Aaron Rodgers' heart-wrenching Packers-49ers playoff losses still haunt star

·2 min read

Heart-wrenching playoff losses to 49ers still haunt Rodgers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The 49ers have developed a habit of ending the season of Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In fact, they've done it four times.

“I’m hurt by all the playoff losses,” Rodgers told NBC Sports' Peter King in the latest "Football Morning in America" column. "... The 49ers game in 2013 hurts."

That wild-card round matchup at Lambeau Field went down to the final seconds. Green Bay tied the game at 20 with 5:09 to play but never saw the football again. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick conducted a 14-play, 65-yard drive to set up a game-winning 33-yard field goal for Phil Dawson as time expired.

It was the second consecutive year the 49ers sent Rodgers packing after a 45-31 victory the previous playoff run. San Francisco also took down the Packers in the 2019 NFC Championship Game, winning 37-20, and most recently in January by stealing another postseason tilt at the "Frozen Tundra," 13-10.

In that chilly clash, Rodgers was widely criticized for targeting star receiver Davante Adams deep down the field in double coverage on a crucial third-and-11 late in the game. The pass fell incomplete, and the Packers punted to ball to San Francisco only to watch Jimmy Garoppolo march down the field and set up a game-winning field goal for Robbie Gould.

That play still haunts the Packers' star quarterback.

“Of course,” Rodgers told King when asked if that incompletion sticks with him. “You think about all those plays from all the years. Never goes away. Doesn’t mean that you dwell on them or you can’t get past them. You’re a competitor, you remember maybe the failures more than the successes. I think that’s just a part of loving to compete and hating to lose maybe more than you love to win."

As far as what Rodgers ranks as the worst playoff losses of his career, the 49ers' division rival wears that crown.

"When you think about the worst losses in your career, I mean both of them were in Seattle -- the 'Fail Mary' game in 2012, NFC Championship in the ’14 season," Rodgers said. "But they all stick with you, because you think about what you could’ve done better. Plays you should’ve made."

The 49ers will take their squeaky clean 4-0 playoff record against Rodgers into the 2022 NFL season. The teams open up their preseason schedules against each other at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Santa Clara.

Although Rodgers won't play in the preseason tilt, you can bet the most recent playoff loss will still be lingering in the back of his mind.