The Green Bay Packers' 2023 season ended in disappointment with a 24-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round on Saturday night. The Packers rolled into the season as the youngest team in the league at 25.7 years old, and that was on display at times during the loss.
Losing in such close fashion makes things sting a little bit more as they head into the offseason. However, some specific players had a bigger role in the loss.
1. Anders Carlson
The Packers had a chance to go up seven points with 6:21 left in the fourth quarter. That plan didn't happen as rookie kicker Anders Carlson hooked a 41-yard field goal to the left.
Sadly, heading into this contest, many fans probably didn't have the most confidence in the 25-year-old. Carlson missed a kick in 10 of his final 12 games, including a miss in five straight outings. During that five-game stretch, the Auburn product missed kicks within 45 yards.
Head coach Matt LaFleur didn't seem to have much faith in his kicker heading into the matchup. During the broadcast, Fox Sports reporter Tom Rinaldi reported that LaFleur said, "When he goes out there, I just pray."
Carlson made 81.8% of his field-goal attempts during the regular season which was ranked 26th. Additionally, he was ranked 32nd in the NFL in extra-point percentage (87.2%). The ending of this playoff bout was something fans could have foreshadowed.