The Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers have a history of playing some absolutely epic games dating back to the 1990’s.
Rodgers went tit-for-tat with Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter. Once Jimmy GQ led San Francisco on a touchdown-scoring drive with 37 seconds remaining, this seemed to be over. That’s until Rodgers did his thing, connecting with Davante Adams on two huge passes to set up a game-winning field goal from Mason Crosby.
These are among the biggest winners and losers from the Green Bay Packers’ thrilling road win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night.
Winner: Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers
After dominating in last week’s win over the Detroit Lions, Adams was back up to his old tricks. Taking on an injury-plagued 49ers secondary, Adams caught 12-of-18 targets for 132 yards — continually abusing lesser cornerbacks in the process.
Following an ugly start to the season against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, the Rodgers to Adams connection has hit it off big time. That included the two coming up absolutely huge in the game-winning drive with two long completions to set up the game-winner from Crosby.
Loser: Deommodore Lenoir, cornerback, San Francisco 49ers
After starting each of the first two games of his NFL career, this rookie fifth-round pick was demoted to backup duties Week 3. Instead, the 49ers started veterans Josh Norman and Emmanuel Moseley. But with Norman injured in the first half, San Francisco was forced to bring Lenoir into the game.
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To say it didn’t go too swimmingly would be an understatement. Lenoir was called for a questionable pass interference penalty in the first half. He then completely lost track of where he was on the field in the fourth quarter, leading to an Aaron Rodgers 12-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. This gave Green Bay a two-score lead in the final stanza. Rookie hiccups are expected for cornerbacks. But Sunday night was not Lenoir’s best showing.
Winner: Green Bay Packers offensive line
Green Bay was down to its third-string left tackle with Yosuah Nijman facing the task of taking on Nick Bosa and Co. Sunday night. In what has to be considered a surprising turn of events, its pass protection held up big time against one of the top defensive lines in football.
In 34 drop backs, Rodgers was hit two times and sacked just once. Bosa himself had just one quarterback hit and zero sacks after dominating to the tune of three sacks in his first two games. Going into a hostile environment and holding up in this manner, it has to be seen as a major positive for Green Bay moving forward on the season.
Loser: Kyle Shanahan, head coach, San Francisco 49ers
We’re not 100% sure what the Super Bowl head coach was thinking late in this game. San Francisco had first down inside the Packers’ 25-yard line with about 78 seconds remaining. The 49ers had all three of their timeouts and just needed to score a touchdown to win the game.
Of course, Shanahan should have been thinking about clock management. Don’t leave Rodgers enough time to lead Green Bay down the field for a game-winning field goal. Instead, San Francisco seemingly rushed it. And while Jimmy Garoppolo hit Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk for the touchdown, the 49ers left too much time on the clock. As you know, it ended with a walk-off game-winning field goal from Mason Crosby. Shanahan needs to understand game situations better than this. It’s that simple.
Winner: Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
Garoppolo started Sunday night’s game about as inaccurate as we have seen him since San Francisco acquired the veteran quarterback midway through the 2017 season. It got so bad that 49ers fans inside Levi’s Stadium were booing him.
Well, Jimmy GQ stepped up as the game progressed and proved that he can make the big plays when it counts the most. That included a 75-yard touchdown-scoring drive in just over two minutes late in the fourth quarter. Garoppolo’s ability to recover from an ugly lost fumble on the previous drive was pretty darn awesome. It might not be enough for him to hold off rookie Trey Lance moving forward this season, but the veteran proved something Sunday evening.
Brutal. Pathetic. A disgrace. Whichever way you want to explain this away, officials on hand for Green Bay’s narrow win over San Francisco were atrocious Sunday night. That included multiple questionable pass interference calls and a missed intentional grounding on Garoppolo late in the second quarter.
However, the most egregious display came in the second half when 49ers safety Jimmie Ward clearly led with his helmet in hitting a defenseless Davante Adams. The star Packers wide receiver was temporarily unconscious before making his way back on to the field. The NFL is about protecting star players. These officials failed Sunday evening while playing a huge role in the outcome of the game. It’s a travesty.
Winner: Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Following Green Bay’s ugly Week 1 loss to New Orleans, there was some that believed Rodgers’ heart was not in the game. He didn’t want to play for the Packers again after an offseason of drama surrounding the reigning NFL MVP and his organization.
Rodgers has now proven those naysayers wrong two consecutive weeks. Including the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, the Hall of Fame quarterback completed 23-of-33 passes for 261 yards with two touchdowns against zero interceptions. Andy talk of Rodgers’ demise has obviously been greatly exaggerated.