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FFL: Offseason | NFL: Championship

49ers start 3-game gauntlet with 37-8 win over Packers

Sun Nov 24 11:38pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Brett Hundley, Tevin Coleman, George Kittle, Aaron Jones, Matt Breida, Deebo Samuel, Chase McLaughlin, Kyler Murray

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) scores against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) celebrates after scoring against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks with head coach Matt LaFleur, right, during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, center, and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead, bottom, during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, right, is congratulated by tight end George Kittle after scoring against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs toward the end zone to score against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead, center, is congratulated by defensive end Nick Bosa, left, after sacking Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo threw two long touchdown passes and the San Francisco harassed Aaron Rodgers all night, leading the 49ers to a 37-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Garoppolo connected on a 42-yard touchdown strike to Deebo Samuel in the second quarter and a 61-yarder to George Kittle in the third to get San Francisco (10-1) off to a resounding start to a grueling three-game stretch.

Following the game against the first-place Packers (8-3), the Niners will travel to Baltimore (8-2) and New Orleans (9-2) the next two weeks in a stretch that will go a long way to determining whether San Francisco will be able to hold off Seattle (9-2) in a tight NFC West race.

Rodgers lost a fumble on the opening drive one of the five sacks he took and failed to convert a single third down on 13 tries before getting pulled late in the fourth quarter. He finished 20 for 33 for 104 yards and Green Bay averaged an anemic 1.7 yards per pass play when he was in the game.

After allowing 78 points the past three weeks in two games against Arizona's Kyler Murray and one against Seattle's Russell Wilson, the Niners' defense was back to its dominant form.

San Francisco allowed 198 yards on 70 plays, didn't allow a single completion longer than 15 yards and got a key stop against Aaron Jones on a fourth-and-1 run in the first half when the outcome was still in doubt.

Garoppolo then put it away with the two long touchdowns, part of a day when he went 14 for 20 for 253 yards and most importantly committed no turnovers.

He was helped by the return of Kittle, who had six catches for 129 yards in his first game back after missing the past two contests with injuries to his knee and ankle.

PULLING AWAY

The 49ers broke it open late in the first half after forcing the Packers to punt following the two-minute warning. Garoppolo threw a 42-yard TD pass to Samuel to cap a three-play drive that made it 20-0. The Niners then forced a three-and-out and took over at their 48 with 24 seconds left. Garoppolo completed a 22-yard pass to Kittle that set up Chase McLaughlin's 48-yard field goal.

ROUGH START

The Packers got into an early hole when Fred Warner sacked Rodgers on the opening drive, forcing a fumble that Nick Bosa recovered at the 2. It was the first opening-drive turnover for Green Bay since the 2017 season finale when Brett Hundley threw an interception against Detroit. The last time it happened with Rodgers at quarterback came in the 2017 opener when he threw an interception against Seattle.

Tevin Coleman ran it in on the next play, marking the second time this season San Francisco scored on its first play. Matt Breida scored on an 83-yard run last month against Cleveland. The Niners were the first team since the 2013 Raiders to score twice on the opening play in a single season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

INJURIES

Packers: RT Bryan Bulaga left in the first quarter with a knee injury.

49ers: G Mike Person left in the fourth quarter with a stinger.

UP NEXT

Packers: At New York Giants on Sunday.

49ers: At Baltimore on Sunday.

Player Notes
Tyreek Hill Jan 18 5:00pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had an incredible performance against the Tennessee Titans during their Week 10 matchup. He caught 11 of his 19 targets for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Tennessee. He'll get another chance to run over the same team in the AFC Championship matchup on Sunday. Hill hasn't been able to get over 100 yards receiving in a single game since that matchup. DFS players know that Hill has a chance to be a complete bust, but the fact he destroyed Tennessee the first time is hard to ignore. Hill has given DFS players a lot to think about before Sunday's kickoff.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Jan 18 4:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is coming off a three touchdown performance against the Houston Texans last week. He hauled in 10 receptions for 134 yards and three touchdowns in the Divisional Round victory. The Tennessee Titans main focus has to be slowing down Kelce. They allowed seven receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown to Kelce earlier in the season. Kelce isn't going to be cheap for DFS contests, but he's proven all season long that he's worth the risk.

From RotoBaller

Sammy Watkins Jan 18 4:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been tough to watch all season long. He started off the year with a three touchdown performance, but it was downhill after that. Watkins was only targeted more than five times in a game once over the last five games. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have taken over the passing attack in Kansas City. Watkins was able to haul in five receptions for 39 yards during his regular season matchup against the Titans. DFS players shouldn't expect a better performance out of Watkins this time around.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 18 4:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is set to battle with the Tennessee Titans for the AFC Championship on Sunday. Mahomes is coming off a five touchdown performance against the Houston Texans last week. He's already faced off against the Titans once this season and Mahomes didn't disappoint. He threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns in that game. DFS players should be able to lean on Mahomes to at least be efficient on Sunday. He has a solid chance of being the best quarterback out of the bunch in the division title games.

From RotoBaller

Damien Williams Jan 18 4:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams is coming off a three touchdown performance against the Houston Texans last week. He rushed 12 times for 47 yards and caught two passes for 21 yards through the air. LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson have been absent from the backfield lately. The Chiefs have been leaning on Williams and it's been paying off. He's been able to find the end zone when he's called upon and piled up 109 yards against the Titans earlier in the season. Fantasy owners are aware that Williams has been up and down this season, but he's red-hot right now. He'll be used in both the rushing and passing attack, so DFS players should give Williams a long look for Sunday's slate.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Jan 18 2:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has the confidence of former 49ers QB and Hall of Famer Steve Young. 'When they've asked him to raise up and go win it, he did it,' Young said. 'Those are hard things to do. That just doesn't happen. When you see it in the NFL and someone is able to do it, you go, once you've done it, you can do it again. You can keep doing it.'

Fantasy Spin: Jimmy G wasn't a fantasy factor with his 11-of-19, 131-yards, one-TD, one-interception game in the divisional-round playoff win over the Vikings, but that's largely due to the Niners' overwhelming success on the ground (47 rushes-186 yards). When Garoppolo has been forced to pass, he's delivered the majority of the time, and his fantasy numbers Sunday likely will depend on how much the opposing Packers are able to get done against the San Fran defense.

From TheHuddle

Raheem Mostert Jan 18 1:23pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert is the only player since special-teams tackles were first tracked in 2001 to lead his team in rushing yards and special-teams tackles in the same season.

Fantasy Spin: While Mostert is a breakout talent who led the Niners in rushing in each of their last six regular-season games, keep in mind that it was Tevin Coleman who led the squad in rushing attempts (22), yards (105) and touchdown runs (2) in the divisional-round playoff win over the Vikings as Mostert (12-58-0) battled a calf cramp which he said was an after affect of an illness he dealt with the week leading up to the game. In the meantime, it's a plus matchup Sunday against a Packers defense which allowed the ninth-most rushing yards (120.1) per game during the regular season.

From TheHuddle

Derrick Henry Jan 18 1:13pm ET

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry has rushed for 377 yards on 64 carries in two wins this postseason, but Kansas City Chiefs DE Frank Clark says he isn't intimidated heading into the AFC Championship matchup with the Titans on Sunday, Jan. 19. 'He's not hard to hit,' Clark was quoted as saying on NFL Network. 'He's just a big guy -- 240, 245, 250 (pounds). Honestly he should be running harder at his weight and size. I don't see no difficulty in tackling him. ... He's just easy to me up front because I don't look at any running back like they can't be tackled. He's not one of the best guys at breaking tackles to me, honestly.'

Fantasy Spin: Henry is on a truly historic run -- with only Terrell Davis owning more 150-yard postseason games (four) than Henry's three -- and it will be challenge for Clark and the K.C. D, which ranked in the bottom fourth of the league in allowing 128.2 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry, to slow down -- let alone shut down -- Henry and the run-first Titans.

From TheHuddle

Odell Beckham Jr. Jan 18 12:43pm ET

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. likely won't face simple-assault charges for slapping a security officer's buttocks Monday, Jan. 13, as the officer has declined to press charges, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: The Browns -- and OBJ's fantasy dynasty-league owners -- are hoping this the final negative offseason headline the wideout generates for a good while and he starts focusing his energies on improving on his disappointing debut season with Cleveland.

From TheHuddle

Jan 18 5:23am ET

Confirming a previous report, the Dallas Cowboys have hired New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan to be their new defensive coordinator. Head coach Mike McCarthy said he plans to run a defense with four down linemen.

From TheHuddle

Jason McCourty Jan 17 10:53pm ET

New England Patriots CB Jason McCourty (groin) recently underwent surgery on the groin injury that hampered him throughout the 2019 season.

From TheHuddle

Jason Garrett Jan 17 8:03pm ET

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Tevin Coleman Jan 17 6:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (elbow) fully participated in practice Friday, Jan. 17, and is not on the injury report for the NFC Championship game.

Fantasy Spin: Coleman is coming off one of his best games of the season last week and should continue to receive most of the carries in the running game. He should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Jan 17 6:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (ankle) fully participated in practice Friday, Jan. 17, and is not on the injury report for the NFC Championship game.

Fantasy Spin: Kittle is one of the top options in the passing game for the 49ers and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Raheem Mostert Jan 17 6:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (calf) fully participated in practice Friday, Jan. 17, and is not on the injury report for the NFC Championship game.

Fantasy Spin: Mostert will have a solid role in the running game against the Green Bay Packers and could see a few targets in the passing game. He has a chance to be a flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Dee Ford Jan 17 6:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers LB Kwon Alexander (pectoral) was limited during practice Friday, Jan. 17, but is not on the injury report for the NFC Championship game. DE Dee Ford (hamstring, quadriceps) fully participated in practice and is not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Marcedes Lewis Jan 17 5:43pm ET

Green Bay Packers FB Danny Vitale (knee) was limited during practice Friday, Jan. 17, and is listed as questionable for the NFC Championship game. TE Marcedes Lewis (non-injury), LB Preston Smith (ankle) and CB Tramon Williams (non-injury) were limited during practice but are not on the injury report. S Adrian Amos (chest), OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), DT Kenny Clark (back), WR Ryan Grant (non-injury), LB Blake Martinez (hand) and OT Billy Turner (ankle) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Geronimo Allison Jan 17 5:33pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (illness) fully participated in practice Friday, Jan. 17, and is not on the injury report for the NFC Championship game.

Fantasy Spin: Allison has only been targeted 12 times over the last five games and was held to nine yards in his last game against the San Francisco 49ers. He can be avoided in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jimmy Graham Jan 17 5:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (non-injury) was limited during practice Friday, Jan. 17, but is not on the injury report for the NFC Championship game.

Fantasy Spin: Graham likely will see a handful of targets in the passing game against the San Francisco 49ers and could be a stating option in some fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Green Bay Packers Jan 17 5:20pm ET

The Green Bay Packers Defense faces a tough task this weekend in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. In their regular-season meeting, the Packers gave up 37 points and only dropped Jimmy Garoppolo only three times. They also failed to generate any turnovers. Green Bay's defense may need to lend their offense a helping hand by creating a turnover or two to swing the field position game. If Za-Darius and Preston Smith can ramp up the pressure, the Packers will have a good chance of generating a turnover or two and winning the game. It certainly won't be easy, considering how formidable the 49ers offense has been this season.

From RotoBaller