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49ers End Packers' Season, One Step Short (Again) Of The Super Bowl

Chuck Quirmbach
O'Donoghue's Irish Pub in Elm Grove was one of many taverns at which Packers fans gathered Sunday night.

The Green Bay Packers season is over. Once again, the pro football team fell one game short of reaching the Super Bowl, by losing the NFC Championship contest to the San Francisco 49ers,  37-20, Sunday night in California.

The Packers trailed 27-0 at halftime, as the 49ers combined a strong offense and tough defense, and took advantage of Packer mistakes.

It was the fourth NFC Championship game loss for the Packers this century. Their only win came in 2011, on the way to defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. 

Still, the just-completed season was better than many Packers fans expected under first year coach Matt LaFleur. The team went 13-3 in the regular season, and defeated the Seattle Seahawks in a playoff game January 12.

Sunday night's loss appeared to disappoint many Packers fans who had gathered in homes and taverns to watch the contest. The defeat also sunk plans by some local stores to sell Packers merchandise already stamped "NFC Champions."