Things are not looking up for the last-place San Francisco 49ers. With a 1-4 record, the Niners head to Wisconsin for a Monday Night Football showdown against the 2-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who hardly found a groove heading into the middle of the season.
This week’s matchup looked great on paper before the season started — with a potential quarterback shootout brewing between Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Garoppolo. But when Jimmy G blew out his knee in Week 3, the Niners season went into a tailspin.
Now with backup QB CJ Beathard at the helm of the last-place Niners, he leads the team into battle at Lambeau Field, where the upside is that it’s only October and the Niners avoid the frozen tundra and severe wind chill of Green Bay later in the season.
San Francisco 49ers (1-4) at Green Bay Packers (2-2-1)
Kickoff: 8:15pm ET
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Point Spread: Packers -10
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be eager to get the Packers back to their winning ways after suffering a brutal 31-23 loss against the Detroit Lions last Sunday. Mason Crosby had the worst day of his career, missing 5 kicks including 4 field goals.
The Niners gifted the 0-4 Arizona Cardinals their first win of the season. Everyone expected an ugly game going in and the Niners did not disappoint. CJ Beathard set a career high in passing yards (349 yards) and completions, but was indirectly involved in four costly turnovers — two interceptions and two fumbles.
Sleepwalking in Wisconsin
Head coach Kyle Shanahan hopes that Niners� starting running back Matt Breida (ankle) will be ready to play. Without Breida, the Niners have zero chance against a solid defense (22.8 ppg).
With a healthy RB, this is an ideal spot for the Niners to upset a distracted team. In this non-divisional contest, the Packers are in a dangerous spot. Even though Niners have only one win, the Packers cannot overlook their opponent this week. Can you blame them for sleepwalking with upcoming road games against the Rams and Patriots?
Mason Crosby, Buckets of Rain
Kickers might not look like the biggest and strongest players on a pro football team, but they are among the mentally toughest players in all of professional sports. Mason Crosby can’t wait to get back into action and shake off the worst game of his career with 5 misses. Crosby missed a couple of relatively-easy kicks and left 13 points on the table.
Head coach Mike McCarthy isn’t worried about his veteran kicker. “You talk about hitting a bump in the hit, I mean he hit a boulder for god sakes. But he’s the same guy. He’s working at it, and you root for a guy like Mason because he exemplifies what a Green Bay Packer is. His work ethic and once again, he’ll rely on his instincts and don’t over evaluate, trust himself, trust the other two guys in the battery and he’ll be back to normal.”
Healthy Air Corps
The Packers might have their top-three WRs playing on MNF after two of them missed action last week. Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring, concussion) practiced in pads this week. Allison cleared concussion protocol.
In Week 5, Davante Adams and three rookies carried the load. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (68 yards) and Equanimeous St. Brown (89 yards) combined for 10 catches.
Red Zone Blues Again
Packers are 10th overall in yards, but they’re only 18th in points. The lack of red zone execution is the cause of concern. The Packers are tied for 19th in red zone TDs this season. Every time they fail to convert, that’s another 4 points they missed out on. Toss in Crosby’s erratic kicking and it could be another 7 points the Packers squandered.
Slow Start Pack
Packers were outscored 42-14 in the first quarter this season. The offense has been sluggish at the start of games, while the defense has been yielding too many points on opening drives.
Packers were down 24-0 at halftime against the Lions. You cannot assume your Hall of Fame QB will bring the fourth-quarter-comeback magic all the time, especially with Aaron Rodgers playing injured.
If the Packers want a playoff berth, then the entire team better set their alarms little earlier this week and be ready to rumble from the opening kickoff.