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One reason the 49ers will beat the Packers (and one reason they won’t)

8-0 after squeaking out a win over Seattle. Now it’s back home to Levi’s Stadium on a short week against Green Bay

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Roughly 40% of you picked the 49ers to lose against the Seahawks. That’s after about 34% of you chose the Pats to win. Thank you for being mostly objective. The Niners now head back home, but it’ll be a short week as they host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night football. Will San Francisco’s dominance against the Packers continue?

Reason for: Kyle Shanahan versus Mike Pettine

This is arguably the biggest coaching mismatch of the season. Pettine looked in over his head last year against Shanahan. The 49ers were running trap plays for first downs and touchdowns on third down. That tells you all you need to know about how undisciplined the Packers’ defense was. The 49ers offense did whatever they wanted to in both matchups. If there was a team you wanted to play on a short week, it’s Green Bay. Not that the Packers aren’t talented. They’re just fundamentally flawed on defense.

I’m in the mindset that linebackers only make a difference if they are exceptional or poor. The 49ers and Packers linebackers are prime examples of both. Shanahan manipulated Green Bay’s second-level defenders with motion and run action last year. That created easy throws for Jimmy Garoppolo and huge rushing lanes for Raheem Mostert. This year, the Packers will rely on two new linebackers. I also believe the Niners have the advantage on the perimeter, which is why San Francisco will be able to do what they want to again this year on offense.

I think Aaron Jones is an excellent player. I think Davante Adams is one of the best receivers in the NFL. I think Aaron Rodgers—if you get past his TD/INT ratio—has declined and misses a lot of throws. Their offensive line was among the best in the league last year. Rodgers had time to throw but didn’t execute. Not adding any receivers in the draft will come back to haunt Green Bay.

Reason for: Pass rush on a short week

As long as you have a pass rush, you have a chance. Green Bay finished fourth in pressure rate last season. Za’Darius and Preston Smith both finished with over 12 sacks. Za’Darius had an eye-popping 23 QB hits. Kenny Clark is a legitimate threat inside as well. He had six sacks last year. Dean Lowry was effective against the run as well. That gives the Packers a front-four that could control the line of scrimmage against most teams.

If they beat the Niners, it’ll be because the Packers were able to fluster Jimmy Garoppolo with pressure and get him on the ground. Would that be enough to make a difference? I’m not so sure. On a short week, after the 49ers traveled from New England to Seattle, and finally back home to Santa Clara, they may be out of gas on national TV.


Will the 49ers beat the Packers on TNF after a short week?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (394 votes)
  • 14%
    (65 votes)
459 votes total Vote Now