Jclombardi reviews and grades Packers win.
Summary: QB Rodgers threw two touchdowns and RB Grant ran for one touchdown helping the Packers beat the 49ers 30-24. With a good first half and an awful second half, the 3-4 defense had a mixed game getting 1 interception and 3 sacks.
Game Reviews: Packers defeat 49ers 30-24. Rants & Raves. Packers Earn Painful Victory. Quick Start Fuels Defense. Two hard hits for the defense. Woodson Blankets TE Davis But Then. Reloaded With All Weapons. Painful Second Half Sours Packers Big Win. Packers Notes: Finley, Jennings Return To Fore. Ground control: Packers run over 49ers. Breaking Down Tape.
It Was Over When: The Packers ran out the final 5:56 of the game thwarting a 49ers rally. The Packers held 23-3 halftime lead, but the 49ers scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to close the gap to 30-24. The Packers took over and never relinquished the ball.
Game Ball: 1. QB Rodgers 2. RB Grant 3. WR Jennings 4. S Collins.
1. RB Ryan Grant: He continues to run more patient and with better vision. He is no longer just running with a full head of steam into the line. He’s following and setting up his blocks and breaking tackles.
2. QB Rodgers: Overall, it was his best game. He managed it well and did a good job taking his check downs when giving the opportunity. Made some terrific throws, including a big one down the sideline to Jennings that was phenomenal.
3. Packers defensive line: Pickett (big early third-down stop), Jolly (two passes defended, quarterback hit), Jenkins (2 TFLs, sack) and Raji (first career sack) beat up a shaky offensive line and kept 49ers RB Gore to six carries and 17 yards after his big 42-yard romp.
Injury Report: 1. LB Kampman (torn ACL) 2. CB Harris (torn ACL) [both done for season].
1. CB Woodson: “Those are two staples of our defense. Not to have those guys is going to be tough going for this team. At this point, you celebrate the win. Tomorrow, we’ll see all of the ugly, especially the second half.”
2. Coach McCarthy: “I thought we played an extremely productive first half as a football team, in all three phases. The second half, they had some momentum swings, they had the big kickoff return, they hit a couple vertical routes on us. They were big plays in the game. I think it’s definitely something that we can build off of.”
3. T Tauscher: “I just think we did a nice job executing. When you’re lining up at the end of a game, and they know you’re going to run the football, and we know we’re going to run the football, that’s what football’s all about. And we were able to get it done today, and that’s a good feeling.”
Report Card Grades–Good, Bad, & Ugly: LA vs. SE.
Pass Offense—B+ vs. A-. Overall, QB Rodgers had a great day completing 32 of 45 passes for 344 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, no interceptions, and 108.0 passer rating. WR Jennings had 5 receptions for 126 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Jackson had 6 receptions for 65 yards. TE Finley had 7 big receptions for 54 yards. WR Driver had 5 receptions for 40. WR Jones had 4 receptions for 22. WR Nelson had 3 receptions for 21 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Grant had 2 receptions for 16 yards.
Rush Offense—A vs. A. The Packers had 32 rushes for 158 yards averaging 4.9 yards. RB Grant had 21 strong carries for 129 yards and 1 touchdown averaging an outstanding 6.1 yards. Although they allowed two big sacks, the offensive line had a very solid day in the trenches.
Pass Defense—B- vs. C-. Although they had a stellar first half holding the 49ers to 3 points, the second half saw a lackluster performance allowing the 49ers back into the game. QB Smith completed 16 of 33 passes for 227 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 key interception, and a 88.0 passer rating. TE Davis had 6 receptions for 108 yards. Caper’s 3-4 blitz schemes got 3 sacks in the first half. Yet, they failed to provide any sustained pressure in the second half with no sacks suffering the loss of LB Kampman and CB Harris. As a reviewer said:
In shotgun in catch-up mode, Smith exploited a combination of linebackers (specifically Hawk and Matthews) and DB Bush trying to cover TE Davis who had his way down the field with second-half catches of 32, 29 and 24 (touchdown) yards. Rookie WR Crabtree got away with a push-off of CB Harris on third-and-20 for a 38-yard grab in the end zone and beating NB Williams for a 35-yard catch.
S Collins had a stellar performance getting a key interception in the 3rd quarter leading to the game winning Packers touchdown.
Rush defense—A- vs B. The short-yardage defense had another stout game against the rush. In the first half, if you take away RB Gore’s 42 yard run, the 49ers had only 15 total yards. The 49ers had 10 carries for only 69 averaging 6.9 yards. RB Gore rushed 7 times for only 59 yards averaging 8.4 yards, but his first rush play totaled 42 of those yards.
Special teams—B vs B-. The coverage team had an up-and-down day. In a crucial kickoff, they allowed a big 76 yards return in the third quarter leading to a 49ers comeback touchdown. The return game had a decent game with 118 yards. KR Williams had a poor decision-making day fielding punts, but he had a 27 yards return. K Crosby boomed two touchbacks and 3 field goals. K Kapinos had 5 punts averaging 43.4 gross & 38.0 net with 2 punts inside 20.
Coaching—B vs. B. For the good news, the Packers had 26 first downs and 484 total yards using a short passing game and an effective running game. Yet, after a solid first half, the second half saw an awful regression in the offense and the defense. Also, the play calling had its awful moments, especially in the red zone with only 2 for 5 conversions. In 3rd down efficiency, they were a decent 10 for 18. Finally, they had 6 untimely penalties for 64 yards.
Overall Game—B. In a game of two halves, the Packers hang on to win the game. The Pack won a big home game against a determined opponent.
CBS Overall Game–B. Rodgers had a big game throwing it. Grant ran it well with 129 yards, but the defense folded in the second half and let the 49ers make a game of it. They have to put teams away in that situation.
Rodgers vs Favre series: week 11. “Silver Fox” Vikings 9-1. Packers 6-4.
Commentary: After a solid first half, the Packers got complacent scoring only one score due to a key S Collins interception. The Packers blew a big lead and had to hang on losing two starters on defense due to season-ending injuries.
Preview: The win puts the Packers to 6-4 tied with Giants and Eagles for fifth place for six NFC playoff spots. Next, a prime time Thanksgiving game against the lowly Lions.