NFL Game Previews: 49ers-Packers Matchup
NFL Game Previews: 49ers-Packers Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

San Francisco (+9.5) at Green Bay, 46.5 o/u – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EDT

The Story: So much for a quick turnaround for the franchise under Kyle Shanahan. The Niners are now 1-4, and you can't blame it on Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending injury as C.J. Beathard has been at least adequate in his place. The problem is a defense which can't get off the field, giving up nearly 30 points a game and posting a dreadful 12:1 TD:INT to date, leading to a league-worst minus-8 turnover differential. Even the offense can only do so much when most of its sill players are banged up. The Packers' offense isn't much better, of course, as Aaron Rodgers had to lean heavily on a couple of rookie receivers last week with mixed, but mostly positive, results. Having a reliable running game would help take the pressure off the passing game in the short term, but the team's best runner, Aaron Jones, is also its worst blitz picker-upper, and Green Bay simply can't take too many chances with Rodgers. The QB looked pretty close to 100 percent last week in posting huge numbers against the Lions, in a game the Pack probably should have won if not for an epically terrible performance by Mason Crosby, but one awkward fall on Rodgers' injured knee and the Lambeau faithful can kiss any thought of a playoff run goodbye.

The Skinny:
SF injuries: RB Matt Breida (doubtful, ankle); TE George Kittle (questionable,

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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