Packers: Rematch with 49ers will show whether they are challengers

Green Bay Packers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Packers game at Levi’s Stadium will show whether they’ve taken a step forward.

Two games against the San Francisco 49ers last season proved one thing. The Green Bay Packers were a good team but they weren’t yet ready to compete with the great teams in the NFL.

San Francisco cruised to victory in each game against Green Bay, both of which were held at Levi’s Stadium, the same venue for the 2020 rematch in Week 9.

It will be in this game that we will see how far the Packers have come. Have they been able to close the gap to the top team in the NFC, or is it wider than ever?

This will be no easy game for the Packers, who will travel to the West Coast on a short week after hosting the Minnesota Vikings in a key divisional game just four days earlier.

Packers run defense will be put to the test

Raheem Mostert’s incredible numbers against Green Bay’s defense in the NFC Championship Game don’t need repeating. I can safely assume we’ve all read those stats approximately a million times since the game in January.

For Mike Pettine’s defense, it’s about stopping that happening again. In terms of personnel, the Packers haven’t (yet) made too many changes to the defense. Christian Kirksey replaces Blake Martinez, late-round Kamal Martin provides competition at linebacker, while Treyvon Hester is the only notable addition to the defensive line.

It will be on many of the same players to put in a better performance than in both contests at Levi’s Stadium in 2019.

If the Packers are to be serious contenders in the NFC this year and not pretenders, they’ll need to be able to compete with the 49ers. Even if they don’t win this game, they’ll need to show they are a better team than in 2019.

This will be a great opportunity to measure whether this Packers team has improved or, perhaps our biggest concern, they’ve got worse.