A poor performance on not only special teams, but also offense, costs the Green Bay Packers a third straight trip to the NFC Championship Game.
Special teams errors will take the headlines — a blocked-punt touchdown tied up the game late in the fourth quarter — but the fact is this was yet another offensive playoff failure by the Packers.
After scoring a touchdown on the opening possession of the game, Green Bay scored just three more points, eventually losing on a walk-off field goal as time expired. The final moments of the game were eerily similar to the 2013 home playoff defeat to the 49ers.
The Packers’ defense did all it could. They only allowed six points in the game as the other seven came from special teams. Joe Barry’s unit made four sacks, one interception, and also got a crucial fourth-down stop late in the game.
But like we’ve seen countless times, including in last year’s NFC Championship Game, the offense couldn’t make the most of some fantastic defensive play.
Aaron Rodgers finished the game 20/29 for 225 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Green Bay allowed five sacks, rushed for just 67 yards, and turned it over once on a Marcedes Lewis fumble.
An offseason of uncertainty awaits for Matt LaFleur’s team. Was Rodgers’ final moments as a Packer sitting on the sideline watching the 49ers — the team that passed him up in the 2005 NFL Draft — kick a walk-off field goal in the divisional round?
What about Davante Adams and De’Vondre Campbell? They are both free agents.
They are questions for another day. For now, the Packers have to reflect on another missed opportunity in the postseason. At home, in cold conditions, the offense scored just 10 points while the special teams put together possibly their worst performance of the season, and that says a lot.
Another heartbreaking playoff exit for the top-seed Packers.