SnoTapWI Packers Preview: San Francisco vs. Green Bay
Over my London vacation, I read Jeff Pearlman’s book ‘Gunslinger’ about Brett Favre. It doesn’t paint the prettiest picture of Favre, but it’s a good book for all Packers fans who grew up during that time. There were definitely things I forgot throughout the years and definitely things that brought me back. Such as kicking San Francisco’s ass in the playoffs for a few years. Desmond Howard taking back a touchdown in a rain-soaked playoff game. Not in the book, but remembering how Jerry Rice fumble the football and with no replay, the Packers lost to San Francisco on a last-second pass that launched Terrell Owens career.
Packers-49ers do have some memories in the recent years, but they’re lopsided the other way as Jim Harbaugh owned Mike McCarthy. The Colin Kaepernick show in the divisional round should have been enough to get Dom Capers fired, but he instead kept coaching for four years after. What a fucking world. Niners also beat up on Green Bay at home in a freezing cold Wild Card game. McCarthy is still around, but there is new blood in San Francisco with Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo. Sadly, Jimmy G will not be featured in this game as he recovers from an ACL tear. Packers are a heavy favorite on a brisk Monday night at Lambeau.
Three things to watch
1. Aaron Rodgers should have a field day – Much has been made about Kyle Shanahan’s success versus Green Bay as an offensive coordinator, but the defense he has right now is below average at best. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh runs a traditional Cover 3 which gives Rodgers a chance to pick apart with different route combinations. It also helps that he should stay upright. 49ers rank near the bottom of the league in QB hit rate and sacks. This could be a huge game for Rodgers and the offense. They desperately need it.
2. Fast start for the Packers defense – Much of my issue with the Packers defense has been the lack of aggression early on. It seems like Mike Pettine needs to watch the team first then make adjustments after they’re marched down the field. I have zero idea if that’s due to his lack of coaching against 2018 offenses, or the team being young on defense. C.J. Beathard is a turnover machine. He turned the ball over 22 times in 13 career starts. Green Bay must make plays early on in this game. You would hope that Bashaud Breeland gets some playing time this week.
3. The return of G-Mo and Cobb? – It was encouraging to see Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb practice this week. My assumption is Allison will be good to go this week after this concussion. That would give Rodgers another weapon on the outside. Cobb coming back would be a nice lift as well in the slot. They did move Davante Adams to the slot with Cobb out and assume they would do the same if he remains out.
Prediction: I said on the podcast today that I liked the Packers to win 30-21, but the more I look at things, they should cover the 9.5 point spread pretty easily, I’m taking Green Bay to win 35-14 in a resounding win that will delight many Packers fans.