Points at a premium for Packers
The Packers are scoring 23.0 points per game, which is tied for 18th in the league. A team that averaged 35 points per game in 2011 is looking for its first 30-point game of the season.
"It's definitely below (expectations), and we've kind of been stuck at that number," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of the 23-point mark, attained in last week's 31-23 loss at Detroit that sent the Packers to 2-2-1. "Scored 22, 24, way up to 29 in Week 2. Not quite the standard that we've set here over the years with the type of offense we think we can have and the type of offense we think we could have coming out of training camp."
This wasn't quite Rodgers' famous "relax" during the 2014 season, which ended with a trip to the NFC Championship, or his "run the table" proclamation in 2016, which also ended with a berth in the conference title game. But Rodgers spoke confidently that the offense would get rolling - potentially on Monday night against San Francisco.
"I told you guys Week 1 it's going to be a work in progress. I don't think we're far off," Rodgers said.
After piling up 521 yards at Detroit, a game in which they did not punt, and 423 in a 22-0 victory over Buffalo the week before, Green Bay is up to No. 10 in yards. It hasn't translated into points, though it scored all 23 points in the second half at Detroit.
"We can see the difference," receiver Davante Adams said. "We played pretty good football in the second half, so if we come out early playing the way we did in there with some juice and some fire and making some big plays, I feel like that will be able to kind of set the stage and set the tone for how we want to come out the whole game."
The consistency has been what's missing. Get better on third down (three games at less than 40 percent efficiency) and in the red zone (19th with a touchdown rate of 50.0 percent) and cut back on the penalties (10 offensive holding infractions are tied for the second-most in the league), and perhaps the Packers can start piling on the points once again.
"We are very close to getting things going," Rodgers said. "Like I said then and I'll say it again now, I feel like if we can get off to a better start on offense, it makes the entire squad play with a different type of confidence. We need to lead from the front as an offense and as a team and give our defense an opportunity to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback and make them a little more one-dimensional."
SERIES HISTORY: 60th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 31-27-1. The Packers won the last matchup, 17-3, at San Francisco in 2015. The 49ers won playoff games in 2012 and 2013, part of a four-game winning streak in the series.