Sydney Speaks! The one that got away

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney looks back at games the Packers should have won this season, and how at least one of those losses has come back to haunt the Packers.

For so many years how many fans wanted a meaningful game to end the regular season, and now there is one. Then again, by the time the game will start will it really matter?

There are so many ‘if this happens' and ‘if they win and if this team losses' to keep up with. Then there is the power of schedule and how that might come into play. For a minute I thought I was talking about college football and the BCS, but we are not are we? It has come down to the final week of the season and the Packers still have a chance to get in the playoffs, which if we think back four or five weeks ago, most of us would have thought this couldn't be possible. Now the Packer Nation should be jumping for joy with the possibilities.

This Green Bay Packers team has done an outstanding job of putting itself in this position. The Packers have beaten the teams that were on their schedule that allowed them to be in this position regardless of how bad or horrible they are. The fact is they beat them plain and simple. It doesn't matter how; all that matters is that they did.

If you look back at the season, there were many games that the Packers could have won. In some of the games that they lost, you could say it was because they were too young as players. You could even say they were unsure as a coaching staff of exactly what they wanted to accomplish, or even how to win, so they stumbled. When they played the New Orleans Saints, they couldn't take advantage of all the gifts Drew Brees and the offense gave them early in the game. They had a victory over the Saints in the palm of their hands and all they had to do was close it, but as we know so well that didn't happen.

Another game that comes to mind was what happened when they played the St. Louis Rams in early October. At the end of the game everyone was expecting the Packers to either get the win outright because they were in position to score or kick a field goal to at least tie up the game and send it to overtime. But, unfortunately, a sack which caused a fumble sent a quiet chill through the crowd as everyone walked out of Lambeau Field in disbelief.

I know we can't go back and change the past, but as the Packers are sitting here hoping for miracles and help they need not look anywhere else. I touched on the Saints and the Rams, but the biggest blunder happened with the Buffalo Bills and the unforgettable throw for an interception on the one-yard line when they should have run the ball. Talk about the one play that changed the season. That play was like being sucker punched in the stomach because it knocked the wind out of everyone - the players, coaches and fans. When this play happened I said that one play would come back to haunt the Packers and it has. Can you imagine how pretty the Packers would be sitting at this point in the year if they would have beat the Bills? Instead of sweating about what the Giants are going to do, I have something worse. As much as the Packer fan hates, and I mean hates, the Vikings fan, I am wondering how hard is it going to be to be cheering for the Vikings this week as they face the Rams. I am trying to picture this in my head as the Packer fans watch the game and high five each other when, and if, the Vikings do something good. It must be like drinking nasty medicine that you hate to drink, but have to in order to get better.

Not only that but look at what the National Football League has done with the scheduling for this game against the Bears. They moved it to prime time, which will affect most of our New Year's Eve plans, but can we really complain? Most of us have moaned and groaned when there wasn't a flex schedule available and the season-ending games were of no consequence. So, we all just might get what we have been wishing for. And let's not fool ourselves - this game isn't about the Bears and Packers and the possibility of the Bears stopping the Pack from making the playoffs. It's about whether this will be Brett's last game, or not, and the network wants to be part of it if it is. But either way this season might just come down to the fish story - THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

Packer Report Top Stories