Packers: How new overtime rules could’ve changed playoff exits

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

With the NFL and NFLPA finally putting a new spin on the overtime rules in the postseason that allows the opposing team to match a touchdown, the opportunity now adds further drama to the postseason. It allows us to ask a very painful question: Which of Aaron Rodgers’ playoff overtime losses would look different if he possessed the ball after the Green Bay Packers‘ defense surrendered a touchdown?

Rodgers and the Packers have had memorable, heartbreaking playoff losses in the overtime quarter over the years.

The brutality of heading to overtime can be excruciating to the team that never possesses the football. While the argument for the new rules will be heavily debated until the end of time, for now, we’ll get a glimpse at how games play out.

Now, these what-ifs aren’t to say that if Rodgers had the ball, they’d automatically win the game, but more fun what-ifs to ponder in a sport that features a million what-ifs from drive to drive.

Packers’ 2015 playoff overtime loss @ Arizona Cardinals 2015

The Packers and Arizona Cardinals have been no strangers to one another during Rodgers’ tenure. The new overtime format wouldn’t have saved Rodgers in 2009 due to the Packers having the ball first and Arizona returning a Rodgers fumble for the chaotic win.

However, the more prolific playoff meeting came during the 2015 season.

You know the game.

The very game that saw Rodgers throw not one, but two, Hail Mary passes to force overtime in the desert.

Then after losing the coin toss, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer found a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald, who weaved his way easily through the Packers’ secondary to set up a goal-to-go series. Palmer with a shovel pass to Fitzgerald two plays later and the rest is history.

With the new rules, the Packers would’ve gotten the ball to try to match quite possibly one of the more dire possessions they’d just given up to Arizona.

In a game that didn’t feature Davante Adams and Randall Cobb due to injuries, could Rodgers and Jeff Janis capture lightning in a bottle one more time?

It’d be fun to think about, wouldn’t it?

Packers’ 2014 playoff overtime loss @ Seattle Seahawks

Any time a team loses the Championship Game to go to the Super Bowl is soul-crushing. Losing said game in overtime? Words cannot express the grief that goes with it.

The Packers and Seahawks were separated by one game that saw the No. 1 seed go to the Seahawks, giving them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Packers finished their home tilt going a perfect 8-0 in the regular season and 1-0 at home defeating the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round.

During the height of that Russell Wilson, Legion of Boom-led team, the Seahawks were next-to-unstoppable as the reigning Super Bowl champions.

In a back-and-forth affair that saw a number of breaks go Seattle’s way, Rodgers and Co. were still able to force overtime with the right to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on the line.

However, Wilson’s overtime touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse sent the Packers packing in another heartbreaking overtime loss.

With Rodgers getting at least a chance to try to upset the Legion of Boom in overtime, it makes for good drama. A hobbling Rodgers with the likes of prime Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy — which at several points schemed a perfect offense to combat that deadly defense — would’ve had to dig deep to rally.

But a chance is all you need sometimes.