Collapse could have long-term effects
I guess I am saddest about the Packer collapse because of the impact it is likely to have on the team: the players and the coaching staff.
Imagine coming into training camp in July and busting your butt to get as far into the playoffs as possible. Imagine your young players stepping up and making real contributions to the team’s success. Imagine your quarterback having an MVP season. Imagine making a huge turnaround on defense in midseason and, save for a lousy game in Buffalo on the part of everyone on the offense, nearly ending the season as the number one seed. Imagine succeeding in tough games against Detroit and Dallas to get to the NFC finals and imagine having the highly-favored Seahawks in a choke hold, only to blow the game.
This has the potential to sow bitterness all over the place. The fans are livid. They want a scapegoat, or scapegoats. Brandon Bostick is an easy target but the wolves are in full throat against McCarthy, This has the potential to tear at the fabric of the team. Everyone needs to step back and take a deep breath if we care for the long-term prospects of this wonderful team. Bitter disagreements at the core, between, say, McCarthy and Rodgers would be devastatingly corrosive.
I’ll admit to being as disappointed as anyone at this terrible collapse, but I have been a Packer fan for 65 years. I became a fan in 1949 when the Packers were The Pits. In 1959 Vince Lombardi came to Green Bay and took us to the top of the mountain. Lombardi left in 1968 and the Packers went back to wandering in the wilderness. Then came Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren and, most importantly, Brett Favre, and the Packers reclaimed their position as one of the league’s premier teams.
Folks, we’ve been on a roll for more than 30 years. Winning is the norm. Exciting football games are routine. We’ve won two Super Bowls and been in the playoffs nearly every year and I hope we can find a way to defuse the negativity, at least long enough to calm down and realize what a great situation we have in Green Bay, today’s fiasco notwithstanding.
Who’s to blame for Packers loss?
As a lifelong Packers fan, I had a bad feeling their wrong mind-set would result in an eventual loss, when in the 1st quarter Mike Daniels stupidly and selfishly taunted the Seahawks, resulting in a 15yard penalty, probably costing a touchdown. It’s a team game, there’s no excuse for such stupid selfishness. Absolutely the coach is responsible for strictly teaching his players the correct mind-set, so the ultimate blame goes to Mike McCarthy, who also made terrible decisions throughout in play calling.
Michael G. Price
Michigan Center, Mich.
Coaching decisions quite baff ling
As a Minnesotan, but a big Packer fan, I stay in touch with the team via JSOnline.com. I just watched my team play the game of their lives and then witnessed coaching decisions cost them a win. Sorry Coach McCarthy, but while you do have a Super Bowl ring and tons of success, your decision making at times is completely baffling. Why don’t you believe in your All-World QB to complete a pass in order to get a first down? He did fine with a little over a minute left in order to get in position for the tying field goal. Playing not to lose leaves a really bad taste. What a shame. Note to self. . . . if the coaches don’t care enough to do anything but curl up in a defensive ball, their fans should not care either.
Pete Engebretson Minneapolis, Minn.
In a championship game, play to win
Word to the wise Mr. McCarthy and that so-called great offensive mind trust of the late great GB Packers. When you’re in a championship game, play like it. Don’t play NOT TO LOSE, PLAY TO WIN, Your opponent will! Seattle proved that today. Go for the throat every once and awhile and don’t be afraid to take chances. Another year ends with you looking like a deer in the headlights, having no clue what happened in the end. Same old excuses, and I’m sure no changes to be made. We’ll get the same old, “The coaches don’t play the game the players do.”
You had what, 2 possessions in the last 6 min. in fantastic field position and call 6 running plays when you arguably have the best QB in football and tie his hands. EXTREMELY poor game management. Another year wasted in the career of said QB, which are flying by quickly, promises of a dynasty are quickly becoming empty promises.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely glad to have a team that wins year in and year out, but that’s all your teams are ever going to be is just good teams. Great teams, legendary teams are the ones that get to that mountain top. 55 mins of fun, excitement, 5 min of heartbreak. Epic fail. Well back to the real world. Until fall, that is.
Larry Gadzalinski Milwaukee, Wis.
Time for change in coaching staff
It’s time to address the issue of the Green Bay Packers playoff game. We have been in the playoffs the last several years and never make it out of the first or second round. Yesterday was an example of how bad it can get. It is time for the Packer front office to follow San Francisco’s lead and make changes. Jim Harbaugh had an amazing record but didn’t have what it takes to win a championship. We are seeing the same thing with the Packers. It’s time to revamp the coaching staff, if not all at least the defensive side. Yesterday’s game was totally ridiculous and shouldn’t happen again.
Charles Kerby Bloomfield, Iowa
McCarthy needs wins that matter
I spent a lot of time last week trying to understand how John Elway and the Denver Broncos could part ways with John Fox so easily. I mean, here was a coach who had led them to playoff games, divisional titles, and a Super Bowl in the last few years. And then I watched Sunday’s NFC Championship Game and had an epiphany.
Neither John Fox or Mike McCarthy can win consistently. Neither coach is able to “pull the trigger,” “roll the dice,” “lay it all out there” or any other cliché you want to apply. And while I am not calling for McCarthy’s head (yet), something needs to be done.
In the first quarter when we had fourth and less than a yard McCarthy chose to kick the field goal. There are those who would argue that it is better to kick the field goal and take the three points. I contend that in a game this big you left four points on the field. I realize that goal line stands are tough and that in most situations you take the points, but this is not most situations and if you do not get the touchdown you have still left Seattle with a 99yard drive for a touchdown. Games are rarely won or lost on one play, but tones and future decisions can certainly be affected.
Pete Carroll in a field-goal situation chose to “put on the big boy pants” and faked a field goal instead. He not only caught the Packers unaware, but ended up with the four points the Pack left behind.
There are many reasons the Packers lost yesterday: the Brandon Bostick mishandle of the onside kick; Morgan Burnett’s mysterious lay down on the interception; anyone on defense failing to stop the two-point conversion; the successful aforementioned fake field goal; and, the defense forgetting to play/ cover in the last four minutes of the game.
Mike McCarthy now has more wins than any other Packers coach other than Lambeau, but he does not have more wins that matter. Time is marching on and the chances of keeping a team this good together and healthy for yet another run at the Big Game is fading each year.
Aaron Rodgers has played with pain, determination, and guts for the last several games. It is too bad his head coach could not.
Sue Goss Menomonee Falls, Wis.
Overtime rules need to be addressed
The NFL overtime rules boggle the mind when it comes to fair determination of a competition. In the NFC championship, the Green Bay Packers made a few big mistakes, a muffed onside kick recovery and poor defense on a Hail Mary two-point conversion, but the most decisive error they made was calling tails instead of heads on the overtime coin toss . . . which subsequently lead to the Seattle Seahawks victory and advancement to the Super Bowl. Yes, in the NFC Championship Game, the game, and the season for one team, is decided by a coin flip. The rule is basically, if you win the coin toss, and go on offense and score a touchdown . . . the game is over. The opponent does not get a chance to try and score.
Imagine the World Series ending with a similar rule; before the extra inning, a coin toss decides which team bats first, then in the top of the 10th inning the coin toss winning team scores a run and the game ends. The other team does not get a chance to bat. It would kill the MLB ratings. What makes baseball great is that each team gets the same chance and sometimes they have to battle many innings to claim victory. How would basketball be impacted if in overtime, the coin toss winning team gets to inbound the ball and if they hit a 3-point shot, they win.
No other professional sport determines their championships in such manner where pure chance, orchestrated by rule . . . determines victory. What happened in Sunday’s regulation time game has no bearing on the overtime. In the overtime . . . we are starting essentially a brand new game, but in this game the process is stacked by a coin toss.
Why does the NFL use this rule when all other sports have better ways of ending tie competitions (look no further then the NCAA for an exciting and fair way to end tie games)? The NFL wants to control broadcast time, fair competition or not: so as to maximize the schedule of viewers (and therefore revenue) tuning on to the next game.
Regardless of which team you were pulling for in the NFC Championship, all NFL fans were denied the potential for the probable MVP to even play in overtime. This is a rule that must change. Ed Gardner Roswell, Ga.
Some Packers fans are unhappy with Mike McCarthy’s play calling.