49ers vs. Packers: Live Grades and Analysis for Green Bay

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2014

Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Jeff Kahlow (right) and wife Sandy, prior to the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers lost an incredible wild-card showdown against the San Francisco 49ers.

Final Score

San Francisco: 23

Green Bay: 20

Green Bay Packers' Grades
Position Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseC+B-
Run OffenseCB-
Run DefenseDC
Pass DefenseCB-
Special TeamsCC
vs. 49ers Wild Card Round

Final Analysis for the Green Bay Packers

Pass Offense: In a cold, tough playoff game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers played well. While his 177 yards passing and one touchdown won’t jump off the stat sheet, the fact is Rodgers was efficient, elusive in the pocket and he constantly gave his wide receivers a chance to make plays.

Run Offense: Give Green Bay's ground game credit. Battling one of the NFL’s best run defenses in frigid conditions, Green Bay stuck with the run and found pockets of success. Running back Eddie Lacy’s 81 yards on 21 carries helped open things up for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay passing attack.

Pass Defense: Even without starting cornerback Sam Shields, the Packers pass defense was still able to churn out a respectable performance against a quality 49ers aerial attack. While they gave up a touchdown to tight end Vernon Davis in the fourth quarter, Green Bay did a good job overall of limiting Colin Kapernick’s vision downfield.

Run Defense: It happened again. Even though Green Bay did a great job of slowing down 49ers running back Frank Gore, they just didn’t have an answer for Kaepernick’s legs. Rushing for 98 yards, Kaepernick was able to slip past Green Bay’s defense at the end of the game, setting up the game-winning field goal.

Special Teams: Averaging just 21.8 yards as a team on kick returns, the Packers turned in a mediocre performance on special teams. While kicker Mason Crosby hit both of his field-goal attempts, the lack of big plays this special teams unit generates is something the coaching staff will need to address this offseason.

Coaching: For all the scrutiny he faces, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy went out there and called a quality football game. Facing a tough defense in harsh conditions, McCarthy’s Packers battled until the final whistle in one heck of a wild-card game.

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 05:  Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after a first down catch in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 5, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisc
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Green Bay Packers

Pass Offense: After a dismal first quarter, Rodgers finally seems to have found his groove. Throwing for 45 yards and a touchdown on an impressive second-quarter drive, Rodgers was able to take what San Francisco's defense gave him and hit wide receiver Jordy Nelson with a nice touchdown pass.

Run Offense: Averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, Lacy has had a tough time going up against a stout 49ers run defense. Even though his first-half stats were mediocre, making sure the Packers have consistency in the ground game is going to be critical in this cold weather.

Pass Defense: Outside of a gorgeous interception by Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, Green Bay's pass defense had problems slowing down the 49ers in the first half. While the yardage wasn’t eye-popping, it felt like the 49ers were able to throw the ball downfield anytime they wanted.

Run Defense: Giving up 91 rushing yards and a touchdown, the Packers run defense was reminded of just how good San Francisco’s offense can be. It was Kaepernick, once again, who made the biggest play of the half, shredding the Packers for a huge 42-yard run late in the second quarter.

Special Teams: With Randall Cobb handling kick return duties, you’d figure Green Bay’s special teams unit would be able to generate some sort of explosiveness. Instead, thanks to the brutal conditions, it was a quiet half from those guys.

Coaching: Facing one the best defenses in the National Football League, McCarthy has called a balanced game. Despite his team getting dominated at the line of scrimmage, McCarthy’s team is only down three points heading into the second half.