It’s 11 days until 49ers training camp-week begins! We want to look at each opponent and provide a reason for and against the 49ers beating them. We’ve included a poll for the community to vote on whether they expect a win or a loss. We’ll see what kind of prediction this provides at the end.
The Green Bay Packers is just going to be a fun game. While these games are not going to be good for my blood pressure, it will certainly be a blast to watch as a fan of football. Comparing the teams side by side, the Packers defense just bad enough to allow the 49ers to score some points without being too dominant. Don’t forget the Packers have Aaron Rodgers to answer just about anything the 49ers will do.
I said that this game will probably come down to who has the ball with a minute left and I still stand by that. Both teams match up very well and it may just come down to a field goal in the final seconds by either team. Good thing Jimmy Garoppolo has experience putting his teams in position for those.
Reason For: The Packers are rebuilding
The Packers went on a purge, making front office moves and removing several key components to the coaching staff. Dom Capers was fired as defensive coordinator and Mike Pettine was brought in. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy kept his job and brought back Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator. McCarthy has since stated the offense is being rebuilt from the ground up.
This may sound familiar. It’s reminiscent of the New Orleans Saints rebuild from a couple of years ago. While it was not outright stated by the organization, it was clear they were looking to retool a lot of the team due to salary cap issues, drafting decisions, etc. The result was a team that struggled for a couple years even with Drew Brees behind center. The same thing is probably going to happen with the Packers. Given the coaching changes and systems being installed, it won’t take near as long (Philbin was OC of the Packers before going to be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins) it’s still obvious the Packers weren’t happy with what they had and decided to make some changes while keeping core components in place.
This all translates to an on-field product that just won’t match up to the 49ers. The Packers have an aging Jimmy Graham to complement Aaron Rodgers, but that’s not enough. They drafted two talented wide receivers to go along with Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, but we’ll see how Adams can do as the center piece of wide receivers—because Cobb isn’t it. Jamaal Williams is a decent running back, but we still need to see if he can stay healthy. Too many question marks for a team clearly trying to change a lot of things.
Reason Against: Aaron Rodgers
Do you think their quarterback cares about any of that? We’ve seen Aaron Rodgers take mediocre talent and turn it into superstars. While I do subscribe to the fact that the Packers’ Super Bowl team may have had a lot more to do with the talent around Rodgers than Rodgers himself (flame me all you want), there’s no denying he’s one of the better quarterbacks in the league and when he’s on—no one can touch him.
The Rodgers/Graham connection is going to make all sorts of mismatches with the 49ers defense. It will be interesting to see how someone like Reuben Foster or Fred Warner can keep Graham in check during the game. And while I said Davante Adams is a question mark as a full-time, No. 1 wide receiver, it’s much like Marquise Goodwin is with the 49ers—can he hold down the fort full time? And while we’re thinking about that, watch him get close to a 1,000 yard season. The 49ers can’t cover every weapon Rodgers has. The Packers offensive line has some holes, but Rodgers gets the ball out so quick it doesn’t matter.
If the Packers beat the 49ers it’s all because of their quarterback.
If you can’t see the poll, click here.
What will happen in Week 6 against the Packers?
This poll is closed