Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he wasn’t going to question his team’s play-calling, primarily since he’s the one that called them.
He might be a lonely member of that club, because even quarterback Aaron Rodgers was questioning the way the Packers took their foot off the gas and allowed the Seahawks to steal a Super Bowl berth.
“We had some chances early, had some chances late to do some things and didn’t do it,” Rodgers said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. “When you go back and think about it, at times we weren’t playing as aggressive as we usually are.”
There were plenty of mistakes to point to in the last five minutes of regulation, beginning with safety Morgan Burnett sliding down for no good reason after an interception, to Brandon Bostick’s mishandling an onside kick.
But after the interception, the Packers burned just 64 seconds while running the ball three times, even though the Seahawks had nine in the box.
The Packers had killed off wins in their four-minute offense previously this year, but in beating the Cowboys, Patriots and Jets, they dared to throw the ball on third downs to do so.
“We’ve finished off games before in four-minute,” Rodgers said, choosing his words carefully. “We had a chance to do some things; didn’t do it. . . .
“You can’t let them complete a pass for a touchdown on a fake field goal, you can’t give up an onside kick and you can’t not get any first downs in the fourth quarter and expect to win. And that’s on top of being really poor in the red zone in the first half. Put all of that together, that’s how you lose games. This was a great opportunity. We were right on the cusp.”
Before they get back this close, they’re going to need to get on the same page.