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The Green Bay Packers must be warmed up given their big Week 2 Monday Night Football win over the Detroit Lions, 35-17, and now ornery MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and dual-threat running back Aaron Jones will travel west to California where the underperforming Packers defense will have to get their hands dirty on some Niners.
Veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is still the starter for the San Francisco 49ers, the undefeated club with a 17-11 Week 2 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, a game where receiver Deebo Samuel recorded six receptions for 93 yards while defensive end Nick Bosa registered two sacks and two tackles, now if only their injury-riddled rushing attack can be as effective.
These two NFC rivals have played each other 70 previous times (including 8 postseason games), with the San Francisco 49ers winning 32 of those games and the Green Bay Packers winning 37 of the games plus one tie.
In the first two games of the season, the Green Bay Packers run defense looked a bit porous, now ranked 29th in the league after allowing almost 140 yards on the ground per game for these first two 2021 outings.
On Sunday night, the Packers defense will be playing without LBs Za’Darius Smith (back) and Randy Ramsey (leg), so it will be up to the rest of the squad to stop a San Francisco offense that so far has scored 29 points per game.
Last season, Green Bay had a top-5 defense so now coordinator Joe Barry needs to get his men back in line because on Sunday they will have to do their job in noisy Levi’s Stadium in front of a hostile Niners crowd that will be doing their noisiest to distract them.
When you look at the list of injured San Francisco 49ers running backs it’s depressing – Raheem Mostert (knee – Meniscus), Jeff Wilson (knee – Meniscus), JaMycal Hasty (ankle), Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) – all out for now and some possibly for the season.
Add to that rookie Trey Sermon (concussion) who is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s matchup, and it becomes a huge challenge for offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel to find warm bodies to run the ball.
It will be up to running backs Trenton Cannon and Jacques Patrick for this one, a true test of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system, for if these backups to backups can also thrive on the ground for the coach on Sunday then pretty much any NFL back can.
The Green Bay Packers defense is last in the league in sacks with no full sacks registered after two games, this the same team that ranked in the top ten of that category last season after posting 41 sacks on the year.
Now against either starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo or (at times) his backup the speedy rookie Trey Lance, Green Bay’s (arguably) best linebacker Preston Smith must figure out how to get after both opposing quarterbacks and panic them into making mistakes.
Last year Smith posted 4 sacks and the year prior it was 12 with a total of 34 quarterback hits so he is due, and without his injured ‘brother’ Za’Darius Smith on the field next to him, a big game from Preston becomes even more paramount.
San Fran’s best tight end is George Kittle, whose blocking skills plus size and soft-hands make him capable of becoming his team’s Gronk, is now in his fifth NFL season and ready to get back to huge production after an injury-shortened 2020 season (foot) where he only started 8 games.
Before that were two 1,000+ receiving yard seasons for Kittle, numbers that he needs to get back to this season in order to re-establish himself as one of the league’s premier tight ends and star playmakers.
In the first two games of 2021, Kittle has caught 8 balls for 95 yards and no touchdowns, so expect QB Jimmy G to look for him in the endzone on Sunday night against a top-5 Packers passing defense that (so far) has proven itself worthy this season.
|Packers vs 49ers Information|
|What||Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers|
|Where||Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California|
|When||Sunday, September 26, 2021; 8:20 PM ET|
|How to watch||NBC|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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