After watching Monday night’s loss, are the San Francisco 49ers still the best team in the NFL? More importantly, should the Green Bay Packers feel better about facing them after the bye week? Because honestly, the team that loss on Monday looked beatable.
This is not to discredit the Seattle Seahawks, they had a great showing. They won the time of possession, the turnover battle, and offensive production. Russell Wilson looks more and more like the league MVP every game, and this week his go-to targets were rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf and tight end Jacob Hollister who was recently signed off the practice squad. The Packers should feel pretty good about their weapons entering week 12.
Seattle’s defense did a great job making life difficult for Jimmy Garoppolo, who was sacked five times, hit eight, and forced to throw one interception when it probably could have been more. At times, he looked very rattled and the Seahawks aren’t particularly good at getting after the quarterback.
Much like Green Bay, they have a very opportunistic defense. The Packers’ defense has even been better at generating sacks and winning the turnover battle. Does any of this mean the Packers should be favored against San Francisco in a couple of weeks? No, but they should feel better after watching what Seattle was able to do.
Look, the 49ers’ defense is no joke. Wilson was sacked five times on in week 10, and they forced a red zone interception in overtime. However, San Francisco’s run defense has been lagging compared to what they do against the pass. They have allowed 100 yards rushing in seven out of nine games this season. Cue a healthy dose of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.
What this defense does extremely well is defend the pass and not give up points. Green Bay is 11th overall in passing offense and scoring, but it’s their run game that is going to be needed to show out against the 49ers. Jones is having a breakout season, tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with three receiving touchdowns to go along with it. He will have to have another big performance after getting some much-needed rest.
Once again, Green Bay’s defense will have to make the most of their opportunities. It’s clear they won’t be able to stop very many offenses this season, so at the very least they need to continue to make big plays, whether they be sacks or turnovers. Against the Carolina Panthers, it was Tramon Williams who had the pick in the end zone to take points off the board.
Last but not least, Aaron Rodgers will have to have better protection. San Francisco has the best front seven in football, and the Packers’ offensive line better come ready. Rodgers has been sacked 10 times in the previous three weeks, including five to the Kansas City Chiefs. That won’t be good enough, but hopefully, the run game can offset some of the 49ers’ pressure.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.