Special Teams and Offense Cost Green Bay Packers in NFC Divisional Round Loss to Santa Clara 49ers

The Green Bay Packers beat themselves tonight. Simply put.

Special Teams and an anemic offense cost the Green Bay Packers in a 13-10 loss to the Santa Clara 49ers at Lambeau Field in the NFC Divisional Round.

The way the first half went, the game should have been a blowout heading into intermission. Instead, outside of the first possession of the game, the Packers offense couldn’t get it done and let the 49ers hang around and it was 7-0 at halftime.

Green Bay had a chance to extend the lead to 10-0 right before break, but Mason Crosby had his field goal blocked.

Green Bay’s offense still couldn’t get anything going and after another three-and-out, the Packers went to punt the ball away and and the Special Teams unit struck again and the punt was blocked and the 49ers ran it in for a touchdown with 4:41 remaining.

If we’re being honest, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t very good tonight. Green Bay’s offense had three three-and-outs in their four possessions in the second half. It felt like I was watching the NFC Championship game against Tampa Bay from last year all over again. Two years in a row, Rodgers has had multiple possessions to win a postseason game and failed to do so.

The Special Teams failures were not surprising because they have been awful all season long. But the offensive no-show was stunning. Both units played key roles into Green Bay’s early exit from the postseason.

I will give credit where credit is due, I think the Green Bay defense played very well tonight and they were the only reason the Packers were ahead 10-3 late in the game. The defense deserved a better fate in this game. The unit only gave up six points and mostly shutdown the 49ers offense.

Aaron Rodgers postgame said he’s “numb” and “didn’t think it was gonna end like this.” He also added: “I didn’t have a great night tonight. I definitely take my fair share of blame tonight.” And “If you score 10 points, you’re not gonna win a lot of those games.”

Aaron Rodgers has choked away several postseason chances for greatness, to be potentially labeled as the goat, in very different but equally frustrating ways as Brett Favre.

If anyone puts Rodgers over Tom Brady then they are delusional and biased.

On a positive note, every single person in the world can go to work on Monday knowing they are better at their job than Maurice Drayton. However, I do blame Matt LaFleur. He promoted the assistant to the guy he fired on special teams and it produced an unrelenting nightmare, culminating in this absolutely avoidable loss.

If Maurice Drayton is still employed by the Green Bay Packers beyond tomorrow, that’ll be a disgrace.

It’s all fun and games until special teams and an offense, or lack thereof, ends your season.

Being blown out is better than choking a game away you should have won.

I’m old enough to remember when home field advantage at Lambeau Field in the playoffs used to be an advantage.

Silly me for believing again that the Packers might actually get it done.

Matt LaFleur is absolutely gutted about this one, just like every Packers fan. He looked and sounded way more down about this one than the previous two playoff defeats.

It’s an abrupt finish to a season that had that “special” feeling to. This one is going to take a while for all involved to get over. I think most Packers fans are hurting right now with this loss, this is a tough one to swallow.

People keep wondering if this is Aaron Rodgers’ final year in Green Bay. I’ve been saying it for a while now, I believe his future is directly tied to what the team does with Devante Adams.

Up Next:

The offseason. Major decisions loom.

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