Game Balls and Lame Calls: Green Bay Packers Defeat 49ers All Green Bay Packers All the Time

The Green Bay Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers Sunday 34-16 to improve to 8-4 on the year and remain one game behind the Chicago Bears in the NFC North.

In a contest that looked scary at first, the Packers were able to utilize big plays to pull away from the 49ers as the game wore on.

There were both good and bad things to take away from the game.  First the good news:

Game Balls

QB Aaron Rodgers

The Rodgers Romp rolls on.

Finishing the day 21/30 for 298 yards and three TD passes, the hot streak Rodgers began five weeks ago continues.  Despite a sluggish start to the game, No. 12 got dialed in just in time to bury the 49ers.

Rodgers continued to play like he had a chip on his shoulder against the team he rooted for as a child. With precision passing on deep routes, Rodgers shredded a weak 49ers secondary and carried his team to a big win.

RB James Starks

Holy Crap, the Packers have a rushing attack.

Despite the tongue in cheek humor on Twitter over James Starks’ much ballyhooed debut, the rookie lived up to some of the hype by gaining 74 yards on the ground. As a team the Packers went over the 150 yard mark on the ground.

I’m not saying Starks is the new starter, but a two pronged attack with him and Brandon Jackson and the occasional Rodgers scramble just might give Mike McCarthy something to work with as winter arrives.

WRs Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.

Big time players make big time plays at big parts of the game.

That’s exactly what the Packer’s’ top two wide-outs did today. Driver got into the end zone on an incredible catch and run that stopped the 49ers from gaining momentum and the same could be said of Jennings.  No. 85 continued his resurgence in the absence of Jermichael Finley and is creeping ever closer to another 1,000 yard season despite his slow start to the year.

Driver in the meantime has had a frustrating season thus far mainly due to injury, but if there’s one thing DD is known for it’s never quitting and it showed on his touchdown grab. One of the most spectacular plays of the year in my opinion.

So that’s just some of the good stuff.  Now let’s look at some of the not-so-good.

Lame Calls

Special Teams

Even if the Packers make a deep playoff run, Shawn Slocum’s job status has to be drawn into question here.

First, Mason Crosby doinks a 29 yard chip shot field goal. Chalk that one up under “sometimes, stuff happens.”

What the inexcusable part of the special teams performance was the inability to not just stop Ted Ginn Jr., but the fact that they kept kicking to him at all.

As the saying goes, if you play with fire you’re liable to get burned. The Packers nearly did and it’s obvious Slocum didn’t learn his lesson from kicking to Devin Hester earlier in the season.

The officiating crew

In a word, they stunk.

First was the horrible intentional grounding call on Rodgers in the first quarter despite the ball only being a foot or so above Driver’ head and giving the 49ers early momentum

Second was after assessing the Packers a penalty and then announcing it was fourth down thus stripping the Packers of two downs.  It wasn’t really a pivotal moment but to quote ESPN “C’MON MAN!”

The third and most irritating was when what should have been a free play (and long completion) was blown dead despite the 49ers jumping offsides. In what was a close game at the time, this could have swung momentum the other way on a huge blunder by the officials.

Dirty 49ers

The pushing and shoving after the plays was ridiculous at points.

I’m not sure if the 49ers were attempting to get into the head of the Packers or what but the extracurriculars after the play was incredibly dirty and much credit goes to the Packers for not taking the bait.

This is not usually a trait you would associate with a Mike Singletary-led team, but perhaps this was a sign as to how desperate the 49ers are to hang on in a pathetic NFC West.

So that’s just some of the good and the bad of this week’ game.  For example, the inability to stop Vernon Davis or the big stops the Packers defense made also could have been included.

Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below.

Who would you give a game ball to? On the flip side, who or what were some of the lame calls of the game?


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


29 thoughts on “Game Balls and Lame Calls: Green Bay Packers Defeat 49ers

  1. It wasn’t the kick coverage that drove me nuts. It’s the penalties on special teams that are mind-boggling. Week after week flags fly on practically every special teams play. How can you NOT fix that?

    The ref was clueless. I don’t know what was more pathetic–forgetting what down it was, or thinking Rodgers called a timeout when he was giving a hand signal to the wideouts. Maybe the ref was on some cold medicine…or LSD.

    1. Seems like every week we’re saying “this is the worst crew in the NFL.” I think I’ve just come to expect incompetence now…

      Ruppert, who gets your game balls?

      1. How many game balls do I get?! I haven’t watched it the 2nd time through yet, so my opinions might change by tomorrow. DD, Jennings and Rodgers were basically the entire offense. Hard to tell who did good on D until I can slow it down, but Cullen made some big plays. I’ll even give a game ball to James Starks. He wasn’t great, but you have to consider that this was his first live action since Brett Favre was a Jet.

      2. I put a lot of blame on the refs for the pace of the game in the first quarter and a half. They seemed lost, made poor calls (intentional grounding), blew the whistle after defensive offides, took forever to make calls. All of those things contribute to an offense losing rhythm.

        1. I’m getting at a stage that if I see anyone on the streets wearing black and white stripes, I might attack them…

    2. Well, it’s undisciplined football to be sure. It goes back to coaching in my opinion. Slocum should be fired and McCarthy needs to bring in someone from the outside . No one on staff right now is good enough.

  2. Much credit to the Packers Defense, they held the 49ers to field goals a crucial moments early in the game. Good balance on offense..hope it continues.

    1. Packers held the 49ers to 3 for 12 on third down. I was glad to see the offense take some deep shots downfield against the49ers. Thought they should have done that last week against the Falcons, too.

    2. Starks didn’t run for 200 yards nor does he have to. Just balance the offense, make the opponent respect your run game and there is no stopping this unit.

    1. Officiating across the whole league has been awful. During the Redskins-Giants gam yesterday after Shanahan lost a challenge the ref declared “Denver will be charged a timeout.” Epic fail.

  3. Slocum has to go. Mashtay is getting worse. Penalties are atrocious.

    Bright side: We won a game we should win with a convincing second half.

  4. Game ball goes to Driver.

    Rodgers was great, but that run after the catch was unbelievable. Great to see Drive back in the mix.

      1. That one play could force defenses to divertt some attention from Jennings to Driver and as well as Greg has been playing with all that extra focus on him, that could spell big trouble for opposing defenses.

        1. I also think they need to be sure to incorporate throws to the RBs. With secondaries worried about the Packers’ deep threats, those delayed underneath passes will be very effective.

  5. What exactly is CM3’s shin injury? He is obviously hampered. Would some rest help? If it will we need to sit him this week. The Lions are a decent team, but CM3 will be absolutely vital against the Pats and Bears. If rest will help, this is our only chance. Cullen…please be okay!!! He has been great since losing the club (and decent before that). We will need him down the stretch.

    1. I don’t think you can sit someone of Matthews’ caliber. The Packers are in the thick of a playoff chase that at least one very talented team is going to lose out on. Every game is a big one.

      As far as Jenkins that would be a HUGE blow if he’ done for awhile. He’ been a great anchor on that d line

      1. i would rather have CM3 at or near full strength down the stretch if possible. If we lose to a 2-10 lions team because we have to sit CM3 then we are not a good enough team to play in the Super Bowl. Clay is playing okay right now, but not even close to where he was before the injury. Maybe rest will not hurt, I am not a doctor. But if it will, we need him as healthy as we can get him.

  6. Game Ball- Aaron Rodgers. THis guy just keeps doing what he does and that’s not turn the ball over and makes great accurate throws! Watching him look at option 1,2 so on and so forth is a key intangible you don’t see a lot of QBs doing. MAkes all his reads and does not lock onto 1 receiver. Rodgers is the best QB in the league this year.

    Lame Calls- McCarthy and the offensive play calling. STill too many times in the goalline or on short yardage does he go shotgun or go with a pass play. That needs to change!

    1. Good picks on both. I really don’t know what to think about MM and goal line. I think he just doesn’t have enough confidence in the O-line to move people back.

    1. Well the steak is done and ready for eating. I guess you meant streak, but with there being a “Brett Favre Steakhouse” it works either way.

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