Rodgers Wins MVP

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersI know that no one really wants to look back on what could qualify as the worst loss in Green Bay Packers history, but now that we’ve had over a week to put the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in perspective, I’m ready to talk about the game and move on.

Probably the biggest reason why this game will be difficult for most to get over is that there isn’t one play to look at to why the Packers lost, there’s about eight. Whether it’s Morgan Burnett sliding with open field in front of him, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix failing to cover a Hail Mary two-point conversion, or Brandon Bostick going for the ball instead of doing his job, neither play is more responsible for the loss than another.

There are about five other plays we could look at, but it would be pointless. The game is in the past and gone, so now we have to look forward to the 2015 season.

But first, the NFL Honors took place this past weekend, and it was actually really good. Seth Myers hosted the event and with the past season the NFL just had, there were dozens of punchlines available to him.

New York Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and St. Louis Rams’ defensive lineman Aaron Donald won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Dallas Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award, and Houston Texans’ defensive lineman J.J. Watt was a unanimous decision for the AP Defensive Player of the Year award.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersThe last award of the night was given to Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the NFL MVP. It was the second time in Rodgers’ career that he won the award and it was definitely well deserved.

In the 2014 season, Rodgers passed for 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 112.2 which is second best in his career, only trailing his NFL record of 122.5 back in 2011.

Rodgers received 31 of 50 votes and Watt placed second with 13. No other player received more than two votes.

Rodgers also won the FedEx Air Player of the Year, and the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year for his week six two minute drive and touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Quarless with three seconds left on the clock.

Looking back, this season was filled with memorable moments just like the week six comeback. Rodgers’ R-E-L-A-X speech before playing a perfect game against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers’ six touchdown first half in the Packers second game against the Bears. Defeating the New England Patriots in the first Brady vs. Rodgers matchup, Rodgers coming back from injury to defeat the Detroit Lions in week 17, and finally, the comeback against the Cowboys in the divisional playoffs to finish the season undefeated at Lambeau.

These are just a few of many memorable games in 2014, proving that this season does not have to be defined by the late collapse against the Seahawks.

The Packers were as close as it gets to the Super Bowl this year and fans should feel confident that as long as Rodgers is leading this team, they’ll be contenders every year. The Packers are always planning for the future, so this team will only get better. They are young and I believe that the experience gained in 2014 will motivate them and not loom.

Here’s to 2015 and Super Bowl L! (50)

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There and Back Again

Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb of the Green Bay PackersYes that’s a Hobbit reference, but it’s relevant to the fact that the Green Bay Packers will head back to Seattle to face the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.

In case you forgot, the Packers faced the Seahawks in week one to open the 2014 season and lost 36-16. However, that was back in September, and it would be foolish to assume that either of these teams are the same as they were back then.

But first, I want to talk about how the Packers got this far by giving my thoughts on the game yesterday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Packers won 26-21, but the one play that was on everyone’s mind after the game was over was the reversed call on Cowboys’ receiver Dez Bryant.

In my opinion, call me a homer if you want, it was the right call and a proper interpretation of the rule. Here’s why.

The first time I saw something like this was when Detroit Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson made a potential game winning catch to beat the Chicago Bears a few years ago.

In the process of going to the ground, Johnson let the ball touch the ground while falling and ultimately, he lost control of the ball when the play was thought to be over. Under further review the referees in that game stated that Johnson did not complete the process of the catch after falling to the ground, and according to rule, the ball in incomplete.

Since the rule has been placed, the league has consistently looked for whether the ball moves with contact from the ground when a receiver catches the ball and proceeds to fall to the ground. This was the case for the Dez Bryant play.

I know people are saying that he took three steps and the extension was a football move, but here is the argument against those claims.

First, Packers defensive back Sam Shields did hit the ball on the play causing a delay in Bryant gaining possession on the ball. By the time Bryant secured the catch, he was already falling towards the ground. When he hit the ground, the ball moved, clearly indicating an incomplete ball.

Now about the extension. In order for it to classify as a football move, Bryant has to have full control of his body. Bryant’s momentum is taking him to the ground and he does not have control. Thus the extension is not classified as a football move.

I and everyone else knows that Bryant was trying to score on the play, but he should have secured the catch with two hands and should not have exposed the ball by trying to extend it toward the goal line. Doing so ended up hurting him.

I also don’t agree that this is some sort of egregious rule. It eliminates gray area and getting credit for a catch is simple. Get your hands under the ball and don’t let it move.

It’s funny. People complain every week about how all the rules favor the offense and that the game has become too easy for quarterbacks and receivers. Well what do we have here!? A rule that finally helps out the defense, and most of you are complaining. Hypocrisy at its best.

Also, Dallas fans shouldn’t be complaining because if my memory is correct, last week they were saying that one call doesn’t change the game.

Well, they were right. It doesn’t. The Cowboys had numerous opportunities that they botched in that game before and after the Dez Bryant play.

The Cowboys had a field goal blocked with under a minute left in the first half, and then the Packers went down the field and made a field goal. A six point swing in what turned out to be a five point game.

Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers and DeMarco Murry of the Dallas Cowboys Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray also fumbled away a potential touchdown when Packers linebacker Julius Peppers made a huge play (one that more people should be talking about) by coming from behind and stripping the ball.

The unfortunate part of it all, and what was lost in this controversy, is that it was a great game by hobbled Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers had a masterful second half after struggling in the first half, leading a 90 yard touchdown drive, an 80 yard touchdown drive, and a game ending four minute drive.

With about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Rodgers rolled out to his left and threw a laser to Packers tight end Richard Rodgers between two Cowboy defenders to take the lead. It was one of the greatest throws I’ve ever seen him make and Rodgers not winning the MVP this year would be the real injustice, not the reversed call.

Rookie wide receiver Davante Adams also came up big with 117 yards and a touchdown. After disappearing for the last couple of weeks, it was good to see Adams have an impact in one of the most important games of the season.

All of last week we had to hear numerous Ice Bowl references. Well this week all we’re going to hear about is the Fail Mary.

The Packers will have to prove that they can be just as if not more physical than Seattle. The defense is a lot better than it was in week one and are now playing their best football.

If Lacy can run the ball the way he has and if the O-Line can protect Rodgers the way they have, there is no doubt that the Packers will have a great chance to pull off the upset and earn a trip to the Super Bowl.