San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how he would use the Week 12 showdown against the Green Bay Packers from the standpoint of preparing for the NFC Championship game on Sunday, which said:
“Yes, we know it will be different. That game escaped them early and that is definitely not the team we will see this week. Everyone knows how good Green Bay is, how good their coaching staff is, how good their players are, how good your quarterback is. I don’t think they’ve lost a game since then. I think that game really has no relevance to what will happen this Sunday. “
That game was a bloodbath and a bigger butt kick than the Minnesota Vikings received in the playoffs. The game got out of hand early when Fred Warner fired Aaron Rodgers in the initial possession, and that became a useless recovery for Nick Bosa. The 49ers scored the next play and never look back. The Packers did not cross the center of the field until 8:47 in the third quarter. It could be said that it was the most complete game that San Francisco played in the whole season.
On Monday, Shanahan was asked what the teaching point is this week, knowing that you can take an opponent for granted after facing him a couple of months later. He said:
“Don’t be so stupid. That’s not real. This is about Sunday’s game. I could give a thousand stories of things like that, parts and many games in my story that I’ve been a part of. I remember losing to Carolina 37-0 when they were 13-0 and we had to play them two weeks later, then we beat them in Atlanta and they ended up being 15-1 that year. There are so many stories like that and this is the NFL. The game never matters like this before. There are four teams left and they are four very, very good teams. It will be a difficult game for all of us. Besides, our players, the kind of players they are, the way they have been all year, I don’t care about that. They’ll have to answer that question, I’m sure , a lot, but I don’t think it’s a concern for our players, which means it won’t be for me. “
There are so many examples of this. In the playoffs of the 2010 division round, the Jets defeated the Patriots after losing two months earlier to New England 45-3. You can probably get dozens of examples like this.
The 49ers agreed well last week, and we saw how that game turned out, and it’s another favorable confrontation against Green Bay. That said, let’s take a look at the mistakes the Packers made, and yes, the Niners played a hand in this. The question is, how sustainable was the performance at week 12? Will San Francisco prevent Rodgers and that offensive from crossing the field by another half?
The score of the box is laughable. Rodgers threw the ball 33 times for 104 yards and took five catches without Dee Ford playing a snap. Aaron Jones is one of the five best runners in football, in my opinion, and averaged 2.9 yards per carry. Devante Adams is a top 10 catcher, and was limited to 43 yards. The defense took everything. It was like the level of dominance of the Monstars in Space Jam. San Francisco has been off third time throughout the season, but Green Bay went 1-15 for money losses. Thinking about who has the offense, go 2-18 in third and fourth descents, an average of 2.8 yards per play, and it wasn’t as if they were turning the ball to the left and right. That ball loose in Rodgers’ first possession was the only change for Green Bay.
From Shanahan’s “don’t be stupid” message, to Richard Sherman feeling he doesn’t receive credit, the 49ers’ leaders are trying their best to make sure the team is mentally prepared for it. There will be no disappointments like those against Atlanta. Green Bay will be better because it is difficult to play worse than them. That does not mean they are ready for the Niners.