49ers vs. Packers: 3 ways San Francisco stops Aaron Rodgers
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: 49ers must place Fred Warner on Aaron Jones no matter what
One of the elements that makes Aaron Rodgers so great is his willingness to simply take the dump-off pass whenever that’s given to him. True, Rodgers doesn’t hesitate to throw it deep. But when the pressure is getting home and a safety valve is there, he won’t hesitate.
That safety valve is running back Aaron Jones, who hauled in six receptions for 48 yards in Green Bay’s Week 2 win over the Lions. Three of those passes went for touchdowns, too. And when combined with Jones’ additional 67 yards plus a touchdown on the ground, it’s safe to say the running back presents a clear threat to San Francisco’s defensive game plan.
If Jones is the Packers’ best offensive X-factor, it would be wise for DeMeco Ryans to simply assign his best defensive player, linebacker Fred Warner, on Jones.
Warner has been misused at times already this season, relying less on his excellent coverage skills than in previous seasons. But that should be the opposite of what happens in Week 3, as Warner should be tasked with doing whatever it takes to lock in on Jones, either on the ground or in the passing game.
This might come at the expense of guarding against other weapons, such as tight end Robert Tonyan.
But if the Packers are going to beat the 49ers, it’ll be Jones who carries the brunt of the responsibility. Not Tonyan.