After getting back on track on Monday night, the Green Bay Packers travel to the west coast on a short week to visit the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.
It will be an opportunity to build on what they achieved in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions, but the challenge will be far more significant against a talented 49ers team.
It will be another primetime game for the Packers, with the game set to be played on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is at 7:20 p.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 26, from Levi’s Stadium. The Packers enter this game as 3.5-point underdogs with an over/under of 49.5 points. Green Bay is +155 on the money line, San Francisco -185. Despite an impressive win last week, DraftKings expects this to be a tough challenge for Matt LaFleur’s team on the road.
Yes, Green Bay won at Levi’s Stadium last season, but San Francisco was without many of its key starters. That won’t be the case on Sunday night. Instead, the Niners look back to their best and are very much in contention in the NFC West, arguably the league’s toughest division.
Joe Barry’s defense did improve in the second half against the Lions, but their performance in their opening six quarters of the 2021 season is cause for concern. The Packers have struggled to slow down Kyle Shanahan’s offense in the past, and the same could be true on Sunday night.
Unless Green Bay gets off to a fast start and can run the ball with success, it’s going to be another long evening on the west coast. On a short week, this feels like a game the Packers will struggle in, unfortunately. Not for the first time, the 49ers win this matchup. Looking at the Packers offense, Rodgers made good decisions, got the ball out quickly, and took what the defense gave him. He brought out some vintage Rodgers passes when he needed to, highlighted by a 50-yard strike to Davante Adams on third down.
Rodgers’ stat line looked much healthier this week, going 22/27 for 255 yards and four touchdowns with a passer rating of 145.6. That’s the MVP form we saw all of last season. Should the Packers have a chance slither of a chance to win the game it will be vital for Matt LaFleur´s offense to run the football with success. Matt LaFleur’s offense is at its best when the ground game is working. Last week against Saints, they struggled early on and abandoned the run. This was the get-right performance they needed against a very weak Lions team.
Green Bay won’t have Za’Darius Smith for several weeks after the Pro Bowl pass rusher landed on injured reserve. Playing without their best edge rusher and their All-Pro left tackle. 49ers have had some problems with their running back group. We have seen injuries to Elijah Mitchell who hurt his shoulder. JaMycal Hasty suffered a high-ankle sprain. Trey Sermon has a concussion. And all three injuries occurred during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter. In week 1, Raheem Mostert was ruled for the season. If we see a battle between Garoppolo and Rodgers, then my money is on the MVP. But a better pash rush from the 49ers should see more pressure on Rodgers from his blind side.
Pick of the Game
Aaron Rodgers is still in Green Bay, having seized control of his future with the franchise, so this is no prime-time cakewalk for Kyle Shanahan´s team, despite his history against Matt LaFleur. Forced to throw in a shootout, Garoppolo can’t quite match No. 12. So go ahead and take Green Bay Packers +3.5 as we still win if the 49ers land a late field goal to take the W.