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Aaron Rodgers on Packers' collapse: 'We gave it away'

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Aaron Rodgers stood at the podium after Sunday's crushing 28-22 NFC Championship Game loss to the Seahawks because that's what the franchise quarterback has to do. It's part of the gig.

For five minutes, he answered questions about what was -- by far -- the biggest missed opportunity of his NFL career. The Packers had a 12-point lead and the ball with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. And yet, here was Rodgers, as glum as we've ever seen him. Something had gone terribly wrong.

"It's going to be a missed opportunity that we're probably going to think about the rest of my career," Rodgers said. "We were the better team today and we played well enough to win and we can't blame anybody but ourselves."

It was an all-time stomach punch loss by a Packers team that seemed to have endless opportunities to seal their second Super Bowl trip in the Rodgers era.

"You can't let them complete a pass for a touchdown on a fake field goal, you can't give up an onside kick and you can't not get any first downs in the first quarter and expect to win," Rodgers said. "And that's on top of being really poor in the red zone in the first half. Put it all together and that's how you lose games. We had a great opportunity. We were right on the cusp."

Rodgers was asked how he'd deal with a loss this painful.

"You just go home, think about it, and move on," he said. "Start getting ready for the offseason program. This one's going to hurt for a while because of the close proximity to the feeling when the clock hits zero and you're ahead. We gave it away."

What a loss. If you're Rodgers -- or really anybody associated with the Packers -- how do you even watch the Super Bowl in two weeks? They had punched their ticket to Arizona and then watched it slip out of their fingers and down a Seattle storm drain.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps Championship Sunday, and breaks down the Seahawks' historic comeback against the Packers. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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