By: Joe Lami
SANTA CLARA, Calif.–For the third straight week, the San Francisco 49ers (1-3) added to their loss column. On Sunday, it was the undefeated Green Bay Packers (4-0) who put a notch in the “L” column in a 17-3 Green Bay victory.
Heading into the game, the 49ers were nine-point underdogs, a sum many thought way too low, especially with how Green Bay had been playing of late. Some consolation for Niners’ fans: Aaron Rodgers, the NFL leader in passing touchdowns heading into Sunday (10), was held to just one, although he finished the afternoon 22 of 32 for 224 yards.
His lone touchdown came one the opening drive on a beautiful play where he eluded three sack attempts before finding Richard Rodgers in the end zone for six. Rodgers was sacked three times, as the 49ers’ front seven looked a lot better than in recent weeks, as they were putting pressure on Rodgers for most of the game. Aaron Lynch came up with two of the sacks, as he finished the game with four total tackles with all of them coming for loss.
49ers’ head coach Jim Tomsula commented on the step up his team made defensively: “We felt like defensively, the guys took a step up. Running back Carlos Hyde added: “the defense played great, hats off to those guys.”
The 49ers stayed in the game until the third quarter, where the Packers added ten points to put the game away. Fullback John Kuhn added the second touchdown from one yard out, capping a 61-yard scoring drive to make it 14-3. Mason Crosby added a 31-yard field goal for the 17-3 score.
The offensive side of the ball was a nightmare for the 49ers, as they had trouble moving the ball. Colin Kaepernick ended the day 13 of 25 for 160 yards and one interception. Kaepernick was also the leading rusher for the Niners, with 57 yards on ten carries. Hyde had a nightmare day carrying the ball only eight times for 20 yards. Coming into the contest, he was the third leading rusher in the NFL with 262 yards through the first three games.
The San Francisco offense was only able to get the ball past the 50-yard line twice. The first time came in the second quarter and looked promising until the drive stalled, and the 49ers had to settle for a 33-yard field goal from Phil Dawson.
It is obvious that the problems lie are on the offensive side of the ball, an issue the 49ers acknowledge. “All areas of our offense can improve, and we have to come together as a group and fix it,” said fullback Bruce Miller. Tomsula added, “Offensively, obviously we got some things to iron out. We’ve got some problems that need to get fixed. That will start with me and the coaching staff”.
At the same time, the 49ers are becoming frustrated with their recent play. The frustration is starting to boil for Anquan Boldin, who said to the media after the game, “I don’t want to be rude, but I have nothing to say”.
When asked if the locker room is becoming fractured, Tomsula mentioned “We’re not a fractured team, but I think there’s a little bit of frustration in there.”