The morning after these games always are the worst. Football season is over and the wait for 2013 begins. What a terrible, terrible feeling that is. There isn’t much to say, so let’s allow the players to do the talking. Here are the post-game quotes following the 45-31 loss. Feel free to add some of your own post-game quotes in the comments section or the shoutbox.
GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
Time of possession was obviously a problem, do you agree?
What does it feel like to lose a game like this?
“Well, it’s pretty frustrating, put a lot into this. Now I stand here and you realize that this is the last time that group is going to be together. It will be a different team next year. There will be additions, subtractions and that’s the most frustrating part. You spend a lot of time with those guys, you care about them, you care about this a lot and then to go out there and play like that it’s disappointing.”
How would you assess your performance on offense?
“We didn’t do enough on offense. We could have helped our defense out a little bit. They had a couple extra possessions there because of the punt return fumble and then the pick six. So our defense probably got a little tired out there but the second half we had a chance to run right into it. The touchdown there on the first possession would have put us in a good situation but came up short.”
On the deep ball to WR Jordy Nelson, on the post, what did you see on that play?
“Well the protection was really good I found most of the night and was just hanging in the pocket he was running the post. He said he was thinking I was going to get out of the pocket with starting flat and I was thinking he was going to take a high angle and that’s what happens when you’re not on the same page.”
I don’t know if you talked about this, but this is your first game as a player at Candlestick?
Second, there was excitement because of the fact that you are coming back home and all that?
“No, not really.”
How did you feel at half time?
“Yeah, we felt good. You know we gift wrapped them 14 points on two turnovers. In the game our defense was doing alright and in the second half we just didn’t score any points.”
Did you think this was a team that was going to win it all?
“This team? Yeah definitely.”
What was your impression of the QB Colin Kaepernick?
“He was running all over the field. He’s big, strong, athletic, throws the ball well and runs the ball extremely well. We didn’t really have a whole lot of answers for him.”
How are you feeling when it was 31-24 and getting the ball, and feeling like this is going to be a track meet back and forth between the teams?
“Yeah, we knew we’re going to have to score some points. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get any on that first drive of the second half, but we were able to come back and get a field goal and they go down and score and we knew that we probably were going to have to put up 38 points at least to win the game.”
GREEN BAY PACKERS CORNERBACK CASEY HAYWARD:
How did they game plan you? Were you hurt by an over-aggressive defense?
“I have to go back and watch the film. I don’t quite know. They played a real good game.”
You’ve had a really impressive rookie year. Now that’s it’s come to a finish, how do you feel about your season?
“I felt I did well. But week-in and week-out, our ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. But we fell short by a couple of games.”
Was it a question of you guys were there, but [QB Colin] Kaepernick made good plays despite good defense? Or was there anything scheme-wise?
“Probably all. He played good. They schemed us on some calls. But we missed some calls and plays as well.”
Did this game play a little too close to home like the way the first game played out?
“They just came out and hit us in the mouth. They just beat us tonight.”
GREEN BAY PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER GREG JENNINGS:
The time of possession did not work in your favor the first half. In the second half was it just hard to get anything sustained?
“We lost to a better team today. We established the momentum early with the interception and then we let them back in the game early. We knew it was going to be a dog fight. They came out in the second half and did whatever they wanted to do.”
This must sting because you guys know how good you are.
“We could say that for several years; ’07,’09, last year, and this year. It wasn’t meant to be. We lost to a better team today.”
Do you think about your future now that this game is over?
“It has been great. I love this organization. The reality is that there will probably be some changes made. Hopefully I stay here. If not I am ready to move wherever. It is what it is, I am not naïve to that. I am being a realist. I love this organization I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. If I have to that is what I have to do.
GREEN BAY PACKERS DEFENSIVE TACKLE B.J. RAJI:
What made it so hard to contain Colin Kaepernick today?
“You have to tip your hat sometimes when a guy like that at the quarterback position is consistently out running and flanking your defense and making huge plays.”
How tough is a loss like this to swallow?
“It is real tough. We have one goal every year and that is to win the Super Bowl. Obviously that won’t be the case this year. Sometimes that is life and you have to move on.”
This is the second year in a row that there has been a disappointment like this, how tough is it the second time around?
“It is tough. It never gets easy, especially when you are a Green Bay Packer. A lot is expected of you. In a season like this for the second year in a row it is definitely painful. Hopefully we will learn from this and we will be a better team next year.”
Third down was huge for the 49ers. What was it that they were doing that kept them on the field?
“It was either [WR Michael] Crabtree on a dink pass, or [QB Colin] Kaepernick running for necessary yardage or more. That is a frustrating thing.”
Why is Colin Kaepernick so difficult to defend?
“When the quarterback can run like that, it opens up the arsenal for the play calling. Obviously, if you can’t stop the run which is football 101, then it is going to be tough to stop the play action and the deep routes.”
GREEN BAY PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JEREMY ROSS:
What happened on the muffed punt?
“I started focusing on the pressure that was coming. I was looking at the ball all the way in, but I was more focused on the peripheral, just kind of seeing and feeling it out. I was like when I catch it I have to move quick. I lost my fundamentals by keeping my elbows in tight. The ball just went straight through. ”
Did you have any thought, just forget about what was coming and just make the fair catch?
“I just wanted to make the play. At that moment I was like, I am just going to catch this ball, make this guy miss, and I am going to go for a touchdown. I just wanted to make a big play on that one. I probably should have fair caught it.”