Jock Blog gonna stick its head right into the lion’s mouth:
Aaron Rodgers can get got.
Wait. That’s not grammatically correct. And if the 49ers are going to do what the Jock Blog is saying they can do, let’s say it all proper:
Aaron Rodgers, arguably the greatest thrower of the football of all time, the three-time NFL MVP, the surgeon with a pigskin scalpel . . . can be beaten by the 49ers. At Lambeau Field. In the night-time cold. In January.
I mean, it’s happened before, as I just saying to my good friends Colin Kapernick and Phil Dawson.
So it can happen again. As soon as Saturday night.
It’s crazy about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau. They are actually beatable. Rodgers is 5-3 at Lambeau in his playoff career. Three home losses in January? It took Tom Brady 18 playoff games until he lost three at home. Joe Montana lost two at Candlestick his entire career. I’m just sayin’.
You look at Rodgers in the playoffs overall, and it’s no box of chocolates. He’s 7-8 in the playoffs since the Super Bowl win in the 2010 season. He hasn’t been to a Super Bowl since that 2010 season. How long ago was that? Shoot, nobody had an NFT for sale that day, that’s for sure.
You’d think, given the hype surrounding the frozen tundra and wind chill and temperature readouts and the ghost of Fuzzy Thurston, that beating Rodgers there is tantamount to the Washington Generals beating the Harlem Globetrotters. But Rodgers is 0-1 in his last one playoff game at Lambeau. Shout out that guy Brady.
I know there is a healthy faction of 49ers fans who don’t trust Jim Garoppolo to take out the trash, much less the compost in these 2022 times. Their thought process is: the longer Jimmy G stays in their lives, the more he’s going to do to make the 49ers lose. I don’t even want to know what that faction thinks about the growing theory — mentioned by Jesse Sapolu on our show, echoed by Richard Sherman this week on his podcast — that Garoppolo stays as the starter in 2022. Let’s just get through Saturday night first.
So the idea of Garoppolo, with a busted thumb and banged-up throwing shoulder, will make fewer mistakes and enough winning plays to out-duel one of the all time greats on his turf, in the dark, in the cold, seems — well, laughable to some.
Not to me.
You guys see that stat going around about how Jimmy G is 20-6 on the road as a starter? True story. Second-best of all time, minimum 25 starts. Pat Mahomes is first. Guy named Joe Montana is third. That’s not nothing, sports fans.
Anyway, beating Aaron Rodgers is not about Garoppolo. It’s about that 49ers defense. DeMeco Ryans’ crew is playing its best football when it matters most. The unit has allowed one player to gain more than 60 yards on the ground since Week 10, and that player was Seattle’s Travis Homer. He gained 73 of his 80 yards on a fake punt, and I will now allow you a moment to scream into the void about that play.
The four-man rush is what took down Tom Brady in two Super Bowl losses against the New York Giants. Ryans loves to rely on his four-man rush, which is made up of so much more than four men: Nick Bosa (who practiced Thursday!), Arik Armstead, DJ Jones, Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu, Kevin Givens, Arden Key, Jordan Willis, Kentavius Street. When your four-man rush is made up of nine very good players, you feel good about getting on the plane to Appleton, Wisc.
The four-man rush allows the 49ers to drop seven into coverage. Yes, Davante Adams, one of the greats of his generation, will get some. But the 49ers can limit the overall damage and — gasp! — even force the rarest of Aaron Rodgers’ birds: an interception.
It’s true. He can throw them. In fact, he threw two in his last playoff loss to the 49ers. He threw one in his last playoff game, the NFC Championship loss to Tampa Bay. At Lambeau. Turns out he puts on those Packers gold pants one leg at a time. And when they’re on in January, those pants don’t always make gold records.
I’m putting it out into the universe. Fortune favors the bold. Rodgers can get got, grammar be damned.