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Monday Night Football Preview: 49ers at Packers

MNF Week 6

Monday Night Football Preview: 49ers at Packers

Monday Night Football Preview

Packers -10 | Over/Under 46

Week 6 sees two of the most injury-plagued teams taking each other on in Monday Night Football. The injury report for Monday has that many names on it, they may as well just mention who actually will be playing.

The two foundation franchises have met 66 times in their history, including seven times in playoffs. Green Bay has won 35 of the encounters, San Francisco has been the victors on 30 occasions, with one tie that came back in 1965.

49ers at Packers

Packers -10 | Over/Under 46

San Francisco 49ers (1-4)

The 49ers were shaping up as one of the must-watch teams in football coming into 2018 earning them five primetime games, starting right here in Green Bay. The hype surrounding them came courtesy of Jimmy Garoppolo leading the side to five straight wins to close last season and a number of key additions to the squad, namely Jerick McKinnon and Richard Sherman.

But fast forward to week 6 and all of those names are planted firmly on the sidelines with injuries (although Sherman has been a full participant in training this week), causing the powers to be to reconsider the primetime slate. San Francisco’s next primetime game against the Rams has already been replaced by Cincinnati at Kansas City, which realistically, should be a more exciting battle at this point.

Why They Will Win

Matt BreidaSince losing Garoppolo, 49ers have ridden the running game hard, and to great success. Matt Breida and Alfred Morris are leading the offensive to 136.2 rushing yards per game, the fourth-best mark in the league. They’ve paired that with the seventh best rushing defense in the NFL, allowing 94.6 yards a week. The 49ers are also allowing just 3.7 yards per carry with a stout defensive front led by DeForest Buckner.

The Packers, on the other hand, are rushing for, and allowing, right around 100 yards a game. Both marks are ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack (pardon the pun) and all but cancel each other out. More importantly, the running comparisons fall in favor of San Fran in a big way and they will need to take full advantage of it in order to compete.

And Why They Won’t

The man replacing Jimmy GQ, C.J. Beathard, has one win in his NFL career, a 31-21 victory over the Giants last season. Other than that, he has been on the losing side all nine times he has taken the field. A large part of that has been due to turnovers.

San Fran comes into week 6 with a minus-eight turnover margin through five weeks of the season, beating Jacksonville for worst +/- by just one. All up they have 11 turnovers and five of those came against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. Of the five, four came from Beathard himself, bringing his career total to 15 – ten interceptions and five lost fumbles. Beathard needs to reign that in. Good thing he plays a defense who have just the one multiple turnover game this year.

Green Bay Packers (2-2-1)

No matter the opponent, Green Bay just can’t seem to get themselves headed in the right direction. The year was almost over before it began when Rodgers took a bad hit across his knee in week 1 against Chicago, but he returned to orchestrate an incredible comeback. Then there was the overtime tie with Minnesota following a game-tying touchdown to Adam Thielen with 30 seconds left. And there was a big win over the Bills sandwiched between disappointing losses to Washington and Detroit.

The story of their last loss was the uncharacteristic play of Mason Crosby. Crosby is one of the game’s best kickers but had a nightmare afternoon in Detroit, kicking one field goal from five shots and missing a point after attempt. Before that, he had missed only two kicks all season; an extra point in the Buffalo win and a potential game-winning field goal against Minnesota.

Why They Will Win

The Packers have all the offensive weapons needed to win games and compete as one of the NFC’s best teams. There are three solid running back options to suit all game scenarios. There is a gluttony of receiving options out wide and for the first time in Rodgers 14 year career, a quality tight end to take some of the pressure off. And there’s the man himself running the show. One of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

And truth be told, they desperately need the win. Coming back from 2-3-1 with games against Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit, the Rams and Patriots on the horizon will not be easy.

 

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And Why They Won’t

Davante AdamsGreen Bay cannot keep playing half games. In three games this year, the Packers have been completely unsighted before halftime. In week 1, they trailed the Bears 20-0 at halftime before that comeback I mentioned earlier. They won that game by a single point. Then there were the two losses. Green Bay trailed both Washington (28-10) and Detroit (24-0) before trying to claw their way back into the contests and falling short. Said wide receiver Davante Adams, “That’s not how you start games and expect to win, especially against a good opponent. We’ve got to start faster than that.”

Come to think of it, they have yet to put together a full 60-minute performance this year. Even in the win at Buffalo, they only had two field goals after the half. Something needs to be done to get this side to play on both sides of the break.

Key Match-Up:

The turnovers. It’s more of a stat than a matchup, but the turnovers are the key issue with both of these teams lately. San Fran is the worst in the NFL, but Green Bay is only slightly better with a minus-two margin, equal seventh worst.

Turnovers decided each teams game last week. The 49ers racked up 447 total yards and a franchise record 33 first downs, to the Cards 10, but still lost 28-18 at home after surrendering the ball five times. And the Packers totaled 521 yards, almost doubling the Lions 264 total. Yet they lost the game 31-23 thanks to three costly turnovers.

It may sound obvious, but whichever team holds onto the ball will win this one. Easier said than done for these guys though.

Prediction

It’s difficult to imagine that the Packers can drop this game, but I don’t think it will be as easy as current predictions would have it. Until the defense can make a stand, opposing teams shouldn’t fear the trip into Lambeau. Still, Aaron Rodgers should be enough to get the job done.

Final: Green Bay 30, San Francisco 24


Monday Night Football Betting Tips

The 49ers are 1-4 ATS this season, matching their win-loss record, but they are 4-2 against the spread over their last six road games. Green Bay is 3-2, which is even worse considering how good they’re supposed to be, and they’re 3-5 against the spread over the past eight games at Lambeau Field.

Total Points Over/Under

The over/under is set at 46 points for this contest, which seems to be a little bit low. Each team has a 4-1 record this season against the O/U. The Packers are scoring 23 points a game while allowing 22.8 points against. That includes the Bills donut from week 3. I’m usually not one to exclude a stat to make a point, but it’s not often a team will not score at all, so, in every other game Green Bay is allowing 28.5 points. The 49ers have higher marks on both ends, scoring 23.8 and allowing 29.2 points per game.

BEST BET:

49ers +10 (-115), Total Points Over 46

Prop Bet

Here are a couple of my favorite prop bets of the week.

  • First Scoring Play: Packers Field Goal (+250) – This is about Mason Crosby vs Mason Crosby. Can the kicker ignore the internal demons to bounce back from a horrendous outing? I think he can and will get an early chip shot to steady the nerves.
  • Player to Score a Touchdown: Aaron Rodgers – rushing (+450) – Rodgers is traditionally a mobile QB and can get into the endzone himself when the chance presents itself. He has 25 rushing scores across his career but has yet to find the promised land since injury stole his 2017 season. My feeling is that he’s due.

 

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