The San Francisco 49ers head out to Lambeau Field on Monday to take on the Green Bay Packers. How will they fare against Aaron Rodgers?
The obvious answer may be, well, not good. But you sometimes just never know with this 49ers team. They can come out and make plays but then disappear again as the game goes on. Look at the Los Angeles Chargers game for example. The defense and offense both started hot, then things went downhill and they failed to recover.
Now it’s week six and the 49ers will have their first primetime game of the season; Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, and Monday Night Football. Perfect way to spell D-O-O-M for this week.
San Francisco are huge underdogs for this game but to no one’s surprise. After their 28-18 loss to the previous winless Arizona Cardinals, who would be absolutely confident that the 49ers will reverse that this week? Against the Packers? Against Aaron Rodgers who is coming off a loss? It’s not going to happen. Even if something miraculous happens, a penalty or something ridiculous would wipe it out. Or they could just simply blow it at the end like they have the last two weeks on potential game-winning drives.
Both teams are dealing with their fair share of injuries, but of course San Francisco has it worse. They have it way worse than any other team and I’m not changing my mind from that. No Jimmy Garoppolo, no Jerick McKinnon, no Trent Taylor, no anyone.
It’s really getting ridiculous how many players get injured every single week. Just take a look at the 49ers injury report for this week. There are 18 players on that list! Now some of them will play tomorrow, but that is just an absurd number of injured players.
Let’s start with the Packers. Aaron Rodgers has been throwing on one leg (at least it’s still intact cough cough Garoppolo) but is the reason that Green Bay isn’t absolutely terrible like they would be without him. As long as he is playing, the Packers have a chance. They also got Aaron Jones back, giving them a big boost in the run game. Davante Adams will be big in the pass game, unless Richard Sherman locks him down if he’s guarding him.
The Packers offense also averages 401 yards per game, ranking eighth in the league, with 300 of those coming through the air.
On the defensive side, they are led by Blake Martinez who has 39 tackles (to lead the team) and 3.0 sacks (tied for the lead). Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is also in the secondary, leading the team in interceptions. Somewhere is linebacker Clay Matthews probably getting called for a roughing the passer. If he is called for one against C.J. Beathard, I will not be surprised.
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On the special teams side, Mason Crosby is coming off a horrendous game with miss after miss after miss. It’s unlikely that he’ll have that same statline against the 49ers because, well, it’s the 49ers and a veteran kicker like him should bounce back (if they even need him).
For the 49ers, their offense is coming off a dominant game in terms of yards, time of possession and every other stat not called a turnover. They defeat the Cardinals if they didn’t give them Christmas presents every single possession. They can’t afford to do that with a team that has Rodgers on the opposing sideline. But they can afford to chew up the clock like they did last week to keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands. I’m fine with that.
The offense really struggled to score points after running back Matt Breida left the game with an injury. Alfred Morris isn’t Breida and Raheem Mostert fumbled the ball early in the game. If Breida plays tomorrow, he’s going to be a huge factor in the production of the offense but only if he stays healthy. The 49ers are fifth in the league in rushing, which could be higher if everyone stayed healthy.
The receivers being healthy also plays a huge role in the success tomorrow. Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis missed last week due to injuries and the effect was clearly felt as the receivers struggled to get open (again). George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk are balling so that’s a positive sign. Hopefully, Kittle shows the world why he is the best young tight end in the league.
On the defensive side, the line really needs to stop Aaron Jones at the line of scrimmage. He’s averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Reuben Foster and Fred Warner will also play key roles in stopping him. Packers have injured receivers but it doesn’t matter if Rodgers is throwing to them. The 49ers have issues at corner and if Rodgers doesn’t test Sherman (like many quarterbacks haven’t), it’ll be interesting to see how the opposite side of the field holds up.
Either one of two things happens tomorrow: 49ers shock everyone and pull off an upset victory, significantly affecting their draft position or they expose themselves to how bad they are without Garoppolo, again, for the world to see on primetime television.
Prediction: Packers 34, 49ers 30