49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner continued to close the pocket and logged a pair of sacks and a tackle for loss — although the one key sack was nullified due to an illegal contact penalty in the secondary. Defensive lineman Ronald Blair played one of his better games, as he brought Rodgers down for a sack and added a pair of tackles for loss. The 49ers still desperately need an outside pass rush, which the team lacked throughout the game.
Both linebackers Reuben Foster and Fred Warner made their fair share of plays, and missed less tackles than in previous contests. Still, more is expected from this potentially elite linebacker tandem. Meanwhile, SAM linebacker Malcolm Smith was best when he was on the sideline — particularly compared to his play in pass coverage — although he did have a positive play when rushing Rodgers.
Yes, the 49ers secondary faced former NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, but that was no excuse for their poor level of play. As soon as Rodgers recognized Greg Mabin couldn’t cover WR Davante Adams, the game was essentially over. Mabin deserves the blame for his inability to play at a competent level, but if he’s obviously unable to cover Adams, he shouldn’t be asked to by the team’s coaching staff. At one point, Richard Sherman was forced to take control and switch coverage responsibilities with Mabin. Jimmie Ward didn’t play well before he left the game, and while Sherman wasn’t tested often, he was thrown to the ground during a tackle attempt, and he was flagged for the illegal contact penalty that gave Rodgers the crucial first down on the Packers’ final drive. Strong safety Tartt was a mess in coverage, and was seemingly always a step behind his man.