The Packers went into the game confident feeling like they would be ready the second time they faced the 49ers. However, it really only took three drives to see they would be in for a long night. The 49ers led at halftime 27-0, while only attempting four passes at the point. The 49ers clearly wanted to establish the ground game, and were very successful. The Packers started to mount what may have been a miraculous comeback, but the 49ers put the game far out of reach.
Biggest Reason for Loss
This shouldn’t come as a surprise but the biggest reason for the loss was the inability to stop the run. Raheem Mostert ran for over 200 yards and four touchdowns. Mike Pettine clearly didn’t make stopping the run an emphasis through the week or at halftime as the 49ers were simply on a tear. This raises a lot of questions about Pettine’s future in Green Bay especially since he wasn’t a direct hire of Lafluer.
The Packers also seemed to feel like they could move the ball towards the end of the first half after getting to 49er territory and fumbling the ball away. That, paired with an early Rodgers pick, really put the game out of reach. The Packers have preached the turnover battle all year, and couldn’t overcome a -3 differential. Green Bay made it a 14 point game with eight minutes to go, and there was a sliver of hope. However, the defense couldn’t change gear like the offense did in the second half. They ultimately gave up a field goal and made it a three possession game.
Moving forward the Packers have a lot to look forward too, but this will be viewed a missed chance. The Packers were in the first year in a new offense, with many holes in the roster. They can easily reload and find themselves back in the NFC Championship next season, but all of that will have to start in free agency. Matt LaFluer needs to take a good look at his offense and work with the front office to keep important guys and bring in playmakers. Brian Gutekunst changed the defense last season in free agency and the draft. He now needs to do the same on offense around his hall of fame quarterback. The Packers have a long seven months ahead, and every day matters if they want to be back next season.
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