Packers survived the game from hell in Week 3 vs. 49ers
By David Ruiz
To say the Green Bay Packers were tested both physically and mentally against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night is a massive understatement. Green Bay — during the Aaron Rodgers era — has not fared particularly well in San Francisco.
Whether it be when Colin Kaepernick was under center or Jimmy Garoppolo in the latest meetings, Levi’s Stadium has been a house of horrors for Green Bay.
And Sunday night showcased what Murphy’s Law could look like if played on the gridiron.
The Green Bay Packers do not get all the calls
Popular to contrary belief, Green Bay does not benefit from every game they play in regardless of the umpiring crew. Having said that, this won’t be the first nor last game where should-be-calls go un-called.
Late in the fourth quarter trying to protect a three-point lead, Rodgers targeted a streaking Davante Adams who was blatantly hit in the head by San Francisco defender Jimmie Ward. The hit was direct to the helmet of Adams who stayed lifeless down on the ground for a number of minutes following the Ward hit.
No flag was thrown.
With Green Bay nursing a three-point lead still late into the fourth quarter (The Heart Attack Quarter) — Jaire Alexander had a clear path to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Alexander got home on Garoppolo as he just released the ball and was flagged for roughing the passer.
Normally, when you think of roughing the passer, the quarterback got flattened or hit up high well after the ball was thrown. Neither appeared to be the case as Garoppolo was seen being merely pushed back from Alexander’s hit and not even touching the floor.
A few plays later, Adrian Amos was flagged for tripping. A call that gets a flag about 0.000001% of the time. However, a Garoppolo fumbled caused by Kenny Clark would right the ship on a promising Niners drive.
Defeating the demon
One of only two victories in Rodgers’ career in San Francisco prior to this one came in 2020 when they were severely undermanned due to injuries. However, Green Bay had rarely come close to sniffing a win in San Francisco in Rodgers’ starts over the years.
If you were going to write a movie about how Adams — who looked like he wouldn’t play another snap in this game — came back to help Green Bay win with less than a minute to get into Mason Crosby field goal range, then you’d have one hell of a movie to sell.
Rodgers is no stranger to epic, LATE, comeback wins throughout his career (just ask Dallas fans) and once again we asked how much time is too much time for Rodgers and Co.?
One consistent narrative Green Bay has faced when playing the Niners is getting their defense torched time and time again. George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Kyle Juszczyk all played a huge role in their final drive giving the Niners their only lead of the night.
But again: how much time is too much time for Rodgers?
Turns out that not covering Adams would lead to their downfall as Crosby hit a walk-off 51-yard field goal to get their second win of the season.
For all the drama the Green Bay organization went through in the offseason was nothing compared to a Sunday Night Football game against the Niners in Week 3.
That’s right. A Week 3 game that’s sure to have playoff implications of all varieties down the road had the Green and Yellow faithful having massive heart attacks with each passing second.
A huge win has to mean something moving forward
With all the offseason chatter of the will-he-won’t-he saga that is Rodgers, it’s hard not to think what the upcoming offseason will look like when we get there. But for now, a monumental win in San Francisco has to build all kinds of momentum.
This is a team missing their defensive leader in Za’Darius Smith, a game where Adams could’ve easily been lost for the season, and another game that got away late in the waning seconds.
But a Jaire Alexander interception, a Clark fumble, an epic fourth-quarter comeback on the road, these are all moments to build off.
Enjoy the ride no matter where it takes us because football on Sundays is an experience so few other sports give us.
The Packers are 2-1 and in first place in the NFC North. The season is still young and anything can and will happen. So, enjoy the victory in San Francisco, and hopefully, it gives Green Bay the fuel to finish the job this season after coming so painfully close two years in a row.