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Early-game decisions put Packers in position to win

Fans greeted team at the airport


Michael from Woodstock, GA

Vic, Sunday's game has been extremely difficult to bear and it's difficult to see the good in this loss. The one thing I felt, though, was our defense looked better during this game than it has all season. What are the chances we can retain this defense and continue to grow on the success they showed during the game?

The Packers are very good at identifying and retaining their core players, and building on that cast. More good, young players were identified and developed this season. The defense has gotten decidedly younger and faster during the four years I've covered the team. I expect the Packers to add to that cast during this offseason, and I expect the defense to be even better next season.

Mike from Jacksonville, FL

I lay the blame for this loss squarely on Mike McCarthy's play-calling. Kick a field goal when you're inside the other team's 1-yard line? Pathetic. Thoughts?

Go all the way back to the first quarter when all you have to do is look at the final 3:52 of the game, when the Packers had a 12-point lead and several opportunities to make a play that would clinch victory? I completely agree with Coach McCarthy's play-calling and his decisions to kick field goals instead of going for touchdowns against the No. 1 defense in football. Why do I agree with his decisions? Because it left the Packers with a 12-point lead with 3:52 to play in the game. My focus is on that final 3:52. That's crunch time. That's when games are won and lost.

Andy from Elkhart, IN

Vic, any insight into why Clay Matthews was on the sideline during the most crucial moments of the game?

The question was asked but the answer was unknown in the minutes immediately following the game. I'm sure the question will be asked again when the media meets with Coach McCarthy and Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers.

Fletch from DeForest, WI

I wasn't able to see the game live but would I be correct in assuming the Packers went into a prevent defense the last few minutes of the game? If so, it seems this would be the worst option since it opens all the doors they had closed with their regular defense the entire game.

I didn't get the sense that playing prevent was the issue but, in the furious final minutes of that game, it took all of my concentration to keep up with the action as I was writing the bulletin story that posts on immediately at the end of the game. It's common for contemporary fans to blame all losses on strategy, instead of on the playing. I don't have a problem with the strategy in this game.

Owen from Portland, OR

I feel terrible for Bostick. Yes, he made a mistake, but it never should have come down to a play like that anyways. It was just one play and it's not the reason we lost the game.

You're right, it was just one play, and the Packers didn't make it several times.

Jason from San Diego, CA

Do you have any explanation as to why Burnett went to the ground after intercepting Wilson with five minutes left? It appeared he could have picked up 20, 40 yards, or maybe the end zone. Why?

My first instinct was to think of Marlon McCree. Morgan Burnett said Julius Peppers gave him the stop sign. Maybe Peppers was thinking of McCree.

Bob from Melbourne, Australia

When we spoke about the importance of throwing at Sherman, we meant in favorable situations, not those thrown just because Rodgers thought he had a free play. Those favorable situations definitely included throwing at Sherman when he was hobbled.

Oh, I get it, only throw at Richard Sherman when it's going to be a completion, not when it's going to be an incompletion or an interception.

Roger from Auburn, CA

Dave Demeshek from called this the worst loss ever in terms of how bad he felt for the team's fan base. He basically referred to it as a feel-bad game for even the casual viewers that didn't have a strong team affiliation. Do you think this sour taste has any silver lining at all?

We'll grow stronger from it, but I would've rather not had that opportunity. The sintering plant gave me all the growth I needed. Seriously, there isn't in a bone in any body at 1265 Lombardi Ave. that doesn't hurt for the wonderful people that are the Packers fan base. When the Packers' flight landed in Green Bay on Sunday night, the team was greeted by fans that formed a line all the way out the front door. As the players walked to their cars, they were cheered by hearts that put aside their own hurt to warm the hearts of others. How do you not want to play for those kinds of people? There's your silver lining. Defeat afforded us the opportunity again to feel the bond between team and fan that makes Packers football special. Anybody can cheer winning. It's what you do in defeat that defines you.

Paul from Renton, WA

My wife and I made it to the game and left in a state of shock. I've begun the healing process and think I've hit upon the key action that would have changed everything. Never call tails in OT. Thanks for making it to the pep rally on Saturday.

There it is. They should've called heads. Blame it on the call-tails guy.

Granville from Hull, UK

As a Packers fan and professional rugby league player, it seemed to me the difference on Sunday was the attitude of the teams; Marshawn Lynch on the sidelines dancing when they are losing, Green Bay not going for it on fourth-and-inches at the goal line. Mentality pervades a team and a game. Your thoughts?

Whatever it takes. Just win, baby.

James from Carterville, IL

This seemed like a Cinderella year. Best and healthiest team in years with Rodgers at the helm. With staying healthy so vital and hard, are the odds of doing it again as impossible as it looks right now?

Nobody can predict health. What I can tell you is this: 1) I thought this was the year. I was absolutely sure this team was going to win in Seattle and would win in the Super Bowl. 2) I'm absolutely certain this team will be a Super Bowl contender next season.

Logan from Surprise, AZ

Besides Randall Cobb, who in your mind is an unrestricted free agent the Packers need to resign this offseason?

Bryan Bulaga immediately comes to mind. He had a career year. He was a fixture at right tackle. You gotta get the big guys, and when you get them, you wanna keep them.

Jonathan from La Paz, CA

Just wondering what your thoughts were on Rodgers' first interception? It looked to me like the Seahawks were clearly offside and Rodgers took a shot.

Rodgers said he thought he had a free play. It probably caused him to take a shot he otherwise might not have taken. Think of all the times he took a free shot and connected deep. Hey, that was Richard Sherman he was throwing at. Know what I mean?

Carson from Rochester, WI

Vic, this game hurts on a different level. It's insane how many things had to go wrong. Just when I start getting over it, I feel sadness overwhelm me. Tell me something positive, if possible.

You're not alone.

John from Port Angeles, WA

Vic, it seems to me the way overtime is set up is unfair to the team that loses the overtime coin toss. Shouldn't both teams get a chance at scoring at least once?

I was opposed to the new rule that keeps a game from ending on a first-drive field goal, but now I like the rule because moving the football is just too easy in today's game for a game to end on a short-field, field-goal drive. Seattle didn't win on a short-field drive. It connected on two 35-yard completions.

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