13

January

Green Bay Packers: The Loss to San Francisco and Now What?

Unfortunately the next time we see Rodgers, he will be in a red practice jersey. He has a few months to get fired up about another embarrassing playoff loss

Well, the Green Bay Packers 2012 season is in the books after the Divisional round playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.  It’s time for my thoughts on tonight’s game and ask the burning question:  Now what?

The Playoff Loss at San Francisco

The Packers knew what was coming at them in this Divisional playoff game.  They knew it and still let it beat them.  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns, a new NFL playoff record.

Minus the early-game interception that was returned for a touchdown, Kaepernick was near flawless the rest of the way and absolutely torched the Packers defense.  There were concerns about the Packers ability to contain the mobile Kaepernick.  Others questioned whether Kapernick would be able to handle the pressure of a playoff game, his first.  He clearly was.

The signs were all there early on that this one wasn’t going to go the Green & Gold’s way.  Immediately after Sam Shields ran an errant Kaepernick pass in for a pick six, Kaepernick literally ran his team down the field and scored on a 20 yard run that was poorly defensed by the Packers.

It seemed like the key was going to be making Kaepernick beat the Packers by having to throw it.  He ended the game 17/31 for 256 yards and two touchdowns.  Not a bad day, but not great.  The problem was, he didn’t need to be great.  He just had to be efficient.  The 323 rushing yards the Green Bay defense gave up that kept them on the field made that possible.

It was this game that finally made me realize that the Packers just did not have the guys on the field that they needed to win this one.  They were hit hard by injuries this season and it caught up with them on Saturday night.  The loss of Desmond Bishop, Bryan Bulaga, Nick Perry and DJ Smith were apparent as the Packers had to turn to Brad Jones, Erik Walden for a full game (too many snaps) and Don Barclay to fill the gaps.