Here is the scenario: the Packers were big favorites going into the playoffs. They were the top seed in the NFC Division. They had lost only one game all season. They were the defending Super Bowl champions and they were playing at Lambeau Field, their home field. Everything was looking good for them. Unfortunately, the game did not turn out as expected.
An ESPN blog by Kevin Seifert tells the story:
But here, as they say, is the stone-cold truth: One of the most explosive and efficient offenses in NFL history -- the one that almost single-handedly was responsible for a 15-1 regular-season record -- stumbled at the starting line and never regained its footing. Credit goes to the Giants' defense for scheming to take away the deep pass, but independent of that, I think we can agree it's been a while since we've seen the Packers' offense play so poorly. ESPN Stats & Information had it with six drops, tied for the most by any NFL team in a game this season. The Packers committed a season-high four turnovers, including a fumble by Rodgers as he was trying to hit a wide-open Jennings in the third quarter. They had only two plays go for more than 20 yards, a 29-yard run by running back James Starks and a 21-yard pass to receiver Randall Cobb once the game was out of hand.
"This year," receiver Jordy Nelson said, "we've made the easy plays into big plays. And we didn't make the easy plays today. That's what hurts you. Every once in a while, you'll get a big shot, but if you can't make the easy plays, you aren't going to make any plays."
I couldn't have put it better if I tried. Why that happened, however, will be a mental mystery that will haunt the Packers all offseason.
Let's decipher that mental mystery right now.
Actually, it is not a mental mystery as much as it is a collective neurophysiological breakdown. In order to produce motion in the body, any motion, whether it is swinging a golf club or throwing a football, the signal about the motion has to go directly to the motor system and not be intercepted by the pre-frontal cortex. This ability of signals to go directly to the motor system has a crucial component attached to it. That component is the element of time.