Thursday Night Football Preview: Week 9 – Packers @ 49ers

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (+6, 50)

Breakdown: If both teams were at full health I’d be looking at last year’s two games where the 49ers absolutely smashed the Packers, but 2019 feels like a whole different reality. The Niners are decimated by injury and will be without a handful of key pieces including Jimmy G, George Kittle, Tevin Coleman, Deebo Samuel, and now Kendrick Bourne due to COVID. So, it’ll be up to backup QB Nick Mullens along with Jerrick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty to try and win this game.

The Packers’ run defense looked like it was playing with only nine men on the field last week at home against the Vikings and, if there’s one thing the Niners can still do well it’s run the ball, so I expect them to attack Green Bay there. Despite getting run over by Dalvin Cook, the GB defense is mostly a middle of the pack group. Even with a solid run approach, there’s no guarantee Mullens can play well enough or even has enough weaponry to win this game.  

Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have been clicking since Adams’ return from injury and they might even get a few plays out of Aaron Jones in this matchup. Even with all their major injuries, the 49ers defense has still been a top-10 unit this season (4th vs the pass) and the Packers have struggled when their offense gets hit in the mouth. However, Green Bay probably doesn’t need more than a few scores to win this game.

For me, it comes down to mentality. At 4-4, SF isn’t completely out of playoff contention but they are severely hobbled and even traded Kwon Alexander after the injuries news coming out of the Seattle game. If they want to make a run, they have the defense to make this a competitive game. At 5-2, the Packers are still at the top of the NFC North. Losing back-to-back games doesn’t help their cause and they responded to their previous loss with a win. This game could go either way, but I have to favor the Pack getting the job done in primetime regardless. 

Pick: Packers

Vs Spread: Packers

Over/Under: Under 50

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