Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers whiffed again during the NFL playoffs, now for a second-straight year at home. The San Francisco 49ers beat the top-seeded Packers, 13-10, on a frigid and snowy Lambeau Field on Saturday night in a divisional playoff game.
The 49ers now advance to the NFC Championship game while the Packers are done for the season. Also, both No. 1 seeds in the NFL’s playoffs have fallen alreadyâ€”both on Saturday. The AFC’s top seed, the Tennessee Titans, lost earlier in the day at home to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 49ers will now hit the road for the third-straight weekend to face either the Los Angeles Rams or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who square off Sunday afternoon in a chilly but sunny Tampa, Florida. The Bengals will travel next Sunday to face the winner of tomorrow’s (01/23/22) game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
Green Bay looked sharp early in the game when they took a 7-0 lead, and the Packers defense held San Francisco at bay most of the game.
Late in the game, as the Packers held a 10-3 lead, the 49ers forced a San Francisco punt deep in Green Bay territory. The punt was blocked, and Talanoa Hufanga returned it 5 yards for a touchdown to tie the game, which stunned the rather raucous crowd at Lambeau.
“Boy, that just sucked the life out of this crowd,” said FOX color analyst Troy Aikman.
“No doubt,” lead announcer Joe Buck responded.
The 49ers got the ball back with a little more than 3 minutes remaining. They walked the field and San Francisco kicker Robbie Gould booted a 45-yard field goal in the snow as time expired to seal the win.
Green Bay took an early lead in the first quarterâ€”when the weather was just 12 degrees and no snow on the groundâ€”when running back A.J. Dillon scored on a 6-yard carry. It capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive that chewed more than five and a half minutes of clock.
The 7-0 Packers’ lead held for more than a quarter until Gould kicked a 29-yard field goal. Green Bay held a 7-3 lead at the half and through the entire third quarter before a Mason Crosby field goal gave Green Bay a 10-3 lead. Hufanga’s scoop and score off the blocked punt with 4:41 remaining tied up the game, which led to the dramatic ending.
The Packers were a favorite to not only make this year’s Super Bowl, but also a favorite to win the big game. Additionally, Rodgers is the favorite to win this year’s MVP award for a second-straight season.
Last year, the Packers lost in the NFC Championship game at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went on to win the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers are the No. 2 seed in the NFC, and they play Sunday afternoon in Tampa. Should the Buccaneers beat the Rams, then Tampa Bay would host the 49ers the following week for the right to play in the Super Bowl.