By Michael Bennett
Don’t look now but the San Francisco 49ers are starting to look Super.
The Green Bay Packers were no match for the Niners last night, losing 37-8, thanks in large part to the SF defense.
The Niners are now 10-1, a game ahead of the Seahawks in the NFC West. The Packers fell to 8-3 and a tie with the Vikes in NFC North
The Pack’s opening drive lasted five plays, ending with a sack of QB Aaron Rodgers, who lost a fumble that 49ers rookie phenom Nick Bosa recovered. Linebacker Fred Warner was credited with the sack and forced fumble, but Bosa, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner had all piled on top of Rodgers by the time he hit the ground.
It was a helpless moment for Rodgers that set up the 49ers for a two-yard touchdown from Tevin Coleman on the next play and established the tone for a dominant night of San Francisco defense.
In a matchup billed as a potential NFC championship preview, the 49ers stood in a class of their own.
It was a hard lesson for Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense that so many 49ers opponents have learned the hard way already this season. The 49ers’ defensive line is the most disruptive unit in football.
As rough as the night started out for Green Bay, it got worse when right tackle Brian Bulaga left in the first half with a knee injury.
San Francisco kept the pressure on Rodgers throughout a first half that exposed the Green Bay offense as looking anything like a Super Bowl contender.
In eight first-half possessions, the Packers tallied 60 yards of offense and five first downs. They averaged 2.2 yards per play while finishing 0 for 9 on third-down and 0 for 1 on fourth-down conversion attempts.
Rodgers completed 10-of-20 passing attempts for 41 yards. He was sacked three times and pressured countless others. The 49ers entered halftime holding a 23-0 lead.
The Packers finally got on the scoreboard with a third-quarter Davante Adams touchdown. But it mattered little to anyone without fantasy interest as the game was well out out of hand.
And if there was any question about the outcome, the 49ers responded on the next possession with a 61-yard touchdown connection from Jimmy Garoppolo to George Kittle to extend their lead to 30-8 and proclaim that their offense isn’t to be trifled with either.
Green Bay waved the white flag and pulled Aaron Rodgers late in the fourth quarter on a night that saw him complete 20-of-33 pass attempts for 104 yards and the single touchdown to Adams. He was sacked five times and hurried six others.
It was another concerning offensive dud from Rodgers’ and LaFleur’s offense after their last visit to California saw them shut out in the first half of a 26-11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
For the 49ers, who improved to 10-1 to maintain control of the top seed in the NFC, it was a reminder to the league that their hot start to the season was anything but a fluke.