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Aaron Rodgers still laments late-game offense in Packers' NFC title game

Aaron Rodgers said he regrets not spreading the offense out more in the fourth quarter of the NFC title game. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In between the offseason workouts and practices, the treatment on his left calf, the trips to see his girlfriend, Olivia Munn, in Montreal (where she is filming the latest X-Men movie) and a few rounds of golf, Aaron Rodgers will occasionally think back to the NFC Championship Game.

With the emphasis on occasionally.

"Not a whole lot," Rodgers said during an interview Tuesday.

There is, however, this one thing: If Rodgers could change anything from the 28-22 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, he would have kept the offense wide open on the two late fourth-quarter possessions when the Packers went three-and-out, three-and-out -- each one with a 12-point lead.

On those two series, the Packers ran the ball five times and threw it just once. Both times, the Packers opened with multiple tight ends rather than their most common personnel package – three receivers with a tight end and a running back – and had Rodgers hand it off.

"We didn't do anything those two series," Rodgers recalled. "Negative run, negative run and then slightly positive run and a punt. And then run, run, pass incomplete [and a punt]. It just would have been nice to stay in spread [out] and see if we could get a couple of first downs to close it out."

The Packers led 19-7 when they took over on both drives, the first with 6:53 left in the fourth quarter and the second with 5:04 remaining.

"Our defense was playing so well," Rodgers said. "I think we were relying on them to stop them, but we sure would have helped them out if we could've just moved the ball. Even one first down would've taken off a couple more minutes."

Those two series are perhaps the most scrutinized play calls in the game, especially since the Packers did not attack injured cornerback Richard Sherman, who remained on the field at that time despite an elbow injury.

Immediately after the game, Rodgers chose his words carefully, saying "when you go back and think about it, at times we weren't playing as aggressive as we usually are."

After the game, McCarthy, who has since handed off play-calling duties to Tom Clements, defended his decisions.

"Hey, if you want to question my play calling -- I'm not questioning it," McCarthy said at the time. "I came in here to run the ball. The one statistic I had has as far as a target to hit was 20 rushing attempts in the second half, I felt would be a very important target to hit for our offense."