The Thursday Night Football matchup between the favored Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers came off pretty much as expected until right at the end when the 49ers scored two meaningless touchdowns in the last five minutes of the game that broke some bettors, who thought they had the Under covered.  Week 9 in the NFL is now officially underway, and we have made it halfway through the season without any major problems.

The Packers Show The Niners Some Mercy

The 49ers scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes of the contest to drive the final score up to 34-17, which equals 51, making Over bettors winners and sending the guys who took the Under to the bar for a drink, or two.  However, the game had been 34-3 until that point, so it could just be that the Packers felt sorry for their opponents.

Nick Mullins, standing in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, can’t be blamed for scoring the late touchdowns.  It must have been a frustrating evening for the young QB, trying to keep up with Aaron Rodgers with a depleted roster, caused both by injuries and positive testing for COVID-19.  The Niners were down to using guys from the practice squad as “next man up.”

The game was never really in doubt, as the Packers marched down the field on their very first possession to score a touchdown.  Rodgers got things started after throwing a perfect 36-yard pass to Davante Adams for the wide receiver’s first, and only, TD of the evening.

Adams came down right on the out of bounds line in the end zone and an official review was called, which took a while to decipher but the touchdown was ruled good and it was 7-0 Green Bay right off the bat.

San Francisco Knew Trouble Was Coming

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said in his after game interview, “We knew it was going to be a challenge.  We knew at the start of the week, it was gonna be a challenge and then losing those three guys yesterday was obviously a bigger challenge.  I thought we could play better than we did tonight.”

The 49ers’ practice facility was closed down Wednesday after wide receiver Kendrick Bourne tested positive for COVID-19.  Then, the other wide outs, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, joined Bourne and left tackle Trent Williams on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.  It was bad news all around for the 49ers and coach Shanahan.

Of course, the big news from San Francisco in the injury department  was the ‘dynamic duo’ of quarter back Jimmy Garoppolo with one of those frustrating ankle injuries and his favorite target tight end George Kittle.  Both of these guys will be out for an extended period of time to heal up.

Backup quarterback Mullins put on a credible performance against stacked odds.  He passed for 291 yards, completing 22 of his 35 passes and scoring one touchdown.  However, he also had one unfortunate interception.  San Francisco running back Jerick McKinnon also delivered a touchdown for the Niners, rushing for 52 yards.

San Fran Never Develops

It became obvious in the early stages of the game that the depleted San Francisco defense was not going to be able to stop future Hall of Famer Rodgers and his potent offensive attack.  The QB threw for four touchdowns, racking up 305 yards and completing 21 of 35 passes.  He also had help from Aaron Jones being back in the lineup, as he rushed for 58 yards on 15 carries.

Although San Fran was down 21-3 at halftime, they never gave up, as witnessed by the two late touchdowns.  One bright spot for the 49ers was third-year receiver Richie James, whose nine receptions as a target 13 times resulted in 184 yards and one touchdown.  James had one nice catch for 47 yards in a losing effort against one of the best teams in the NFL.