.

I had a pretty good feeling we were gonna onside, wasn't sure if it was that time or the next time we scored, looking back, the sooner we did it, the better. There was no way we were stopping them, it was the only way to get a score back on them.

At the end of the day, and it's still way too fresh right now to be objectionable about this, but we have a really good fucking team and it's really young, 1 or 2 more solid drafts, IE some corners and an OT or two and we could be a dynasty squad. Let that flow over your open wounds for the next 3 months