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Charles Woodson’s Regrets: Two Packers’ Playoff Losses

Charles Woodson

Former Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson is penning columns for ESPN this week and today he talked about regrets. Of the three he mentions, two involve playoff losses when he was with the Packers.

The first is the 2007 NFC Championship game, which you’ll recall as the game Brett Favre threw away in overtime. Woodson was knocked silly by Giants running back Brandon Jacobs early in the game. He kept playing, but says he wasn’t all there.

All because he didn’t go low.

“I was out for a second after we made contact. Then I hit the ground and woke up. I remember being on the ground and one of my teammates was like, “Wood! Wood! You all right?!” I was shook — really I was. I played the rest of the game, but I was out of it. That’s a big regret for me, not going and hitting that guy low. That was a ROUGH day from then on out.”

Always go low, kids, especially when you’ve got a fat bastard like Brandon Jacobs running at you.

The second was the 2009 Wild Card game in Arizona. That was a 51-45 overtime loss and as you can tell by that score, the defense didn’t play particularly well.

Woodson says he was approached by two officials before the game, both of whom suggested they’d be watching closely for contact after five yards. He told them if he couldn’t make contact, then Cardinals’ star receiver Larry Fitzgerald shouldn’t be able to push off at the top of his route either.

That talk changed the way Woodson played that day and probably turned the game into the offensive show that it was.

“Now, I’m feeling off. If there’s two refs telling me, there’s three, and they’re all looking at me. Early in the game the Cardinals are driving and I’m lined up against Larry. We get to the top of the route and he gives me a little nudge. I fall down and quarterback Kurt Warner hits Larry, who runs it in for a touchdown. I get up and I’m looking around for the flag but there’s nothing. What I was thinking in my mind while he’s running his route is, when he gets to the top of his route I can’t grab him because the referees are watching me. I deliberately choose not to grab him when, usually, I would grab any receiver and make the referee make a decision on whether or not to throw the flag. But I consciously did not grab him at the top of the route and, boom, he scores a touchdown.”

That same scenario repeated itself later on.

“Later in the game he scored another touchdown on a route where he ran right through me. Again, there was no flag. I just remember after that game just kicking myself, because I allowed somebody to dictate a part of what I did on the field on game day. I never got over that. I was apologizing to my teammates after the game, but what was done was done. That was 14 points in a 51-45 loss in overtime. I felt like, if they don’t get those 14 points, we win the game.”

It’s almost an NBA-style scenario, where the game changes on the whims of the officials on a nightly basis. You don’t often hear of officials trying to dictate the way the game is played in the NFL.

They obviously did in this case. Let the conspiracy theories unfurl!

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. NachoDan December 30, 2015

    How about the face mask on Rodgers on the last play of that Arizona game? Fuckin refs!

    1. Tuson Packer December 30, 2015

      You took the type right out of my fingers

    2. Cheese December 30, 2015

      That blind pile of shit Scott Green can suck a fat cock.

  2. ay hombre December 30, 2015

    I had never anticipated a game with as much fear and angst as the Giants in that 2007 NFC Championship Game. I remember vividly Woodson getting lit up and felt it set the tone for the day.

    It was one of those plays that stuck with me, ala John Elway’s dive and subsequent helicoptering for a key first down in the Super Bowl, where you just kinda knew it wasn’t going to be the Packers day.

  3. Richard December 30, 2015

    That’s fascinating, the refs deciding before the game how strict they will be on pass coverage and letting the players know (but not the public who might be gambling on the Over/Under)

    The NFL is sounding more like WWE every day

  4. I Steal Fish December 30, 2015

    He should be remembered as a Packer for life.

  5. Shawn December 30, 2015

    It was obvious back then that the refs were looking for Al Harris or Woodson to contact the WR so they could make a call. It was brutal. The word got out that the refs used replays of the Packers when they talked about pass interference to the teams during the preseason. You can basically call it profiling. The refs expected the Packers to interfere and then called it.
    If you don’t think the refs expect David Bakhtiari to hold and look for it, then you are delusional. Getting flags is like getting to the Pro Bowl, it is all about reputation. Just ask the Raiders once.

    1. Phatgzus December 30, 2015

      Absolutely agreed, Shawn, I’ve been thinking that about Bak-T since last year-if a referee crew gets it in their heads that a player is likely to commit a certain penalty I believe they are going to watch that player more, especially for that particular rule violation, and then be more prone to call borderline varieties of said rule infraction. Once once this happens, te word gets around between the ref crews and that player becomes something of a target. Bak-T is by no means the first player to suffer this fate, James Harrisson and his unnecessary rough penalties/fines immediately comes to mind.

  6. Kato December 31, 2015

    Woodson shouldn’t feel bad about that cardinals game. That defense wasn’t stopping Kurt warner. Especially with a little help from the refs

  7. Big B December 31, 2015

    I wish dopey Ted would have kept him… Would have been nice for Woodson to retire a Packer. He epitomizes everything about being a Packer!