Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith admitted during Super Bowl week that he and other teammates weren’t ready to face the 49ers in the NFC Championship. Receiver Allen Lazard apparently was ready. And the loss has made him more than ready to get things rolling again.
“I’m still kind of salty about it,” Lazard said in a recent appearance on NFL Network, via NFL.com. “A lot of us really had it set in stone that we were going to Miami, so kind of just being able to swallow that pill after the game and just realizing the season’s over and we’re not going to be able to achieve our goal was really hard. But I just think that’s something that adds more fuel to the fire and just adds a chip to our shoulder going into next year.”
“Playing for the Green Bay Packers, that’s the standard and expectation every single year. I don’t think we should lower those at all.”
In 2019, the Packers grossly failed to play up to those standards during three trips to the West Coast, losing by 15 in L.A. to the Chargers and getting blown out twice by the 49ers in Santa Clara. (In 2018, the Packers were 0-2 in the Pacific time zone, losing at the Rams and at the Seahawks.)
In 2020, the good news is that the Packers have one regular-season game in California — once again against the 49ers. The better news will be if they can come up with a way to get past the 49ers in the regular season, which could help the Packers avoid having to return there in the playoffs.