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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Can the 49ers Improve on the Secondary Slow Packers’ Elite Rodgers-to-Adams Combo?

The 49ers have a great idea of ​​where Aaron Rodgers is going to throw the ball at Lambeau Field on Saturday night.

OK, so maybe they don’t know where Rodgers will throw it, but they sure do know the target. Davante Adams could line up anywhere for the Green Bay Packers in an NFC divisional playoff game, and it’s going to be up to more than one cornerback to take control of one of the NFL’s most spectacular goals ever.

“He doesn’t stay in one spot,” 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said Wednesday. “He can go into the slot, he can play outside. He’s all over the place. We know he’s the top guy.”

A look at the statistics makes this clear. Adams leads the Packers with 169 goals in 16 games (he missed one on the COVID-19 list) and he finished with 123 receptions for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns. The next most targeted receiver is Alan Lazard with 60, and he has 40 catches for 513 yards.

In a 30-28 win over the 49ers in Week 3, Rodgers threw 33 passes and 18 of them went to Adams, who caught 12 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown.

The biggest was a 25-yard catch to play on first and -10 with 37 of 25 seconds, when the 49ers took a 28-27 lead. Two plays later, Rodgers struck Adams again for a 17-yard strike at 49ers 33.

This set up a 51-yard field goal by Mason Crosby on the gun.

18 goals for Adams in a game equals the second most in his career. And that number doesn’t even include the 32-yard pass interference call on Emmanuel Moseley that helped lead to the Green Bay touchdown.

Adams, a Palo Alto High product, has had a relationship with Rodgers since 2014, which makes him more difficult to defend than either Amari Cooper of Dallas and CD Lamb of Dallas or Cooper Kupp of the Rams with Matthew Stafford.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Thursday, “He’s a big guy who can always have an edge over a defender, and if you can get an edge anywhere, you can split to blast.” “When you pair him with a quarterback who doesn’t need much separation to get to the ball, it’s a very lethal combination.”

Defending the Packers and Adams would take all 11 men, the cornerback would be under a microscope. Moseley is returning from the last two games with an ankle sprain and has played well. The second cornerback spot is occupied by Embry Thomas, a third-round draft pick from Michigan, who started off slow but made great progress in the last three games.

Emmanuel Moseley (4) started the last two games for the 49ers after returning from an ankle sprain.

Thomas, however, came out of the Dallas game with an injured knee, limping earlier in the week and was listed as a suspect.

If Thomas can’t go, the 49ers will be replaced by either Deontay Johnson, a veteran who has played throughout the secondary, or Josh Norman, who was signed early in the season after losing to Jason Verrett with a knee injury. will see.

Norman showed a penchant for coercive thunder, but struggled in coverage. He hasn’t played a snap on defense in either of the last two matches. When asked directly about Norman, Ryan gave a vague answer that did not include the use of his name.

Shanahan was not even saying that.

“It would be one of those two guys,” Shanahan said. “I hope he goes. I think he will be fine but it will come down to him to see how he is on game day.”

If Johnson and Moseley were to open as outside corners (Kwon Williams has been a mainstay in the nickel corner) it would be the seventh different combination of starters – Demodor Lenore and Verett, Norman and Lenore, Norman and Moseley, Johnson and Dre Kirkpatrick. , Thomas and Norman and Thomas and Moseley are others.

The kind of continuity the 49ers had expected is not good.

Whoever Adams has to deal with will help, and it’s clear the 49ers are a better team than when he played the Packers in Week 3.

“The way we’re moving, the way we’re in the swarm now, it looks different, it feels different on film,” Ryan said. “We have different people going on and on and pretending. Our pass is definitely better.”

Pass Rush has gone hand in hand with a flamboyant defense that has been rock-solid for the last five games. During that period, the 49ers are dropping just 379 yards on 122 carries – an average of 3.1 per attempt. The longest gains during that period were 23 yards by Ryan Tanhill, 18 yards by Cooper Kupp, and 17 yards by Prescott in the final game of the game against Dallas – two quarterback runs and a wide receiver.

In the first Green Bay game, the Packers ran for 100 yards on 25 carries, with Aaron Jones leading with 19 carries, or 82 yards. Later that week, 250-pound power back AJ Dillon was given a bigger role. He led Green Bay with 803 yards, and Jones added 799.

Slowing down both of them and keeping Rodgers second and longer and third and longer will go a long way toward keeping the Rodgers-to-Adams connection in a steady rhythm.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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