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McCarthy: Pack were NFL's best when our year ended

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Packers suffered one of the most excruciating defeats in recent playoff history when they blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead in a 28-22 overtime loss to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.

Despite that, Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes his team was the class of the NFL when their season ended in ignominy.

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"I thought we were the best team in football when our season ended," McCarthy said during a side session with beat reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. "You have to prove it on the field, obviously."

The Packers went 12-4 and got an MVP season out of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Many Cheeseheads will go to the grave believing the Lombardi was theirs if Rodgers wasn't limited by a calf injury late in the season.

"I know you guys have to cover us like we're 8-8 every year," McCarthy said. "I get that. That's how you guys make your business. But this was a helluva football team we had this year. And it grew. We had some bumps there early. I thought every time we were hit with a challenge, they accepted it and they worked at it and we got better."

A talkative McCarthy added that he "never had an offense this good" and made an allusion to the fact that Green Bay could have been even more impressive statistically if he didn't pull Rodgers out of several blowout wins. He explained a statistical breakdown the organization uses called "the 16 principles of championship offense and defense."

"We hit 13 of the 16 on offense," McCarthy said. "And the three that we didn't get, I think we were like one play or two plays off. So you know, if we could play at this level of offense from here on in, it will be the best offense pro football has seen."

McCarthy sounds like a coach on one of those The Missing Rings episodes on NFL Network. He had a special team and it couldn't get over the hump. The lingering sting is understandable.

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