As I sit here, only 5 hours since the game ended, back at work after the holiday season on very little sleep due to staying up until 4:30am for the game to end I feel numb. Not just through tiredness but I am also weary, it is very wearying to be a Packers Fan this season (or at least the latter half of it).
Before high-horses are jumped upon I am not being negative because we lost, I am glad that we are in the playoffs and that our season is not quite over yet, but I am concerned about the team, something is just not there and hasn’t been for some time. It is right to worry when we know that the Packers can and should be better than the level they are currently playing at, however, I will always blindly follow my Packers through thick and thin!
Going into the final game of the Season versus the Vikings I was full of confidence that this would be the game that the Packers would use to propel themselves through the Division win and into the playoffs. Sure, we had had some wobbly moments throughout the season, but this was the Vikings and we had beaten them before!
As the game began I watched in anticipation as the Vikings started with the first possession of the game, this was key, if we could make a stop early then we could shake their confidence at the very start. It started off so well, the Defense stopped the Vikings from getting the Touchdown and they had to Punt, and then with a Fake Punt they were able to get 41 yards down the field. The Packers Defense held steadfast though and kept them to a Field Goal only. There was hope in the Packers community that the Packers may actually be able to do this.
The Offense came onto the field and let us know that the run game was back! Lacy got the 1st down, which for the Packer’s first possession in games has been lacking recently, they even converted a 4th down after going for it with inches to go. They looked feisty and finally back to the Packers from the early half of the season, even the Offensive Line was giving Rodgers more time to find receivers.
After a 70 yard drive they were unable to complete it with a Touchdown and Crosby kicked the Field Goal, it was 3 – 3 and followed by a series of Punts from both teams. It hardly looked like the two teams were desperate for the win or the Division title, with only another FG from the Vikings before the end of the 1st half.
By half time a few things were becoming clear, our Defense played very well, I will not knock them for anything that game, any points allowed can arguably be attributed to the sheer amount of time that they were on the field, I was be tired too and I was only watching! The Matthews/Peppers sacks were great and although Matthews got called for a stupid Penalty he made up for it with one hell of a sack not long afterwards:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 4, 2016
The other thing was that although the Offensive Line was beat than the week before we were still having issues and yet again Receivers not being able to get free was hurting every play. I am not sure where the Offense has gone recently but when someone tweeted that the Packers Offense had scored only 11 points in the past 7 quarters it only highlighted how face they have fallen.
When the second half began most of the fanbase were close to falling asleep, I think, not much had happened and it was hardly a thrilling game (luckily I had my Twitter community to keep me company). It was at this point that the Vikings were able to pull out to a two score lead with a TD, then things took a turn for the worse for the Packers when the Vikings Defense were able to cause Rodgers to fumble the ball and run it back for a touchdown.
A mention here for Micah Hyde who did an amazing job with this Interception, literally one hand behind his back, possibly the best interception catch of the whole NFL season!
It was yet again in the 4th quarter when the Packers Offense decided to get involved in the game and made some fantastic plays, even Mason Crosby got involved in the action, stop a return that was headed for a horrid amount of yards and instead forced a fumble recovered by Micah Hyde!
Rodgers takes the Packers all the way down to the Redzone after some great looking catches from the Receivers (proving they can do it sometimes) before being intercepted in the end zone, only for the Vikings to Fumble the ball. They recover it however it means that the Packers will get the ball back with some time to make a play happen.
It is at this point that I realise it is a few weeks ago all over again and a hail mary is imminent. They got the first down after going for it, but waste a crucial timeout as the clock ticks down and they are not ready for the snap. As the last few seconds Rodgers hurls the ball downfield but this time it was not meant to be and was batted down, can you really have 2 hail mary’s in one season anyway? More importantly, why has more than one of our games been decided on them?
The Packers lost the Division and will now go on to face the Washington Redskins on January 10th, in my household it will be Husband vs Wife, our teams finally meet. It does mean however that for a change I am quite intimate with the opposing team, having to watch them every week will do that for you!
For me, if the Packers can learn anything from this game it should be: BE MORE AGGRESSIVE ON OFFENSE!
What do you think?
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