Tuesday marked an important day for hardcore NFL fans – the day we could get our grubby hands on the league’s All 22 coaches tape for the conference championship games.
One of the bigger complaints out of Green Bay’s epic collapse on Sunday came from the interception hauled in by Morgan Burnett.
The Packer safety intercepted Russell Wilson midway through the fourth quarter with Green Bay leading 19-7 for what appeared to be the final nail in Seattle’s coffin.
However, soon after intercepting Wilson’s pass, Burnett almost immediately went to the ground – instead of turning it upfield and potentially setting his team up for what would have been an insurmountable lead (I think).
In the game’s aftermath, it was revealed that Julius Peppers motioned to Burnett to hit the deck and not risk a potential turnover.
Green Bay’s conservative streak may have proven to be costly.
As the All-22 tape of the Burnett interception shows, he had two choices to make after the interception:
- Take Option A (down the left side)
- If Burnett takes Option A, he is tasked with trying to outrun the Seattle offensive line and Wilson (and maybe if he hustles, Marshawn Lynch) with the assistance of possible four blockers to score a touchdown. Worst case scenario, he gets into Seattle territory just outside of field goal range.
- Take Option B (down the right side)
- If Burnett cuts it back to take Option B, he’d be lucky to get much further past midfield with Lynch and Baldwin directly added into the mix.
Instead of choosing either option, he went off the reservation and took the advice of the circled Peppers, who if you look closely is extending his arms with his back to the end zone to begin the wave down motion towards Burnett.
While Burnett indicated that he believed that the correct decision was made, the All 22 tells a different story.
It takes a village to put together that type of massive collapse. Burnett’s interception gaffe was just another link in the chain of errors.