3 Packers to Blame for Divisional Round Loss to 49ers

These three players played a factor in Green Bay's Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night.
Green Bay Packers place kicker Anders Carlson (17) watches his field goal during the second quarter
Green Bay Packers place kicker Anders Carlson (17) watches his field goal during the second quarter / Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal
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2. Jordan Love

Jordan Love has grown tremendously in his first season starting for the Packers. Green Bay fans have gone from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers to Love. The Utah State product was seventh in the NFL in passing yards (4,159), second in passing touchdowns (32), and ninth in QBR (62.1).

He was nearly perfect in the Wild Card win over the Cowboys, going 16-of-21 for 272 yards and three passing touchdowns with a passer rating of 157.2. Love didn't have the same success going up against San Francisco's defense, which was fifth in the NFL in total defense (330 yards per game allowed).

The Packers moved the ball throughout the contest, logging 330 total yards, including five red zone trips. Green Bay didn't take advantage of those opportunities, only scoring two touchdowns in those five red-zone trips.

“We obviously didn’t do a good enough job in the red zone,” Love said after the game. “Didn’t come away with enough points down there."

Furthermore, Love threw two interceptions with a back-breaking turnover at the end of the fourth quarter. With 51 seconds left in the game, the 2020 first-round pick was rolling right on a broken play and forced a pass across his body to the middle of the field. 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw snagged the pick and essentially ended the game.

In a postgame meeting with reporters, Love acknowledged he made a "mortal sin" forcing the ball across the middle of the field with the game on the line. "Haven’t looked at any pictures, so. Looking back on it, yeah, throw it away," he said (h/t Pro Football Talk). "I don’t know if I had an opportunity to be able to run, maybe get out of bounds but, you know, force it across the middle late, which is a mortal sin and it cost us."