Packers magical against 49ers, but it might not do vs. Rams

McFarland says Packers need to be better on defense (1:48)

Booger McFarland says that despite winning, the Packers need to improve on defense and describes how they can use the bye week to improve overall. (1:48)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- This may not work against the Los Angeles Rams.

Or the New England Patriots.

Or perhaps even the Seattle Seahawks or the Minnesota Vikings.

Sure, the Green Bay Packers eked one out against the San Francisco 49ers 33-30 on Mason Crosby's last-second game-winning field goal. But considering those are the next four road games -- sandwiched around a home game against the respectable Miami Dolphins following the Rams and Patriots -- it's hard to imagine anyone left Lambeau Field on Monday night convinced all is right with the Packers.

At least there was some relief in the home locker room.

"At the end of the day, winning is what matters," Packers receiver Davante Adams said after another monster day with 10 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns. "You definitely don't want to have a heart attack every week like this, but I think these are the ones that show your true character. We can definitely learn a lot from ourselves and learn a lot from the game, being able to pull one out like that."

The Packers' defense looked slow against the 49ers' speedy players -- receiver Marquise Goodwin (four catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns) plus running backs Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert (who combined for 148 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries) -- and made San Francisco forget, at least for a night, that they lost their $137.5 million quarterback to a season-ending knee injury in Week 3. Green Bay has to shudder at the idea of facing the likes of Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp and coach Sean McVay's dynamic offense in Los Angeles the next time out.

The Packers' defense made fill-in quarterback C.J. Beathard (with 245 yards and two touchdowns) look like a poor man's Jimmy Garoppolo -- right up until Kevin King's interception with the game tied at 30-30 and just 1:07 left.

If San Francisco's offense -- ranked 14th in yards and 21st in yards per play -- gave the Packers this much trouble for most of the night, imagine what the Rams (ranked first and second in the NFL, respectively, in those two categories) might do at the L.A. Coliseum in two weeks when the Packers return from their bye.

Or the Patriots, who put up 43 points on Sunday night and host the Packers the Sunday after the Rams game.

Or even at Seattle and at Minnesota, where the Packers play after their lone home game in the next five (against the Dolphins, who aren't too shabby themselves). The Packers' next five opponents have a combined 20-9-1 record. None has a losing record, and only the Seahawks (3-3) don't have a winning mark, but they have won three of their last four.

"Everything they were doing was working," Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said of the 49ers' offense. "Anytime they can run the ball like that, it's going to be hard to stop anybody. If you look at the stats, it's about balance. You can live with pass yards being high, but rush yards high like that is kind of tough. Whenever a team is balanced, especially with a great offensive coordinator, he's been a good coordinator for years. Every player who plays in his system, they love it. They love it. He gets the best out of them and he knows how to scheme things. They made some plays and ultimately it came down to the end, though."

Sure, Aaron Rodgers did what the Packers are paying him $33.5 million a year to do: Engineer a game-tying touchdown drive with a 16-yard strike to Adams with 1:55 left and then the last-minute drive to set up Crosby's last-second field goal on the way to 425 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover.

And yes, the Packers had three 100-yard receivers -- the first time that's happened since 1980, according to the Elias Sports Bureau -- led by Adams.

And Jimmy Graham made an impact with his longest catch (a 54-yarder) since Week 2 of the 2013 season on the way to five catches for 104 yards.

And rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling posted his first career 100-yard receiving game with three catches for 103.

Even rookie Equanimeous St. Brown made a play, a 19-yard snag on a back-shoulder fade with 11 seconds left.

And, of course, this was Crosby's bounce-back game after he missed five kicks a week earlier in the loss at Detroit.

But it was far too difficult against a one-win team without its franchise quarterback.

"Games like that are important," Crosby said. "You're going to have those in a season, sometimes unexpected where it's like a team really kind of finds its stride like the Niners did. They did a lot of really good things. That one, we can learn a lot from and moving forward and hopefully carry that emotion and the way we finished. ... Obviously we're going to enjoy this rest, but when we come back we have a tough stretch."

And all it did was get the Packers to 3-2-1.

"I don't know if it was a season-saving win for us, but it definitely was an important one," Rodgers said. "Especially with the prognosticating that will go on about the type of opponents we have coming up the next few weeks, and obviously them being road games, this was an important game for us. I'd never, like, use the term ‘must win,' but I think it was an important one.

"We'll take a good, hard look at this and take a look at what we did well our first six weeks. We're a couple plays away from being 4-2 or 5-1, and definitely a couple plays from being the other way. So we're thankful to be 3-2-1 right now and realize what's in front of us, and how this type of play might not get it done against the next opponents. We've got to play better."