The rebuilding Indianapolis Colts led by a rookie quarterback were down 21-3 at halftime. They were facing the mighty Green Bay Packers, the 2010 Super Bowl champion that had a 15-1 record during the 2011 regular season.
Surely the hosts already realized they were beaten. The second half would be just a live scrimmage before the inevitable victory.
Maybe part of the problem is that no player from the 1999 season was there to warn them about playing an underdog riding an emotional wave. But I was about halfway up the stands around the 22-yard line behind the Packers bench.
It was a November 7 game against the team the Packers have played more than any other. But it was no ordinary day for the rival Chicago Bears. It was their first game after the death of Walter Payton, perhaps the greatest running back to ever play the game and certainly the best Bear ever.
At halftime, they trotted out the band with navy socks over the bells of their horns. Stitched into the fabric in orange was "#-3-4-S-W-E-E-T-N-E-S-S" in succession. I remember thinking we should not invoke the man who beat us so many times in his career.
I would still swear it was his hand—and that leaping ability he used to dive over the pile for the score—that blocked Ryan Longwell's short field goal to prevent the hosts from coming back to win.
A speech about that might have kept the team from its problem of switching to auto-pilot. This is not an unfamiliar sight for Packers fans. It needs to be said: Green Bay's players better realize they are not as good as they think they are, or this team will be out of the playoffs fast.
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings are 4-1. If the Detroit Lions grow up, they will be hard to beat twice. Considering Green Bay is facing one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL next week, they are likely to be behind at least four teams for the final wild card spot.
In the meantime, it is important to learn something from the loss. Here is an examination of each unit's performance, graded without such variables like being dinged or strength of competition.
MJ Kasprzak is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers and the original community leader for the Pack and San Jose Sharks on Bleacher Report. You can view more of MJ's work on both San Jose Sharks and SF Christian Examiner.