There were plenty of reasons for the Green Bay Packers to be frustrated during and after Monday night’s 14-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In the first half the O-Line was more like a block of Swiss cheese than an impenetrable wall. Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times in the first half and was unable to move his offense down the field.
There were also the referees, who made several blunders throughout the duration of game. In the third quarter, Rodgers claims that the refs handed him a kicking ball during the two-point conversion play. Both teams combined for a loss of 245 yards from penalties alone. There were also multiple calls that may have cost the Packers the game, including a controversial Seahawks “touchdown” call at the end of the 4th quarter. What appeared to be an end zone interception by M.D. Jennings was called a Golden Tate touchdown by the referees. There were also two missed pass interference calls against the Seahawks during their final drive of the game, including the final play.
After the final call, it would have been easy for Packers players to unleash their frustration on the media world. With Twitter, Facebook, and various other outlets so easily accessible, Packers’ players could have spoken their mind long before they had time to cool down. Some players, such as T.J Lang, did exactly that. Lang unleashed his anger with the referees on Twitter within minutes of the final call being made. The fans certainly did not hold back their frustration with the referees either. However, the majority of the Packers’ players, including head coach Mike McCarthy, refused to speak against the referees.
“Don’t speak to me about the referees,” McCarthy during the post game press conference. “I’ve never seen anything like that in all my years of football.”
Even though it wasn’t the ending the Packers were looking for, they handled it with class. Blaming the referees or throwing the defense under the bus would have been easy. Instead, the Packers tried to keep their heads up and their mouths shut. Both LB Dezman Moses and safety M.D. Jennings told fans they were staying off Twitter for their own good. Others stayed away from the cameras and the spotlight all together.
It may have been the most frustrated fans have ever seen Aaron Rodgers in his entire career. The most he retaliated was by shoving an over zealous cameraman out of his face. During his press conference, Rodgers kept his answers curt and shot while letting his tone and facial expressions do all the talking. He even admitted that the offense under performed and should not have put the defense in this position. “We should have cashed in on more touchdowns and put our defense in a better situation. They played great tonight.”
The Packers did something that few teams can. They remained classy in a tough situation. Most impressive were that the players that took responsibility for the mistakes that they made and did not make excuses or blame other parties. The Seahawks should not have been in a threatening position to score. There were plenty of opportunities for the Packers to take the lead. They still missed the two-point conversion that should have been converted, even if the refs handed Rodgers a kickers ball.
Now, it’s time for them to do the hardest thing of all. The Packers players, organization, coaches, and fans need to move on and prepare for their game against the struggling New Orleans Saints. It is time to stop dwelling and thinking “what if?” The NFL is standing behind the decision made and is not going to overturn that. Now, the Packers need to focus on winning their next game and getting back to .500. If they have any hope of making the playoffs, let alone winning the division, the Packers need to win this game against the Saints.
As for the fans, dwelling on the actions of the referees and feeling sorry for the players because of their absence will not help anyone at this point. As former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick reminded everyone after the game, this same situation could have happened with the real refs. It is important to remember that simple fact as the season wears on. While it is easy for everyone to blame the replacement refs, it is also easy to forget that the Packers could have prevented the situation. It’s time to move on, for better or worse.