We have a couple of days until the NFC Championship can get underway. We know the history of the 49ers (I’d hope so, this being a 49ers site, but look it up if no), but the one thing to bring up has been the Packers after their 37-8 stomping in November. Following that, the Packers didn’t lose another game. Sure it was against teams like Washington and New York (ok, they got the Minnesota Vikings in there which is a decent win) but they still didn’t lose.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young was making the rounds on ESPN Thursday and had his analysis of what the Packers would need to do, keeping in mind that they have been winning since the brutal 49ers loss:
“Whatever they [the Packers] have been doing to win games recently? No. Not enough. It’s not. They will get mauled again. They have got to put Aaron Rodgers with a Superman Cape, and they have to put doubt into that front four that they don’t know exactly where Aaron is going to be. They need to run him out of the backfield. Like Lamar Jackson for a couple of times. Like literally, just put the ball into his hands and let him run 5-10 more yards and put doubt into this defense because if they don’t they will get beat and it really is the only guy that can do that and put that doubt and launch the ball from different places and move the pocket and create space is Aaron Rodgers. One of the best of all time. And to me, do not have it kept that Aaron Rodgers run the football and think that you’re going to beat the San Francisco 49ers the way they are playing right now. It ain’t happening.”
What was not enough? Well, maybe coasting on the schedule itself. The Vikings were the only team in that five-game span with a winning record. Looking at Green Bay’s schedule as a whole, the .453 strength of schedule is the worst in the league. Young is right, the way Green Bay finished the season is not enough—especially when you factor in the opponents.
He does suggest something, though. A running quarterback has proven to give the 49ers headaches. The difference is the running quarterbacks the 49ers faced are a bit younger than Rodgers. If Rodgers could take off and throw the ball accurately, it’d be Russell Wilson all over again, and everyone knows how annoying that is. The problem is again: Rodgers isn’t near as fast as he was eight years ago, so taking off could be something the 49ers could sniff out rather easily.
I’ve been bouncing back and forth on the game this weekend just because of Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback, but it’s hard to see him with that mobility that he once had in this game and successfully carving up the 49ers for four quarters. It could be successful for a drive or two, but it can’t be the whole gameplan. That defense is much faster than Rodgers is now, and that could easily lead to this thing getting out of hand.
Do you think Rodgers needs to go mobile to have a chance?