Powered by four touchdowns from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and another huge night from wide receiver Davante Adams, the short-handed Green Bay Packers rolled to a 34-17 win against a beat-up San Francisco 49ers squad Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium.
Offense: Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams
You can’t have one without the other after Thursday night’s performance. Playing like the best quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league, Rodgers and Adams hooked up 10 times for 173 yards and a touchdown. Almost every time Rodgers threw the ball down the field he was hitting Adams in stride for a touchdown or a big gain. And when Rodgers needed a first down, Adams was his man. Four of his catches came on third or fourth down and all of them went for first downs.
Defense: Za’Darius Smith
Smith has been good in prime-time games and that was the case again Thursday. Working against a banged up 49ers offensive line, the outside linebacker spent much of the night in the backfield. That included in the third quarter when he came free and crushed San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens from the blind side. Not only did he jar the ball loose, he also recovered the fumble, Green Bay’s second forced turnover of the night.
In Case You Missed It
— Left tackle David Bakhtiari missed his third straight game with a chest injury, while cornerback Kevin King missed his fourth game in a row with a quad injury.
— The Packers were without three players due to NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. Running back AJ Dillon missed the game after testing positive for the virus, while running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were also held out because they were considered high-risk close contacts of Dillon.
— The 49ers were without a number of key players due to injuries and COVID-19, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight end George Kittle, Raheem Mostert and five of their top six wide receivers.
— Running back Aaron Jones made his return after missing the past two games with a calf injury. He finished with 79 total yards on 20 touches. Thirty-seven of those yards came on the first drive of the game.
— Running back Tyler Ervin was heavily involved in the game plan for the Packers. He caught a career-high tying four passes for 48 yards and added a career-best eight carries for 24 yards.
— Safety Raven Greene hauled in the first interception of his career in the second quarter.
— The Packers lost a number of players to injury throughout the game:
CB Jaire Alexander (concussion)
LB Krys Barnes (quad)
RT Rick Wagner (knee)
RB Dexter Williams (knee)
— Elgton Jenkins played three different positions along the offensive line. He started at left guard, moved to left tackle when Wagner got hurt and then finished off the game at center. Jenkins has now played four of the five line positions in a game this season.
Inside the Numbers
34 — That’s how many points the Packers scored. It was the most Green Bay had scored at San Francisco since 1959.
0 — That’s how many points the Packers had in the first half of their three games in California last season, including two against the 49ers. It was a different story this year as they racked up 21 by halftime.
8 — That’s how many games the Packers have played and also the number of times they’ve scored on their opening drive of a game after Rodgers found Adams for a 36-yard touchdown Thursday night. Green Bay is just the second team since 2000 to accomplish that.
24 — That’s how many touchdowns Rodgers has thrown for in the first eight games of the season, which ties his own franchise record set in 2011.
675 — That’s how many yards Adams has this year and it’s come in just six games. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he’s the first player since Randy Moss in 2007 to have at least 600 yards receiving and eight touchdowns in the first six games of a season.
2 — That’s how many receiving touchdowns Marquez Valdes-Scantling had. It’s the first multi-touchdown game for the third-year pro.
Green Bay (6-2) will welcome Jacksonville (1-6) to Lambeau Field on Nov. 15.