Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers: 5 matchups to watch

Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images /
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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /

4. Matt Breida vs Oren Burks

Another week and another quick pass-catching running back in the opposing team’s backfield. Running back Matt Breida has been dealing with some injuries, but he is questionable to play Monday evening. He has been one of the most effective and explosive running backs in the NFL this season, and the 49ers will need all the help they can get to jump-start the offense. If he plays, linebacker Oren Burks will have his hands full making sure that doesn’t happen.

The former safety converted to linebacker in college, and he is a perfect fit for the modern NFL. Linebackers need to be able to cover from sideline to sideline in both the passing and running game. Burks can do that, and he just needs more playing time to prove it. While 49ers running back Alfred Morris will get his touches, Breida will also, which is where Burks will be so critical for this defense.

There have been a couple instances this season where running backs have ripped off big chunks of yardage against the Packers. Burks has to make sure that Breida doesn’t have that happen this week. Another matchup for Burks to watch will be his ability to cover tight end George Kittle who has a good connection with Beathard. Burks is athletic and good in coverage, but this week he has to prove it.