Greetings, and welcome back to what I call, “The Packers Multiverse.” If you’ve been following along with each episode, you know that I take a piece of Green Bay Packers history, and twist it a little, or a lot. Along this journey, we will be traveling to different Multiverse’s where decisions or outcomes were made different. Does it turn out better? Or does it turn out worse? We can only find out by entering, The Packers Multiverse.

The 2014 NFC Championship Game

I shudder just thinking about it.

In our multiverse, after a thrilling, and controversial 26-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys the Packers set their sights on the Seattle Seahawks. It wasn’t a dominating performance. Two first half interceptions thrown by Aaron Rodgers was a bit out of character for the future league MVP. But the Packers moved out to a 16-0 lead at halftime mostly in part to a dominating performance from their defense.

With a little over five minutes left in the game, Morgan Burnett intercepted a Russell Wilson pass that could’ve all but sealed the game at a 19-7 Packers lead.

However, the Packers then ran the ball three straight plays and punted. The Seahawks in turn, drove down the field to score a touchdown with two minutes left and a 19-14 score.

The Seahawks then lined up for an onside kick. After Packers tight end Brandon Bostick went for the ball instead of pursuing his blocking assignment, he mis-handled the ball. The Seahawks recovered and drove down the field to score another touchdown plus converted a 2-point try. The score was 22-19 Seahawks.

Down by a field goal with over a minute left, the Packers drove down the field and Mason Crosby scored a 48-yard field goal to tie the game at 22-22. This sent the game into overtime.

Seattle then won the coin toss and scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass to win the game and move on to the Super Bowl.

What if the Packers recovered that onside kick?

We now visit the Multiverse where that indeed happened.

Jordy Nelson recovers the kick

It was 19-14 in the NFC Championship game. The Seattle Seahawks lined up for an onside kick to keep their Super Bowl dreams alive. The kick was up. Packers tight end Brandon Bostick noticed he had a chance at catching it but stuck to his assignment to block Seattle’s oncoming attack. Packers Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson easily caught the ball and fell to the ground.

With 2:07 left in the 4th quarter, and Seattle having just one timeout left and the 2-minute warning, come-back chances were slim.

The Packers lined up on offense and Aaron Rodgers threw a quick pass out wide to Jordy Nelson who followed a Davante Adams block to gain 5 yards. It was bold to pass here, but with the 2-minute warning lingering, an incompletion likely wouldn’t have mattered with the clock stopping anyways. On 2nd and 5, Rodgers handed the ball off to Eddie Lacy who gained 2 yards up the middle, with Seattle taking their final timeout with 1:54 left on the clock. It was do or die time. Head Coach Mike McCarthy knew he had to be bold, but he had to be safe too. An incomplete pass would stop the clock. A failed 3rd down conversion they could at least run almost 40 seconds off the clock before punting.

On third and three the Packers lined up in the shotgun with Eddie Lacy, as well as Wide Receiver Randall Cobb in the backfield. This was an odd look, but when the snap came, Rodgers went to hand off to Lacy. He then pulled the ball from Lacy’s front to instead toss it to Randall Cobb running out wide. Cobb ran as fast as he possibly could to the first down marker, stretching the ball out passed the marker before being knocked out of bounds.

That was it. With 1:45 left on the clock, the Packers took a knee. Then another. And another to run out the clock and win the NFC Championship. The Packers were once again, Super Bowl bound.

Super Bowl XLIX: Rodgers vs Brady

It was a Super Bowl for the ages. The three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady vs the reigning two-time MVP, one-time Super Bowl winner, Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers start with the ball and get out to a 7-point lead off a Rodgers TD pass to Jordy Nelson. The Packers defense holds true and forces Tom Brady and the Patriots to punt. The Packers get into scoring range their second drive off a 48-yard screen-pass to Eddie Lacy but have to settle for a Field Goal. 10-0 is our score. Tom Brady pushes to orchestrate a scoring drive, and gets to Green Bay’s 35-yard line, but the drive de-rails after a holding penalty pushes them back to 45, and an incomplete pass forces a punt. The Packers face their first punt on the following drive, but the defense holds Tom Brady as well to a three and out.

After a successful deep pass to Davante Adams gets the Packers in Field Goal range, the drive stalls and Mason Crosby gives them a 13-0 lead with 2:30 left in the half. Tom Brady, desperate to muster some offense, ends up leading the Patriots down the field and throws a TD pass to Rob Gronkowski just before halftime.

A Katy Perry halftime show births a sensation named “right shark” before the second half begins.

Tom Brady comes out firing after the half and leads the Patriots on a methodical touchdown drive to put them up 14-13. Aaron Rodgers, not to be denied takes the Packers on his own methodical drive back down the field and Eddie Lacy hits pay dirt with a 3-yard touchdown run. 20-14 Packers up top again with only 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

Tom Brady returns to the field to respond but on 2nd down, a rushing Clay Matthews tips a throw and lands right in the hands of Julius Peppers. Peppers then takes it 25 yards all the way to the house and the Packers go up 27-14.

In desperation time, Brady is able to take the Patriots down-field to score another touchdown, making it 27-21 Packers. The Packers return to the field to unfortunately spend time more trying to run the clock than convert and they return the ball to the Patriots with 6:50 left on the clock. It’s almost an NFC Championship deja vu.

Brady then takes the Patriots down the field on a couple big throws but only gets a field goal to trim the score to 27-24 with 3:03 left on the clock and three timeouts. Bill Belichick decides to kick the ball deep and leave it to his defense to get the ball back to Brady. This was almost a success with the Packers facing 3rd and 8 with 2:30 on the clock, until on 3rd down, Aaron Rodgers found Randall Cobb for what was a short pass, but a missed tackle turned it into a 55-yard gain before he was run down, putting the Packers in Field Goal range. The Packers then ran the clock down with short runs until they kicked a field goal with 30 seconds left on the clock to go up 30-24.

Brady gave it all he could with two good passes totaling 25 yards. But with 10 seconds left as the Patriots went for another 5 yards or so to get in to Hail Mary range, Casey Hayward came in on a corner blitz, sacking the unsuspecting Brady, and the Packers won Super Bowl 49.

The Legacy

Aaron Rodgers, now a 2-time Super Bowl Champion does what his predecessor could not and wins multiple Super Bowls.

Casey Hayward, a Super Bowl hero earns a bit more trust and credit after the departure of Tramon Williams in the offseason. Hayward and Micah Hyde then lead a new generation of Packers DB’s alongside Ha Ha Clinton Dix and Sam Shields.

Moving Forward

With a solid secondary now, the Packers don’t draft DB’s in the 1st and 2nd round. Perhaps the Packers go after a Defensive Lineman or Inside Linebacker in the first round, and maybe a Tight End like Clive Walford in the 2nd. Walford may not have had a great pro career in Oakland and after but give him a great QB like Rodgers and he might have been much better.


This multiverse result gave this version of the Green Bay Packers two Super Bowl rings in a 5-year span. Given the defensive struggles and regrets of the release of two defenders I mentioned earlier in our multiverse, there’s even a chance more Super Bowl wins were achieved later.

With two or more rings on his resume, Aaron Rodgers would truly be in the G.O.A.T. conversation, and might even lead it.

Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.