Current Standing—the Packers find themselves tied for the 2nd best record in the NFC, however hold the tiebreaker over New Orleans (currently) with a better record vs. NFC opponents. Again, the 49ers have a daunting schedule coming up, beginning on Sunday Night vs. Green Bay. While you shouldn’t look ahead (fans can do whatever), you can bank on San Fran dropping at least another game or two- or 3- before the year finishes out. Winning this game would pit you vs. New Orleans and Minnesota for a 1 seed…and if you can’t beat Kirk Cousins in a Primetime game and are a good opponent, you’re not a real contender.
Preview—are the San Francisco 49ers for real? So far, they certainly seem so, however they can only play who they play, and have done a really nice job putting themselves in this position. It does seem that both teams could be considered playing with “House Money.” However, as a Packers fan this is an opportunity to win a Super Bowl without having to have a feeling of “luck” or “destiny” be tagged to them.
The rankings in the chart below are up-to-date prior to the kickoff from the Thu night game of Ind v. Hou. The Packers are the epitome of a “Bend but Don’t Break” team/defense, as the rankings suggest when compared to their 8-2 record. Adversely, San Francisco’s rankings fit their 9-1 record. When you look at strength of schedule played so far, the Packers have played the 9th toughest schedule vs. San Frank playing the 3rd easiest. I believe there’s something to be said for all of that. Does this mean the 49ers aren’t as good as their record? Probably, but it will be proven out come Sunday night.
|Team||Total Off (rank)||Pass Yds||Rush Yds||Pts||STs|
|GB||356.0 (17th)||253.9 (11th)||102.1 (18th)||25.0 (9th)||0.5% (14th)|
|SF||386.6 (5th)||237.6 (15th)||149.0 (2nd)||29.5 (2nd)||0.3% (16th)|
|Total Def (rank)||Pass Yds||Rush Yds||Pts||T/O|
|GB||384.7 (28th)||257.8 (23rd)||126.9 (25th)||20.5 (16th)||9 (T-2nd)|
|SF||253.0 (2nd)||142.5 (1st)||110.5 (20th)||15.5 (2nd)||5 (T-7th)|
The matchup I typically look at will be the OL vs. DL when both teams have the ball. The 9ers possess a solid DL headlined by rookie standout, Nick Bosa, brother of Joey Bosa who gave Bulaga all sorts of fits in the Packers’ 2nd loss of the season in Los Angeles.
Keep an eye on the line surge (if the line of scrimmage moves forward or backward, either way) and overall turnover battle. I thought the Packers would lose a close game for the last 2 weeks, but may have talked myself into picking them.