Niners Offense vs Packers Defense
Last week, the Niners offense dominated the game statistically. They ran a franchise-record 92 plays, totaling 447 yards in total offense and possessed the ball for a whopping 40:12! The problem offensively was committing five turnovers. Last week proved that no matter how much you dominate a game, if you can’t hold on to the football, you will lose. It’s as simple as that. I think this quote is very appropriate considering we are playing the Packers — Vince Lombardi had a saying:
“If you give me three turnovers, I’ll beat you every time”.
If the Niners come out weak and have a repeat performance of last week’s turnovers, it will be a very long Monday night for the Faithful.
The Packers defense last week did a good job containing the Lions offense — only giving up only a total of 264 yards of total offense. The reason the Packers lost last week was certainly not because of their defense. Green Bay ranks second in the league in pass-defense, fourth in total defense, and have the fifth-most sacks! The only aspects of their defense that seem questionable are their rush-defense, which ranks 15th, and scoring-defense that’s tied for 13th.
If RB Matt Breida can go this week, look for the Niners to feature him early and often to set up play-action later in the game. All indications are that WR Marquise Goodwin is going to play this week, which is going to give the Niners aerial attack a huge boost. The key on offense is going to stop stacking negative plays on top of negative plays (and then on top of turnovers). Too many times this season we have watched the offense find a rhythm, only to have penalties, dropped balls, or other mistakes kill the drive. The key to the Niners escaping Lambeau with a win, is to run the ball to keep the Packers offense off the field.
Niners Defense vs Packers Offense
Last week, after giving up a 75-yard TD pass to rookie WR Christian Kirk to start the game (this play is going to be brought up a lot), the Niners defense still played well enough for them to win. The Cardinals rookie QB Josh Rosen never got a rhythm going — and besides that first play, he was mostly inaccurate all game — passing only for 170 yards on 10/25 attempts. The Niners run-defense held the Cardinals running backs to just 55 yards, although they did score twice. Besides the first drive (can one play even be called a drive?), Arizona’s longest drive of the day was a lousy 39 yards. However, Aaron Rodgers is a different animal than a rookie QB making his second-career start, and his first on the road. Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh aren’t hearing anything about his knee injury. Both coaches said in press conferences this week he’s playing at the same elite level he always has. Forcing Rodgers to move in the pocket will be extremely vital this week. If the Niners defense allows him to stand flat footed in the pocket, he will shred them like the cheese on his helmet. As stated above, the Niners offense will have to shorten the game to keep the defense fresh, and keep Rodgers off the field.
On paper it looks like this one will be a blowout — especially if Matt Breida can’t go. However, the Packers have their fair share of injuries piling up, even without including Aaron Rodgers. If the Niners can manage to somehow not shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers, penalties, missed tackles, dropped balls, and actually pressure Rodgers, in my opinion they can keep it close and maybe even win. If it’s a close game going into the fourth quarter, I have faith CJ Beathard and the Niners can make the plays necessary to win the game.