The San Francisco 49ers are entering the toughest stretch of the 2019 season which includes the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints. San Francisco’s upcoming slate of matchups have a combined record of 24-6. No team has ever faced three-straight regular season opponents with winning percentages of .800 or better this late in the season.
The two teams holding the top two spots in the NFC will face off in primetime as the 49ers host the Packers on “Sunday Night Football.” Just as important as this win is for the 49ers to remain atop of the NFC West, the same goes for the Packers in a game that could potentially hold divisional ramifications down the line. Here’s a preview of the Week 12 matchup.
Packers Passing Offense:
One of the most recognizable and decorated quarterbacks of the common era, Aaron Rodgers has played an integral role in the Packers 8-2 record. Rodgers has completed 225 passes for 2,718 yards and 17 touchdowns to just two interceptions through 10 games. In his 15th year in the NFL, Rodgers ranks in the top 10 in the league in yards, yards per attempt, passer rating and interception percentage. With the fourth-best pass blocking rate in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, Rodgers and Co. own the 11th-best passing offense in the league, averaging 253.9 yards per game.
Meanwhile, San Francisco enters Sunday night with a league-best passing defense, allowing an average of 142.5 yards per game. San Francisco’s stacked defensive line is tied for a league-leading 39 sacks this season. The 49ers are the only team in the NFL with four players with five or more sacks.
The success of San Francisco’s defensive line has played in the favor of the 49ers secondary. The 49ers have registered 22 takeaways this season (third best in the league), 11 of which came by the way of interceptions.
“Just a really solid defense,” Rodgers said. “They’re obviously very stout up front. They’ve had a number of sacks, which is obviously helping not only their overall yardage but the back end, as well, because the back end knows the ball’s got to come out at a certain time. There are not any holes on this defense. It’s solid from the front seven to the back end. They’re playing really well together. It’s going to be a really good test for us.”
Packers Rushing Offense:
Green Bay hosts a pair of running backs that could be relied on heavily against San Francisco’s struggling run defense. A one-two punch in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams has put up 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns on 260 total touches this season.
Jones has registered 589 yards on the ground on 135 carries to go along with 354 receiving yards on 35 receptions. The third-year back is tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns (11) and total touchdowns (14). Meanwhile, their No. 2 back, Williams, leads the Packers with five receiving touchdowns while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
If there’s a soft spot in the 49ers defense, it would come by the way of the run. San Francisco’s defense ranks 20th in rushing yards allowed per game (110.5) and 25th in yards allowed per carry (4.7). In San Francisco’s last four games, the 49ers have given up 141.3 rushing yards per game and 5.59 yards per carry.