1. Run defense
The number one concern we’ve been discussing for well over a year is the Packers’ run defense. This was the case against the 49ers last year, and so far this season, little has improved.
Last week, Minnesota ran the ball 34 times and threw just 14 times. Green Bay knew what was coming but had no answer for the Vikings’ rushing attack, which put up 173 yards in total. Dalvin Cook had 163 of those yards on the ground while also scoring three rushing touchdowns.
Now, the 49ers don’t have a running back on the level of Cook. And Raheem Mostert, who was dominant in the NFC Championship Game last January, is on injured reserve. Tevin Coleman suffered a knee injury in last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
However, Kyle Shanahan’s plan will be to run the football and continue to run until the Packers prove they can stop it. Will this defense finally have the answers against Shanahan’s offense? That’s going to be key to this game.
With all the injuries, this might not be the same challenge as last January’s trip to Levi’s Stadium was. That said, the 49ers still have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. The Packers need to improve in all three areas to have a chance of winning. Make the same mistakes as their last game against the Vikings, and the result will likely be the same too.