There was no miracle finish this time for the San Francisco 49ers, not even the hope of one. Instead, it was just one more bad performance in a season of failure.
Brett Favre passed for two touchdowns, and Green Bay's defense held San Francisco's struggling offense without a touchdown as the Packers sent the 49ers to their seventh straight loss, 20-3, tonight.
"Brett carried the football team," Packers Coach Ray Rhodes said. "He was putting the ball in guys' hands who were making plays. I feel like we're starting to come together."
Not so for the 49ers (3-8), in the midst of their longest skid since losing eight in a row in 1980. It ensured the 49ers will finish with their first non-winning campaign since going 3-6 in the strike-shortened 1982 season.
And a crowd used to seeing the 49ers win turned on the home team, showering them with boos even as the players were pelted by rain late in the game.
"Our offense is terrible. There's no other way to say it," San Francisco tight end Greg Clark said of an offense that has produced just one touchdown in the last five games.
Green Bay (6-5) pulled to within a game of Detroit, Tampa Bay and Minnesota in the NFC Central with five remaining and ran its record to 6-1 against the 49ers since 1995, including four playoff games.
San Francisco's lone victory in that span came in last January's wild-card playoff when Steve Young threaded a 25-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens through three defenders in the final seconds.
But this time, Young watched from the sideline, probably out for the rest of the season with a concussion suffered Sept. 27.
"It's obvious it's not the team that it has been," Favre said. "But I'm not here to knock them. Steve Young is the heart and soul of this team. They'll be back. When you've been on top so long, you've got to be knocked down sometime."