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Packers Periscope: Week 6 vs. San Francisco 49ers

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Packers Periscope: Week 6 vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Green Bay Packers return home to host the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.  Green Bay is limping a bit after a tough loss to the Detroit Lions and now face a situation where a loss to this much-lesser opponent likely pivots this team into a tail spin.  

The Past

The Packers lead the all-time series 35-30-1.  This rivalry was hot in the mid 1990's when the Packers were ascending to their first Super Bowl in nearly 30 years.  The 49ers were trying to stay relevant, having just chalked up their most recent trophy following the 1994 season.  The Packers won 13 of 14 match up's from 1996 - 2012.  

Among those wins were the 1997 divisional playoff en route to the Super Bowl XXXI title, the 1998 NFC championship game in San Francisco and a wild card win at Lambeau Field in 2002.  

The loss during that span came in a playoff game in San Francisco following Mike Holmgren's last season as Packers head coach.  With the Packers leading following a late touchdown, the 49ers were driving.  A Jerry Rice fumble wasn't overturned because there was no replay that season.  A few plays later, 9ers quarterback Steve Young hit a young Terrell Owens to take the lead and give the 49ers the win.

Fast forward to 2012 when the 49ers handed the Packers a rare loss in their home opener.  That season, the 9ers would reach the Super Bowl with Alex Smith at quarterback and Jim Harbaugh at the helm.  They lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the "lights out" Super Bowl in New Orleans. 

But not before handing the Packers  one of their worst playoff losses in team history.  49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick confused and destroyed what was supposed to be a Packers defense that had no answers for the 49ers that night.  Kaepernick put up 181 rushing yards by himself in an easy win for San Francisco.  Packers fans remember the number 181 all too well now.

A year later, the Packers faced the 49ers in a wild card game on one of the coldest game days on record in Green Bay.  Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had just returned from his first broken collarbone to catapult the team into the playoffs.  Despite staying with the 9ers all game long and with a few chances to win, San Francisco scored late to seal the win and move on.  They would lose handily the following week to the Carolina Panthers.  

The most recent match up came in 2015 with the Packers finally beating San Francisco with Kaepernick at quarterback.

The Present

This was supposed to be a primetime match up of Aaron Rodgers vs. Jimmy Garoppolo.  Garoppolo tore his ACL shortly after this season started and the 49ers are a reeling team just trying to survive this season.

CJ Beathard has taken over and, well, is NOT Jimmy Garoppolo.  The 49ers are 1-4 with their lone victory coming against the Lions.  San Francisco is coming off of a home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Packers are still winless on the road and hope that a return home can stop some of the bleeding.  There has been a barrage of talk in the media about how much trouble this Packers team is in after another slow start under head coach Mike McCarthy.  

Rodgers is still dealing with soreness from his early-season knee injury and is missing throws he used to make in his sleep.  He's still Rodgers, though and the prevailing hope and thought is that it's a matter of "when" not "if" he breaks out of it and returns more to form.

Green Bay averages just under 300 passing yards per game and San Francisco is 14th in the league in pass defense, allowing just 253.8 yards per game.  There will be yards to be had in this game and the Packers offense should be ready to take.

The 49ers have the sixth-best run defense, allowing just 94 yards per game but that is also a product of their pass defense being an easier target.  Still, Packers fans and also their running backs want to see more carries.  Specifically to Aaron Jones who is having another solid start but is sharing carries with counterparts Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams.  McCarthy told the media this week that his division of carries goes further than simple run production so don't expect to see a breakout game for Jones anytime soon.

San Francisco does run the ball well, averaging 136.2 yards per game while the Packers are surrendering just 105 yards per game.  An early lead and control of the clock should make the Packers' defense's life easier in that match up.

Green Bay has the second-best pass defense, allowing just 205 yards per game while San Francisco is near the bottom half of the league in passing offense with just 242 yards per game.  This recipe could spell a problem for a 49ers team that may be throwing to try and win this game.

The Future

The 49ers are not a good team and are on the road.  It's going to be cold at Lambeau Field, with temperatures possibly dipping into the high 20's.  The Packers have near every advantage pointing their way.

San Francisco has many starters on the injury report and look to be down a few come game time.  To top it off, the Packers should be getting receiver Geronimo Allison and cornerback Jaire Alexander back after both missed last week's game in Detroit.  

It's not a "must win" from a mathematical standpoint, but in the reality that we live in, the Packers can't afford to lose this game if they have hopes and dreams for their 2018 season.

After this game, the Packers have their bye week and a tough stretch starting with a road game against the Los Angeles Rams.  Any momentum Green Bay can muster from this game is going to be much-needed.

I see the Pack getting a win here and hopefully staying healthy.  This team then needs to spend the bye week ready to roll when the lights come back on.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Pulse of the Pack podcast.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

kevgk's picture

I don't expect Jones to break 10 snaps for another week. I do expect the Packers to open up the whole playbook against the Rams and Jones to get quite a few more snaps though. I hope Rodgers plays safe this weeks and avoid injury going into the bye and lights it up against the Rams. A road upset would be huge for this team. If I'm Mike, I've got that game circled on the calendar and save a lot of plays to keep of tape until then. Because of that, I expect this monday to be a real conservative game plan and owning the clock equity from the beginning.

Lphill's picture

yes its a must win. if the Packers lose at home at a chilly Lambeau to a warm weathered team its over .

Tarynfor12's picture

Posted this on Packers Wire a couple days ago...

A win vs SF is far from a confidence builder as was the Buf game., as seen vs Det. This game will be nothing more than a pacifier going into the bye allowing false pounding of the chest and yelling aloud the Pack is Back.

A loss against the Rams after the bye with two weeks to prepare will flush any doubt about this teams inability. Confidence building rests not vs SF but the Rams,though a win over SF is a must regardless.

As Patrick Swayze said in ' Next of Kin '...." You ain't see bad yet, but it's coming."

scullyitsme's picture

Wow, Patrick Swayze? Digging deep to rip the packers, really, Patrick Swayze? that’s just too much, it needs to stop, there must be help available.

Tarynfor12's picture

Yes,there is...hopefully the Packers get some quick.

Samson's picture

4 out of the next 5 (after the bye) are on the road against the Rams, Pats, Seahawks and Vikings.

This game against the 49er's means little to the season. --- It's a game GB will win (probably) going away. --- The 49er's are that bad. --- After the bye, that 5 game stretch will determine GB's season and MM's future in GB.

I'm not very confident at this point in time.

PatrickGB's picture

Well “PatrickGB” is still playing the “wait and see” game. I don’t have a clue what the identities are on this team. But Aaron does not look like he can come to the rescue, at least not yet.

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