Green Bay Packers: 5 Stats to Know About the 49ers

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 11: Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers runs out of the tunnel prior to the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 11: Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers runs out of the tunnel prior to the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Here are five stats to know about the San Francisco 49ers before they take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game.

The Green Bay Packers and their fans are somewhat familiar with this year’s San Francisco 49ers given that they played them in Week 12 of the regular season. However, that was almost two months ago, things change – the Packers are a better team – and it never hurts to refamiliarize yourself with an upcoming opponent.

So before Sunday’s big game takes place, I present to you five stats to know about the San Francisco 49ers to help provide a better understanding of who this team is.

Red Zone & Turnovers

These two stats will always be listed because of how important they are in deciding football games. And they are two categories that the Green Bay Packers have been very good in this season. But on the flip side, given how dominant the Niners have been this season, they are surprisingly average in the red zone.

Through the regular season, their offense scored a touchdown on 53.3 percent of their red zone visits which ranked 21st. Defensively, they allowed touchdowns 60 percent of the time that their opponent was inside the 20. And that ranked 23rd. For some context, Green Bay ranks top-10 in both categories.

Meanwhile when it comes to turnovers, San Francisco’s turnover differential of +4 (the Packers were at +12) was the ninth most in the NFL. While they forced 27 takeaways which is two more than the Packers did, their offense gave away the ball more often as well. This includes an interception rate of 2.7 percent from Jimmy Garoppolo, the seventh highest in the NFL.

So while the Niners may have more matchups in their favor than Green Bay does, these are two areas that the Packers have been more effective this season.

Dominant in the trenches

When I think back to the Week 12 matchup, San Francisco’s dominance in the trenches is the first thing that comes to mind. And as you’d expect they’ve been very good there all season long.

Against Green Bay they would rush for nearly six yards per carry and overall in 2019, they totaled the second most rushing yards per game with 144.1. Although the Packers were able to put some pressure on Garoppolo early on, for the most part, he hasn’t been hit. The Niners offensive line has allowed 28 sacks this season, which is the fifth fewest in football.

Meanwhile, the defensive front just might be the best part of this Niners team and we saw that on display in Week 12. Rodgers was sacked five times and also fumbled. In total, San Francisco recorded 48 sacks this season which was the fifth most in the NFL. Their ability to pressure the quarterback has a positive trickle-down effect to the rest of the defense.

Pass defense

The 49ers pass defense was one of, if not the best in the NFL in 2019. They allowed a league low of 169.2 passing yards per game this season which includes just two games where their opponent threw for over 300 yards and six games where they had 105 passing yards or less.

Not to mention that they had the second best pass defense by DVOA as well. To put it simply, they’ve been incredibly dominant.

As I just mentioned, part of their success in the secondary is the pressure that the defensive front generates but they also have a very good group of players led by Richard Sherman. The Green Bay Packers have been inconsistent with the passing game for much of the season but had a nice performance against Seattle. Let’s hope that carries over to Sunday.

3rd Downs

Given how well-rounded and dominant the Niners have been for a majority of this season, it really is no surprise that they are a very good 3rd down team on both sides of the ball. During the regular season their offense converted 45 percent of their 3rd downs, good for the fifth best percentage in the NFL. On defense they allowed conversions just 32.3 percent of the time, which ranked as the second best.

For the Green Bay Packers they were very average in this category finishing 15th on defense and 23rd on offense during the regular season. The good news is that last week against Seattle they were excellent on both sides of the ball. The offense converted 9-14 and defense allowed the Seahawks to move the chains just three times in nine attempts.

A performance like that against the Niners will certainly go a long way towards helping them win the game on Sunday.

The Niners against RBs in passing game

As my final stat, I thought that this was an important one given how vital Aaron Jones has been to the Green Bay Packers passing game this season and the fact that the Niners have been incredibly effective at not allowing running backs to make much of an impact.

Everyone already knows how inconsistent the Green Bay passing attack has been this season and I’ve already discussed how good the 49ers’ pass defense has been as well, so just as we saw in their first meeting, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers wide receivers are likely in store for a very difficult game. And this is why having Jones as an option could be very helpful. Except the Niners may not let that happen.

This season, running backs in the passing game against the Niners are averaging 5.9 yards per catch, which ranks 31st. Their 24.4 yards per game through the air is 32nd, and their 4.12 receptions per game ranks 30th.

Next. 3 Reasons the Packers will Win the NFC Championship. dark

In their Week 12 matchup, Jones had no receptions and just one target. If the Green Bay Packers plan to get him the ball in the open field, Matt LaFleur will have to dial-up something different this time around.