The Green Bay Packers weren’t supposed to have made it this far anyway, right? That doesn’t make it feel any better. The Green and Gold had San Francisco beat for 58 minutes. But that changed during the last two minutes of the game. The 49ers didn’t win that game. The Packers lost that game 21-24.
This Matt LaFleur-coached team started the season 2-5 and everyone had already counted them out. But in the second half of the season the Packers turned it around, finishing the season 9-8 and qualifying for the playoffs as the 7th seed. They then went into Dallas in the wild card round and dominated the Cowboys, which led us to this game: a 7th seed Packers team versus arguably the best team in the NFL in the first seed San Francisco 49ers.
Ultimately, this game came down to a few bad plays that were probably the result of a young team. Two dropped interceptions, one of which would have been a pick-six, multiple missed tackles, a failed fourth down attempt, and an Anders Carlson missed field goal really did this team in.
The Packers offense dominated this game between the 20s but just couldn’t get it done in the redzone. The Packers had to settle for two field goals and a fourth down attempt that they didn’t convert. On the fourth down attempt, multiple camera angles showed that Love probably got the first down on the sneak, but the replay wasn’t conclusive.
Jordan Love continued to move the ball well in the third quarter and was able to score fifteen points. The second touchdown came about after Keisean Nixon returned a kickoff for 73 yards.
Aaron Jones was a superstar for the Packers all game long. He had his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game and was the first running back to rush for over 100 yards against the 49ers in 51 games. That is not a typo.
Jordan Love was playing very well until the fourth quarter. All season long, media members have been comparing Love to Rodgers and Favre. And on the final throw of the game for Love, he did his best Favre impersonation: threw across his body, late, over the middle, and threw a game-killing interception.
Joe Barry’s defense held the 49ers offense down the entire game until the end. The Packers defense had constant pressure on Brock Purdy and definitely forced a ton of incompletions due to the pressure.
The Packers defense did miss out on a couple of interceptions. If either one of those interceptions would have been made, the Packers would have been heading to the NFC Championship game. Darnell Savage dropped an easy interception in the early part of the game that would have gone for six. Later in the game, Keisean Nixon missed out on a pick that would have set the Packers offense in great field position.
The Packers defense dealt with injuries throughout the game. Quay Walker, Jaire Alexander, and Kenny Clark all had to leave the game for a bit due to injuries.
When it came down to the final drive by the 49ers, the Green Bay defense reverted back to the Joe Barry defense we all know and hate. Brock Purdy was able to lead the 49ers easily down the field to score the go-ahead touchdown. A Joe Barry special for sure.
The season may now be over, but there is a lot to be excited about regarding this young football team. They just went toe-to-toe with the NFC’s best team and honestly outplayed them. The Green Bay Packers head into the offseason knowing they will be ready for another run next year. The Packers should be good for a long time coming.
Just because the season has ended doesn’t mean all of the Packers talk ends with it. The NFL truly never stops spinning, and that goes for the Packers, too. There is a lot to look forward too this offseason, so continue to stay tuned to PackersTalk in the coming months as we look to recap the 2023 season, analyze any coaching changes that may happen, look forward to the free agency period, and cover the NFL draft.
I love the Green and Gold and regardless of how I feel right now, this season was a fun one. So much for a rebuild year, huh?
Go Pack Go!——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.