I watched a spectacular NFC Championship game two weekends ago. The sports world squawked loudly about how the Packers blew a chance at going to the Super Bowl. Rightfully so, the criticism is focused on how the Seahawks scored 15 points in less than 60 seconds to send the game into overtime. The defending Super Bowl champs eventually won the opportunity to double down on that crown by way of a 35 yard bomb from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse. By no means was this a game won by Seattle. Instead, it was a game lost by Green Bay. Sorry Aaron Rodgers. Watching you is still a master class in how to run an NFL offense from the pocket, but this was a meltdown of epic proportions.
As with any game, it’s debatable which if any one play led to one team’s demise. Plenty of fingers are pointing to the young TE Brandon Bostic trying to catch the onside kick instead of clearing the way for his teammate Jordy Nelson. It was Brandon’s job to block and Jordy’s job to catch the ball. It’s likely the message in the huddle was something like, “Do your job and we win.”
The play was a fairly basic football task. The ball took an unfavorable bounce from Bostic’s upper chest region into the hands of Seahawks WR Chris Matthews. Left guard Josh Sitton let it be known that they were the better team on that day “except for three minutes.” Wistfully, those were the ones that counted most.
From what I saw, there were three major mistakes made by the Packers that unraveled the well laid threads of victory. Poor play calling in the red zone resulted in just 6 points in three tries. If Bostic wasn’t even supposed to be trying to catch the ball, Seattle wasn’t even supposed to be making an attempt to win a game that wasn’t theirs to win in the 4th quarter.
Bink observed that Bostic’s eyes were still red with tears during the post-game press conference. The young man didn’t run from, or become irascible in front of reporters. He was candid while never hiding his pain. He’s just 25 years old, and in his second year in the NFL he’s matured as if he’s been playing for 15. Bink now gets that how you lose is as important as how you win.
I hope someone will read about Brandon Bostic and source from his story the courage he displayed after the game, more than the mistake he made on the field.
18 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.