A couple of days after their shocking exit of the 2011 NFL Playoffs, the time has come for the Packers to control the damage done by their home loss.
The Giants were not favourites (some didn't even count them as contenders, let alone possible victors) to win at Lambeau Field, but a very solid defensive performance and a strong passing game got them through possibly the biggest challenge they could face en route to the Super Bowl.
Not surprisingly, the critics of the Green Bay Packers came back for another round and the talks about Aaron Rodgers being a system QB with it. But the truth is, it was just a bad day at the office for the Packers.
The first point that stands out is that the passing game just didn't work. Either by Rodgers not putting up the numbers we are used to seeing him have in terms of pass completion or the number of drops the receivers allowed, the passing game was just destined to fail on Sunday.
When your team depends so much on its passing game, a struggling day can become a complete nightmare.
Then there was the Green Bay's running game. Since Rodgers was having a rough day passing, the team needed to look for their second best offensive option: the ground attack.
This might be the real issue out there for the Packers. While Starks, Grant and Kuhn are all decent RB's, the team needs a RB that they can rely on in times of need—and that can really make a difference.
The Ravens' offensive force, for instance, is Ray Rice. While it's true that Baltimore's defence wins games, it's also true that they can't win every game and their QB is not the best out there, so Ray Rice plays a huge role in their offense.
His talent may not be fitting for the Packers' game plan (since he would most surely be 'misused' by their offensive passing game plan) but it's that kind of player that they need.
Finally, the defence. When they were needed the most this season, they came up with a performance that can be summed up in one word that reflects most of their season: struggling.
Last season, they were one of the game's most fierce and cohesive units, instigating fear into the hearts of their opponents. For some unexplainable reason, they just couldn't keep the standard they got fans used to and this last game shows a need for reflection.
While it was enough to get them through the season in stellar fashion, they needed a 49er-ish defence at this stage of the season.
With all that being said, it was a tough loss. Green Bay know why they lost without having to think too much about it and that is one of the worst feelings you can have.
But no one can take away the great season they had—and next season they will be back in the title hunt again.