3 Packers to blame for heartbreaking playoff loss to 49ers

Green Bay Packers
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The refs

The final blame doesn't belong to a Packers player or coach, but to the officials. That's not to say every decision went the 49ers' way because it didn't, but the refs had a brutal night.

Where do we even start?

How about the Packers' failed fourth-down conversion in the second quarter? Green Bay held a 3-0 lead and had possession at San Francisco's 14-yard line. Jordan Love appeared to have made the first down on a QB sneak, but an awful spot from the officials had the Packers short. Even worse was the failure to spot the 49ers lined up offsides. It cost Green Bay points.

The refs missed an obvious intentional grounding penalty on the 49ers' first touchdown drive. Brock Purdy threw the ball away in the pocket to avoid a sack. They scored two plays later.

How about Christian McCaffrey's first touchdown? The refs missed a delay-of-game penalty.

We can add in a blatant face-mask penalty that wasn't called on Aaron Jones, or the fact Matt LaFleur had to waste a challenge on another bad spot on a third down.

The officials made several embarrassing errors that just can't happen in a playoff game. The Packers' turnover on downs, in particular, had a significant impact on the game.

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