Green Bay, Wisconsin
The PFL has had many exciting playoff games and its history but last Friday evening the Packers and Giants played in a game that will be remembered for years.
So what happened? Very briefly It was a good evenly fought first half which ended with the Giants up 7-3. It was all defense on both sides. 3rd quarter was the same way up until about the 6 minute mark when the giants got the gift of all gifts. On a punt the Packers returner got hit, fumbled and it was returned for a TD. He had used all of his challenges in the first half so they couldn't even challenge it. ON THE VERY NEXT KICKOFF
, the Packers returner caught the ball, ran, got hit, fumbled, and it was returned for a TD. All of sudden the Giants were up 21-3. The 3rd quarter ended 21-10.
The 4th quarter was moving along and the Giants extended the lead 24-10 with about 6 minutes left
. The Packers were driving and the Giants were content with that as long as he didn't score quick. On the Giants 30 yard line the Packers QB found the weak spot on a play and scored with about 3 minutes left. 24-17.
The Giants got the ball. On a 3rd down Giants QB David Carr completed a pass beyond the marker but they marked it 4th and inches. They challenged the play but they only reviewed whether or not he caught it in bounds not the spot of the ball even though the replay showed he stepped out past the marker. The Packers got the ball and on the first play he connects on a streak down the left hand side. 24-24.
The Giants get the ball back. Without getting a first down, David Carr was intercepted inside the Giants 20. They played loose defense to let the Packers score to get the ball back since the Giants had no TO's. 24-31.
The Giants got the ball back. Interception. And that is how you scored 21 points in under 6 minutes, down 24-10, to complete one of the greatest collapses in the history of Madden.
First let me say that hats off to Omari who has always been a good guy in our games and always played clean, straight up and with good sportsmanship. Also I don't think enough has been said about what he's had to overcome this season and this game was a microcosm of that. He's one game away from his third straight Super Bowl appearance and anyone who's been there can tell you how hard it is just to get to 1. On top of that he's had to do it with everyone gunning for him and without his top running back Jackie Moon. In this game he could've easily gotten frustrated and upset after that ridiculously lucky two fumble TD's returned in a row but he kept at it. So i want to make sure he gets the proper credit and recognition.
Secondly, its taken me a week to finally write this out because my emotions were all over the place. Its the most dejected and embarrassed I've been after a loss, not because I lost, but in the way I lost. Obviously though the only person I can blame is myself. After that second returned TD and up 21-3 I felt the game was over and who wouldn't? A smart coach wouldn't. Omari is tough in the pass game and if anything I should've been more concerned after that because in many ways he's at his best when he's down and he has to pass. That was my fatal flaw. Up 14 with 6 minutes left is plenty of time for a team to tie it up. Instead I was thinking about how I was going to beat Scotty in the Championship game and I was congratulating myself for being the guy that beat the two-time defending champ. It just goes to show if you don't respect the game the game will come back and kill you.
Congrats Omari! Obviously I have a lot of work to do.