Why Packers will beat San Francisco and why they Might Not

What a difference a year makes for the Green Bay Packers.

Last season at this time and really for the past few years, the Packers have been out of the playoff race.

Back in 2016, Green Bay recovered from 4-6 to rally and win the NFC North after running the table. 

Two years ago, the Packers were 5-5 at this juncture and without an injured Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay couldn't rally and reach the postseason.

Key losses on the road to Seattle and Minnesota sunk Green Bay last season too. They entered the stretch 4-4-1 and left it 4-6-1.

But a new head coach, some key additions to the defense and a revitalized Aaron Rodgers have Green Bay in a much different position.

Instead of fighting to stick in the playoff race, Green Bay has a chance sit atop the NFC through 11 games with a win tonight.

Of course, beating the 9-1 49ers on their home field will be easier said than done. 

Yet, with a team that is nearly 100 percent healthy and fresh off a bye week, the Packers should be refreshed and motivated for their biggest game since the 2016 NFC Championhip.

Here's a look at why they might win as well as why they might not.

Why Green Bay Might win

There are reasons to feel good about the Packers going into this matchup. For one, Green Bay hasn't dropped a game yet this season to a team with a winning record, so that shows it can win these kinds of games.

The best road win of the season was at Kansas City and obviously, that was without Patrick Mahomes, but it was still a solid win at a tough place to play, much like Green Bay will face Sunday night.

A big advantage for the Packers, who are fresh off the bye, is health. No key players should miss the game and Green Bay seems as healthy as its been in years.

There are some bumps and bruises. Davante Adams was limited in practice Thursday, however, he should be a go. 

Bye weeks can be good and bad, but in the grind of an NFL season, it came at a good time. 

Hopefully, the time off also allowed Mike Pettine and the defense to get some things fixed, because it has been getting gashed in recent weeks.

The defense is 14th in points allowed, 28th in yards allowed and 23rd in pass defense. 

The pass rush will need to show up and the secondary, which has helped the Packers ranked seventh in the NFL in interceptions, will need to force a turnover or too.

In fact, it's hard to see Green Bay winning this game without a big play or two from the defense. A few sacks will be key, however a takeaway or two is essential as Green Bay tries to win as a three-point underdog in Levi's Stadium.

It would be easy to say the Packers can win this game cause of Aaron Rodgers. 

While he certainly gives them a great chance, he can't do it alone. He needs the offensive line to protect, Aaron Jones and Adams to play well and he needs his defense to show up.

Good, complimentary football is how Green Bay wins this game, not by Aaron Rodgers being a magician, although that's always possible.

Why the Packers might lose

There are a few simple reasons to be very worried about the outcome of this game and one is the 49ers outstanding defense.

Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead have a combined 15 sacks and Bosa has been nothing short of stellar. Dee Ford doesn't look like he will go, which is a break for Green Bay, but still, keeping the pass rush in check is essential.

The one weakness of the 49ers defense seems to be the running game, which ranks 20th and faces the prospect of Aaron Jones.

But San Francisco ranks in the top five in basically every other defensive category and with the way the Packers have defended lately, it's hard to see them winning a defensive battle.

That doesn't even touch on the fact that Green Bay has struggled to win big games in San Francisco. 

Of course, those losses came to Colin Kaepernick and Jimmy Garappolo is the guy now who has 18 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.

His tendency to turn the football over is something Green Bay can take advantage of, yet the Packers secondary has to raise its level of play. 

If the Packers can't hold up against the pass, it's not going to matter what else happens in this game, because that's a recipe for disaster. 

__________________________

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

2 points

Comments (20)

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

November 24, 2019 at 10:14 am

One big advantage for us is our much tougher schedule. I would like to see a few plays right at Bosa, like we did to his brother. Our health, rest , and veteran experience in playoff type of games should more than surpass being on the road.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Spock's picture

November 24, 2019 at 10:19 am

The Packers need to keep moving the sticks on offense, not F* up on ST, and make some turnovers on defense. If MLF's players limit their mistakes I like the Packers chances. This should be an "instant classic" kind of game IMO. Hopefully, one where GB gets the W. Go, Pack, Go!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Lare's picture

November 24, 2019 at 10:22 am

Teams will continue to successfully attack the middle of the field against the Packers defense (with both the run and the pass) until they can show they can stop it.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
RedRight49's picture

November 24, 2019 at 10:44 am

Why the Packers will beat the 49'ers is: 2 Aarons; 2 Smiths; 2 weeks.

Aaron 1 - Rodgers should utilize a fast tempo hand-off or short - medium range passes to avoid the beastie front four of the 49'ers and whatever other rushes Saleh sends at him.

Aaron 2 - Jones should be the top rusher in this game needing just a little space provided courtesy of the O-Line to keep the chains going forward and, should also receive several short tosses from Aaron when open in space.

The 2 Smiths, Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith will be early evening nightmares for Jimmy G - each is more than capable of disrupting or ending, a number of offensive plays. And expect a few safety blitzes too for good measure!

Hurry up Jimmy G. and a turnover or two might result.

Davante Adams can beat Richard Sherman ( if Sherman gets Adams ) on side line routes and jump balls, especially in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

2 Weeks - That is a lot of time to rest, recover, practice and, game plan for the 49'ers.. MLF and Co have a lot of familiarity with the coaching staff of the 49'ers and this will be a great test of MLF's schemes, reads and game planning.

Same 2 weeks too , for Pettine to tighten up his D on run yardage allowed and TE coverage, Kittle can be a game changer and Pettine must slow him down.

I see this as a very tough game with the Packers having enough of an offensive arsenal to outscore the 49'ers.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
GBPDAN1's picture

November 24, 2019 at 10:54 am

I really hope we see some kind of improvement on our D. They started the season great, but have been marched on up and down the field of late. Only 3 teams in the whole NFL give up more yards. I know that our D is 15th in points, but Ds that give up that much yardage are probably not going to fare well against good offenses in the playoffs .

I'm hoping the 2 week rest and proper adjustments will help get our D back on track. We finally got our bookend OLBs that we always needed, now the rest of the D needs to do their part. Go pack

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Tarynfor12's picture

November 24, 2019 at 11:17 am

If this was any other season of recent past, I would have SF winning this game with near perfect ease.
This season,as I have said often since before it's start, has me more optimistic and has me believing that MLF and team have learned a lesson from that Charger's game and it will prevail in SF.
I will point out though that a CHTV writer, and others at times, believe we should be happy with 8-2 and just enjoy the season, as though what happens next is irrelevant.
I expect the Packers to understand where they are before this game and what they cannot allow to happen after this game...fall into trap games like the one next week vs the Giants as other writer suggested will likely occur....sounds pessimistic to me.
Packers 27-24 win over a more healthier team than some expect for SF and then a nice ass whopping of the G-Men for a security win that will be needed next week in pursuit of the one seed.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 24, 2019 at 11:50 am

I think the key to this whole thing offensively Williams and Jones in the running and passing game. Against Seattle and both games against the Cards, the RB's ran well but also did good things in the passing game. Rodgers CAN'T sit and hold the ball waiting for something deep. For one thing, Sherman ALWAYS seems to pick him off when he does that. PLEASE take what is there underneath and GET RID OF THE BALL. I also think we see more Adams and a MVS sighting after 2 weeks to rest his knees and ankles.

I think after the preseason and 10 regular-season games this team was tired, especially the defense. The Defense will hold the 49ers to under 375 yards and create 3 TO's...

Packers 27 49ers 16

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
ThxJackVainisi's picture

November 24, 2019 at 01:05 pm

I've got a question for everyone: The Packers D struggles against TEs is obvious. If Pettine decided to have one player cover Kittle the majority of the game, who do you want to get that assignment?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
WMA's picture

November 24, 2019 at 05:12 pm

Amos

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2019 at 05:25 pm

King

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 24, 2019 at 06:24 pm

Jack......Kittle is banged up and isn’t going to be 100%. If Kittle catches 10 balls for 130 yards but doesn’t find the end zone then I think we can survive that, as long as nobody else has a big game. Whoever covers the TE needs to be a physical tackler so we don’t get hurt by YAC. You would think this might be a good job for Jackson, actually, but he can’t get on the field. I guess Amos, a good tackling vet, might be our best bet. I wouldn’t put the rookie on him.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Lphill's picture

November 24, 2019 at 02:54 pm

One of the safeties , Jimmy G is not a deep passing threat so I would expect a safety to help with Kittle , I don’t suspect he is 100 percent either so that should help as well .

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 24, 2019 at 06:26 pm

merde....

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
egbertsouse's picture

November 24, 2019 at 05:56 pm

Packer O-line can’t handle Bosa et al and a 70% Kittle beats the Packers DBs. SF 24, Pack 10.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 24, 2019 at 06:02 pm

We’ve won every game where our opponent scored less than 26 points, and we’ve lost both games where they scored 26 or more. Manage the game. Use the clock and pay attention to field position..

We are heathy and rested and SF is not. Staley is out and 10 others are doubtful, questionable, or probable. Green Bay has 6 questionable or probable. I think our offense should be able to hit 30.

Big players step up in big games and this is our biggest game since Carolina in 2017. It’ll be interesting to see who steps up. We need good games from Aaron and Aaron and Smith and Smith.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PatrickGB's picture

November 24, 2019 at 06:03 pm

I think that it will be a hard fought loss. My hope is that I we play well anyway. This team has come a long way and has a good chance to make the playoffs. But this Matchup does not favor our defense.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 24, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Minutes before kickoff....If we get a prime performance on offense, well win this. We're rested and healthy and have had extra days to prepare.

I'm expecting at least 27 points and 0 turnovers. Rodgers with multiple TD passes and 150 yards from Jones Williams.

I like our chances. I think they'll miss Staley and a strip sack is going to be the result. I see a multiple turnover performance by the home team. Packers, 33-23.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CHESSEHEaADDALLAS's picture

November 24, 2019 at 09:02 pm

We suck on both sides of the ball and
are a joke if we make the playoffs we will be one and done again

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

November 24, 2019 at 10:18 pm

This team is pathetic

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

November 24, 2019 at 10:21 pm

They are an embarrassment!! This coach is horrible as well. We cant get a positive punt or KO return let alone ever block a punt. Wide open receivers, TEs - this game says all we need to know. Tbey Suck!!!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.