No. 4: Mike McGlinchey vs. Clay Matthews
The 49ers are eventually going to have to rely on C.J. Beathard to deliver the ball downfield, meaning San Francisco’s pass protection will need to hold up.
San Francisco 49ers
It hasn’t been great on the season, ranking 27th in pass protection through five weeks, according to Football Outsiders.
The Packers have gotten a good variety of sack production from across the defense. But one particular one-on-one matchup to pay attention to Monday night is the battle between rookie right tackle Mike McGlinchey and Green Bay EDGE Clay Matthews.
At 32 years old, Matthews isn’t quite the player he once was during his Pro Bowl prime. And he has just half a sack on the season to show for it.
Still, Matthews’ pass-rushing abilities will be a test for McGlinchey, who has performed above expectations in run blocking but could still use some work in pass protection. It’s no different than the many scouting reports on the rookie from his collegiate days at Notre Dame.
The entire 49ers offensive line needs to withstand the pressure, and Beathard will need to recognize blitzes when they happen. But McGlinchey versus Matthews should be a pretty good indicator how well San Francisco’s pass protection is holding up.