The San Francisco 49ers face the Green Bay Packers Monday evening in a matchup of old rivals dealing with a host of issues in 2018. The 49ers are playing out the season without Jimmy Garoppolo and hope their defense can take a step forward. The Packers are in the hunt in the NFC North, but their offense has been inconsistent thus far.
It’s game day, which means things are just about settled for kickoff. Earlier today, Pat offered up reasons the 49ers will and lose this prime time affair. Over the past week, we chatted with Acme Packing Company writer Jason Hirschhorn about the matchup, and one of the questions I asked him was for some reasons on both sides of the ball why the Packers might win or lose this game. A little Packers perspective is helpful! Thanks to Jason for his thoughts
Why the Packers will win
While Aaron Rodgers remains limited with his knee injury, he has done a fantastic job connecting with top wideout Davante Adams. Last week, despite the Lions keying on Adams due to the absence of Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, Rodgers found No. 17 for a season-high 140 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. Those numbers could have looked even better had Rodgers seen Adams sprinting open during the first drive on a crossing route instead of checking down to a running back, but those issues should get ironed out over the coming weeks.
Additionally, Jaire Alexander (groin), Bashaud Breeland (hamstring), and Jermaine Whitehead (back) all returned to practice after sitting out Week 5. Their presence could limit the number of mistakes the pass defense makes against the 49ers. On offense, Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring, concussion) both returned to practice as well, potentially giving the offense its full complement of receivers for the first time in two weeks. Fooch’s update: Cobb and Allison are both “likely to be inactive.”
Why the Packers will lose
As for the reasons for concern, the Packers still haven’t committed to making Aaron Jones the focal point of the ground game. Jones’ production as a runner far outclasses that of Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery, but Mike McCarthy continues to split snaps in favor of the latter two. Perhaps that changes this week, but the tone of McCarthy’s press conferences suggests that Jones will continue to receive fewer opportunities.
Meanwhile, Rodgers might have re-aggravated the knee injury that has limited him since the start of the season. While he will suit up against the 49ers, his mobility might appear more limited than it has in recent weeks.