Friday, 23 January 2015

Packers had the Seahawks on the ropes, but couldn't finish them.

Watching the Packers-Seahawks game last Sunday was like watching a formulaic horror film, where the gunshot fleshwound-diminished hero has the monster/psycho/terrorist down but not out, and for some reason doesn’t finish him/it with a cinder block on the head or some definitive method like that. Instead he fiddles around with the controls of the time-bomb or straightens out the hair of the heroine, etc., until with a sudden crescendo of music, the baddie is up and out for mayhem again.

There were so many opportunities for the Pack to put them away. I puzzled at why the defensive back grounded himself after the interception with four minutes left, that didn’t make sense at all. He should have run it back as far as he safely could to give his team a field goal attempt at least. I understand that he didn’t want to fumble the football back, but you do that when you can drain the clock with your lead, not with four minutes to go.

And I suffered when the Chargers lost a game to the Pats in 2006, when Marlon McCree intercepted Tom Brady in the final minute of the Conference Championship, only to fumble the ball right back, so I get the general concept, only there’s a big difference between one and four minutes left.

As far as the Pack blowing the play on the two-point convert, again, bad situational awareness. You can’t return a pick or fumble for a touchdown, and a penalty does nothing except replay the down for the offence, and half the distance to the goal. So the plan for the defence is clear, on a pass, do anything you need to do short of getting yourself ejected to bat the ball down. That’s it. What Mr. Clinton-Dix was doing behind the player he was covering was baffling.

Brian Bostic will be the goat for muffing the onside kick reception. At first I thought it was just an error of execution, that he was part of the hands team and had a responsibility to catch it and just missed, but Chris Schultz of TSN broke the video down and showed clearly that his assignment was to block his opposite Seahawk, not attempt the catch. That explains why the Green Bay coach was so irate and vociferous on the sidelines, he wasn’t dressing him down for the flub, but for not doing what he’s been coached to do a hundred times this season.

The Packers could have put this game away, there would have been opportunities where a normally fit Aaron Rogers would have reeled off first-down runs, but couldn’t seize the opportunity, with his gunshot wound/torn calf. There was a play when he had open field and could have run in the second half, but unable to do so, he tried to pitch the ball to Eddie Lacy, but the RB had already turned forward to block for his QB, as he’s done all season, habits die hard.

We’ll think of this game as a memorable one, some will say it was a classic, but it’s more of a case of a team letting another hang around, rope-a-dope and cling to them, and overcome all the turnovers and mistakes until they caught their third and fourth and fifth breath and started rolling.

No comments:

Post a Comment