So far this season, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers has passed for 1,948 yards, with 20 touchdowns and only two picks. In last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, he threw for 291 yards, picking up three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Despite his strong performance, the loss was painful, and the Packers will need to figure out what went wrong before they take the field in tonight’s NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Lots Of Big Names Will Sit Thursday Out
Part of the problem last week was that Vikings running back Dalvin Cook went into hyper-drive, scoring four touchdowns and rush for a grand total of 226 yards at Lambeau Field. He shredded the Green Bay run defense time and time again, and eventually put up more points than Rogers could muster, and the Vikings, against all odds, beat the Packers on their home field.
So now we have Green Bay taking on the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Niners country in Santa Clara, California as seven-point road favorites. The Packers are beat up and missing a bunch of guys, but they look pretty healthy up against the San Francisco injured reserve list for this game. That list begins with starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle.
But that’s just the start of the list. Add to that list defensive end Nick Bosa, defensive tackle Solomon Thomas, wide receivers Jalen Hurd and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, center Ben Garland, cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive end Dee Ford and running back Jeff Wilson.
The Packers Are Out For Revenge
But Aaron Rogers at least has had this game circled on his calendar, remembering the humiliating loss to the 49ers last year in the NFC Championship Game, which the Packers lost by a final score of 37-20. Rogers is going to be out for a little revenge tonight night, and he is 8-0 against the spread after a loss.
On the other side of the ball, backup quarterback Nick Mullins will be starting in place of the injured Garoppolo tonight. Mullins will be further handicapped by the absence of their All Star running back Raheem Mostert, who in his last meeting with the Packers in the NFC conference game rushed for 220 yards against the Green Bay D.
In place of Mostert, the 49ers will likely be using backups Jelick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty, who just happens to have one of the best names for a running back ever. However, even relegated to using backup running backs, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan will likely have on display the 49ers’ formidable rushing attack looking to poke some holes in the Packers’ leaky run defense.
Although the Packers wide receiver corps is beat up, Rogers still has three time Pro Bowler Davante Adams healthy and ready to go. Together, they make up one of the top ‘dynamic duos’ in the NFL. They have accounted for Adams now leading the league with 8.6 catches per game on 11.6 targets and seven receiving touchdowns.
Not A Huge Night For Bettors
Difficult as it may be for bettors to find value in a game loaded with backups and second stringers, there is always something there to work with. The Packers are obviously the favorites in the contest. However, a bettor would have to put up a whopping $323 to win a hundred bucks, and it’s hard to see the value there in a league where anything can happen.
The over and under is steady at 48.5; Aaron Rogers would have to put up most of that himself for the game to go over the mark. Not that he can’t do it, but it might be a little high, given the injuries on the Niners side.
Expect Green Bay to show up loose and ready for the game. After all, they have escaped the frozen tundra that is Lambeau Field for this week at least and are enjoying the sunny California weather while they can. The Packers are 5-2 ATS this season; look for that to go to 6-2 when they leave Santa Clara.