Packers Have Opportunity for Statement Win in San Francisco

The Green Bay Packers have experienced a magical first season under head coach Matt LaFluer.

Defensively, all the Packers free agent moves have paid off and the draft picks of the past few years have started to contribute too. 

And on the other side of the ball, a slow start has now been forgotten as Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams lead an offense that should have enough for a deep playoff run.

As long as the defense can hold up its end of the bargain. Really, as long as the entire team can.

This Green Bay team is 8-2 and it's healthy. The entire team was healthy for practice this week and unlike the 49ers, who could be without some key starters, Green Bay doesn't have to worry about the injury report.

It just has to worry about execution.

Winning on the road in the NFL is never easy. But at 9-1 San Francisco, on Sunday Night Football, it will be even more difficult. 

Green Bay is rested and free off the bye week, but that isn't always a good thing. It can lead to some rustiness and the Packers can't afford any of that Sunday night.

This game isn't just about home-field advantage, it's about the NFC North and it's about the Packers sending a message that they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

A loss in this game puts that much more into question. The defense has been falling off, giving up yards and points like the Packers of old.

So you have to wonder how the Packers will hold up in a stadium that hasn't been kind to them in big games, at least during the reign of Aaron Rodgers.

Of course, the Niners have a different quarterback now but Jimmy Garoppolo is dangerous. He can throw, he can run and he has been incredibly clutch.

Jimmy G is 15-3 in his career as the starting quarterback for the 49ers and in those 18 starts, he has engineered four game-winning comebacks. 

Beating him won't be easy. But it can be done. It will take a much-improved effort from the defense and plenty of pressure on the quarterback.

An interception or two might help and since Garoppolo has thrown 10 this season, it's possible the Packers will get their hands on a few. 

It's all about making the play. This feels like one of those games that will come down to a final play or a final drive.

Green Bay has excelled in those close games this season. But it's still hard to figure out if this is just a nice team or one that can do serious damage in the playoffs.

A win Sunday puts the Packers squarely in the mix for the No. 1 seed, while a loss puts them even with the Vikings in the NFC North, with a road trip to Minnesota looming.

No matter how you quantify it, the stakes are high and one way or the other, we will find out a lot about the Packers this Sunday. 

 

 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (20)

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chugwater's picture

November 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm

I don't know why, and maybe I'm misguided.

But I think we win this game comfortably. While Garoppollo has been good at times, he can be rattled. That 15-3 record as a starter is the poster child for "W-L isn't a QB stat." I think we can pressure him into making mistakes helping us win the turnover battle. Utlimately that will be the deciding factor.

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porupack's picture

November 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm

well, I don't think the stakes are so high. That's not saying every game isn't important. They are. This is just one game, and nothing more. Statement wins? That is just for pundits. Sure we all would like a "statement win" but what good is that anyway? In some ways, its better to be under-the radar and hungry, than on top and be everyone's team to beat.
Every loss simply makes the next game with more at stake, but right now, it really isn't high stakes.

I don't think GB can pull this one off. Not being negative, but just based on the level of team play more than the record.

If they win or don't win, it will be back to work the next week to just win one at a time and make playoffs as wildcard or home team.....you just have to execute wherever the new situation/record calls for it.

Saying all that, I think this is a very much anticipated matchup with so many past pain and rivalry. Sure hope GB gets some revenge a little.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

November 21, 2019 at 04:04 pm

Aaron Rodgers would disagree about the stakes of the game. I'm paraphrasing here, but basically said, "Well we're going to have to beat them once, whether it's now or in January." There are clear playoff implications. Rodgers at the end of the 17' NFCCG leaned over to Jordy and said, "We gotta get one of these at home man...We never played at home...NFC Championship." You don't think these guys don't know how big this game is? I'm sorry but your take is incredibly bad.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 20, 2019 at 12:53 pm

GB is already a legitimate SB contender by it's apparent playoff entrance.

A win or loss in SF won't be the statement about the Packers season, but rather the manner in which either happens could more largely be seen as such.

The Packers,win or lose, need to play to a more steady level on offense and defense and show that the roller coaster effect on each has been leveled out and a straight ahead force is in play and which is needed to succeed.

This team is claiming to be 100% healthy and if so, neither side of the ball can play anywhere near it's lowest level this season. A strong showing from both,even in a loss, will be the statement that is needed and will serve as the 'We are Dangerous' letter of intent to all those marked as favorites today and the coming weeks that the Pack is Back.

I want this team to serve that letter of dangerous to the others via strong play, win or lose, because how you do either means more than just another win because a few more wins are expected but demeanor and performance means more now for the Packers.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 20, 2019 at 09:58 pm

Well put! I'm all for some Pack is Back swagger. Especially later when going into Minnesota.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 20, 2019 at 01:05 pm

I think this is a very winnable game. You can run on the 9ers. They're beat up - including all three of their RBs and their all world TE. If we keep the turnover sheet clean, and we get one from Jimmy, we win. I think it's that simple.

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mnbadger's picture

November 20, 2019 at 01:20 pm

We can win if we stay ahead of the chains, win turnovers and field position. JK Scott is critical. Pack 20-16.

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madtowndan's picture

November 20, 2019 at 01:47 pm

I'm not so sure the 49ers record is as good in reality as it is on its face. Sure it's hard to win any NFL game, but for the most part the opponents the 49ers have faced so far this year aren't a particularly scary lot. With the exception of the Seahawks (to whom they lost), the only other teams they've faced with any real potential are the Chiefs (7-4), and secondarily the Rams (6-4). The rest of their wins:

Buccaneers (3-7)
Bengals (0-10)
Steelers (5-5)
Browns (4-6)
Redskins (1-9)
Panthers (5-5)
Cardinals (3-7) - twice

So, them getting to 9-1 hasn't been a particularly tough row to hoe. They've got some much tougher opponents coming up in the Pack, the Ravens and the Saints and I expect them to lose at least two of those games, if not all three. I'm far more worried about the Vikings pushing the Packers for the #1 seed than the 49ers.

If the Pack cleans up the pre-snap penalties a bit (which should have been a point of emphasis this week), they should be able to outscore the 9'ers handily, even with the weaknesses the defense has shown recently.

I ain't skeered.

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pacman's picture

November 20, 2019 at 04:09 pm

Ok, I admit it. I am nervous about this game.

What will do a lot to calm my nerves going forward is if the Packers can put together a complete game on O, D and ST and smother
the 9ers'.

Something like 35-14 would do the job nicely.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 20, 2019 at 10:02 pm

And Scott punting the hell out of the ball as well. I was going to say "to boot", but that's way to corny.

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Lare's picture

November 20, 2019 at 04:27 pm

The Packers can beat the 49ers. But they can't beat the 49ers if they also beat themselves.

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 20, 2019 at 06:56 pm

Lare, I think the Packers *can* beat the 49ers if they also beat themselves if they are who we thought they were.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

November 21, 2019 at 08:00 am

"Messages" don't mean squat.
Winning playoff games & Super Bowls are all that do.

Unlike 2010 (3 road playoff wins) & 2011 (lost at home first playoff game), we really really want: a bye in rd 1, and home games for 2 wins to reach the Super Bowl.

The luckyass fricking Vikings are breathing down our throats thanks to them scumming out vs Denver & winning at Dallas the week before, barely.

So if we can win this game, and the remaining games in which we will be favored, it will give us the cushion to where even with a loss at the Grape Palace week 1y, we still win the division & end up with the 1 or 2 seed. That's very significant. Avoiding going to New Orleans in January is important. Send them to Lambeau.

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Lphill's picture

November 21, 2019 at 08:26 am

Jimmy G could have had 3 more picks in the Seattle game I don’t think he is good at anticipating where the defenders are going to position themselves after the snap like Rodgers is able to. I think that comes with experience .

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egbertsouse's picture

November 21, 2019 at 10:12 am

On offense they have to keep Bosa &Co. out of the backfield. If AR gets happy feet and starts running around playing sandlot and trying to complete 40 yard jump-throws, we are in for a long afternoon.
On defense, get a couple turnovers and a few stops. If they run up and down the field all day and have a big edge in TOP we are toast, even if we hold them to field goals most of the time.

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Lphill's picture

November 21, 2019 at 10:50 am

I predict Bosa will jump offsides, he has not faced the trickery of Aaron Rodgers , once he does he will be hesitant to do it again which may slow him down , and has Jimmy G faced a tandem like the Smith Bros? We shall find out.

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BobWellhoefer's picture

November 21, 2019 at 11:44 am

Actually, a loss will not put them even with the Vikings, because the Vikings are 1-2 in the division, and the Pack is 3-0

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ILPackerBacker's picture

November 21, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Does Jimmy G remind anyone of M Phipps? Sometimes a great record is due to great qb play and sometimes it is in spite of qb play, there is also an inbetween

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SterlingSharpe's picture

November 21, 2019 at 09:14 pm

Just a reminder: The Vikings organization has never ever won a Super Bowl.

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4thand10's picture

November 21, 2019 at 10:37 pm

The Ravens, 49ers, Seattle, Saints, Chiefs and New England all seem very legit so far this season. Combination of good players and fantastic coaching. The Pack is also legit. They have been through a really tough first half of the season schedule. So in my mind, the warning letter has already been issued. No one can say they are soft. I watched the Ravens /Pats re run week 9 and Harbaugh had a perfect plan to catch that New England D. If LaFluer has a good plan, SF is beatable. The Shanahan way, whether it’s the son or his dad has always been to run the running backs into the dirt...that’s the main offense. If the packers can lock down the rush, contain Kittle who was limited practice and play solid special teams...they can get this one. If the D is rested up and Pettine puts together a solid plan...I’m very optimistic. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams...man, if their legs are fresh...should be a very solid rushing attack and hard to stop. I will note, watching either Adams or Lazard smoke Richard Sherman....will be totally worth it on its own:-).I’m also kinda hoping for a surprise Sternberger coming out party. Mosert is a solid RB...they gotta stop him and force SF to throw the whole game.

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