The San Francisco 49ers simply couldn't keep up with the Green Bay Packers' potent offense in the freezing cold of Lambeau Field on Sunday.
In what eventually became a 34-16 blowout, the 49ers held their own for almost one half of football. Although nobody was fooled into thinking a 6-0 lead would equate to certain victory, the 49ers played a decent game against a powerful opponent for one half of football.
Eventually, however, Green Bay did what an offensive powerhouse is supposed to do. The receiving weapons made the 49ers secondary look like high school kids, as they caught passes around, over and through San Francisco's shivering cold pass defenders.
San Francisco managed to move the ball decently in the first half and they went into the locker room with only a 14-13 deficit. Those 13 points would be the bulk of the 49ers offense for the day, however, coming courtesy of Vernon Davis' athleticism and Jeff Reed's foot.
Davis caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from Troy Smith late in the second quarter, finishing with four catches for 126 yards on the day.
Reed joined the team after being cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago.
Green Bay, however, had too many weapons for San Francisco to keep up with. When their passing machine, Aaron Rodgers, finally got in rhythm with Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Brandon Jackson, there was no way the 49ers secondary was going to be able to keep up.
No realistic fan should be too disappointed in the San Francisco's spanking at the hands of Green Bay. They are a better team with better players this year. They have fallen behind the Chicago Bears in the NFC, and to think they wouldn't bring their very best against San Francisco at home in Lambeau would have been ridiculous.
The 49ers might actually deserve a little credit for hanging in there for a whole half of football; it could have been much worse.
Of course it could have been much better, too.
Seattle beat Carolina 31-14, and St. Louis trounced Arizona 19-6 to move the 49ers to two games out of the division lead.
With three of San Francisco's four remaining games coming against division rivals they have already faced this season, now is the definition of crunch time. And it is how the 49ers perform during crunch time, that will be determine the true magnitude of their 2010 success—and failure.