The 49ers host the Packers for their 2021 home opener, and Niner Noise has your bold takes and predictions for this prime-time bout.
Despite being 2-0, the doubters are already coming out and saying the San Francisco 49ers‘ start to the 2021 season is fraudulent enough.
Maybe there’s some truth to that, as neither the Detroit Lions nor Philadelphia Eagles are expected to be playoff contenders this season. Yet the Niners didn’t make the schedule, nor do they have any say about which team is ahead of them.
Regardless, all that effectively changes in Week 3 with San Francisco hosting the 1-1 Green Bay Packers in a prime-time Sunday Night Football showdown at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers, looking to repeat the success from the 2019 season in which they pummeled quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Co. twice, have to understand Green Bay’s 35-17 bounce-back win over Detroit in Week 2.
And while the Packers defense in that game showed flaws, Rodgers can still be a difference-maker with a career 5-3 regular-season record against his boyhood team.
An easy prediction would be the Niners winning this game, as that’s what the current oddsmakers over at WynnBET say.
But let’s go a lot bolder with these five Week 3 predictions for Sunday night.
No. 5: 49ers watch George Kittle go for over 100 yards
It’s been a quiet start to the season for All-Pro tight end George Kittle, boasting just four catches for 17 yards in Week 2 and having a mere 78 receiving yards over two weeks total.
Yet there sure seems to be a feeling Kittle will break out in Week 3 under the bright lights of prime time, once again emerging as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s favorite target, as San Francisco will look to take the pressure off wide receiver Deebo Samuel from having to essentially provide all the offense’s thump through the air so far in 2021.
Over two regular-season games, Kittle has 10 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. But after watching Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson do damage to Green Bay’s defense in Week 2, one has to figure Kittle is set up nicely for a massive outing in Week 3.
This contest appears to be the one where Kittle surpasses 100 receiving yards for the first time this season, hopefully finding the end zone at least once but at least showing the rest of the league why he’s one of the top-three tight ends in the NFL today.