SAN FRANCISCO — Columnist Tom Oates assesses the Green Bay Packers' performance in a 45-31 loss to the 49ers in an NFC divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.
Offense • C
DuJuan Harris made the nation sit up and take notice early. Aaron Rodgers fired some rockets on two game-tying drives, but the Packers struggled once they fell behind. James Jones has become a heck of a wide receiver.
Defense • F
Colin Kaepernick’s feet gave the Packers even more problems than his arm. Sam Shields’ pick-six got Green Bay off on the right foot. Tramon Williams has had better days. Erik Walden is very poor at setting the edge.
Special teams • D
Jeremy Ross’ muffed punt handed the 49ers a game-tying touchdown. Randall Cobb, who immediately replaced Ross, hasn’t been a big-time return threat since his injury. Made it with room to spare, right Mason Crosby?
Coaching • F
Mike McCarthy chose the wrong game to sub Ross for Cobb on punt returns. Dom Capers couldn’t contain the running of Kaepernick, who burned the Packers on blitzes and options. A.J. Hawk covering Vernon Davis deep? Really, Dom?
Overall • D
The Packers were knocked out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year by a team that pounded them physically. They were competitive for three quarters but it was a mirage. They were beaten by a better team.