The Green Bay Packers (8-3) looked unprepared and sloppy coming off of the bye week after falling to the 49ers (10-1) on Sunday Night Football. In a game that was flexed to Sunday Night, it disappointed beyond measure. The Packers’ offense looked like they were clueless, and this was apparent from the beginning.
On the Packers’ opening drive, Davante Adams was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty which looked like a soft call by the NFL officials. From there, the Packers couldn’t get anything going. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was strip-sacked on a 3rd and long play, something the Packers saw a lot on Sunday Night. The strip-sack allowed the 49ers’ explosive offense to set up shop inside the Green Bay five-yard line. The next play, veteran Tevin Coleman punches the ball in for a touchdown.
That seemed to be the theme for the rest of the night. The Packers knew that the 49ers’ offense was capable of putting points on the board, but they didn’t expect their own offense to falter to such an extent. The next offensive drive for the Packers, WR Geronimo Allison’s dropped pass forces the Packers to punt. JK Scott, usually a solid punter, got the punt off for a measly 41 yards. Scott, who is capable of punting the ball 60 yards or more, hasn’t shown any signs of improvement lately. Either Scott is gun shy or he simply doesn’t have the talent the Packers thought he once did. The next two drives see the Packers punt the ball, allowing the 49ers to pile on a field goal. Sloppy play by the Packers on offense lead to the Packers’ defense getting tired.
Za’Darius Smith almost single-handedly kept the Packers in this game, adding to his ever-growing list of QB pressures will taking down Jimmy Garappolo. The only positives to come out of the first quarter were the pressures by the linebacking core.
The Packers wanted to get the ball rolling to start the second quarter by giving the ball to Aaron Jones. Jones who has been the lifeline of the Packers this season without Davante Adams, rushed for just 38 yards. Matt LaFleur knew he had to get something going, so he turned the page in the playbook, giving the ball to Allen Lazard on an end-around, gaining 18 yards. In a foreshadowing of things to come, the Packers set up on 4th and 1 and give the ball to Aaron Jones for no game.
This theme would haunt them the rest of the night after not converting on a single third down with Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback. The Packers went 1-15 on 3rd downs Sunday Night, easily their worst performance of the season. In the middle of the second quarter, in a desperate effort to gain yards, Rodgers heaved a ball deep to TE Jimmy Graham. Graham, who technically caught the ball, needed to secure the catch, it was called incomplete. That led to a flurry of failed plays, and the San Francisco 49ers offense rolled down the field and hit a field goal on the next drive.
The Packers got the ball back and went 3 and out in just 47 seconds, a drive so disheartening it had to be followed by a 30-yard punt by JK Scott.
Once again, the 49ers offense rolls down the field and Jimmy Garappolo hit WR Deebo Samuel for a 42-yard touchdown, setting the lead to 20-0 before the half.
After the Packers offense failed yet again to move the ball, the 49ers steamroll the Packers’ defense, drive down the field, and hit a field goal that all but ended the game for the Packers, placing the game at 23-0 in favor of the home team.
The second half for the Packers wasn’t much different than the first. Although the Packers got a solid stop on the 49ers’ first offensive drive, the Packers’ offense looked lost. There was no tempo, no flow, not even a back-shoulder throw could have put the Packers on the right track, a common play used in the past to get the Packers offense back into rhythm. Thanks to a few sly plays by QB Aaron Rodgers and an unnecessary roughness penalty against the 49ers star Corner Back Richard Sherman, the Green and Gold put up 6 points from Davante Adams off of a quick pitch. It would be Davante’s first touchdown of the season and the Packers’ only the rest of the night. The Packers then lined up to go for two and a fade to Adams in the endzone does it, giving the Packers their last two points of the game.
That drive was the only sliver of hope the Packers had the entire night, only to be upended on the next drive.
Jimmy Garappolo found star TE George Kittle on a deep ball for a touchdown, a broken play on defense by the Packers. This play was essentially the dagger for this game, as the Packers couldn’t do anything right in any phase of the game after.
The Packers then found themselves in rough shape in the 4th quarter, as they went for it twice and never truly converted, relying on penalties against the 49ers to move the ball forward.
Eventually Packers backup QB Tim Boyle entered the game with the Packers down 37-8. Although everyone knew the Packers were done, it was nice to see Boyle throw some passes in a game that (sort of) counted.
Overall, the Packers were not prepared offensively to take on this 49ers defense. Possibly the bye-week got the best of them, perhaps not.
The Packers now sit at 8-3, as they will head to New York to take on Daniel Jones and the New York Giants (2-9).