The Packers' offense struck quickly after Aaron Rodgers found Allen Lazard on a 42-yard gain. Green Bay seemed like they'd march down the field and into the end zone after that play. But, Nick Bosa had other thoughts.
Bosa swatted a pass in the air, drew a face mask plenty, and had a tackle for loss. That sequence of plays forced the Packers to settle for a 54-yard field goal to take the lead 3-0. San Francisco didn't have as much success on their opening drive after a Trey Sermon run was stuffed for a loss of three yards.
Rodgers wasted no time on his second drive as he found Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 47-yard touchdown. The Niners were in Cover 4, and that meant 1-on-1 with Jaquiski Tartt. That's a difficult matchup for anybody with MVS's speed. Rodgers found Adams for 14 yards and then for a one-yard score to make it 10-0, Packers.
We talked about complementary football, and the 49ers' offense did not hold up their end up the bargain to start. A. three-and-out followed Green Bay's score. There was one successful end-around to George Kittle, but Jimmy Garoppolo airmailed him, and the pass was nearly intercepted.
Deommodore Lenoir filled in for K'Waun Williams, who left the game with a calf injury. Unfortunately, Lenoir was flagged for an awful defensive pass interference call where the wide receiver initiated contact. Thankfully, Arik Armstead's sack stalled the Packers' drive.
Garoppolo threw an interception on the next drive, thinking he had 1-on-1 coverage down the field, but Jaire Alexander did a great job of finding work, getting depth, and making a play.
To say the offense struggled to start the game was an understatement. Trey Sermon had a drop, and he bobbled his first carry. The running game didn't have much of anything going. It wasn't pretty.
The 49ers' defense did everything they could after stopping the Packers near the goal line on fourth down. Then, the offense took over, and, thanks to Deebo Samuel's miraculous catch, they moved the chains.
The offense started to heat up as they picked up a couple more first down passes on the drive to Kyle Juszczyk and Kittle. After a defensive stop and picking up first downs and knowing the score was 10-0, Shanahan punted the ball at midfield from the 50.
It took the Packers, who have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, three plays to reach midfield. They went on to score after Rodgers found Adams for a 19-yard completion on a fade route.
Before the drive, Josh Norman walked to the locker room with a chest injury. He was questionable to return. That meant Dontae Johnson had to play, and we know how that story ends.
Trent Cannon saved the day with a 60+ yard kick return that put the 49ers in field goal range right before halftime. The offense had time all three timeouts and 54 seconds to put points on the board.
The ball was placed on the one-yard line after a pass interference call, courtesy of Mohamed Sanu. However, the 49ers failed to punch it in on three plays from the one-yard line. With two seconds left in the half, Trey Lance made his first appearance of the game. He rushed around the left edge for a touchdown to cut the lead to 17-7.
If only Lance were available on fourth down earlier in the game.
The 49ers would receive the ball to start the second half. First, Deebo Samuel caught a pass for 19 yards. Sermon followed that up with a gain of 16. Then, Aiyuk gained eight yards. All of a sudden, the 49ers were in Packers territory.
Jimmy hung in the pocket, scanned the field, and found Aiyuk for an eight-yard touchdown. Kyle Juszczyk, the new third-down back, did a masterful job in pass protection on the play by picking up a blitzer to buy Garoppolo time. That score made it 17-14.
That complementary football that we talked about earlier in the game. The offense began to sustain drives, and the defense started getting stops. Funny how that works.
After both teams traded punts, the Packers drove into San Francisco's territory thanks to a 24-yard pass interference committed by Fred Warner. That was the third defensive pass interference by the defense on third down.
Speaking of third downs, Rodgers threw a dime for a touchdown near the goal line to make it 24-14. The 49ers were in "red-2," which is essentially Cover-2. DeMeco Ryans had the perfect call on, but Lenoir had his eyes in the wrong spot, didn't get enough depth, and allowed the touchdown.
That's was on the rookie. He has to know there are no underneath threats, know that it's third and goal, and get depth.
Thanks to a defensive pass interference on Aiyuk on a 3rd & 14, the 49ers' drive stayed alive, and they drove into Packers territory. After a reception to Juszczyk, Sermon leaped into the end zone for a score that made it 24-21.
On the ensuing drive, Adams took a scary hit from Jimmie Ward. To me, the hit looked clean as Ward got his helmet out of the way and led with his shoulder. Thankfully, Adams was healthy enough to return to the game two plays later.
After a three-and-out, the 49ers took over with just over seven minutes to go in the game. After a roughing the passer and tripping call, the 49ers had the ball on Green Bay's 44-yard line. On second down, Garoppolo turned the wrong way, then attempted to throw a pass but ended up fumbling it to give the Packers a short field.
The defense stood their ground once again and forced a field goal after being put in a challenging situation. They didn't run the clock as two minutes and 19 seconds ran. The Packers' field goal made it 27-21. The offense took over with 2:39 to play.
Garoppolo appeared to throw a dime to Deebo, but the pass was incomplete. Jimmy found Kittle for 39 yards on his next pass to give San Francisco the ball on the Packers' 36-yard line with two minutes to play.
Deebo fought for a pass on a contested play for a first down. Kittle broke a tackle on the next play. Then, Garoppolo found Juszczyk for a touchdown to give the 49ers a 28-27 lead. The weapons on this roster are unreal. Jaw-dropping, even.
3 timeouts left. 49ers snap this with 12 seconds in the play clock instead of letting it run a bit more. Cost them. pic.twitter.com/rSv7c9CJUx— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) September 27, 2021
But San Francisco left Rodgers 37 seconds, and they were at midfield within a play. Adams caught a 25 and 17-yard pass to put the Packers into field goal position. However, the coverage was too soft, and Mason Crosby’s 51-yarder was good.
What a game. Entertaining in the second half, but it should have never gotten there. The Niners earned this loss despite a valiant effort and comeback. Unfortunately, too many mistakes cost them. Seattle is up next.