Pick-Six Preview: Packers at 49ers

Bill Huber

Green Bay Packers (8-2) at San Francisco 49ers (9-1)

The vitals: 7:20 p.m. Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

TV: NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya).

Series: The Packers lead 32-27-1 in regular-season action and 4-3 in the playoffs. Green Bay has won two straight.

The last time: On Oct. 15, 2018, the Packers won 33-30 at Lambeau Field on Mason Crosby’s 27-yard field goal on the final play. Aaron Rodgers threw for 425 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to Davante Adams.

The quarterback

Jimmy Garoppolo has a career record of 17-3 as a starter. He is the seventh quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win at least 17 of his first 20 starts. In some ways, he’s been very good. He ranks sixth in the league with a 68.8 percent completion rate and his red-zone passer rating is 100.5. On the other hand, only three quarterbacks have thrown more than Garoppolo’s 10 interceptions. For the most part, he’s a dink-and-dunk passer. The average length per pass of 6.6 yards ranks 31st of 33 qualifying passers.

His top weapon

With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, George Kittle is arguably the NFL’s best tight end as a superior receiver and blocker. Despite missing the last two games with ankle and knee injuries, Kittle leads the team with 46 receptions for 541 yards. In NFL history, only Hall of Famers Mike Ditka and Kellen Winslow reached 2,000 receiving yards faster than Kittle, who hit that milestone in 33 career games. Last season, Kittle’s 1,377 receiving yards were the most by any tight end in NFL history. This season, he’s fourth in the league among all players with 19 receptions that created first downs and second among tight ends with 281 yards after the catch.

Getting defensive

Last year, the 49ers set a dubious NFL record by intercepting just two passes. This season, the Niners are fourth with 11 interceptions. They’ve done it behind a superb pass rush – a rush that’s led by Nick Bosa. The No. 2 overall pick of this year’s draft, Bosa is second on the team with seven sacks and first on the team with 13 tackles for losses and 15 quarterback hits, according to the official league stats. According to Pro Football Focus, Bosa is No. 1 among edge defenders in ProFootballFocus.com’s pass-rushing productivity, a metric that measures sacks, hits and hurries per pass-rushing snap.


Noteworthy number

133.6: The 49ers have outgained their opponents by a league-leading 133.6 yards per game. Offensively, they are fifth in the league with 386.6 yards per game. Defensively, they are second in the league with 253.0 yards allowed per game. The Packers, on the other hand, are 22nd with a minus-28.7 differential in yards. That means, in totality, San Francisco has outgained Green Bay by 162.3 yards per game.

The big picture

Week 12 Capsules
Courtesy NFL Communications