• 50°

Packers pound undermanned 49ers 34-17

By JOSH DUBOW

AP Pro Football Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers barely recognized this version of the San Francisco 49ers from the team that dominated Green Bay twice last season. But that doesn’t mean he was going to let up one bit.

Rodgers threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers overwhelmed the undermanned 49ers 34-17 on Thursday night.

“It was a different game,” Rodgers said. “They’re obviously depleted on both sides of the ball. They’ve had probably one of the worst injury years I’ve seen in a long time, so it’s not the same football team we saw twice last year, but they still have possibly the best middle linebacker in the game and a lot of pride. We went out and executed the way we expected to.”

Rodgers connected on deep shots to Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and a short toss to Marcedes Lewis in the first half to get the Packers (6-2) out to a 21-3 lead over the Niners (4-5).

It was quite a reversal from the two meetings last season when San Francisco outscored Green Bay by a combined 50-0 in the first halves on the way to lopsided wins in the regular season and NFC title game.

The rematch looked nothing like those games in part because the Niners were missing almost all their key pieces from the game because of injuries and a positive coronavirus test for receiver Kendrick Bourne that also sidelined three of his teammates for “high risk” contacts.

That left San Francisco without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), All-Pro tight end George Kittle (foot), NFC title game star running back Raheem Mostert (ankle), receivers Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and Brandon Aiyuk (COVID-19 list), left tackle Trent Williams (COVID-19 list) and key defenders Nick Bosa (knee), Dee Ford (back) and Richard Sherman (calf).

“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We knew at the start of the week it would be a challenge. Losing those three guys yesterday would be a bigger challenge. I still thought we could have a game. … I know we could have done better.”
Rodgers and the Packers, who were missing three players on the COVID-19 list, took advantage of the opportunity.

Rodgers capped the opening drive with a 36-yard shot to Adams, who made an acrobatic catch over Emmanuel Moseley in the end zone for his league-leading eighth TD reception of the season.

Nick Mullens had an apparent TD throw to River Cracraft wiped out on replay for San Francisco and then threw an interception to Raven Greene after backup left tackle Justin Skule got beat for a pressure from Preston Smith.

That mistake led to Rodgers’ 1-yard throw to Lewis and the Packers took control when Valdes-Scantling got behind the defense for the 52-yard catch late in the first half.

Rodgers added a second TD pass to Valdes-Scantling and the rout was on.
Adams finished with 10 catches for 173 yards, making him the first Packers player with three 150-yard receiving games since Donald Driver in 2006.

“I like getting the ball to 17,” Rodgers said about Adams. “He’s a special player. It started with the first drive. It didn’t look like from my vantage point he got in, but I could tell after the replay it was a good catch. He’s so talented. He does so many things for us. Easy guy to throw the ball to.”

FAST STARTERS

Rodgers’ TD pass to Adams gave the Packers an opening drive score for the eighth straight game to open the season. The only other team to do that since 2000 was New England in 2007. The Patriots streak stopped after eight games. The Packers have four TDs and four field goals on opening drives for a league-best 40 points.

JONES’ STATUS

Packers star running back Aaron Jones returned after missing two games with a calf injury. He made an immediate impact, touching the ball on the first four plays to gain 37 yards. He finished with 15 carries for 58 yards, along with five catches for 21 yards.

BIG DAY

The lone bright spot for the 49ers was the performance of receiver Richie James Jr., who had nine catches for 184 yards and a TD. James entered the game with 295 yards receiving in 32 career games.

DEPLETED ROSTER

The run of injuries and coronavirus rules left the 49ers with a shell of a roster, especially on offense. They became the first team since the 1970 merger to play a game without its starting QB and six of its top seven players in yards from scrimmage, outside of the 1987 replacement player games.

INJURY REPORT

Packers: CB Jaire Alexander (concussion), T Rick Wagner (knee), LB Krys Barnes (calf) and RB Dexter Williams (knee) all left the game and didn’t return.
49ers: CB K’Waun Williams (ankle) and S Jaquiski Tartt (toe) left the game and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Packers: Host Jacksonville on Nov. 15.
49ers: Visit New Orleans on Nov. 15.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Comments

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures