The San Francisco 49ers demoralized quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 37-8 on Sunday Night Football. Make no mistake, the 2019 Niners are for real.
The San Francisco 49ers have won four of the last six meetings between these two franchises, but San Francisco lags 30-36-1 overall in the series. While the 49ers have fared better at home with an 18-12-1 record against the Green Bay Packers, the Niners expected a challenging matchup on Sunday Night Football against the Packers, led by star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
A victory was paramount for the 49ers to stay on top of the NFC West, as the team faced the first of three consecutive top-tier teams. In fact, San Francisco’s upcoming schedule could be the most difficult late-season schedule in history, according to Keiana Martin, Senior Reporter of 49ers.com.
Highlights from the first half
The 49ers won the coin toss and deferred, giving Rodgers first crack on the field. However, the electric Niners’ defense made sure it was a short-lived affair. They stripped-sacked Rodgers on the Packers’ third offensive play, which then resulted in a touchdown from running back Tevin Coleman on first-and-goal from the 2-yard line:
The 49ers tried to get the ground game going with limited success in the first quarter, with just a field goal to show for their efforts. Meanwhile, the Packers’ defense stepped up by sacking quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo three times in the first quarter.
The Packers resorted to running the ball early in the second quarter and looked well on their way to a scoring drive, only to be stymied by San Francisco’s stingy defense on a crucial 4th-and-1 attempt. The Niners would take over on downs on their own 28-yard line only to punt after losing 15 yards.
With four catches for 46 yards on four targets on the drive, the best tight end in football — George Kittle –proved to be instrumental as the 49ers moved the ball into field-goal range in the second quarter, putting the team up 13-0.
With less than two minutes left in the first half, San Francisco soon regained possession around midfield. The 49ers’ following drive resulted in 41-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Deebo Samuel:
Rodgers would get the ball back with under a minute left only to get manhandled by 2019 first-round draft pick defensive end Nick Bosa. With 6 seconds left in the first half, the 49ers attempted another field goal, which recently acquired kicker Chase McLaughlin drilled in from 48 yards.
At the half
The Niners led the Packers 23-0 going into halftime.
San Francisco’s elite defense held superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers to 10 completions on 20 attempts for a meager stat line of 41 yards and zero touchdowns. With over 15 minutes of possession time, all the Packers had to show for their efforts was 51 yards on the ground and nine net yards through the air.
The 49ers, meanwhile, amassed 126 passing yards, and 76 yards via the run game, although Garoppolo was sacked three times. The Niners scored 10 points in the first quarter and 13 additional points in the second quarter.
Highlights from the second half
On their first possession of the second half, the Packers chose to go for it on 4th-and-4 at midfield and converted the third-such conversion the 49ers have allowed all season. Keeping the drive alive, the Packers would go on to score a touchdown and then added a two-point conversion.
The 49ers’ sloppy defense gave up two costly penalties on that drive which allowed Rodgers to make it a 15-point game.
However, San Francisco quickly responded with a massive 61-yard catch-and-run touchdown by Kittle:
Once again, the Packers soon found themselves in a tough spot at midfield and went for it on 4th-and-8 only to have Rodgers get swallowed up by the 49ers’ dominant front four. The score stood at 30-8 with over 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
During the ensuing drive, Garoppolo led the 49ers 68 yards downfield, which ended in a RB Raheem Mostert touchdown, putting the Niners up 37-8 with under five minutes left in the game:
The scoring drive sealed the deal for the 49ers in their third prime time win of the season. The Packers then pulled Rodgers from the game and gave backup quarterback Tim Boyle a few late garbage-time reps.
This was a much-needed win as the Niners continue their gauntlet during the remaining weeks of the 2019 season. Up next, the San Francisco 49ers go on the road to face the Baltimore Ravens, and then the New Orleans Saints.