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Packers' leaders still believe in their team

Green Bay has bounced back before, must do so again


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – This wasn't what the Packers came to San Francisco to do, but they aren't about to throw in the towel.

The ugliness of Sunday night's 37-8 loss to the 49ers, who will head into the home stretch with the best record in the NFC at 10-1, won't shake the resolve of Green Bay's head coach or quarterback.

While reiterating how critically the Packers must look at everything after another rough performance, from preparation to execution, Matt LaFleur also spoke of his "confidence in our guys," while Aaron Rodgers believes in the team's leadership.

This ranks as the biggest dose of adversity the 2019 Packers have been dealt, particularly if veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga's knee injury is serious at all.

But LaFleur and Rodgers have yet to experience an actual losing streak together and they don't plan to start now.

"I think every loss is a test, but I think we have the leadership in this locker room," Rodgers said, noting he was hearing the right kind of comments from teammates before he took the podium postgame. "I feel good about our culture. But we have to improve on offense and set the tone a little better."

The 49ers owned the tone from the get-go and they showed the Packers how much work they have to do over the final five regular-season games and into January, provided they can rebound quickly again and get back on track to qualify for the postseason.

While the previous West Coast trip to Los Angeles was also a dud, the Packers chalked that up to a lack of energy. Rodgers didn't feel that was the case in this game. They just got manhandled by the better team.

"It was their execution that threw us off. You have to give them credit," Rodgers said.

Added LaFleur: "That's a good football team. We have to be a lot better."

But, starting Monday, the Packers can't concern themselves with how good the 49ers looked. The focus has to be on getting back to winning, with three straight sub-.500 teams coming up on the schedule, and giving themselves a chance to win the NFC North in Week 16 in Minneapolis.

Much like the game three weeks ago in LA, the Packers won't beat anybody playing like they did Sunday night. They recovered from that debacle to get a close home win over Carolina.

The challenge this time will be preparing for another road trip, to the other coast, on essentially a short week after returning to Green Bay in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Photos from the Week 12 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

The Giants are only 2-9, but fixating on that will do as much good as sitting in awe of the 49ers at 10-1. Moving on quickly is all the Packers can do, with all their attention inward, and they've done it after their other two losses this season.

Rodgers admitted the performance surprised him because he felt the team had a good week of practice, but it's not the first time he's dealt with that in his career, either.

There's no getting around the high-stakes stinker the Packers just played, but the leaders believe in their team, and that's as good a place to start – or restart – as any. That might sound silly after 37-8, but it matters. It really does.

"I feel good about the locker room, feel good about the leadership," Rodgers said. "We didn't play very physical tonight as a whole, and obviously we didn't execute.

"Give them credit, they played really well. But I still like our chances. We have the makeup to bounce back from these kind of things and put ourselves in position to potentially come back here and play again."

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