And to take their only lead of the game at 28-24, Lacy (14 carries, 41 yards) carried five times for 26 yards – including a 3-yard touchdown, set up by a phenomenal 37-yard tiptoe catch by Nelson on the right sideline.
The problem, of course, was that the Packers turned the ball over twice (an interception created by Finley’s bobbling drop and a Lacy fumble) and also had five three-and-out series, including after the 49ers took the lead at 31-28 with 5:47 to go.
“We want to be more consistent. Obviously you’ll take the scores whenever you can get them, but as an offense and a defense, we couldn’t work together,” Nelson said. “If the defense forced a three-and-out, we couldn’t go score. If we went and scored, then the defense gave it up. For whatever reason, we just have to work it out, make sure we stay on the field longer to help the defense out and put more points on the board.”
Added Rodgers: “We put a lot into this. (I’m) disappointed we didn’t play our best game on offense and we’ve got to score more points. We’ve got to do a little better situationally, obviously, and you can’t turn the ball over like that. I thought it was sloppy at times. But when we had to make some drives when we were down end of the first half and third quarter, we made them. We just couldn’t put it together in the fourth quarter.”
Now, the Packers’ challenge is to put it together the rest of the year so they’re in position for another rematch like the one Bakhtiari envisions. Perhaps by then they’ll have unlocked the mystery.
“Three times in a row, baby,” wide receiver James Jones said. “We can’t make excuses. If we meet them again, we’ll get another chance. But right now, I think they’ve got our number.”
Listen to Jason Wilde every weekday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Green & Gold Today” on 540 ESPN, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonjwilde.