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Once again, the 49ers' ball control offense and great pass rush on defense stalled out what was an explosive Packers team.
Jimmy Garoppolo continues to defy what many believe is required to win playoff games in the modern era. His most impactful pass landed in the lap of a Packers defensive back, as it was underthrown and inside after he escaped pressure. Leaning on the run game kept Garroppolo in manageable third downs, which was key to keeping him away from the Packers’ edge rushers.
The weather conditions didn't allow Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel to turn on the jets toward the edge in the way that we’ve become accustomed to in Kyle Shanahan’s outside zone scheme. The two combined for 92 yards from 27 carries. Most importantly, the 49ers leaned on the tandem to get into field-goal range for the win.
|Player||Carries||Yards Per Carry||% of Yards After Contact||First Downs Gained|
Wide receivers/Tight ends
Samuel defies positional designation, gaining almost equal yardage through the air (44) as he did on the ground (39). His run after the catch on screens took advantage of Green Bay’s tight coverages downfield while he and George Kittle were reliable third-down options. Kittle’s 63 yards carried double the impact for a 49ers passing game that struggled to push the ball downfield.
The power and size of Green Bay’s pass rush crushed the pocket with regularity. Laken Tomlinson and Tom Compton combined to give up four sacks and eight pressures. The 49ers' offensive line, as a whole, allowed 11 pressures.
Nick Bosa, who suffered a concussion last week, strapped on a new helmet and got back to doing what he’s best at – tormenting tackles and quarterbacks. The edge rusher was the linchpin in San Francisco’s attack, logging six pressures and two sacks.
|Player||Pass Rush Snaps||Pressures||Sacks + Hits||Pass Rush Wins|
Fred Warner’s skill set was made to play against the Packers offense, as he combated the run with physicality and the pass with agility. Warner wrapped up a tackle for loss and another run stop despite that every Packers run scheme accounted for him. He allowed no yards from three targets in coverage.
The storyline coming into this divisional round matchup centered around whether San Francisco could hold up in coverage, especially with its struggles at cornerback. K’Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson allowed a combined 96 yards from eight receptions, but only two of those receptions gained 15 or more yards. Dropping into zone coverage and keeping the game in front of the sticks allowed the pass rush the time it needed to get home.
Aaron Rodgers was productive through the air to start Saturday’s action. As the game went on, the weather worsened and the 49ers' pass rush improved, the future Hall-of-Famer struggled to push the ball down the field. San Francisco’s zone coverage kept Green Bay’s passing game in front of the sticks and out of the end zone.
AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones seemed poised for a big game in the first half, especially through the air. San Francisco blew a coverage that led to the longest gain of the night, where Jones got behind the defensive backs for 75 yards. As a tandem, Jones and Dillon combined for less than 3.5 yards per rush.
Wide receivers/Tight ends
Davante Adams was the Packers' only non-running back to register multiple touches, reeling in nine receptions for 90 yards. San Francisco tried to roll coverage in his direction early in the game, but once its pass rush caught fire, Green Bay couldn't use Adams as a downfield threat.
|Players||Targets||Receptions||Receiving Yards||First Downs Gained|
|All Other Packers WR/TE||6||2||6||1|
Green Bay struggled to protect across the board, giving up 13 pressures as a unit. The news of David Bakhtiari missing the action was a bad omen for the five-man unit, and Green Bay’s pair of tackles allowed eight pressures to Nick Bosa and company.
Rashan Gary’s transition from three-technique in college to edge rusher in Green Bay continued to bear fruit for the Packers upfront, as he ran around and through San Francisco for five pressures and a pair of sacks.
|Player||Pass Rush Snaps||Pressures||Sacks + Hits|
De’Vondre Campbell was a key against San Francisco's relentless ground game Two of his six tackles against the run were defensive stops, and he wasn’t taken advantage of in coverage, allowing just one first down from four targets.
Adrian Amos recorded the game’s only interception, jumping underneath Garoppolo’s pass in front of the end zone. Aside from that, there wasn’t much action to be found on the perimeter when the 49ers had the football. Eric Stokes was targeted the most (four) and gave up the most yardage (42).