Monday Night Preview: Can the Packers Rebound Against the 49ers?
With both teams disappointing to start the season, each will look for a statement win on Monday night. With that said, here a few matchups likely to influence the outcome of tonight's game.
Looking at the Packers, Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 1,572 yards, 10 touchdowns, and only 1 interception this season. While these stats look great in the box score, Rodgers hasn't quite played up to his previous standards. Based on our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, Rodgers' 0.11 Passing NEP per drop back ranks 14th among 25 quarterbacks to drop back at least 140 times. To his credit, Rodgers has battled lower body injuries all season, but he will look to build on his early season success against the Niners.
On the other side, C.J. Beathard has filled in following Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending ACL injury. In two games as the starter, Beathard has passed for 647 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. Like his box score indicates, Beathard looks mediocre based on our metrics. Beathard's -0.04 Passing NEP per drop back would rank 23rd if he had attempted enough passes to qualify among the group above.
Running Back Breakdown
On the Packers side, Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and Ty Montgomery make up a three-man committee. Since Jones returned from his two-game suspension, none of these backs have eclipsed 43 percent of the snaps or 12 touches in a game. Jones provides the Packers a distinct advantage with a Rushing NEP per carry of 0.27. In comparison, Williams and Montgomery have Rushing NEP per carries of -0.11 and 0.00 respectively. The Packers would be wise to increase Jones' snaps going forward.
For the 49ers, Matt Breida looks like a game-time decision. If Breida can't go, Alfred Morris and Kyle Juszczyk will handle the bulk of the work. Morris currently leads the team in carries (68), Juszczyk leads the team in snaps, and Breida leads the team in rushing (369). Juszczyk only has one carry this season and plays primarily in the passing game. On the ground, Breida's Rushing NEP per carry of 0.25 bests Morris' -0.07. However, with Breida nursing an ankle injury, the 49ers may be forced to rely on Morris for early down work.
Based on our schedule-adjusted metrics, the 49ers rank 20th in overall defense, with the Packers slotting in just behind at 21st.
On the Niners side, their defense ranks 18th against the run but 11th against the pass.
The Packers have shown similar vulnerabilities, ranking 22nd against the run and 17th against the pass.
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