GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- The San Francisco 49ers certainly had their chances, but ultimately, it was Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers who pulled out the narrow victory on "Monday Night Football." The Packers won, 33-30, on a last-second field goal by Mason Crosby. Rodgers finished the game with 425 yards and two touchdowns in what was a vintage primetime performance. Here are the top takeaways from Monday night at Lambeau Field.
1. On a night when the 49ers offense was masterful for most of the game, it was a few drives late in the game that loomed the largest. San Francisco had two drives to ice the game. The first was with a seven-point lead after the defense had just stopped Green Bay on fourth down inside the 49ers 10-yard line. The second came with the game tied at 30 under the final two minutes. A nice kick return from Richie James plus a silly late hit penalty against the Packers gave the 49ers excellent field position at their own 47-yard line. The 49ers weren't able to get a first down, however, and a third-down interception gave Rodgers one final shot in regulation. Those missed opportunities are what will linger from this game.
2. San Francisco's defense got burned for 17 first quarter points but then settled down nicely from there. The 49ers held Green Bay to just two field goals for the following two-and-a-half quarters. It wasn't until the final minutes of the game when Rodgers worked his magic. Still, Green Bay had three 100-yard receivers: Davante Adams (132), Jimmy Graham (104) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (103).
3. C.J. Beathard completed 16-of-23 passes for 245 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in what was overall a very impressive primetime debut. He benefited greatly from the return of Marquise Goodwin. They connected for two first half touchdowns: a 67-yard bomb and another 30-yard score. Goodwin finished with four receptions for a career high 126 yards and the pair of touchdowns. He said postgame that he feels as good as he's felt since Week 1. The 49ers will need Goodwin to continue to be a stud for the remainder of the season.
4. Turnovers continue to doom the 49ers. Two first half fumbles put the 49ers in an early hole. D.J. Reed fumbled a kickoff after the Packers first touchdown of the game, and Kyle Juszczyk fumbled after a 21-yard reception. The defense was able to hold Green Bay to field goals after each turnover. However, the 49ers still lost the turnover battle 3-0 and now own a -11 turnover differential on the season, the worst in the NFL.
5. Ronald Blair was a consistent force in the pass rush. He had one sack and several other pressures. DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Day accounted for San Francisco's other two sacks on the night.
6. Richard Sherman was called for a costly illegal contact penalty on 3rd-and-15 on the Packers final drive. On that play, Buckner had a sack negated due to the flag. It was a questionable call at best. Without that flag, San Francisco would have had one more chance to win in regulation. At worst the game would have gone to overtime.
7. With Trent Taylor (back) out, I assumed the 49ers would use Richie James quite a bit in the slot. Instead, Kyle Shanahan opted to use more two receiver sets in his run-heavy gameplan.
View photos from the San Francisco 49ers matchup against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
8. Speaking of the running game, Matt Breida posted 61 yards on 14 carries as he gutted through a painful ankle injury. "Breida is the man," Kyle Shanahan said postgame. Breida was questionable all week and entered the contest as a true game-time decision. Instead of Alfred Morris spelling Breida, it was Raheem Mostert, who posted a career high 87 yards on 12 carries. Shanahan was clearly trying to keep speed in the game as the 49ers relentlessly attacked Green Bay's run defense on the edge. The 49ers posted 174 total rushing yards with an impressive 5.8-yard average.
9. If there's one play that the 49ers offense would really love to have back, it was a third-down throw from C.J. Beathard to George Kittle in the fourth quarter. Beathard had Kittle wide open for what would have been a completion to move the chains. Instead, the 49ers had to settle for a field goal to make it a seven-point game. A touchdown in that situation would have given the 49ers a two-score lead.
10. Jimmie Ward left the game late in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. Greg Mabin replaced him and was targeted heavily down the stretch. The trend continued as Aaron Rodgers completely ignored Sherman's side of the field nearly the entire game.
11. San Francisco's third-down defense was impressive for most of the game. Green Bay was 0-of-6 on third down at one point and 2-of-11 at another. The Packers first third-down conversion came with 6:05 left in the third quarter, and they finished the game 4-of-13.