Ben Gretch's SNF Predictions and Picks: San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers
After garnering a 54% completion percentage, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions in Week 1, Aaron Rodgers rebounded to post an 81% completion percentage, four touchdowns, and no interceptions in Week 2.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers Preview
Sunday Night Football brings an intriguing matchup of two teams whose identities are not yet clear. The Packers’ defense has been underwhelming through two weeks thus far, while Aaron Rodgers and the offense have also started slow. The 49ers, meanwhile, have relied on Deebo Samuel, who has gained a whopping 38% of their yards from scrimmage but have yet to get George Kittle or Brandon Aiyuk going. With three significant running back injuries, they’re likely to be starting Week 1 inactive Trey Sermon and mixing in a pair of recent additions in Jacques Patrick and Kerryon Johnson, so it’s an open question where other production might come from.
The Packers did start to get things going last Monday night in their 35-17 win over the Lions, with Aaron Jones leading the way with four touchdowns. I’m not holding their blowout loss in Week 1 against them too significantly — it was a beatdown, to be sure, but the Saints also executed a difficult gameplan, dominating time of possession in the first half thanks to two 15-play drives and a third that spanned nine plays, and keeping Aaron Rodgers off the field. Rodgers threw two bad third-quarter interceptions, and the Packers were out of the game by the early part of the fourth.
But Week 2 wasn’t a resounding win over an inferior opponent, though Rodgers did rebound to look like his normal self in Week 2, posting a completion percentage north of 80% and throwing four touchdowns. Now they head to San Francisco on a short week. The 49ers are 2-0 and probably looked more convincing in their win over the Lions than the Packers did in theirs, though San Francisco let Detroit hang around by conceding an onside kick and turning the ball over late. In Week 2, the 49ers beat the Eagles 17-11 in a somewhat boring game where both teams were content running more than they passed.
We haven’t yet seen Jimmy Garoppolo have to play from behind in the second half this year, and that could change in Week 3 if Rodgers can get off to a fast start. Garoppolo has looked good thus far in 2021, but in the past has at times looked shaky, especially when he has to go get the game himself rather than play on schedule. This is a tough game to handicap, and it isn’t helped by the Packers being without starting tackle Elgton Jenkins, but I still think it should be more or less a pick ‘em. It’s not often in NFL betting you can back the better quarterback at plus odds, but Rodgers’ Week 1 performance is still carrying plenty of weight here. The value for me lies on the Packers on the moneyline.
- Packers moneyline (+150)