Greetings from the Frozen Tundra, friends.
Usually, after watching the Packers play, one can always find at least one positive thing that happened during the game. After Sunday's game, it's probably pretty safe to say people are really stretching to find that one positive thing, if they are coherent and have their jaws picked up off the floor yet.
Was it Donald Driver's touchdown catch, the one that rallied the troops for a brief, shining moment? Was it the fact that Aaron Rodgers wasn't sacked until one of the announcers said something to the effect of "Well, Aaron Rodgers hasn't been sacked all day, that's one positive"? (And then Rodgers went down.) Or was the shining moment of the game when it finally, painfully ended?
This was a painful game to watch, even if you weren't really into the game. To watch the Green Bay Packers, who were the talk of the NFL during the regular season in regard to their near perfect record for the season, play the way that they did yesterday was truly painful.
The normally spectacular receiving corps? Multiple dropped passes. While it has been common in the recent weeks to see Jermichael Finley drop passes, to see Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings do the same? Inconceivable! Where were the behind-the-shoulder catches the announcers raved about during the regular season? And, in all seriousness, where was Jordy Nelson? His name wasn't even mentioned until—you guessed it—he dropped a pass.
If you weren't in Wisconsin last night, watching the Packers game, you didn't hear what was being said. However, the gist of the conversation, with all the curse words edited out, was, "What just happened?"
I am not trying to take away from the Giants by any means. They played a phenomenal game, to be perfectly blunt, even though it is painful to say. But watching the Packers play last night reminded me of watching a bully make a kid hit himself in the head, all the while saying, "Hey, buddy, stop hitting yourself! Why are you hitting yourself? Quit hitting yourself!"
Yes, it was that painful. And despite a few moments that made fans rise out of their chairs and say, "Oh thank goodness! The Packers were just playing possum! NOW we're going to get into some Packers football!", the drives were either stalled by fumbles, which were recovered by the Giants, or missed opportunities.
For the love of everything holy and pure...
Now, Packers players and fans face an incredibly long offseason, one which hopes to have the Packers' coaching staff take a good, hard look at the defense (missed tackles) and, as strange as it may sound, the offense (dropped balls). Will Finley find his confidence and be able to break the "catch one pass, drop many" mode that he has been in? Will Dom Capers take the talented defense and make it into the powerhouse it was in the 2010 season? Will Edgar Bennett, the Packers' wide receivers coach, make every single receiver carry a ball with them during the entire offseason as a reminder to not drop the ball?
Time will tell.
Until then, my friends, take heart in the fact that the Packers had a great season and this was only just one game. A painful-to-watch, heartbreaking game, but just one game, nonetheless. And while Packers fans worldwide today are probably in a very surly mood, remember this: We have until nine months to regroup until the start of the 2012 season.
Nine long months.
The Green Bay Packers will come back from this loss, and they will continue to keep their fans on the edges of their seats during every single game. Win or lose, the fans of the Green and Gold will be here, patiently waiting. Regardless of the outcome of yesterday's game, good job, Packers players and staff, on a fantastic season.
See you in the fall.