Green Bay Packers v. 49ers: Predicting the Winner

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images /

Our staff at Dairyland Express gives their predictions for the big Sunday Night matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers.

This is a Sunday Night game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers that is going to have huge playoff implications as the winner will be the front-runner for the one seed in the tight NFC playoff race. And as we usually do, our staff here at Dairyland Express gives their predictions for the game.

Gage Bridgford: Packers 27, 49ers 21

This isn’t necessarily a must-win game for either team, but both teams would see their seasons get significantly more difficult with a loss. The Green Bay Packers are seeing their offense really start to click as of late, and I think the loss to the Los Angeles Chargers was a bit of a wake-up call for them. They’re also adjusting their travel schedule for this game after some players lacked focus in that loss. On the other side, the 49ers still lack that resume win, but this is a chance to get it.

Aaron Rodgers has been under duress a few times this year, but he’s maintaining some escapability. With two good defenses and good offenses, I think this game is going to be close, but I also think that it’s going to come down to the veteran leadership of each team. Green Bay is a more experienced team, and they’ve been dealing with tough opponents all season. I think it’s close, but the Packers are able to get another win on the road to take the conference lead.

Kenny Jilek: Packers 17, 49ers 16

This game will most likely be determined by which ever team can have the more effective pass rush and force more turnovers.  Both teams are going to play a similar style and this may sound simple, but the team that has the lower average yards to gain on third down will win this game.  Meaning, the run game on first and second down will dictate how this game plays out.

Both teams have potent defensive pass rushes that create havoc, especially on third-and-long situations.  This leads to either sacks or bad decisions that could cause interceptions.  Once again, the Packers defense will bend but not break, and will make critical stops in their own territory to give the offense a chance.  This game will rely on Aaron Jones to get the Packers to third-and-short or at least manageable situations, and the defense to force a few turnovers from Jimmy Garoppolo, who has thrown 10 interceptions this season, tied for fourth most in the NFL.

Matt Carroll: Packers 34, 49ers 31

It’s a good thing the Green Bay Packers are good and rested after their bye because week 12 brings their stiffest test of the season so far. The 49ers bring not only the top record in the NFC into Sunday night’s game at 9-1, but also the top passing defense in the league, giving up just a minuscule 142.5 passing yards per game. Air yards may be hard to come by, even for Aaron Rodgers, so continuing with a steady dose of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will be smart, since San Francisco places just 20th in the league in rushing defense.

On the other side of the ball, the 49ers feature the second best rushing attack in the league, which could be bad news for the Packers’ 25th-ranked rush defense. However, San Francisco’s leading rusher, Matt Breida, is listed as doubtful for the game, which means they may have to lean on Jimmy Garoppolo more than usual. Garoppolo has been serviceable this year, but also happens to have 10 interceptions which ties him for fourth most in the league.

Flexing this game to Sunday night was a good move by the NFL because I think this one comes down to the wire. It may just be a matter of who makes the big play down the stretch. If that’s the case, give me Rodgers over Garoppolo any day.

Paul Bretl: Packers 27, 49ers 23

A week ago I would have picked the 49ers to win but the more I dug into this matchup, the more I liked the Packers. Much like they did against Carolina, I expect the Packers to rely heavily on the run game, which will help negate the San Francisco pass-rush while opening up the pass game for Aaron Rodgers.

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The Packer offense will jump out to an early lead which will force the Niners to ditch the run game. As a result, Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith will be able to pin their ears back and take advantage of the 49er tackles, Justin Skule and Mike McGlinchey, which will ultimately put pressure of Jimmy Garoppolo and lead to a turnover or two.

In the end, the Niners are beat up and will likely be missing some key pieces while the Packers are very healthy and coming off a bye. The offense will take an early lead and the defense will force turnovers.