The 49ers got off to the perfect start on their difficult 3 game stretch. All 3 teams they face (Green Bay, Baltimore, and New Orleans) have over a .800 winning percentage and it is the first time in league history that a team has had to face that stiff of competition this late in the season. But the 49ers had no issues demolishing the Green Bay Packers 37-8 at Levi’s Stadium. The defense completely dominated the game from the jump and never relented. Jimmy Garoppolo had a good game, hitting Deebo Samuels and George Kittle for big touchdown passes while throwing no interceptions.
From the opening kickoff, the 49ers defense dominated the Packers’ offense. The defensive line pressured Aaron Rodgers all night long to record 5 sacks and allowed Fred Warner to force a fumble on the opening possession of the game to set up the offense at the Packers’ 2 yard line. The unit held Rodgers to just 104 yards passing and did not allow the Packers to convert a single first down on 13 third down tries. Eventually the Packers pulled Rodgers out in the 4th quarter.
The return of George Kittle from injury had a big impact. He looked great and was somehow left uncovered for his big 61 yard touchdown that essentially ended the game. Jimmy Garoppolo, who was always good for one or two terrible throws a game that ended up being picks, was flawless. He went 14 for 20 with 253 yards to go with his 2 TDs. The one concern that had lingered this season about the 49ers being a legitimate Super Bowl team was Jimmy’s interceptions. If he is able to continue to improve and limit his interceptions, this team can make a deep run in January.
Next up is a big showdown against one of the top MVP candidates in Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. They beat down the Niners’ division foes the LA Rams 45-6 on Monday night. Lamar went 15 for 20 with 169 yards and 5 touchdown passes. For the season, he has 24 touchdowns to just 5 picks. When he is not slicing defenses with his arm, he is gashing them with his legs. He has 876 yards rushing and is an absolute highlight reel when in the open field. The 49ers defense has their biggest test to date in trying to containing him. The Ravens are coming off a short week and the weather for the game is supposed to be rainy, so that may play to the Niners advantage. No matter the conditions, the game should be an epic battle and could be a Super Bowl preview.
Offensive improvements (Maiocco)
Jimmy G (Wagoner)
Moseley and Witherspoon (Hutchinson)
Big showdown in Baltimore (Branch)
Defense preparing to stop Lamar Jackson (Maiocco)
49ers 2020 HOF candidates (Martin)
Are the Niners able to stop Lamar? (NFL video)
The current playoff picture (Alper)
Power rankings (NFL video)
Week 13 power rankings (ESPN)