It’s pretty clear what the big difference was in this game. Let’s make this quick.
When the game starts by giving a ferocious defense a turnover that they take to the goalline, it sets a bad tempo for the next 58 minutes.
Down 10 in the second quarter at the 28 yard line. Your defense has settled down and is getting stops. You need a TD and a FG to tie it up, but you go for it… and run straight into a dominant run front when you’re missing your best run blocker? Huge momentum shift. It looked like LaFleur wanted to establish dominance and take back momentum, but in hindsight (which I also said in real time), it might have been better to put some points on the board and cut it to a one-score game.
The Packers got the ball in the 2nd quarter with 2:49 left in the half. They punted away at 2:02. Not only was it a big swing for the 49ers defense, it sent a gassed defense back out and they gave up a touchdown in 3 plays.
Football is played on emotion and when you give momentum away over and over again, this is what happens.
For more postgame coverage from Week 12, check out Prediction Results: Packers at 49ers – 2019 Week 12.