Aaron Rodgers aired out one beauty of a rainbow down the near sideline to Davantae Adams for a 36 yard touchdown on the opening drive, and the Green Bay Packers never even considered letting up off the gas the rest of the way. The Packers strolled into Santa Clara against a wounded San Francisco 49ers team and didn’t even allow them to gain a pulse on Thursday night en route to a 34-17 victory.
I get it, believe me I do. No George Kittle, no Jimmy Garoppolo, no Deebo Samuel, no Trent Williams. The list goes on and on. Am I to fault Green Bay for that? I’ll admit, up 31-3 with approximately 12 minutes left and Rodgers throwing a damn dot to Adams for a pick up of 34 yards; slightly unnecessary but hilarious. I don’t think we can hold them hostage for those decisions to continue to gash the 49ers defense even with a commanding lead.
This is a Packers squad that was outscored 74-28 in two matchups against San Francisco last year, including the NFC Championship. A defense that allowed 285 rushing yards in that NFC title match. I understand the 49ers were missing a ton of players, I also recognize it’s still the 49ers jersey being put on. Let us fans of the green and gold soak up the spotlight for tonight and be incredibly irritating to everyone else.
One thing that will be SUPER annoying, as expected, is those that immediately put on the beer goggles and buy into this Packers defense after the performance tonight. We’ve done this dance before cheesehead nation, don’t take the bait again. The Packers do this weird thing (and have for years now) where they’ll get demolished and gashed opponents one week and the sky appears to be falling on the defensive side. Then, they’ll swiftly bounce back and a lot of us (hand up I’ve fallen into this trap so many times) believe all is back on the right track. It’s not.
There was still little to no edge contain on multiple toss plays ran by the 49ers tonight. There were still mind-boggling three-man rushes at a couple different junctures where it didn’t make sense. So no, I’m not going to sink into trying to convince myself all is well with the defense.
I find a place of peace and tranquility when watching this offense fire on all cylinders. It helps level out when my blood pressure soars watching the defense. For one night, Marquez Valdes-Scantling stepped up in the No. 2 wide receiver role. And yes, I am 100% opting to ignore the dropped 3rd and 4 pass on the first play of the second quarter to kill a drive completely. Again, the offense lowers my blood pressure and again, they did not disappoint tonight. It was Rodgers 6th game (out of 8) with 3-plus touchdown passes this season. It was Rodgers 6th game eclipsing 275-plus yards and his 7th (out of 8) without throwing an interception.
Poetry in motion, some would say.
The question is slowly molding into (tell me if you’ve heard this before Packers fans): Do I think this offense is good enough to carry in the postseason if the defense lays an egg? Perhaps. Russell Wilson has been bailing out a horrible Seattle Seahawks defense all season and mediocre offensive lines for years. It’s why I said the other day, getting Will Fuller sure would’ve helped Green Bay. But it’s not worth the 8-game rental to give up the second round pick for one big reason.
Aaron Rodgers is the key.
That sounds obvious, almost as though I’m insulting you, the reader for having said it. Let me add on. Davantae Adams is one of the best wide receivers in football. He missed two games earlier this year and in those games the Packers scored 37 and 30 points, respectively. Aaron Jones has quietly become one of the best two way backs in the league. He returned tonight after missing two games.
In those two contests, the Packers scored 35 and 22. Plug in whoever you want, it rides and dies with the right arm of No. 12. I’m very much looking forward to a January playoff game where the Packers defense collapses, and we are left watching to see if Rodgers can make enough plays. Can’t wait.