The Packers offense got back on track against the Carolina Panthers after an awful game against the Los Angeles Chargers the previous week. Rodgers didn’t throw a touchdown, but he didn’t have to.
Aaron Jones, who should be getting some attention in the MVP conversation, had another spectacular game. He scored three touchdowns, pushing his season total to 14 rushing and receiving touchdowns. When Jones isn’t in the game, defenses get to deal with Jamaal Williams, who is having a nice season as well.
Davante Adams is still looking for his first touchdown reception of the year, but he has 537 yards on 39 receptions, despite missing four games. Outside of Adams, there really hasn’t been one guy that Rodgers goes to. He spreads the wealth, hitting Marquez Valdes-Scantling on long balls and guys like Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard seem to make some big plays when needed, but a nice surprise is how tight end Jimmy Graham has come on. He’s made a few splash-plays in the past few games.
The offensive line remains solid. Bryan Bulaga has continued his strong season and rookie Elgton Jenkins has been phenomenal. I know offensive linemen don’t win Rookie of the Year awards, but Jenkins should be getting talked about. The line did struggle with the pass rush of the Chargers a few weeks ago, so facing the 49ers, who have Nick Bosa and more, could give them some troubles.
Like the Packers, the 49ers’ weakness in their offense is their receiver group. They traded for Emmanuel Sanders, but he got hurt against the Seahawks and exited their game last week against Arizona. While he’s been down, rookie Deebo Samuel has stepped up. In the past two games, he’s had 112 and 134 yards respectively. He did leave the last game with a shoulder injury but returned later. I’d expect to see him out there Sunday night.
Another big hole in this offense is the injury to tight end George Kittle. Kittle is having himself another nice year. He has 541 yards and a pair of touchdowns in eight games played. He’s missed the past two games with injuries to his left knee and ankle. He is questionable to play this weekend. If he has to miss this game, that would be a huge break for the Packers, considering what tight ends have been doing to Green Bay’s defense this year.
This San Francisco offensive line is similar to the Packers in terms of pass protection. They have a 5.9 percent adjusted sack rate, good for seventh in the league, according to Football Outsiders. They have given up just 19 sacks this season. In their loss to the Seahawks, Seattle got some pressure on Garoppolo and he made some bad passes. If the Packers’ pass rush can even cause some pressure, which they are more than capable of, then the defense could capitalize on some mistakes from Garoppolo.
These two offenses are very similar, but if the 49ers are missing some of their bigger players, I think the Packers will have a slight advantage going into the game Sunday night.