5 Players and Coaches Who Deserve Blame for Saturday's Loss Against 49ers

Matt SmithContributor IIIJanuary 14, 2013

5 Players and Coaches Who Deserve Blame for Saturday's Loss Against 49ers

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    A game that was close in the first half ended in a lopsided victory by the San Francisco 49ers.

    In the end, the Packers just couldn't keep up with Colin Kaepernick and the read-option threat he presented.

    As good as the 49ers played, the Packers played horribly in some areas. It wasn't just the players that didn't play well, it was also the coaches.

    There's a lot of blame to go around in Green Bay, but some deserve it more than others.

Dom Capers

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    After a first half in which 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick ran wild, Packers fans probably thought their defensive coordinator would change his game plan to stop Kaepernick.

    Well, they thought wrong.

    In a stunning display of how not to call a game, Capers stuck with man coverage and repeatedly got burned by Kaepernick, who was rarely touched when he decided to scramble.

    Did the man coach himself out of a job? Maybe not. But it almost seemed as if he did.

Mike McCarthy

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    McCarthy wasn't as bad as Capers, but his offensive play-calling wasn't good either.

    In the second half, the run game was essentially nonexistent, despite the fact that one of the reasons the 49ers were having success was because they dominated the time of possession.

    It was a very predictable offense, and one that had little balance whatsoever. In hindsight, it would've been a good idea to get DuJuan Harris (4.82 YPC) the ball more.

Erik Walden, OLB

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    This should turn out to be Walden's last game as a Packer.

    Walden's been borderline brutal all season, and his poor play was again easy to spot. He was one of the main reasons Green Bay couldn't stop Kaepernick, and it appeared he lost the edge on Kaepernick's 56-yard TD scamper. 

    On top of poor run defense, Walden added nothing as a pass-rusher.

    Nick Perry's return next season couldn't be more appreciated.

The Defensive Line

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    It's kind of cheating to include a unit, but the story goes the same for each player on the line.

    As pass-rushers, they generated little to nothing.

    On run plays, they got pushed around by the 49ers' physical front.

    On a critical 4th-and-1 in which it was evident the 49ers were never going to run a play, both B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett jumped.

    Two seasons removed from his departure, Cullen Jenkins has been missed.

Jeremy Ross, KR

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    Despite being signed late in the season, Ross quickly overtook Randall Cobb as the Packers' primary return man.

    This wasn't a slight on Cobb, but a combination of Cobb's big role on offense and Ross' more than adequate return skills.

    On Saturday night, with the Packers leading 14-7, Ross muffed a catch inside the Packers' 10-yard line. It was a key turnover that led to quick San Francisco points and stymied Green Bay's seemingly building momentum.

    Ross may be able to stick on the roster as a return man next year now that Cobb's primed to have a consistently big offensive role following Greg Jennings' probable departure, but this moment will haunt him forever.