GREEN BAY - The Packers wanted one more play, but it would be the last play, leaving Mike McCarthy and his team to wonder if this season will include one more meaningful play.
"We needed one more play tonight," McCarthy said following one of the most gut-wrenching losses of the season, 38-31, to the team the Packers beat in the Super Bowl three years ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What the Packers need most now is a Philadelphia win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football. It would set the stage for a winner-take-all game between the Packers and the Bears in Soldier Field next Sunday. The winner would claim the NFC North title, should the Eagles beat the Bears.
"The message in the locker room I'm embarrassed by because I didn't know Detroit lost the game," McCarthy said.
Did his team know a Bears loss would give the Packers a win-and-in scenario next week?
"I'm sure they know now but they didn't know when I talked to them because I didn't know," McCarthy said.
Here's where it all stands: • The Lions are history following their loss to the Giants; it's over in Detroit.
• With a win tonight in Philadelphia, the Bears will clinch the NFC North title and the Packers will be eliminated from playoff contention.
• A Bears loss to the Eagles will give the Packers a chance to win their third consecutive division title and make the loss to the Steelers meaningless. Had the Packers beaten the Steelers, the Packers would've still had to win in Chicago to claim the division title and its playoff berth.
Sunday's game included some of the zaniest action of the season. The Packers got a touchdown after the Steelers had blocked a Mason Crosby, point-blank field goal attempt, then the Packers faced a let-him-score decision late in the game, with the game tied at 31-31 and the Steelers able to execute a walk-off field goal attempt.
Did the Packers allow rookie running back Le'Veon Bell to score from a yard out?
"We talked about that, yes," McCarthy said.
It left 1:25 to play and that appeared to be plenty of time for a rally following a 70-yard kickoff return by Micah Hyde. Matt Flynn quickly moved the Packers, who were without a time out, to the Steelers 1-yard line. Overtime seemed to be in the bag, until tackle Don Barclay was guilty of illegal procedure, which not only moved the ball back to the 6-yard line but necessitated a 10-second runoff that took the clock down to 10 seconds.
"We knew there'd be a runoff and the clock would run. We should've gotten two plays off. We went as fast as we could," Flynn said.
The Packers were unable to get the ball snapped until four seconds remained and that made Flynn's incomplete pass for Jarrett Boykin the final play of the game.
McCarthy's voice betrayed any cover he up; he was drained. At one point he said, "I'm just trying to get through this press conference."
The questions came.
"The offense was aligned at 10 seconds and the play was called. They were set," McCarthy said with an edge in his voice.
Pittsburgh's game-winning touchdown was the result of a Matt Flynn fumble that was forced by Troy Polamalu on a third-and-8 play from the Packers' 10-yard line. Flynn couldn't find an open receiver so he took off down the left sideline and tried to split two defenders when Polamalu arrived and stripped the ball.
"I've got to protect the ball. It's not my thing to split defenders but I was trying to win the game and I wasn't thinking about ball security," Flynn said.
"I'm fine with Matt's decision," McCarthy said.
Flynn was 21 of 39 for 232 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 69.6 passer rating in some of the most severe weather conditions in recent Lambeau Field history. His third-quarter interception resulted in a 40-yard touchdown return by cornerback Cortez Allen. It was a game-changer that gave the Steelers a 10-point lead, but the Packers would rally to tie the game with 7:14 to play.
The interception was the result of tight end Andrew Quarless bumping into Flynn as he was attempting to throw the ball.
"It's probably my fault. We haven't run that protection. That's an example of a guy not having a lot of reps. You can put that on me," McCarthy said.
Blame? It won't be necessary should the Eagles beat the Bears.
MILWAUKEE - MILWAUKEE (AP) â€" A federal appeals court says a Wisconsin man who was wrongly imprisoned for 23 years can sue the detective and two dentists he says conspired to frame him with bogus bite-mark evidence.
The Journal Sentinel reported that the full U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 6-4 in favor of Robert Lee Stinson, an outcome that reversed an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the court.
EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River's Natalie Decker signed with Venturini Motorsports earlier this spring.
When she became a part of the group, she noticed they did a lot of events with PADD, People Against Distracted Driving.
She got involved in that cause by bringing it back to Eagle River for the UTV/ATV Championships.
Her and her family took the annual scavenger hunt and turned it into an event to bring awareness to PADD
Decker thinks her young age can help make an impact on other young drivers.
"It's not like we're 21 yet and drinking and driving. That's another bad thing, but this is becoming even worse. I want to hit all the young kids that follow me, even on my Instagram or Facebook," said Decker.
Once Decker gets across the serious message of PADD, then comes the actual scavenger hunt.
The participants in the event had some funny challenges.
"They had to do crazy stuff like get a picture with a purple sock and a high heel, and all these crazy things and stop at all the bars across Eagle River," said Decker.
If you would like to learn more about PADD, follow the link below.
MERRILL - When you live to be 100, you often often outlive your friends and even family members.
Lenore Ehlert, from Merrill, turned 100 years old on Wednesday.
"Well, actually, it doesn't feel much different, it's just another day," said Ehlert.
While celebrating that milestone, she found herself thinking of her husband who she lost 65 years ago.
Her husband, Merrill Police Captain, Elmer Krueger was shot and killed while on duty in July of 1952.
"July 19th and he died about three days later," said Ehlert.
Records from that time show an officer's death didn't lead to weeks of ceremonies and salutes like it does now.
"After the funeral, everything was just kind of forgotten," said Ehlert.
But decades later, it's not all forgotten. Merrill police officers, members of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and other first responders were all at the party to show that they were bonded for life after the tragedy years ago.
"It really is truly, that Lenore is part of our family," said Michael Caylor with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.
In addition to law enforcement, Governor Scott Walker, Congressman Sean Duffy and Attorney General Brad Schimel all wrote Lenore letters wishing her a happy birthday.
"It's quite an honor and I know part of it is for my husband and his memory," said Ehlert.
Elmer's memory was seen all throughout Lenore's special day.
"Know that you're part of the law enforcement family. Elmer was a brother, most of us didn't know him, but he's a brother nonetheless," said Lincoln County Sheriff, Jeff Jaeger.
She was surrounded by friends and family helping her celebrate her 100 years.
"If we're all to live as old and to be as loved as yourself, what a wonderful world this is going to be," said Caylor.
When asked for advice on how to live to be 100, Lenore said to keep your mind and body active, and to eat good food.
MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) - " The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's request to provide federal low-interest disaster loans for individuals and businesses affected by flooding.
The SBA will provide loans for up to $200,000 for damaged homes, $40,000 for damaged property, and $2 million to businesses for physical damage and economic loss because of flooding.
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