The 49ers redeemed themselves as a legitimate NFL entity before a national audience Monday night in Green Bay, even though the game oozed away from them in the final four minutes.
Fans who enjoy good defense saw nothing much of it from either team, which is what the NFL seems to prefer these days. The 49ers had 400 yards of offense and the Packers 520.
In the end, it was once again self-inflicted mistakes that did in the locals. Two early fumbles by DJ Reed and Kyle Juszczyk. An interception of CJ Beathard in the final minute that gave Aaron Rodgers a final stab at winning the game in regulation. And then a defensive penalty on Dickhead Sherman which wiped out a third and plenty sack by Deforest Buckner that brought the Packers off life support and led to the game winning FG as time expired.
The loss kept the Niners in the basement of the NFC West, but gave them some reasonable hope of not remaining there as the season plays out. And Beathard’s performance, on the heels of his nightmare game against the Cardinals, might have salvaged his NFL career.
Part of his success was due to the running game, which piled up 174 yards between Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert and allowed the play action game to be viable. HC Kyle Shanahan usually seems to consider running the ball a somewhat pedestrian effort, but Monday night he gave it proper respect. Did he learn anything? We’ll see next week.
DC Robert Saleh had no such redemption. His group had yet another abysmal evening. Then again, there aren’t many DCs in the league who are enjoying much success this year. The Rams esteemed DC, Wade Phillips is getting torched every week, despite having a ferocious D-line. We’ll see these two square off next week in a game that will probably resemble the same kind of track meet we just saw in Green Bay.
In the meantime, hail to the losers. They did not embarrass themselves, or us, Monday night.