With the Green Bay Packers holding onto a four-point lead with six minutes left in the fourth quarter against the No. 1 seed in the NFC, kicker Anders Carlson missed, left of the uprights.
Looking deeper into it shows that the blame is not solely on Carlson. What looks like both a bad snap from Matt Orzech and hold from Daniel Whelan could have made a recipe for disaster that ultimately led to the Packers' loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Carlson has been getting a lot of blame for missing the field goal that would have extended the Packers lead to seven, but he was kicking in a less-than-ideal scenario.
Anders Carlson wasn't helped by snap and hold on crucial missed kick in Packers playoff loss
Firstly, Carlson was dealing with rain and seven-miles-per-hour winds. There was also a bad snap and hold.
Orzech has been less than ideal this season, and, mixed with the rain in Santa Clara, he did not help the situation. Earlier in the game, Orzech had a bad snap to holder Whelan, but it was saved at the last second and Carlson was able to make it.
While there are no grades for long snappers, Orzech could possibly be out of the Packers organization come free agency.
Whelan's hold was not perfect. It was held at an angle that most likely changed the trajectory of the kick to land just outside of the uprights. Together, it was a recipe for disaster.
Carlson should not get the entirety of the blame. This situation could have been much worse if Whelan wasn't able to pull in that snap. This upcoming free agency, the Packers should look into getting another kicker to challenge Carlson and sign a veteran long snapper to help the kicking unit improve in 2024.