Game Recap: Packers Cruise by 49ers in 34-17 Win

Sarah Kelliher recaps the Packers’ week nine win against the 49ers.  

In a Thursday Night Football matchup none of us were quite sure would happen, the Green Bay Packers (6-2, 2-1 NFC North) topped the San Francisco 49ers (4-5, 1-2 NFC West) 34-17 at Levi's Stadium. The dominant win comes just days after the Packers dropped a division game to the Vikings and keeps head coach Matt LaFleur’s streak of never losing two games in a row alive.

Following in the footsteps of every opening drive this season, the Packers found the end zone right away on Thursday night. After a couple strong rushes from running back Aaron Jones, who looked healthy and energized despite battling a calf injury, quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with his favorite wide receiver, Davante Adams, for a 36-yard touchdown to put Green Bay up 7-0.

After a disastrous performance last week, Mike Pettine and the Packers’ defense had an opportunity to catch their breath and regroup against 49ers team that has been severely impacted by injuries. They came through on the first couple of drives, producing a stop upfront and then forcing San Francisco to settle for a 22-yard field goal to make it 7-3 Green Bay.

For the first time since week two, the defense finally had the chance to celebrate a turnover too. Safety Raven Green picked off 49ers’ backup quarterback Nick Mullens for his first career interception. As a result, the offense got the ball back with great field position and, after Adams bullied the 49ers on a 4th and inches play, Rodgers connected with tight end Marcedes “Big Dog” Lewis for a 1-yard touchdown to extend the Packers’ lead to 14-3.

From there, Green Bay pretty much put the game away early. After dropping a wide-open third down pass earlier in the half, wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling found himself on the receiving end of a 52-yard bomb to put the Packers up 21-3 just minutes before the half.

In the second half, Green Bay just kept on rolling and Davante Adams continued to put on a truly stunning performance. On the offenses’ first drive of the second half, he and Rodgers connected on a 49-yard play that put Green Bay in scoring position. MVS finished the job with his second touchdown of the night to make it 28-3 Packers.

The offense wouldn’t have to wait long before they got the ball back either. After applying nice pressure for most of the game, linebacker Za’Darius Smith finally got a piece of Mullens and forced and recovered a fumble. The Packers couldn’t connect in the end zone after the turnover, but kicker Mason Crosby’s 19-yard field goal was good enough to make it 31-3.

With the game pretty much out of reach, the Packers rode the rest of this one out and closed their scoring front for the night after Crosby drilled a 53-yard field goal to remain perfect on the season and stretch the Packers’ lead to 34-3.   

With just mere minutes remaining in the game, Green Bay’s defense let their foot off the gas and gave up their only two touchdowns of the night to give us our final score of 34-17.

 

What we learned: The Packers can get the job done

With key San Francisco players out Thursday between injuries and COVID-19 cases, they Packers certainly had the edge heading into Thursday. However, after what felt like a degrading loss to Minnesota, several injuries to key players and its first COVID-19 case of the season, there were certainly a lot of elements that weren’t going Green Bay’s way either. But, despite all the bumps in the road, the Packers still formulated a great game plan and took care of business against the 49ers.

Kudos to LaFleur and his staff for responding the way they did and keeping the team in check. The fact that they were able to pivot as quickly as they did, on a short week, nonetheless, is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

 

What went right: Aaron Rodgers  

Say it with me… “He’s a baaaaaaaaaad MAN!”

Aaron Rodgers absolutely went off on Thursday night and looked as sharp as could be. The veteran quarterback was 25/31 and threw for 305 yards and 4 touchdowns (ESPN stats). He and Adams connected 10 times on the night, and it seemed like each play was more impressive than the next.

Numerous times Rodgers was caught smiling and laughing on the field during the FOX broadcast and finished the game with a 98.8 QB rating (ESPN stats).

 

What went wrong: More injuries

It’s no secret the Packers were beat up heading into this game, and unfortunately, they left it with some more injuries to add to the list. The biggest was cornerback Jaire Alexander, who left the game in the first half and did not return due to a concussion.

Running back Dexter Williams and tackle Rick Wagner also did not return to the game after both leaving with knee injuries. With star tackle David Bakhtiari still out with a chest injury, Wagner’s status is certainly something to monitor since he’s done such a great job of stepping in on the line in his absence.  

 

Offensive MVP: Davante Adams

Another week, another ridiculous performance from Davante Adams. Wait… I’m pretty sure he just had another 40+ yard catch as I’m typing this right now.

Adams led the team with 10 receptions for 173 yards and 1 touchdown on the night, according to ESPN stats. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Adams is the first player in NFL history to have 3 games with 10 catches for 150 receiving yards in his team’s first 8 games of the season. Friendly reminder, due to a hamstring injury, Adams did this while only playing in just 6 of those 8 first games.

In his post-game interview on the FOX broadcast, Rodgers gushed about Adams’ performance.

"I like getting the ball to 17. He's a special player."

 

Defensive MVP: Za’Darius Smith

Linebacker Za’Darius Smith finally looked a bit more aggressive on Thursday and it was great to see. His impact, except for his third quarter sack that led to a fumble recovery, doesn’t look super flashy in the box score but I was really impressed with what he was able to do.    

Z finished the night with 2 total tackles, both of which were solo and QB hits (ESPN stats).

 

A look at some of your takeaways

 

  • “love swervin Ervin. I dont think he is an every down back, but has a spot on the roster” - @markinmadcity

 

 

 

Up next, the Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau and get a visit from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kickoff is set for next Sunday, November 15 at 1 p.m. EST.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV and a podcaster with Pack-A-Day Podcast. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

4 points

Comments (9)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Alberta_Packer's picture

November 06, 2020 at 12:40 am

A win is nice but this was far from the San Francisco of last year. Also this should not be considered a redemption game for the Packers D. A good defense would not allow such easy scores in garbage time - which they have been prone to do all year. I am curbing my enthusiasm.

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NJ-RICK's picture

November 06, 2020 at 07:08 am

The Packers are an entertaining team to watch but as a contender for this year's Super Bowl they are not right now. They play to soft on defense and are built as a finness style team not like the stronger more physical smash mouth football teams - Seahawks, Rams, Buccanears, Colts, Titans, Chiefs, Ravens, Bears and Steelers. Packers do not play well against teams like this as we've seen form previous match up with the Buccanear's. My feeling is they don't have the athletes to compete against these ball clubs and maybe a lack of expertise from position coaches as well. My feeling is its going to be an early exit from the playoffs. I hope for the best prepare for the worst. GO PACK GO..!!!!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 06, 2020 at 08:00 am

Aaron Rodgers finished with a 147 passer rating per ESPN. Adams' first touchdown reception really was quite spectacular since he didn't have a lot of separation. Great pass and catch. Otherwise, yes, each new reception did seem even better than the last one.

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nostradanus's picture

November 06, 2020 at 08:10 am

Great win, they took care of business and now go into a mini-bye before a home sweet home game against Jax. Good teams build momentum as the season unfolds, at 6 & 2 and first place I’m lovin life today as a Packers fan ;)

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 06, 2020 at 10:21 am

Pretty the record will be, but a game like this against a team like SF that was depleted of 90% of it's star players, is nothing more than a bad cover up of the ugliness the Packers have shown too often, and will likely be too visible again at the wrong time and against the better team.

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PatrickGB's picture

November 06, 2020 at 10:32 am

It wasn’t like we were at full strength either. Both tackles, three RB’s, both starting CB’s, MLB’s, #2 WR all were out or injured during the game. I saw passion on the defense and flexibility on offense.

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 06, 2020 at 11:00 am

BS! The separation of ability and talent of those out for either team is ridiculous. The epitome of apples and oranges comparison. Sure, there is an individual match up that GB will win as to real value loss, but SF has by far the more real value to real value loss wins of personnel.

I know the homer-ism is high, but reality is clear as day and was seen last night in the game. GB played a marching band caliber team that SF had to trow together to deny outright forfeit, and the band gave more effort than GB did last week against Minn. Which will appear again to the Packers dismay and chagrin at the wrong time against the wrong opponent. It's near the easiest thing to see and near to a locked-in destiny can be.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 06, 2020 at 11:12 am

One game is still just one game. You are never as good, or as bad, as you look. We're not as good as we looked in SF, but we're not as bad as we looked in Tampa.

But over the first half of the 2020 NFL season, we're 6-2 and in first place in our division and looking at no worse than the #3 seed in the playoffs.

The odds certainly favor your prediction that the Packers will lose to better teams. The question I have is "who are these better teams"? I think you can make a legitimate argument that Tampa and Seattle would be favored over us on their home field, but that's about it.

I see us as third in the NFC right now, halfway through the season.

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 06, 2020 at 11:25 am

"We're not as good as we looked in SF, but we're not as bad as we looked in Tampa."

So true, but the distance between the pendulum swing is severe and that's why there are teams that will make it more one than the other. ARI, a healthy Phi, LAR just to name NFC teams. Can we win against these teams, sure, but what they can/will expose makes it easier for the even better to eliminate GB as favorite to go further than a playoff spot as Division winner.

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