The 49ers host the Packers and their questionable defense on Sunday night, and these four Niners offensive players could easily go off.
If there’s one clear-cut advantage the San Francisco 49ers have in Week 3 over the Green Bay Packers, it’s the realization the Packers defense has more than just a handful of holes head coach Kyle Shanahan can exploit.
Despite pulling off a 35-17 victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 2, Green Bay’s defense still ranks 23rd in the league in scoring and is allowing an average of 5.7 yards per play.
Yes, it’s early. And the trends for all 32 teams have yet to truly be set. But there are certainly some matchups Shanahan and the Niners will want to go after under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football.
The Packers pass rush has generated just a single sack this season, and it’s a unit that’ll be without its top pass-rusher, Za’Darius Smith, who’s out with a back injury.
This could mean a lot of good things for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who’ll likely have plenty of time to throw, provided he targets the right Green Bay defenders in Week 3.
If so, look for these four San Francisco players to thrive Sunday night.
No. 4: 49ers Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel
It’s enjoyable to think wide receiver Deebo Samuel currently leads all NFL pass-catchers with 282 yards. Without needing any hyperbole, he’s carried the Niners’ aerial attack this season and will likely be tasked with doing more of the same against the Packers.
We probably shouldn’t expect Samuel to have one of those games like his Week 1 performance against the Lions when he had 189 yards and a touchdown, but a Week 2-like showing with 93 receiving yards isn’t out of the question.
Green Bay is likely to try shadowing Samuel with Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander during the game. But the lack of thump elsewhere within the Packers secondary leads one to believe Samuel will still get his fair share of chances.
Especially with Shanahan and Garoppolo both understanding Samuel is riding a hot streak right now.