Rodgers, Packers slip past 49ers 30-28

The Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Croby coverts a 51 yard field goal on the very last play of the game against the San Francisco 49ers for the win at Levi Stadium on Sunday Night Football on Sep 26, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif — Jimmy Garoppolo hooked up with fullback Kyle Juszczyk on a 12-yard touchdown pass that gave the 49ers a slim 28-27 lead with 37 seconds left, but that appeared to be too much time for Aaron Rodgers, who completed two deep passes to wide receiver Devante Adams setting up Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal on the final play of the game that gave the Packers a 30-28 win over San Francisco on Sunday night.

“My first thoughts in devising how I wanted to get us into field-goal range was how could I get the ball to 17,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers made that task look easy, connecting on passes of 25 and 17 yards to Adams that setup the game-winning score by Crosby. Adams finished the game with 12 catches for 132 yards.

Adams briefly left the game after taking a big hit from safety Jimmie Ward that looked like it would knock him out of the game.

Green Bay jumped out to a fast start, scoring on their first two possessions. On the Packers opening drive of the game, Rodgers completed a 42-yard pass to wide receiver Allen Lazard setting up a 54-yard field goal by Crosby.

Following a punt by San Francisco, Rodgers orchestrated a seven-play, 80-yard drive highlighted by a 47-yard completion to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling setting up a short touchdown pass to Adams. The score put Green Bay up, 10-0.

Rodgers started the game razor-sharp, completing 9-of-9 passing for 127 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter. For the game, Rodgers completed 23-of-33 passing for 261 yards and two touchdowns.

In his last two games, both wins, Rodgers has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions after throwing no touchdowns and two interceptions in Green Bay’s (2-1) 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.

Following an interception thrown by Garoppolo, who was looking for tight end George Kittle in double-coverage, the Packers added a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Aaron Jones putting Green Bay up 17-0 late in the first half.

The 49ers (2-1) avoided being shut out in the first half when they scored on the final play. After Garoppolo got away with an apparent intentional grounding that would have ended the half, rookie quarterback Trey Lance came in for his first snap since the season opener in Detroit. He ran the ball behind a massive block from left tackle Trent Williams for a 1-yard score that cut Green Bay’s lead to 17-7 at halftime.

For Garoppolo, it was the second-straight game that he had to shake off a slow start before the 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit. Garoppolo finished the game 25-of-40 passing for 257 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and one fumble lost. After only being sacked once in the first two games, Garoppolo was sacked four times by the Packers on Sunday night.

“There were some great individual efforts of guys just making unbelievable plays that got us in and gave us a chance to win that game,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “But some mistakes that we made throughout the game, you don’t win a lot of football doing that. That’s what we’ve got to clean up.”

In the third quarter, San Francisco cut Green Bay’s lead to 17-14 following a 13-play, 83-yard drive in 7:19 that was capped off by an 8-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Rodgers threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Valdes-Scantling that gave the Packers a 24-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.

San Francisco responded with a touchdown of their own, after rookie running back Trey Sermon plunged in from 1-yard trimming the Packers lead to 24-21.

Following an inexplicable throw to the ground behind him by Garoppolo after trying to avoid a sack by defensive tackle Kenny Clark, the Packers recovered the miscue setting up a 38-yard field goal by Crosby that made the score, 27-21 in favor of the Packers.

Shortly thereafter, Garoppolo responded with a touchdown drive but it wasn’t enough for the 49ers, who returned home after spending the first two weeks of the season back East. The loss at home in the team’s home opening game stings, seeing that it was the first time fans were inside Levi’s Stadium since Jan. 2020.

“There’s always too much time on the clock if there’s ever time on the clock, especially with Aaron Rodgers,” tight end George Kittle said. “I think we have a really good defense. I don’t really have any worries when our defense is out on the field. But it’s Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams over there. They did what they had to do to win.”

Kittle finished with seven catches for 92 yards.

The 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, while the Packers welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to Lambeau Field.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Hawkes: Garoppolo, 49ers knows lots riding on week 3 vs. Rogers and Packers

Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers quarterback is hoping to keep it going for a third win as they meet the visiting Green Bay Packers on Sun Sep 26, 2021 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara (West Hawaii Today file photo)

On the 49ers podcast with J Hawkes :

#1 Joe, The anticipated show coming to Levi Stadium on Sunday with the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers with Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers and the 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be a test and a show stopper on Sunday.

#2 Rogers whose the superior of the two quarterbacks going on Sunday was one that the Packers had lure back into the fold as Rogers was prepared to go shopping for a new team but Rogers out of dedication to the Packers organization signed on for another season.

#3 Rogers certainly too a lot of criticism after the Packers got crushed by the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome 38-3 during week 1. Rogers just was off missing receivers and the Saints line was in his face all day long.

#4 Last week the Packers won in week 2 against the Detroit Lions 35-17 and got to .500 at 1-1 Rogers under certain show much better improvement including getting more time to throw with a line going 22 for 27 with 255 yards and four touchdowns.

#5 For Jimmy G he’s led San Francisco with two wins in the first two wins of the season with a week 1 win over the Lions 41-33 and a six point win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the city of brotherly love Philadelphia 17-11 to go up 2-0. Garoppolo’s line against the Eagles 22-30 for 189 yards and a touchdown.

Join J Hawkes Sunday mornings for the 49ers podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Aaron Rodgers throws 4 TDs in Packers’ 34-17 crushing of the 49ers

The Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers (center) gets a huge congratulations from wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, bottom left, after throwing a second half touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football Nov 5th at Levis Stadium Santa Clara (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif — The Green Bay Packers came to Levi’s Stadium last season and were defeated handily, including a 17-point loss in the NFC Championship Game in January.

Things were totally different this time around, as the Packers came into an empty Levi’s Stadium and defeated the injury-plagued 49ers 34-17 Thursday night in front a nationally televised audience.

The loss drops San Francisco to 1-4 at home this season.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers dissected the 49ers, completing 26 of 31 passes for 305 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions with a passer rating of 147.2 in the game.

Rodgers put the Packers up 7-0 on their opening drive of the game with a beautiful 36-yard touchdown to wide receiver Davante Adams’ back-shoulder down the left sideline beating 49ers cornerback Emmaunel Moseley. The score capped off a six-play, 75-yard drive for the Packers, who are the only team this season to score on all of their opening possessions.

Adams finished with 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown.

Following a 22-yard Robbie Gould field goal to cut Green Bay’s lead to 7-3, Rodgers added his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard toss to a wide open Marcedes Lewis to push the Packers lead to 14-3 midway through the second quarter. The tight end was left uncovered in the end zone by a 49ers defense that had trouble applying pressure to Rodgers.

With the 49ers at midfield on the ensuing drive, quarterback Nick Mullens throws a terrible pass in the flat intended for running back Jerick McKinnon that was intercepted by safety Raven Black. Black’s interception would setup Rodgers’ third touchdown in the first half, a 52-yard bomb to a streaking Marquez Valdes-Scantling down the middle of the field putting the Packers up 21-3 shortly before halftime. Valdes-Scantling was able to race by safety Marcel Harris and Rodgers dropped the football in his lap.

In the second half Rodgers would pick up where he left off, connecting with Valdes-Scantling again on a 1-yard score to put the Packers ahead comfortably 28-3. It was Rodgers’ fourth score of the game and Valdes-Scantling’s second touchdown on the night.

Rodgers would retreat to the bench in the fourth quarter with the Packers comfortably ahead, 34-3 and replaced by rookie Jordan Love.

Running back Aaron Jones, who was questionable coming into to the game with a calf issue, rushed for 58 yards on 15 carries and hauled in five catches for 21 yards.

For Mullens and the 49ers (4-5): they got sledgehammered by a better team and quarterback tonight.

Green Bay took advantage of a depleted 49ers squad that was playing without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight end George Kittle, running back Raheem Mostert, wide receivers Deebo Samuel, rookie Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne, left tackle Trent Williams, cornerback Richard Sherman, and defensive ends Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas among others.

Mullens, who also lost a fumble, completed 22 of 35 for 291 yards and a touchdown in his first start for San Francisco since Week 4’s 25-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Aside from the two turnovers by Mullens, he connected with wide receiver Richie James for a 41-yard touchdown down the right sideline to make the score 34-10 with five minutes left in the game.

James took full advantage of the 49ers’ shortage of wide receivers, posting nine catches for 184 yards and a touchdown. It was the most yards for James in either of his first two seasons in the league (130 yards in 2018, 165 yards in 2019).

After allowing Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook to rumble for 163 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries, Green Bay held San Francisco to just 55 yards on the ground. McKinnon led the 49ers with 52 yards on 11 carries and a late touchdown.

Defensively for San Francisco, it was the second-straight week surrendering 30+ points and four touchdown passes in a game.

The NFL’s sixth-ranked defense allowed 405 yards of total offense to Rodgers and the Packers after allowing 350 yards to the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson in Week 8’s 37-27 loss.

And it doesn’t get any easier as they will face future Hall of Famer in Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans in Week 10 on Nov. 15.

Middle linebacker Fred Warner led the 49ers with a 13 tackles, while fellow linebacker Dre Greenlaw and safety Jaquiski Tartt finished with seven tackles each. Tartt left the game shortly before halftime with a foot injury. Although he was listed as questionable to return to the game, Tartt was ruled out in the third quarter.

Tartt was in his first game back after missing the last three games with a groin injury.

Packers and 49ers tangle for NFC title, trip to Super Bowl LIV

ninerswire.com file photo: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will match up against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers in the NFC Championship at Levis Stadium on Sun Jan 19

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

SANTA CLARA, Calif — For the second time this season, the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers will meet at Levi’s Stadium for a game. But this time, there’s much more at stake for both teams than just a win in the standings.

To the victor, the NFC Championship and a ticket to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida for a chance to play for the Vince Lombardi trophy against the winner between the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs from the AFC will be punched.

First class.

To the loser, the harsh reality that your season is over smacks you in face immediately.

Instead of basking in the glow of winning the NFC Championship, you’ll return to your team’s headquarters to clean out your locker room, hug your teammates (possibly for the last time as teams change rapidly in the NFL each year), and go your separate ways for the offseason.

The end.

In the first matchup back in Week 12, the Packers took a beating at the hands of the 49ers, losing 37-8 at Levi’s Stadium. The Packers weren’t just outplayed by the 49ers, but were embarrassed in front of a nationally televised audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played almost flawlessly in that game, throwing for 253 yards on 14-of-20 passes and two long touchdown passes (a 42-yard strike to rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel in the second quarter, and a 61-yard deep ball to tight end George Kittle).

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had one of his worst showings of his career, finishing with 20-of-33 passes for just 104 yards — setting a record for fewest passing yards by a quarterback with at least 20 completions. His 3.15 yards per attempt is the lowest of his career.

San Francisco sacked Rodgers five times that night. Linebacker Fred Warner was all over the field, registering a team-high 11 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble against the Packers on the game’s opening moments. Warner’s performance led him to be named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Don’t expect a replay of Week 12 in this matchup as both teams are playing a elite levels at the most important time of the year.

Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in the South Bay, which kicks off at 3:40 p.m. PT, will feature two teams that finished 13-3 in the regular season, won the NFC West and North Division titles respectively, and earned first-round byes to open up the playoffs as the top-two seeds.

Last Saturday, top-seeded San Francisco (14-3) opened up the divisional round by dismantling the Minnesota Vikings (11-7), 27-10, in dominating fashion. It was the 49ers’ first playoff win in six years.

The returns of defensive starters, Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander and Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco’s defense looked re-energized and ready for a big day, made life difficult for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, sacking him six times and limiting Minnesota’s offense to 147 yards on the day, the fewest in a playoff game in the Super Bowl era (1967).

“People keep disrespecting us. At the end of the day, all you can do is go out and execute,” said Richard Sherman, who registered his third career interception in the playoffs. “It felt good. That’s what we look like when we’re totally healthy.”

The 49ers stonewalled Dalvin Cook and the Vikings’ rushing attack, holding Minnesota to just 21 yards on 10 carries (9 carries for Cook, 1 carry for Alexander Mattison). Cook finished the game with 18 rushing yards on nine carries.

Offensively, the 49ers leaned on a punishing running game that ran right through Minnesota like Ex-Lax led by running back Tevin Coleman’s 105 rushing yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. As a team, the 49ers ran 47 running plays and gained 186 yards on the ground.

Garoppolo, who made his first career start in the playoffs, threw a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, and mostly watched his defense wreak havoc on Minnesota for most of the game. He finished 11-of-19 passing for 131 yards.

The second-seeded Packers (14-3) was able to outlast the Seattle Seahawks, 28-23, at Lambeau Field Sunday night that advanced Green Bay to their third NFC Championship Game in six seasons.

In that game, it was a vintage performance by Rodgers with his array of throws and spectacular completions throughout the game. Rodgers and wide receiver Davante were so locked in against the Seahawks, connecting eight times for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s one of those feelings that starts to creep up in warmups, when you really feel like you’re locked in,” Rodgers said, “and I was glad it translated to the field.”

Rodgers finished 16-of-27 passing for 243 yards in his 17th postseason start, has thrown 38 touchdowns passes in the playoffs. That’s good for fifth all-time per Elias Sports Bureau.

Running back Aaron Jones found the end zone twice, while rushing for 62 yards on 21 carries.

Green Bay’s defense sacked Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson five times on the night, two apiece by linebackers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith (no relation).

The 49ers and Packers have met in the playoffs seven times with the Packers holding a 4-3 advantage. The 49ers have won the last two playoff matchups.

 

Fresh off their bye week, the Raiders head to Lambeau Field for tough test from Green Bay

Photo credit: @Raiders By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

Following their bye week in Week 6, the Oakland Raiders return to the football field in Week 7 as they travel to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers. The Raiders (3-2) are riding a two-game winning streak after starting the season 1-2.

Kickoff for this matchup is at 10:00 a.m. PT.

This will be the third meeting for Oakland against an NFC North opponent this season, having splitting games against the Minnesota Vikings (lost) and the Chicago Bears (won).

As the Raiders continue their 49-day stretch from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Silver and Black will look to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Packers.

The last time the Raiders defeated the Packers: Sept. 13, 1987 when the franchise was still in Los Angeles. The Raiders defeated the Packers, 20-0, in Green Bay.

Prior to their Week 6 bye, the Raiders rallied past the Chicago Bears, 24-21, in Week 5 in London. The matchup between Chicago and Oakland was the NFL’s first game at the newly built Totteham Hotspur Stadium.

The Raiders started fast against the Bears, jumping out to a 17-0 lead before heading into halftime before Chicago scored 21 unanswered points. Late in the fourth quarter, Oakland would utilize a 13-play, 97-yard drive that would be punctuated by running back Josh Jacobs’ second rushing touchdown of the game.

Jacobs finished the game with 26 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while becoming the first running back in Raiders history to post a 100-yard rushing game against Chicago.

The running back leads all rookies rushers in carries (88), yards (430), and touchdowns (4). His 430 rushing yards are the most in franchise history by a running back through the team’s first five games.

The former Alabama Crimson Tide is the early favorite to win AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year and possibly, the NFL’s Rookie of the Year if he continues to have a great season.

Quarterback Derek Carr, who earned his 17th-career fourth quarter comeback, played remarkably against the Bears. Carr completed 78.1 percent of his passes (25-of-32) for 229 yards. His 73.3 completion rating leads the NFL, and is challenging Drew Brees’s all-time mark of 74.4 set last season.

On the season, Carr has thrown for 1,117 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions with a 96.7 passer rating.

More importantly, the offensive line kept Carr upright by not allowing a sack by Chicago’s defense for only the second time since 2017.

Former Raiders linebacker/defensive end Khalil Mack, who was traded to Chicago prior to the start of last season from Oakland, was a non factor. Mack’s biggest play of the game was when he recovered a fumble after Jacobs went the wrong way on a pitch in the third quarter that ignited Chicago’s comeback.

Oakland’s defense turned in a stellar performance, racking up four sacks and two interceptions for the first time since 2014.

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst had his first career multi-sack game and cornerback Gareon Conley and linebacker Nicholas Murrow each notched an interception off Bears backup quarterback, Chase Daniel.

Conley’s interception with 1:14 left in the fourth quarter would seal the win for the Silver and Black heading into their bye week.

Green Bay (5-1) is entering Week 7 coming off a 23-22 victory over their division rival, the Detroit Lions in the final seconds on Monday Night Football to close out Week 6.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 24-of-39 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Jamaal Williams chipped in with 14 carries for 104 yards.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will travel to the Lone Star State to face the Houston Texans in Week 8 for their fifth-straight game away from Oakland before returning home to close out their NFC North schedule against the Lions on Nov. 3.

The Packers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 9.

Raiders face Packers in rare home game in Winnipeg on Thursday night

Photo credit: @NFL

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

Two down. Two to go.

The Raiders have played two exhibition games and sport a 2-0 record as the team inches closer to the regular season home opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 9 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader.

Oakland will try to keep up its winning ways going as they will play host to the Green Bay Packers at IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on Thursday night in the third exhibition game for both teams.

Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. PDT.

Last week, Oakland went on the road and defeated the Arizona Cardinals 33-26. Oakland jumped out to 26-point before the Cardinals scored.

Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr made his first appearance of the exhibition season and looked in regular season form.

Carr led Oakland’s first-team offense to a touchdown on his only series of play, engineering a six-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 13-yard pass to wide receiver Ryan Grant. Carr went 2-of-2 for 40 yards on the drive before giving way to backup quarterback Mike Glennon.

In the battle for QB2, Glennon appears to have the inside track over Nathan Peterman.

On Glennon’s first drive of the game, he connected with wide receiver Rico Gafford for a 53-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 17-0 lead. Then on his next possession, Glennon threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Derek Carrier that pushed Oakland’s lead to 24-0 in the second quarter.

Glennon threw for 175 yards on 11-of-14 passes and two touchdowns against Arizona.

Peterman didn’t lead Oakland to any points, but did complete 8-of-8 passes for 41 yards.

Oakland’s offense registered 373 yards total and controlled the football for 35:43 of the game, compared to 24:17 for Arizona.

Its possible that Carr and the first-team offense could see the field on Thursday night, but anticipate players who are on the roster bubble that will get the majority of the playing time.

Oakland’s first-team defense turned up the heat on Arizona’s rookie quarterback Kyler Murray.

Murray, the No. 1 overall pick by the Cardinals in April’s NFL Draft, had no time to throw the football as defensive coordinator Paul Guenther sent the wolves after the young player for much of his appearance in the game.

Oakland recorded a safety on Murray after safety Lamarcus Joyner sacked the former Oklahoma quarterback in the end zone that pushed Oakland’s lead to 26-0.

Murray passed for just 12 yards on 3-of-8 passing.

Along with Joyner, linebacker Brandon Marshall and defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks each registered a sack in the game.

Linebacker Keisean Nixon led the team in tackles with five.

Green Bay (1-1) is coming off a 26-13 road loss to the Baltimore Ravens with starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers sitting out his second-straight exhibition season.

Backup quarterback DeShone Kizer started in Rodgers’ place, completed just 5-of-10 passes for 70 yards and three points on three drives. Fellow backup quarterback Tim Boyle actually fared better than Kizer in his showing.

Boyle completed 12-of-21 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown.

The second-year pro from the University of Kentucky led Green Bay on a seven-play, 84-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Darrius Shepherd that cut Baltimore’s lead to 20-13 in the third quarter before the Ravens added two fields goals from kicker Justin Tucker in the fourth quarter to put Baltimore up, 26-13, and the game out of reach.

After Thursday night’s game, the Raiders will wrap up the exhibition season in Seattle against the Seahawks on Aug. 29. It will mark the 14th-consecutive year that the two teams will conclude the exhibition season, with 10 in Seattle and four in Oakland.

The Packers will close out the exhibition season at home with Oakland’s biggest rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, coming into Lambeau Field.

Shanahan, 49ers Collapse Gives Rodgers, Packers Epic Comeback Win 33-30 on MNF

Photo credit: @CBSSportsHQ

By: Joe Lami

Absolutely gut-wrenching, the only words to explain the San Francisco 49ers’ toughest loss of the season, as a late heroic comeback from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers beats the 49ers 33-30 at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football.

“We had every opportunity to win and finish the game and didn’t get it done,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

He’s exactly right. The 49ers did have every chance to get it done in front of a nationwide audience. He called an electric first half of football, where the 49ers went into the break leading 24-20, despite coughing the ball up twice. 290 yards of offense, led by great outside running from both Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida.

The run set up the pass. C.J. Beathard had a near-perfect passer rating in the first half, including two deep strikes to Marquise Goodwin that went for scores of 67 yards and 30 yards, respectively. Goodwin’s 114 receiving yards in the first half were the most from a 49ers’ receiver in over five years.

Everything was set-up from discipline. The 49ers committed only one penalty in the first half for five yards. Things were looking good for the red and gold and appearing like they were about to steal one at Lambeau, and then the second half happened.

The 49ers were just unable to put this game away, despite a great second half from the defense. The front seven came alive for the first time all season, finishing with three sacks, seven QB hits, and seven tackles for loss.

The defense just didn’t get the help from the offense in the second half, as they were only able to muster up six points and were unable to move the ball in the fourth to put the game away when they still had a 30-23 lead.

The fourth could’ve gone as bad as possible for San Francisco. Terrible play calling and horrendous game management saw 27 yards of total offense in the fourth capped by three consecutive three-and-outs to close the game.

The 49ers could’ve gotten past the 27 yards of offense in the fourth, but decided to throw the ball instead of run the clock out and gave way too much time to one of the best passers in the history of the NFL.

Down by seven with 3:00 left, Rodgers went on a quick 1:05 five-play drive that found Devante Adams in the end-zone to tie things at 30, still giving San Francisco a shot.

Even better, a great return by Richie James capped by a personal foul penalty put the ball at San Francisco’s 47-yard line. San Francisco pushed the ball to the Green Bay 46-yard line and on 3rd and three, Shanahan called for a deep ball instead of a short pass to attempt to pick up the first down with three timeouts in his back pocket.

The deep ball was picked off, and once again, San Francisco put the ball into the hands of Rodgers at his own 10 with no timeouts.

The defense stood tall initially and even got a sack on third down from DeForest Buckner, but was taken away by their second penalty of the game, as Richard Sherman was whistled for illegal contact.

That was one mistake too many, as Rodgers torched the San Francisco defense, especially picking on Greg Mabin, who entered the game for an injured Jimmie Ward.

The 49ers’ defense was unable to protect the sidelines, allowing Green Bay to march down the field setting up a 27-yard Mason Crosby walk-off field goal.

The players sure don’t deserve this loss in their best performance of the season. Breida finished with 61 yards on 14 carries. Mostert had a tremendous bounce-back performance picking up 87 yards on 12 explosive carries. Goodwin caught four of five targets for 126 yards and two scores, while George Kittle caught four passes for 60 yards. Beathard finished the game 16-of-23 for 245, two scores, and a pick.

This one solely rests on the shoulders of Shanahan, who relived his epic Super Bowl collapse and once again showed his inability to protect a lead and close out a game.

The season can now go in two directions. The 49ers can build off an incredible game that saw one of the best quarterbacks of our generation comeback for an epic win or they can collapse in the abyss.

The 49ers’ road doesn’t get any easier, as they’ll host the undefeated Rams on Sunday at 1:25 pm PT on CBS.

Raiders look to slow down Rodgers, Packers

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

photo credit: sportsworldreport.com Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers

OAKLAND — At 6-7, the Raiders have a chance to reach the .500 mark this late in the season for the first time since finishing 8-8 in 2011 but it will be a tall order with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers visiting O.co Coliseum Sunday for Week 15.

Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. PDT with rain predicted for the forecast. This the first meeting between the two teams in Oakland since 2003, as each of the previous two match-ups occurred in Green Bay.

After a 1-4 stretch in November when the Packers found themselves behind the then first place Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, Green Bay (9-4) has won back-to-back games and have overtaken Minnesota, who have dropped back-to-back games in December.

If there is ever a game where fans can see two exceptional quarterbacks that are eerily similar in playing styles, then the battle between Chico’s own Rodgers and Fresno’s own Derek Carr is the game.

Both quarterbacks are tied for fourth in the NFL with 28 touchdown passes, while Carr has the advantage in passing yards (3,313 to 3,175), Rodgers has thrown four less interceptions (five to nine) than Carr.

Seven of Carr’s nine interceptions have come in the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter interceptions have been Carr’s Achilles’ heel this season.

Carr and the Raiders had -12 yards of total offense in the first half, but turned things around in the second half with two touchdown passes to lead Oakland to a shocking 15-12 victory in Denver last Sunday.

Carr completed just 12 of 29 passes for 135 yards. His 41.4 completion rating was his lowest for any game this season.

Oakland held a very good Broncos’ offense to just 34 yards rushing, and have held eight of their last 11 opponents under 100 yards rushing. Dissecting the Raiders’ run defense further, they have yielded an average of 55.7 yards rushing per game in the last three games.

Amari Cooper, Oakland’s talented rookie wide receiver who came into the game with a team leading 920 receiving yards, was held without a catch against Denver’s tough secondary. Cooper might be hitting the rookie wall this late in the season, has been dealing with a foot injury this week.

The real story from Oakland’s victory in Denver was the tremendous play from defensive end Khalil Mack.

After being quiet in the first half, Mack was a house on fire in the second half tormenting Denver’s maligned offensive line by recording five sacks, seven tackles (six solo) and a forced fumble while being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance. It was Mack’s third straight game with at least two sacks.

Mack, who leads the NFL with 14 sacks, is just two sacks away from Derrick Burgess’ franchise record of 16 sacks he set in 2006,  will have the Packers’ full attention Sunday.

Rodgers and Co. are coming off a 28-7 home victory over the down-trodden Dallas Cowboys in Week 15.

Green Bay’s signal caller completed 22 of 35 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns against Dallas. The two-time NFL MVP has his lowest completion percentage (61.2) and passer rating (97.5) since becoming the team’s full-time starter in 2008.

Rodgers is hoping that facing Oakland’s 28th ranked pass defense (271.5) will improve those numbers, but Rodgers must be aware that Oakland has gotten to the quarterback as the defense has recorded 19 sacks in the last five games.

Rodgers has been sacked 31 times this season, fourth-most in the NFC.

Sunday will also be the first time that current Raiders’ safety Charles Woodson and Packers’ wide receiver James Jones face their respected former teams.

Woodson, 39, was released by Green Bay in 2013, returned to Oakland and has found the fountain of youth.

The 18-year veteran who helped Green Bay win the Super Bowl in 2010, has played steady this season tied for third in the NFL with five interceptions and ranks first with four forced fumbles.

Jones, who was released by Oakland last year after leading the team with 73 catches and six touchdowns, is tied with tight end Richard Rodgers for the team lead with seven touchdown catches, and second on the team with 660 receiving yards behind fellow wide receiver Randall Cobb’s 737 yards.

Jones’s 18.9 yards per catch leads all NFL wide receivers with 30-plus catches.

 

 

 

 

 

The Silver and Black Readies for Green Bay

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — After splitting the first two preseason games against the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions, the Oakland Raiders will play their third and final NFC North opponent when they head to Green Bay to take on the Packers Friday night. Friday night’s encounter with the Packers will be a nationally televised game, airing on CBS with JimNantz and Phil Simms in the booth.

The Silver and Black are coming off a dramatic, 27-26, victory at home against the Lions last Friday night.

Matt McGloin engineered a 13-play, 68-yard drive that was punctuated by a 19-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Brice Butler with just 0:06 remaining. McGloin finished 7-of-15 for 114 yards passing after replacing Derek Carr midway through the fourth quarter, after Carr left the game with what was later diagnosed as a concussion and bruised ribs. Carr did play well before leaving the game, finishing 9-of-16 for 109 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown to tight end Jake Murphy in the third quarter.

Carr passed the standard concussion test as per protocol by the NFL, but won’t play in Friday’s game due to the linger pain in his ribs.

Oakland’s defense got off to a rough start early, finding themselves down 13-0 in the first quarter, but settled down as the game wore on.

One of the team’s key free agent acquisitions in the offseason, cornerback Terrell Brown was burned for a 28-yard touchdown by Detroit’s wide receiver Golden Tate (Detroit’s biggest offseason acquisition).

Linebackers Nick Roach and Khalil Mack each recorded a sack. Mack also finished with two tackles, and appeared more active on the field as he transitions to the speed of the NFL.

Green Bay went into St. Louis and imposed their will on the Rams, leaving the Edward James Dome with a commanding 21-7 victory Saturday night.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked nearly flawless win short work, running the no huddle offense to perfection. Rodgers went 11-of-13 for 128 yards passing, including a 3-yard score to wide receiver Randall Cobb.

Packers linebacker Brad Jones had four tackles, and rookie safety Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix finished with two tackles, and a sack.

The game can be seen locally on KPIX Channel 5, and heard on 98.5 KFOX with the voice of the Raiders, Greg Papa and two-time Super Bowl winning coach, Tom Flores with the call.

Both teams finish up the preseason next Thursday, when the Raiders host the Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks, and the Packers will face the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field.

49ers head to the Frozen Tundra for Wild Card round

By Gabe Schapiro

Playoff football is upon us, and for the San Francisco 49ers the quest for six begins in the not-so-friendly confines of the Frozen Tundra. They’ll be taking on the Green Bay Packers, this Sunday at 1:40pm, at the legendary Lambeau Field. On the final day of the regular season the Packers clinched the NFC North title with a win over the Chicago Bears. The 49ers head into the playoffs as the fifth seed, after winning a Wild Card spot.

In Green Bay, San Francisco will be taking on a team that has and continues to battle injuries, and went through several ups and downs this season. On the bright side for the 49ers, star linebacker Clay Matthews has already been ruled out for the contest. On the not-so-bright side for the 49ers, last weekend the Packers got back the face of their franchise, quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In addition, talented wideout Randall Cobb is also back and is already making an impact.

With Rodgers, Green Bay has a lethal offense. They lost tight end Jermichael Finley earlier this season, but are still loaded with weapons; namely Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and rookie of the year candidate, Eddie Lacy. Despite being without Rodgers for eight games, as a unit they still finished tied for eighth in the league in points scored. They were ranked sixth in passing yards, and in a new development, thanks in large part to Lacy, they ranked seventh in rushing.

Their big weakness is on defense. They’re missing multiple starters, and have been shaky much of the season. They gave up the ninth most points this season, the ninth most passing yards, and the eighth most rushing yards.

Finally, the last potential cause of concern for the 49ers, will be the harsh elements. As of this writing the expected high temperature this Sunday in Green Bay is a freezing -5. No, that’s not a typo. Add in wind chill, and the forecast is calling for Ice Bowl-esque numbers of -30 degrees or lower. It is expected to be one of the coldest games in NFL history.

The Packers are more accustomed to dealing with such frigid weather, but when you’re talking about record-breaking levels of cold, both teams will certainly be feeling the ill effects. I wouldn’t expect it to be a major factor to swing the odds in either direction.

With such bad conditions, look for the winner to be the squad who makes the least mistakes, and establishes the better running game. Thankfully for San Francisco, in the regular season they topped the Packers in both categories.

In addition, of late the 49ers have just had the Packers number. You can throw numbers and everything else out the window, that’s just been the trend. Back in Week 1, San Francisco came away with a 34-28 win over Green Bay. In last years divisional round, these foes faced off, and again the 49ers were victorious, 45-31. Colin Kaepernick has struggled at times this season, but you’d think he was the best QB on the planet if you were just looking at the last two times he faced off with the Packers.

The normal high-scoring affair expectations might need to be tempered because of the conditions. I would expect both sides to lean more heavily on their run game. And generally speaking, that plays in the favor of the 49ers. They have a strong run game, and a significantly better run defense.

With all of that said, anything can happen in the playoffs. Expect the cold, expect some snow, and expect the unexpected.