17

January

Packers 2011 Season. It’s Over Johnny. It’s Over. The End.

OK, I’m having a little problem here. Admittedly, I’m still pretty shocked about the Packers loss to the Giants. I sat down to write a post-mortem, but I’m just staring at this blank computer screen and pondering where to begin. So, I think I’m going to need some audio and video aids to help me express my feelings…

Mike McTrautman: It’s over Johnny. It’s over.

John “Rambo” Rodgers: Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don’t turn it off! It wasn’t my war! You asked me, I didn’t ask you! And I did what I had to do to win! But somebody wouldn’t let us win!

Um, yeah, the Giants… Again.

As much as we all rejected the comparisons to 2007, the rosy-cheek Coughlin, Manning-face Eli and this band of underdog Giants marched onto Lambeau Field and once again took away what rightfully belonged to the Packers – another win on the way to the Super Bowl.

Both times, it was more than a loss, it was an embarrassment. In the 2007 playoffs, the Giants came into the frozen Green Bay tundra and won a game in elements only the cold-hardened Packers could supposedly withstand. The image of a thoroughly frozen and not wanting to be there Brett Favre (on the sideline just before he would go in and throw his final pass as a Packer) still haunts me.

This time around, the Packers were the de-facto best team in the NFL, with a 15-1 record and the probable NFL MVP at quarterback. But the Giants had an excellent game plan and other ideas. They forced the Packers into turnovers, and took advantage of their best mismatch – their wide receivers against the Packers’ secondary.

Just like Plaxico Burris in the previous playoff meeting, the Packers could not deal with the Giant’s big receiver, Hakeem Nicks.  The Packers couldn’t tackle Nicks, couldn’t cover Nicks and couldn’t catch Nicks. The Hail Mary completion just before halftime will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in Packers history.

The Packers continued to fumble their way through the game (literally), yet despite being outplayed, still found themselves only 7 points behind with the ball on the Giants 39 yard line. Rodgers could not connect with an open Jermichael Finley on 3rd and five, and then was sacked on fourth down. The Giants marched down the field for a field goal, and after a Ryan Grant fumble on the next series, a Giants TD pretty much sealed the Packers’ fate.