Date and time: Sunday, September 26 (Week 3),
The 49ers were by far the NFL’s most injury-plagued team in 2020, losing over 166 starter games per Football Outsiders’ metrics. That included everyone from Jimmy Garoppolo to Nick Bosa to George Kittle to Richard Sherman — basically, if the 49ers had an irreplaceable player on their roster, that guy was missing a lot of games. Thus, the dip from Super Bowl LIV at the end of the 2019 season to a 6-10 record last year. Kyle Shanahan’s bunch looks to come back rested and refreshed, and if new quarterback Trey Lance can transcend Garoppolo’s limitations sooner than later, this is an easy playoff possibility.
The Packers, on the other hand, are in serious transition. We don’t know if Aaron Rodgers will be their quarterback, we have no idea how Jordan Love would take the reins of Matt LaFleur’s offense if Rodgers is gone, and Green Bay’s defense is trying to come back from some pretty epic regression in 2020 with new defensive coordinator Joe Barry… whose resume is, shall we say, not that impressive. Depending on the circumstances, this game could represent a changing of the guard in the sub-Buccaneers NFC. As such, last season’s Week 8 game, in which the Packers thumped the 49ers 34-17, is very much in the rear view.