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