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Green Bay Packers can blame themselves for loss

Yes, Green Bay Packers cornerback M.D. Jennings picked off the Hail Mary.

Yes, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate got away with an obvious push-off on cornerback Sam Shields.

But to play devil's advocate, the Packers made several mistakes in the final two minutes to put themselves in position to lose Monday night, 14-12.

NFL: Monday night's result stands
The NFL is supporting the refs' decision to not overturn Golden Tate's touchdown in the Seahawks' win over the Packers. More ...

» Great play by Jennings, but what are defensive backs taught in Hail Mary situations? Knock the ball down. Jennings out-jumped and had better timing than two Seahawks and three other Packers. The game is over if he swats that ball down instead of catching it. (Side note: The Packers also gave up a Hail Mary to Hakeem Nicks and Eli Manning at halftime of the playoff loss last season.)

» The Packers had the ball on their own 7-yard line with 1:54 left in the game. Cedric Benson was hit for minus-5 yards on a first-down run and fumbled the ball. Benson ran for no gain on second-and-15. John Kuhn ran for 2 yards on third down, and then the Packers called a timeout. The Seahawks used their last two timeouts on first and second downs. If the Packers' offense earned one first down, the game would have been over.

» The Packers' defense gave up a 22-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Sidney Rice on second down with 41 seconds left. The completion moved Seattle to the Green Bay 24-yard line and set up the final play. Don't give up that big chunk, and that Hail Mary becomes a much longer throw. As unacceptable as the officiating was on the final play, the Packers had opportunities to close that game.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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