The biggest winners and losers of Saturday’s jaw-dropping playoff doubleheader

Packers beat writers: The season may be over, but the Rodgers watch starts now. Will he return to the Packers or not? Will he hang up his cleats or not? Rodgers wouldn’t answer those questions after the game, saying emotions were still running high after the loss. One bright spot, however, is that the uncertainty isn’t expected to last the whole offseason, like it did last year when he stayed away from the club until training camp. If Rodgers wants to leave, he’ll have to let it be known before free agency or the draft, so potential suitors can plan accordingly. If he wants to return, he’ll have to let it be known before free agency, so the Packers can work out roster issues in the open market and the draft.

Infringement by packers: Quite frankly, it just wasn’t good enough. A touchdown and a field goal…at home…with a chance to go to the NFC title game for a third straight year – gotta do better than that. Coach Matt LaFleur tried to accept responsibility afterward, which he rightly should have done. He pulled away from the running game after the initial touchdown, which made it easier for San Francisco to defend. When he remembered he had Aaron Jones, the offense resumed. Some might say he lost AJ Dillon to injury in the second half, but that doesn’t explain why he forgot about Jones for periods.

49ers Penalties: The Niners need to be cleaner. In the first practice of the second half, they had the opportunity to have the first goal from the 3-yard line, but running back Elijah Mitchell was given a personal foul for grabbing the defender’s face mask. On the next play, the 49ers were called for an illegal formation. He went from first-and-goal to second-and-19, with San Francisco eventually settling for a field goal.

Aaron Rodgers: For all his greatness, and he is vast, Rodgers is 0-4 against the 49ers in the playoffs. It was thought this might be his best chance — and his best team — to end the drought, but it was the first time in four games the Packers had failed to score at least 20 points. This point goes even deeper considering it was the first time in four games that the Packers defense held San Francisco to less than 23 points. Afterwards, Rodgers spoke about the shots he missed and his disappointment with the lack of execution and efficiency. Will he get another shot at getting that first playoff win as a Packer against the Niners? All we can say is: stay tuned.

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