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Packers Comeback Stalls, Packers Lose to Bucs

Wasted opportunities. This playoff loss with sting for a long time. Not just because we had to watch Brady and the Bucs receive the Halas trophy on our beloved Lambeau Field. Not just because the Packers first half was as bad a display of two minute defense as any team on any level can play. Not just because Aaron Rodgers had such a wonderful season and is still an MVP candidate. This game will sting because despite the poor play in the first half and starting the second half with a turnover and as easy a touchdown as Tom Brady has ever thrown, the game was there to be won in the 4th quarter.

This game had the potential to best the “Atlanta Collapse” of Super Bowl 51. (Super Bowl LI for the purists). It would have been against the greatest playoff winning QB of all time. It would have proved the Rodgers is as good and maybe at this point in their careers, better than Brady. What a story it would have made. The Packer defense, never known for creating turnovers at any point this season, comes up with three picks of Brady and the number one offense in the league cashes in and overcomes an 18 point deficit for one of the greatest comebacks in Packer history. But that is not the story I am writing today.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first quarter.

Today I must try to analyze how the number one scoring offense could not capitalize on two turnovers. The Packers possessed the ball, three times in the fourth quarter. They scored three points. We can grind our teeth over a pass interference penalty after the refs swallowed their whistles the entire game for the Bucs Defense. We can lament the the non-called pass interference that led to a Rodgers interception. We can wonder (or hope and pray) that Kevin King played his last game in a Packer uniform. We can question the defensive call by Pettine that led to the last second TD in the first half. But in the end the game was there for the taking. And the vaunted Packer offense sputtered. After the first Alexander interception the Packers tried three pass plays. The drive ended with a third down sack after an incompletion on first down. The second started with a sack and ended with an incompletion. The Packers seemingly ran out of plays that were effective against the Bucs defense. Both Packer offensive tackles battled, but were overmatched by the Bucs speed pass rushers.

Historic comebacks are just that because they are so rarely completed. This game will stay bitter for Packers fans because our hopes were very high for a Super Bowl win. Now, we have the option to watch Brady in another one, or just turn the darn TV off. Next up, free agency and the draft for the Packers.

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Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a lawyer, victim advocate, writer, and long term Packer fan and Packer history enthusiast.

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42 Comments

  1. KILLER January 25, 2021

    Long time, no post. How’d that championship game go? I heard Brady threw three 3 interceptions. How much did the Packers win by? Did the Packers blow them out and shut them out? What was that warm weather team thinking even playing the game!

  2. KILLER January 25, 2021

    Did you see Aaron’s post-game press conference? He looked like a Dutch eco-terrorist. Except not nearly as much fun.

  3. jeff ircink January 25, 2021

    wait a minute…

    you wrote, “This game had the potential to best the “Atlanta Collapse” of Super Bowl 51. (Super Bowl LI for the purists). It would have been against the greatest playoff winning QB of all time. It would have proved the Rodgers is as good and maybe at this point in their careers, better than Brady.”

    better than Brady? even if this scenario had occurred, Rodgers is not better than Brady. even if this scenario had occurred – Brady having been to 9 Super Bowls (winning 6) and AR going to 3 Super Bowls (one win, one loss and one to be determined), how do you justify saying AR is better than Brady?

    1. PF4L January 25, 2021

      Explain these Super Bowls that Rodgers has been to, specifically the “loss”.
      .
      I know you were once a Packer fan Jeffery, back in the Favre days. But…are you a bit confused?

      1. jeff ircink January 27, 2021

        yes…you all stuttered. no where did i mention Favre. did you lose your sight(s)? but i did refer to Brady in my comment. read again.

    2. jeff ircink January 25, 2021

      “…at this point.” ah – there’s the caveat. still a ridiculous comparison.

      1. PF4L January 25, 2021

        “and AR going to 3 Super Bowls (one win, one loss and one to be determined.” – Jeffrey- Former Favre fan
        Did i stutter?
        *
        When Rodgers has a Super Bowl loss, and you get back on your meds, let us know.
        .
        Thanks for trying.

        1. PF4L January 25, 2021

          What comes first Jeffery…the one SB loss…or the one to be determined?.
          Doufus…lol….smh

          1. jeff ircink January 27, 2021

            keep shaking your head. it might help. again – i never mentioned Favre in my comment. only Brady. get some reading glasses.

          2. PF4L January 27, 2021

            “Brady having been to 9 Super Bowls (winning 6) and AR going to 3 Super Bowls (one win, one loss and one to be determined), how do you justify saying AR is better than Brady?” – Jeffery

            What Green Bay QB has won 1 SB, and lost 1 SB Jeffery…would that be Favre…or “AR”?
            .
            2 questions Jeffery…
            .
            1) What SB did AR go to, and lost?
            .
            2) Does your head stop hurting, when the voices disappear?

          3. jeff ircink January 27, 2021

            you keep mentioning Favre. i never did. so who’s obsessed again?

            don’t worry – there’s always next season. have a cookie & relax for a 7 months. it’s good for your blood pressure.

          4. PF4L January 29, 2021

            Jeffery..the questions are simple, but if you don’t understand them, have somebody help you.
            .
            Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

          5. jeff ircink January 29, 2021

            put your Packer jersey away for the season and stop whining. and stop brooding over the fact that Rodgers became the first quarterback in NFL history to lose four straight NFC Championship Games.

            next year, buddy….

          6. PF4L January 29, 2021

            Jeffrey, Jeffrey…..it’s ok my man, don’t worry about answering a couple questions. It was my fault for putting so much on your plate. My bad.
            .
            Hold your head high Jeffrey, this is America. There is no shame for being a bit slow.

  4. KILLER January 25, 2021

    I do find it High-Larry-Us that Packer fans and even Arrogant Aaron are complaining about the supposed pass interference on Aaron’s interception and the flagrant as bad as anyone has ever seen for sure interference on Green Bay near the end of the game. Complaining about BOTH at the SAME time! What a high pitched whine! What a disconnect from objective reality! What hypocrisy!

    This is how it is when the refs are not actively helping your team like usual. You lose.

    Did you see the way Lafleur and Rodgers both lost it at times on the sidelines? Poor sportsmanship. Rodgers needed a coach or a player to save him from getting in trouble with his foolishness. Where’s the leadership?

  5. Skinny January 25, 2021

    Ill spend the off season sending DMs to Erin Andrews, drinking heavily and masturbating, but outside of those activities my future here at Total Packers will be a “beautiful mystery.” Feels like this is all done. The era from Favre to Rodgers. I992 until now. I dont know where we’re headed. I have no expectations moving forward.

    1. PF4L January 25, 2021

      Sounds good skinny…c ya tomorrow.

  6. PF4L January 25, 2021

    I’d like to think i’m known to be a “call it like i see it guy”
    I won’t “lie” to make my team “look” better. Or a player or coach, to “look” better.
    .
    Anyone that says King didn’t have a holding penalty on Johnson, or that it shouldn’t have been called. I say bullshit.
    Rodgers called it a bad call. Again, i say bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
    .
    Aikman is crying how late the flag came. Buck said regardless, it’s still a hold
    Some homer’s are saying he had no chance of catching it…he didn’t….not with that hold. It was NOT like the pass was in some other time zone. For anyone to say it was uncatchable, they don’t know that. It’s just a homer response. And when i say homer, i mean sheep. People who can’t think and decide on their own.
    .
    Here is something that most of you don’t even realize…..
    Follow me here….King grabbed Johnson’s under jersey with his left hand, after pulling the shirt back almost 2 feet, after a bit he needed to free up his left hand for pass defense…
    (PAY ATTENION NOW) Not only did he hold him with his left hand, he SWITCHED hands and grabbed the jersey with his right hand….if that isn’t a GD penalty…i don’t know what is.
    .
    “If you can’t cover, you cheat” – Kevin King
    .
    Watch this for an explanation why the flag was late. At 2:03 you can also see the hand switch. Holding is holding!….it doesn’t matter if the sun is out, it’s snowing, raining, the flag is late, or if a NFCCG is on the line….you can’t be anymore blatant than that
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnEOmjr5K5g

  7. Arch Stanton January 25, 2021

    Anyone blaming Aaron Rodgers for this loss doesn’t know shit about football. This team is on a Vikings/Bears level and maybe Lions level without Rodgers. I like LaFleur but do you think he’d have two 13 win regular seasons without Rodgers. The blame for the Packers failures lies primarily on Gute, Murph and the teams brain trust. Pettine should have been fired after last years defensive failures against SF. If MLF made the decision to keep him than shame on him. Somehow I have a feeling it wasn’t his choice. There is no excuse for the 2020 draft if you are trying to win Super Bowls. The problem with the Packers management is they are satisfied with making the playoffs on a regular basis. Usually it’s not hard to do with the garbage teams in their division. Go to a Super Bowl once every 10 – 15 years is frosting on the cake for them. You don’t have two HOF quarterbacks in a row and only make it to 3 Super Bowls if you have a clue how to run a championship caliber football team. If I were Rodgers I’d want out too. The Packers haven’t shown him anything as far as wanting to win championships.

    1. Stiggy January 25, 2021

      This team loses without rodgers…plain and simple. He is the best player in the history of the franchise…plain and simple. AND….There is no such thing as blaming an individual (outside of king and pettine) and I hope to god 12 is back next year. That being said….im stealing what someone else wrote about this. Its 100% fucking true…rodgers did not play like rodgers yesterday…plain and simple. He reverted back to his mccarthy tendancies…

      STOLEN POST:

      Gonna have to say Rodgers got the yipps.

      He had a wide open td to Tonyan in the 2nd.

      He had a wide open Lazard in the 4th.

      He had (admittedly) a tough chance to run in a td on that 3rd down in the 4th.

      On every play he threw it to Adams. I realize he trusts Adams more than anyone but the entire league knows it. Everyone queued on it. He could’ve attempted to run that td in and instead he threw it back across his body into double coverage to get it near Adams.

      Lastly, his play clock antics.

      We’ve been harping on him for YEARS about wasting timeouts getting the play clock to 1 before snapping. Not only does this run the risk of burning a timeout (which we did in the 1st half) but it let’s good defensive fronts time the snap. Wagner and Turner were getting BLOWN the fuck up because we repeatedly snapped the ball at :01. There’s little to no risk of an offsides or encroachment because it’s gonna be a perfectly timed snap or delay of game which is almost as good as a sack.

      Play calling offensively was awful. TB playing with 2 backup safeties and we’re playing dink and dunk with 1 long td to MVS (which showed it was available) and then one shot later that was a hair off target.

      We also completely abandoned the run. Down 3 scores I’m glad to see we did for a bit to play with some urgency, but then down 1 score we ran it like 2 times? We went 3 and out twice never running the ball. TB just sat in pass heavy schemes and thrived for it. Lafleur out coached himself.

      1. Arch Stanton January 25, 2021

        Agree with most of what you say. Brady didn’t have a great game either. But he has a defense and good coaching staff he can lean on when he’s not at his best. When’s the last time you could say that for Rodgers. Maybe 2010 when the Packers won the Super Bowl? Maybe??

        1. Stiggy January 25, 2021

          Packers got 3 picks yesterday and scored 6 points. The end of the first half was absolutely awful…but his defense picked off Tom brady…not one…not two…but three times in a row. Gotta capitalize. The packers offense shit the bed once the game was close again. They couldn’t get it done. They stopped running and went back to mike mcarthy offense…no motion..5 wide…run the play clock down to 1….and they got exactly what they had coming for that strategy….3 and outs in the most crucial juncture of the game. The defense certainly could have played better….but the offense was given plenty of opportunity.

        2. Mick January 26, 2021

          Good point from Arch; TB has a formidable D, Packers don’t! TB has an experienced coach and coordinators with big game experience. They have an organization that went out and picked up the pieces that was needed to help Brady and the team get a chance to win the big game. The Packers organization didn’t! Stig also has an interesting point in that the offense keeps committing the same mistake by stop running the ball when the going gets tough. They revert back to the McCarthy offense; or should we call it the (Rodgers offense), I doubt that LaFleur has that strategy in his game planning, and he lets Rodgers freelance on his own too much. Granted, our coach should be open to what Rodgers sees and is experiencing behind center, but, it’s on LaFleur to correct what is not working. How blind is this organization to not realize the biggest needs on this team are the defense and STs/ These have been an obvious problem for a decade now. Add in the fact they don’t get Rodgers more DEPENDABLE HELP at the WR position, and everyone wonders why the team gets only so far in the playoffs!

    2. Ferris January 25, 2021

      Newsflash…MONEY! If you are printing cash without championships, what do you need any new ones for? I’m tired of hearing Titletown when those titles were before I was born. Not the 1996/97 or 2010/11 ones of course…the other ones. You think Browns fans give a shit about the NFL Championships they won…whenever that was?
      If they don’t care I don’t care, hard to watch this year after year. Be better if they went 8-8 and had no titles like the Vikings. Right Killer?

      1. PF4L January 25, 2021

        Be nice…he just got released from lockdown.
        He claims the 10 year old girl is lying…i’ve always said…innocent until proven guilty.

        1. PED January 25, 2021

          Ha! dbldovr!

  8. CJ January 25, 2021

    To the fools who have the failed concept that football is a one man sport and QB’s can put the team on their back and carry them year after year and into a SB are just plain idiots. Headline on “Get Up” this morning…..”Tom Brady was not very good, but he had the talent around him to overcome that”.

    Arch Stanton is correct….failure of the brain trust and their ideology is what dooms packer teams from getting to or winning Super Bowls. It will be by chance and not by design. They are more concerned with player personalities that best fit the locker room. Its not about just talent. They want both. Which limits their ability to compete at the highest level. They have settled into complacency and image. Exactly what Murphy blamed on the McCarthy regime. Hypocrisy in its highest form.

    1. PF4L January 25, 2021

      I started watching Good Morning Football on the NFL Network, but only since i started sleeping with Kay Adams. She always quizzes me to see if i watched.
      She thinks if i don’t watch, i don’t like her enough. smh
      She’s a bit needy that way, but…what woman is perfect amirite?

  9. PF4L January 25, 2021

    The Packers had 1 sack (Clark) and 4 QB hits. The Smith Bros played, they both had 2 solo tackles each, and 1 QB hit each. YAY!! Gary also contributed with 1 solo tackle. Krys “clubber” Barnes also kicked in with 1 solo tackle..
    The Bucs had 5 sacks and 8 QB hits.
    Snacks…snuck in a 1/2 tackle and 3 boxes of twinkies.
    Tavon Austin…business as usual….
    Props to the run defense against Ron Jones…10 carries..1.6 YPC
    Our high priced free agent talent, didn’t have a great day AT ALL except for Amos’s pick. which almost made up for his gifted decision not to cover Brate on his easy TD catch.
    Where is the return on investment?
    .
    Special thanks to Austin, Snacks, and T Willy. Don’t be a stranger, we may need you all again next season.
    T Willy….you’re getting near the end, We’re going to stop calling you once you turn 47.

    1. PF4L January 26, 2021

      Pardon my exclusion…playmaking props should be given to Kenny Clark, Alexander, and Amos

      1. Mick January 26, 2021

        Those three players really balled. As for the rest of the D, not so much. Then again, what should we expect from playing 3 OLBs’ (averaging 265 to 275#s) against 5 offensive lineman (averaging 315#) along the DL. Nine out of ten times, I’ll take O-line! Is this the best Pettine can scheme up? Once again, other than Clark; talent is needed along the D line.

        1. Dean January 26, 2021

          TB averaged 3.2 yards per carry (24 carrys, 76 yards). Not sure if more DL would have helped stop the run better or rush the passer? Not following your line off thinking…

          1. Mick January 29, 2021

            The point I was trying to make here Dean, is that matching up your OLBs’ (pass rushers) on the interior DL to help stop the run, you get no pass rush from the outside. You are right, they did a decent job of stopping the run but their pass rush was stymied because the Bucs OL smothered the pass rush allowing Brady to have that extra second or two, to make his reads and deliver the ball. If you had more disruption from the DL-men, it would free up the OLBs’ and open up lanes on the outside to get pressure on the Q-back. Also, it would free up the ILB’s to shoot gaps thru the Bucs OL, and get faster pressure on the QB. I might be over thinking this but, disruption from your front three; in a 3-4 defense, is vital to have your linebackers free to make plays where ever they are needed, against the run, or the pass.

        2. PF4L January 26, 2021

          I can’t blast on Amos too much because he had a pick, but other than the pick he gave Brate a sinfully easy TD, and he put on a tackling clinic on “how not to tackle” when he whiffed on Fournette’s 20 yard TD run with 12:04 in the 2nd.

  10. Richard January 25, 2021

    It’s always a learning experience to watch this team discover new ways to blow playoff games. Nothing will ever top the Seattle collapse but beating a Brady team in turnover differential at home and losing anyways is certainly up there.

  11. Kato January 25, 2021

    What are people’s opinions of Rodgers post game press conference? It sounded like a guy that may have been on his way out. I truly hope that wasn’t the last game we see Rodgers in a Packers uniform. But if he wants to be traded, that’s his decision, and I wouldn’t blame him.
    ….
    Some reprieve for King. I don’t really blame him for the TD at the end of the half. That’s more on Pettine and a piss poor defensive call. Why in the world would you make that that call when the Bucs are trying to score?

    1. PF4L January 25, 2021

      It was a very poor defensive call, he had nobody deep, they should be in zone.
      .
      But King had Miller one on one, so do we lay any blame on him whatsoever?
      .
      Watch the play….it’s a 39 yard TD.
      From the snap, King is looking back at the QB, almost the whole route. King doesn’t turn his head to the receiver until he gets inside the 10 yard line. So for the first 80% of the route, King is watching Brady, when he should be turning his head in the last 20% of the route looking for the ball.
      .
      Is that how players are taught to cover receivers? Keep your eyes on the QB for the first 80% of the route?
      .
      Watch King against Evan’s TD catch, Evan’s had at least 2 steps on King, King had no clue what was going on as evidenced by his jump that was too soon.
      .
      King getting behind a receiver by a couple steps isn’t an anomaly for King, it’s a pattern of getting beat.
      .
      PFF has King graded at 55.7…Some say King is an enigma. PFF says he’s not a good player.
      .
      King was targeted 51 times, he allowed 36 catches, which ranks him 67th in the NFL. I’m no expert, but i’m thinking….he isn’t very good.

    2. Cheese January 25, 2021

      How long before Rodgers pulls a Barry Sanders/ Calvin Johnson and retires early because he has no chance of winning it all because his organization has their heads so far up their asses? Or at least asks for a trade. Every year Rodgers plays at a high level, and every year the Packers management drag their feet with their empty rhetoric about “winning now” while drafting bench warmers and projects. It’s been SEVEN years since they’ve drafted a WR in the first three rounds. Rodgers was hoping he would get SOMETHING this year after being so close the the SB last year. NOPE. Are they going to try and make up for it by FINALLY drafting a WR this year? That may be too little too late.
      .
      The Bucs make it to the SB in one year because the front office is truly committed to improving their team and “going all in.” The Packers fall at the same point they did last year because they were given table scraps in the offseason. Good thing Gute signed 37yr old CB Tramon Williams two days before the NFCCG. What a game changer.
      .
      If Rodgers chooses to leave through retirement or trade I can’t blame him. With how disgusted and frustrated I feel as a fan I can only imagine how he feels experiencing it first hand. Make this front office win with Jordan Love and sleep in the bed that they made for themselves.

      1. Stiggy January 25, 2021

        I love rodgers but give me a break. He was the quarterback of the offense…that went 3 and out…twice in a row…after game turning interceptions…when the packers could have taken the lead. He is the one who kept running down the play clock to 1 second to “outsmart” the defense…while leaving his tackles to face high quality edge rushers one on one (no running back or te to help)….with a perfect jump on the play. Was Lafleur not calling runs anymore? or was he checking out of them?

        *
        We’ve seen this same tendency under gravy head…and maybe…jsut maybe he wasn’t 100% of the problem. Did those failed three and outs not MIRROR a mccarthy failed playoff team? I almost though i saw him on the sidelines. 5 wide spread…obvious pass..no blocking support…1 sec on play clock…and defense just pins their ears back and rushes.

        Rodgers is one of the best players in GB history if not the best…but he is not absolved. He got the help yesterday… and didnt take care of business when he had the chance. Brady capitalized with 16 points on 2 turnovers…the packers mustered 6 on 3.

        Yes Kevin King is trash…yes the special teams played awful giving TB some great field position on 2 scoring drives…..but Rodgers is MVP of the league….and the packers are 3-13 without him…that being said…he didnt play like the MVP yesterday. The statline was great…but the stat line doesnt show the 2 tds he left out there by missing wide open players…nor do they show the fact that he did his injured tackle and backup tackle absolutely no favors with his arrogant play clock management. You cant outsmart the other teams scheme when JPP is killing you in .05 seconds.

  12. Jason Parker January 25, 2021

    This one should have been filed under Paul Edwards and not myself

  13. PF4L January 25, 2021

    I can’t believe that Aaron Rodgers couldn’t cover Evans, Miller, and Brate any better on those TD passes he gave up.
    .
    Did anyone see that pass to Jones…where Rodgers caused Jones to fumble the ball?..inexcusable
    .
    I’m watching the game and i’m constantly seeing Rodgers getting beat up front blocking Barrett and JPP.
    .
    Where did Rodgers learn to whiff on his tackle on Fournett’s 20 yd TD run….T Willy?
    .
    And what about our QB..(what’s his name). All he can do his throw for 346 yards, 3 TD’s and a pick for a passer rating of 101?
    That won’t cut man!!!!
    It ain’t good enough!!
    No excuse my man!!…..don’t act like you got sacked or hit 13 times and hurried a bunch more.
    Plus…..word has it, you had two open receivers you didn’t see, that NEVER happens to other QB’s. Where do you fkg get off?
    ********************************************************
    For our more intelligent readers…..
    .
    Last season we got beat by a team badly in the regular season, we then faced that team again in the NFCCG, and lost again.
    .
    This season, we got beat by a team badly in the regular season, we then faced that team again in the NFCCG, and lost again.
    So, on it’s face we saw no improvement.
    .
    What changed from 2019 – 2020?
    .
    The defense gave up almost 4 points more a game this season, while the offense increased it’s scoring by 8 points per game this season.
    .
    In 2019, we added a bunch of high priced free agent talent… we drafted two instant starters in Savage and Elgton Jenkins…and throw in the 12th pick of the draft (that’s another article)
    .
    In 2020 we picked up Kirksey to replace Martinez and Wagner to replace Bulaga, then we drafted….well, let me get back to you on that.
    .
    Read into that what you will.

  14. Mick January 26, 2021

    You are right PF4L! Between last season and this one, what help did we get from the draft? Let’s see, oh yeah, we got LB Martin, who only played 40% of the time. Barnes, also played and started, but he was an undrafted FA. Runyan showed he could play. Other than those mentioned, what help did we get from all of those picks? Ohhh, I forgot! They were drafting for the future. Well, if they addressed the WR, DL, and ILB positions; they would not only have drafted for the future, but also met the needs of the present. Totally irresponsible!