The game was over for the Packers when they lost the coin flip and the Niners put them on offense to start the game.
The game was over for the Packers when, in the first series, Fred Warner sacked/stripped Aaron Rodgers and Nick Bosa scooped up the ball on the two yard line.
The game was over for the Packers when Tevin Coleman scored from the 2 on the Niners’ first offensive play.
In a game that was being featured as one of the games of the year, it turned out to be the game of the year for only one team, the Niners.
Pundits can continue to find ways to say that the Niners aren’t good because they haven’t played any good teams. Aaron Rodgers, future Hall of Famer, was held to his worst statistical game of his career, a measly 104 passing yards. The Niner Defense pressured him all night long and sacked him 5 times for 38 yards in losses. They held him 0-14 in the critical 3rd down plays. The Packers finally converted a 3rd down play in garbage time.
While the Offense had a great game against a very good Packer defense, the game ball goes to the entire Niners’ Defensive Front Four. They were the main reason for Rodgers’ anemic production. Rodgers was never comfortable in the pocket and had to hurry his passes. I have to believe that with their rotational depth, they have the strongest front four in the league (Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, D. J. Jones, Damontre’ Moore, Julian Taylor, Sheldon Day, Soloman Thomas, Nick Bosa, and Dee Ford). Fred Warner had an absolutely monster game with 11 solo tackles and the one sack/strip that lead to the Niners’ first score. He was all over the field all night long. I can name almost every defensive player who had a great game last night:
- Dre Greenlaw (Kwon Alexander’s replacement) had 8 tackles (6 solo)
- Jimmie Ward had 6 tackles (5 solo) and 2 passes defensed
- E-Man Moseley 5 tackles (5 solo)
- Ahkello Witherspoon had 2 passes defensed coming back from a foot injury
- Jaquiski Tartt had 4 tackles (3 solo) and 0.5 sacks and 1 QB hit
- K’Wuan Williams had 2 tackles (1 solo)
These guys not only held Rodgers to 104 yards passing, their All-Pro receiver, Davante Adams, had only 43 yards on 7 catches. So dominating was the Niner Defense that the Packers’ only scoring drive was manufactured mostly by Niner defensive penalties (two which were very questionable).
The Offense went back to their identity which is to run the ball to set up the pass. They produced 112 yards running and 253 yards passing. The most telling Offensive statistic from last night was that Garoppolo threw only 5 passes in the 2nd half and all 5 passes were big plays. They totally controlled the game and clock with their run game. Jimmy G was 14/20 for those 253 yards with a passer rating of 145.8. Garoppolo looked comfortable in the pocket and his footwork was flawless. My favorite play of the night was the 61 yard TD pass to Kittle. He stared down Richie James who was running a shallow route on the left side. Also, Kendrick Bourne was running a deep route down the left sideline. This made the entire Packer defense flow to the left while Kittle ran a route that started left, then turned right and away from the Packer defense. He was open by 20 yards and only then did Jimmy G turn and threw a bullet to the wide open Kittle. Speaking of Kittle, we found out last night that a piece of bone broke off in his ankle 3 weeks ago vs the Cardinals on the same play that he injured his knee. Shanahan described his injury like a piece of bark falling off a tree. He also said that a normal human being would be out 6-8 weeks but said that Kittle is a different kind of animal. Btw, Jimmy G targeted Kittle 6 times last night and he caught all 6 passes for 121 yards including the 61 yard TD.
In regards to Garoppolo, he displayed his leadership last night. When their first three series didn’t produce (except for the first offensive play of the game), he gathered his troops and this is how Kittle described it:
“I think my favorite thing in the game was — I think it was after our third drive, we scored right away then had two three-and-outs that weren’t very good,” tight end George Kittle said after the game. “Jimmy got the whole offense together and was like, ‘Hey! You got to play with intensity. Our defense is playing their a–es off. We just got to take advantage of those opportunities they are giving us. Because Aaron Rodgers is one heck of Hall-of-Fame quarterback and we can’t give him the opportunity to come back and beat us. So that was really awesome then everything after that just kind of took off.”
Also, Richard Sherman addressed the Jimmy G critics:
“You hear some of the noise and things said about him, and it’s frustrating, because we see him every day,” Sherman said. “We see what kind of work ethic he puts in, the hours he puts in preparing — the first one in, the last one out. The guy looks for no credit. All he does is encourage his teammates and put more work in.
“And then you have people nit-picking. We run for 300 yards, and they’re like, ‘Well, he didn’t throw a lot.’ We ran for 300 yards! You know, then he throws for 400, and they’re like, ‘Well, I think he got out-played by Kyler Murray.’ And Kyler Murray barely had 100 yards passing [150 yards on 24-of-33 passing last week]. And you start to laugh at these things, but you’re like, the goalposts keep moving with him.
“And the one thing you can appreciate — and I’ve said this before — you can appreciate being good enough that people got to make excuses for why you’re good. He’s a good enough quarterback that people have to make excuses, they have to move the bar. …
“What else can the guy do? He’s helping his football team win football games, and he deserves a ton more credit for that.”
In his first 21 games, he is 18-3. The Niners lost all of their games last year after he tore his ACL. He is 232 for 337 passing during this period (68% completion) with a 101.64 QB rating. Much better than Rodgers’ first 21 games. Statistics don’t lie.
Bring on Lamar and the Ravens !!!