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An overstatement? Yes, but the 49ers did handcuff Rodgers unlike any previous quarterback in Packers history.
How good were the 49ers? They sacked Rodgers five times. They allowed the Packers to run just four plays from beyond the 50 in the first half.
Green Bay beat Chicago 10-3 in the
opener, Rodgers declared: “We have a defense.” Perhaps, but the unit he
referred to is a far cry from what he encountered Sunday night.
The Packers have a defense that is willing.
San Francisco has one that
Rodgers completed 20 passes against the 49ers. The yardage he gained on his first 10 and first 20 completions illustrate how ineffective the Packers were when throwing the ball.
A completion to Davante Adams for 10 yards on
Green Bay’s second play
was Rodgers’ long of the opening two quarters. None of his other first-half connections (nine) went for more than seven yards.
Seven of Rodgers’ 20 first-half attempts were aimed at targets behind the line of scrimmage. Six of those resulted in completions for a combined gain of 20 yards.
Five of his passes traveled more than 15 yards downfield. All five were ruled incomplete.
That included a 30-plus yard heave to Jimmy Graham on third down. The big tight had the ball but lost it when he hit the turf.
“That looks like a catch to me,” Terry McAulay, NBC’s rules expert, said after the Packers had punted and the 49ers had run a play. “He (Graham) gets control and takes two steps and then takes a third step which is a football move. And once that third step comes down, that’s a catch.”
Alas, it was not to be. What could have been a 38-yard completion remained just that: a could-have-been.
Rodgers’ stat line at the break was 10 of 20 for 41 yards. You read that correctly: 10 completions; 41 yards.
Until Sunday, only two quarterbacks in team history had gained fewer than 50 yards on their first 10 completions in a game. Don Majkowski had 49 in a 23-20 loss to the Dolphins in 1989, and Brett Hundley had 49 in a 16-0 setback against the Vikings in 2017.
Rodgers’ previous low occurred in
Denver in 2015. He completed 10 of his first
16 passes for 50 yards as the Broncos romped 29-10.
Rodgers had a better showing in the second half in
San Francisco. He
completed 10 of 13 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Five of his second-half tosses brought first downs. Two – one to Jamaal Williams (15) and one to
(14) – resulted in gains of more than 10 yards.
Even so, Rodgers’ final accounting was unimpressive. He completed 20 of 33 passes for 104 yards.
Backup Tim Boyle directed
Green Bay’s final drive with four minutes, 58
Until Sunday, only one quarterback in team annals had gained fewer than 140 yards on his first 20 completions of a game. Brett Favre opened 20-of-30 for 136 yards as
rolled 17-3 in the 2005 opener.
Last season, Rodgers came close to that number. He gained 141 yards on his first 20 completions in a 20-17 loss to
Arizona in December.
Now the record belongs to Rodgers. And the 104 yards could have been far fewer.
The 49ers stats crew lists yards gained by a player after each catch. Rodgers was fortunate that his receivers often moved downfield after getting the ball.
Had they not, his 20 completions could have resulted in negative yardage.
According to the official play-by-play, the Packers generated 47 yards after the catch in the first half and 62 in the second. That’s 109 yards.
Had the 49ers stopped every receiver in his tracks after every catch, Rodgers’ 20 completions would have produced minus-5 yards. Had
San Francisco done that,
it truly would have been the greatest defense the Packers ever faced.
Aaron Rodgers has been sacked more often (439 times) than any other quarterback in Packers history. He moved ahead of Brett Favre (438) after he was dumped by safety Jaquiski Tartt and defensive lineman Arik Armstead on fourth down early in the fourth quarter.
Fewest yards produced by Packers quarterbacks on their first 10 and first 20 completions of a regular-season game.
Yards Quarterback Date Opponent Result
41 Aaron Rodgers Nov. 24, 2019 49ers GB lost, 8-37
49 Don Majkowski Oct. 22, 1989 Dolphins GB lost, 20-23
49 Brett Hundley Dec. 23, 2017 Vikings GB lost, 0-16
50 Jack Jacobs Nov. 14, 1948 Bears GB lost, 6-7
50 Aaron Rodgers Nov. 1, 2015 Broncos GB lost, 10-29
51 Aaron Rodgers Sept. 4, 2014 Seahawks GB lost, 16-36
52 Brett Favre Nov. 14, 1993 Saints GB won, 19-17
Yards Quarterback Date Opponent Result
104 Aaron Rodgers Nov. 24, 2019 49ers GB lost, 8-37
136 Brett Favre Sept. 11, 2005 Lions GB lost, 3-17
141 Aaron Rodgers Dec. 2, 2018 Cardinals GB lost, 17-20
144 Brett Favre Nov. 28, 1993 Buccaneers GB won, 13-10
146 Brett Favre Nov. 24, 1996 Rams GB won, 24-9
147 Aaron Rodgers Nov. 15, 2009 Cowboys GB won, 17-7
149 Bart Starr Nov. 27, 1966 Vikings GB won, 28-16
149 Don Majkowski Sept. 6, 1992 Vikings GB lost, 20-23