What will we overreact to the most this week? I can already hear the quarterback change articles being written. Some have called for DeMeco Ryans to be fired. The rule of thumb after any game is it’s never as usually good or bad as when you watched it live.
Kyle Shanahan’s postgame assessment, however, suggests there are no imminent changes when it comes to quarterback.
“I thought Jimmy played real well tonight,” he said when asked his assessment of Garoppolo.
The drive masked what was an otherwise up-and-down effort from the quarterback, who didn’t have the support of the robust running game he usually has and who was hit 11 times — including four sacks — by the Packers defense. Before the final drive, Garoppolo was a ho-hum 21-for-32 passing for 182 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
More has to be expected from the 49ers’ pass defense, even as they played with a battered group of cornerbacks. The task was simple: Protect a one-point lead with :37 remaining. But Rodgers and Adams torched the 49ers’ pass defense with completions of 25 and 17 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.
Rodgers completed 23 of 33 passes for 261 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also drove the ball down the field to get pass interference penalties against Deommodore Lenoir, Emmanuel Moseley and Fred Warner of 25, 32 and 25 yards.
The 49ers’ pass rush was not good enough. Armstead registered the only sack in the game.
“You always worry with Aaron on the other side,” Shanahan said after the game. “That’s why we didn’t use any timeouts. We wanted to take it down. Hell of an effort by Juszczyk to get it in. I think [Garoppolo] hit the last guy in the progression and it was a hell of an effort after the catch.”
After the game, Juszczyk shared that there was a conscious decision to slow the game down as opposed to a normal two-minute drill. Once the 49ers passed midfield and still had two minutes left on the clock, they brought down the tempo.
They clearly did not bleed the clock enough. With 43 seconds left on the game clock and 12 seconds still on the play clock, Alex Mack hiked the ball to Garoppolo. By the time Juszczyk crossed the goal line, only six seconds had expired.
The Packers got off to a dream start in the first quarter of this game, marred only by issues from starting left tackle Yosh Nijman on the opening series. Aaron Rodgers hit Allen Lazard for a 42-yard gain on 3rd and 4 to jump-start the offense on its first set of downs, setting Green Bay up in the red zone. However, Nijman facemasked Nick Bosa to drive the Packers back to the edge of field goal range, forcing the the Packers to open up the scoring with a 54-yard field goal from Mason Crosby.
Matt LaFleur thought he could’ve done it with less. “Thirty-five seconds,” the Packers coach said. “Maybe 34.”
Rodgers hit Adams for 25 yards on a play that, while it wasn’t drawn up in the dirt, was created in practice only three days earlier. A spike and an incompletion followed with the Packers at midfield with 16 seconds to left. One more throw to Adams for 17 yards and Rodgers raced to the 33-yard line to spike it again. When he did so with 3 seconds left, he pumped his right arm.
“I don’t know [if that] sealed it,” Rodgers said. “We still had a 51-yard field goal, but my old partner Mace, I felt good about him nailing that. He’s made some big kicks over the years.”