The 3-0 Packers look to strenghen their hold on the NFC when they meet the struggling 1-2 49ers. We look at the trends for this game & give an NFL pick on the total.
Green Bay Packers
Although the Packers are coming off of a short week and are on the road, they find themselves as an 8 to 9-point favorite in this game. With Green Bay scoring seemingly at will on Monday night against the Chiefs, the O/U total is touching 48.5 on the NFL odds board, even though San Francisco’s offense has little to be desired.
Most of the national media is focused on the fact that Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind right now. Virtually untouchable in the pocket, Rodgers is slinging the rock like his predecessor, Brett Favre, but with a lot more accuracy. Although the offensive line is dealing with the injury of Bryan Bulaga, they still have only giving up 3 sacks this year. Given the time, Rodgers can find whoever his receiver might be and is completing passes at a 73.6% clip. Interestingly enough, the Packers are basically in the middle of the pack this year for passing yards, but they are leading the league in the stat that matters most – touchdowns. Overall the Packers are 4th in the NFL in putting up 32 points per game.
San Francisco 49ers
Speaking of overall rankings, 49er fans don’t want to see their team’s right now. Their offense is ranked dead last in scoring 15 points per game. Their defense is ahead of only the Bears in giving up 31 points per game. The Bears don’t even count as an NFL team right now. I mentioned in a previous article on SBR that the 49ers had The Worst Offseason Ever, and now some of those new absences are starting to be felt. The Niners are dead last in all of the defensive categories though, they are in fact 27th in… gulp, passing yards allowed. Colin Kaepernick is being pressured on over 41% of his passes, so no wonder he is throwing interceptions left and right (and center). They are close to leading in that statistic as well.
I don’t know if I can predict the final score, but Aaron Rodgers will draw a defensive offsides and throw a bomb on the resulting free pass. He brutalized Seahawk defensive end, Michael Bennett, multiple times with the tactic in Week 2 and used it again with success in Week 3. Aaron Rodgers possibly has more passing yards on free plays than Colin Kaepernick does all season. Colin Kaepernick’s QB rating is 71.1 through the first three weeks of the season. Aaron Rodgers QB rating is 135.4. Aaron Rodgers is good. Colin Kaepernick is bad.
So, you can probably tell who I think will win this game and I think it is just a matter of time before the line gets a nasty handle on it for the Packer backers. The O/U is more interesting, as we have a dichotomy of statistical trends with the 49ers. Terrible on defense and terrible on offense, something has to give with San Francisco here. But more importantly, will the Packers take their foot off the pedal if they build a big lead? Since the Packers haven’t beaten San Francisco since 2010, my lean is no. I don’t think the Packer offense can operate in any other way than full tilt. You sell out to stop their passing game you get gashed for a seven yard run. And well, you don’t sell out to stop the run against Aaron Rodgers.
My real question is if San Francisco can score enough points to take this game over the listed total of 48. I don’t think they will need to score many with the way the Packers are going, so the threshold will be pretty low. I see a game that will end around 35-17 Packers, which will make the Over of 48 at Bovada a solid choice as one of your NFL Picks in Week 4.
NFL Pick: Packers & Niners OVER 48 (-110) at Bovada