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On The Officials and The Secondary: Wild Card Playoffs - Packers at Cardinals

That's about the best shot of the facemask penalty (that wasn't called) on Green Bay Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers that I can imagine. 

First a congratulations from Aaron Schatz (and indirectly Bill Simmons) from Football Outsiders:

Aaron Schatz: I would like to bow to the Packers. As Bill Simmons just pointed out on Twitter, even if they don't pull off a win here, they went down huge early and fought back. The Patriots, on the other hand, rolled over and died. Advantage: Packers fans.

And then onto the officials:

Aaron Schatz: I don't mean to take away from a very strong pass rush by Arizona, or the quality of the Arizona offense, but... wasn't that facemask and roughing the passer on Adams? He made that sack by grabbing Rodgers' facemask. It's completely obvious, to the point where Joe Buck SAID "hands to the face" as the play was going on.

Doug Farrar: They also missed a helmet-to-helmet that would have wiped out the holding penalty on Daryn Colledge. Arizona should be congratulated for pulling the game out, but Scott Green’s crew was truly abysmal today.

My basic take was that the officials did an awful job in this game. The Cardinals got away with more when the official kept the flag in his pocket on the final play of the game. And I still can't believe the play where WR Larry Fitzgerald shoved CB Charles Woodson down in the end zone. But the Cardinals also got hit with two questionable horse collar 15 yard penalties. It was the worst officiated game I've seen all season, even if the Packers took the brunt of it.

I apologize but my "day" job has me working 8am to 11pm this week. My plan had been to re-watch the game and do an extensive play-by-play recap, but I don't have the time right now. But I expect to be talking about this game all offseason because it, along with the loss to the Steelers and the earlier losses to the Vikings, are how you beat the Packers: you attack the secondary and win a shootout. Even in their two other losses vs. the Bengals and Buccaneers, they surrendered 3 TD passes in each game. Overall the secondary was great this season, but they were a weak link in all 6 losses.

If anyone has something on their mind about the game, please consider writing a Fan Post. I'm checking in periodically during the day, and I'd love to promote a Fan Post to the front page. Thanks.