Sunday's single-digit temperatures and Lambeau Field faithful should have ensured the Green Bay Packers ultimate home field advantage over the San Fancisco 49ers. Instead, with the game tied 20-20, Colin Kaepernick cut up the Packers defense and led the 49ers down the field for a game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock, leaving a lot of sad cheeseheads in Green Bay.
Since the holidays are over, here is a reminder of the extremely harsh truth: The Packers let the game literally slip through their fingers in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. Let's start with Micah Hyde dropping this gift from Colin Kaepernick.
On 2nd and 10 with four minutes remaining, the 49ers' star quarterback took too long to throw an out-route to Anquan Boldin. Packers cornerback Micah Hyde jumped the route and appeared to have an easy interception...until he didn't.
The ball fell from Hyde's unsure hands harmlessly to Lambeau's frozen turf and over the next four minutes, Kaepernick didn't make any more mistakes as he killed both the clock and the Packers fans' spirit before putting the 49ers in position for a game-winning field goal.
Which brings us to the second time the Packers what-if moment. At first glance, Phil Dawson's 33-yard field goal looks like a standard chip-shot...
But upon closer inspection you can see Packers cornerback Davon House time the snap perfectly off the left edge and make his way unimpeded to Phil Dawson only to watch the ball go in between both of his arms.
The more you look at it, the more amazing it is that Davon House DIDN'T block the field goal. But it turns out that House was flagged for being offsides on the play, so the Niners would have had a chance to kick another field goal even if he'd gotten to it. From the angle shown on TV it looks an awful lot like House actually just timed his rush perfectly and shouldn't have been flagged. Whether that makes things worse or better for Packers fans is unclear.
Sorry to twist the knife, guys.
Anyhoo, enjoy the off-season!
CORRECTION: Davon House was called offside on his near-block the game-winning field goal. An earlier version of this piece didn't include that point because the Fox broadcast didn't note the flag during or immediately after the play. That's right, we're passing the buck to Fox.