When the schedule was first released, Packer fans everywhere highlighted the return to Levi’s Stadium as one of the biggest tests of the year. The NFC Championship rematch was supposed to be the litmus test to see if the 2020 Packers had improved from their abysmal performance in the final game of the 2019 season. However, the week nine matchup could hardly be considered a ‘rematch’ because the 49ers have been ravaged by injuries in 2020.
Nonetheless, a win is a win in the National Football League, and that is exactly what Packers did on Thursday night.
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams continued their ridiculous dominance over opposing secondaries, and the Smith Bros got back on track by creating a couple of much needed turnovers.
Matt Lafleur constantly had Adams in motion to get him into the best situation as possible, and Adams delivered with his third 10+ reception game of the year — 10 receptions, 173 yards and one TD.
Aaron Rodgers exercised some California demons and was slingin’ it around Levi’s Stadium to the tune of 305 yards and 4 TDs. Adams was the main beneficiary, but Marquez Valdez-Scantling overcame an early 3rd down drop to catch a single-game career-high two TDs.
The pass game was humming all night, but Aaron Jones’ early energy in this game deserves some credit. Many — myself included — thought that the Packers’ conservative medical staff was going to keep Jones out again this week. When he was declared active, many people still thought that his role was going to be significantly diminished. However, the Packers went to him on the first four plays — all positive gains — and fed off of that momentum the rest of the game. The stats — 15 carries 58 yards and 5 catches 21 yards — were not stellar, but Aaron Jones’ fingerprints were all over this game.
The unsung hero of the night was Tyler Ervin. He amassed 12 total touches for 72 yards in reserve of a banged up Aaron Jones and continues to be a weapon that Lafleur loves to utilize in space.
The defense feasted on a depleted offense all night by getting after the quarterback and forcing turnovers. The Smith Bros looked like the dynamic duo of 2019, and led the defense to a dominating performance.
Preston Smith still did not get a sack, but his pressure caused the first interception for Green Bay since week two. Preston also had a pass deflection on a RPO-slant that was reminiscent of a 6’6 power forward ball-pressuring a 6-foot point guard.
Za’Darius Smith was not going to be outdone and matched his ‘brother’ with a thunderous strip sack at midfield that all but sealed the win for the Packers
The run defense was struggling to begin the game, but a high powered offense and timely turnovers have a way of rectifying a bad run defense.
With 10 days to get healthy, and the defense finally putting some good stuff on film, the Packers are poised to continue their quest back to the NFC Championship game.——————
Kirien is a big fan of the Packers, Beer, and Battlestar Galactica. You can follow him on twitter at @KirienSprecher.