Packers v 49ers Preseason Predictions

Preseason games are pointless scrimmages that mean nothing.

Well, that is what some people think of preseason as. However, preseason games are vital for NFL teams to narrow down their large rosters all the way down to 53 men. Most players on the field give it their absolute all. For many players, preseason games are the determining factor of whether you make a roster spot or get cut. The stakes are high for borderline roster spot players, as one big mistake and you may be off the team. That being said, let’s take a dive into the Green Bay Packers’ preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

It is fair to say that Packers’ head coach Matt Lafleur does not care for winning preseason games. He has a preseason record of 2-5, and was 0-3 in the 2021 preseason where the Packers lost by an average of 15.6 points per game. However, it should be noted that Packers backup quarterback Jordan Love, who was expected to start most of the 2021 preseason, suffered a minor shoulder injury that would cause him to miss the rest of the preseason. We can expect to see a lot of Jordan Love tonight and throughout the preseason. The former 1st round pick is already entering his third season in the NFL, and this could be one of the Packers’ final chances to evaluate him before making a decision on his future with the team. The Packers’ receiving corps will be another thing to keep an eye on tonight. 2nd round pick Christian Watson from North Dakota State will not be active tonight, as he is still recovering from a minor injury suffered in OTAs. Some rookie receivers to keep an eye on tonight are 4th round pick Romeo Doubs of Nevada and 7th round pick Samori Toure of Nebraska. Romeo Doubs is pretty a much a lock to make the Packers’ 53 man roster, as he has been absolutely lights out at camp, receiving praises from Matt Lafleur and even none other than Aaron Rodgers. Doubs is a speedy deep threat who has been making contested catches with ease at camp. Samori Toure is also another guy to keep eyes on. Toure is not at all a lock to make the roster, but he is a blazing fast deep threat, similar to Doubs except for the fact that he’s smaller. Hopefully we get to see some deep passes from Jordan Love to either Doubs or Toure. I expect the main focus of the Packers’ game plan to be on offense rather than defense. Many of the defensive positions seem to be set in stone for the 53 man roster, however, it will be worth taking note of any cornerback who steps up, as the CB4 spot behind Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, and Eric Stokes is up for grabs.

Moving on to the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan is a much better preseason coach than Lafleur, but is still mediocre overall with a 8-7 preseason record and 2-1 record in the 2021 NFL preseason. Shanahan has stated that there will be starters playing some minutes in the preseason opener against Green Bay. This includes starting quarterback Trey Lance, who we could see a lot of tonight. While Matt Lafleur knows what he has in his veteran offense, Shanahan still has to get a feel of what his offense will be like with Lance at the helm. This is why Lance is expected to play a majority of the game, along with a few other starters as well. The runningback position is definitely something to watch for the 49ers as well. While Elijah Mitchell is pretty much confirmed to be the RB1, the RB2 position is up for grabs. The likes of Trey Sermon, Tyrion Davis-Price, and Jeff Wilson will be competing for this position, who are all talented players who just need to execute.

With all that being said, what is the prediction? Considering the fact that Shanahan is a better preseason coach than Lafleur, and furthermore considering that the 49ers will play starters while the Packers will play little to no starters, you may see where I am going with this prediction. I say the 49ers win comfortably in a rather low scoring game, 23-17.
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