What We Learned from 49ers vs. Packers

View the best images from the 49ers Week 4 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

The losing streak is at three.

The San Francisco 49ers renewed a classic rivalry with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but the NFL's reigning MVP came up clutch in the second half to lead his club to a 17-3 road victory.

Aaron Rodgers carried the Packers on a pair of third-quarter scoring drives to distance his squad from the 49ers. In doing so, the Packers remained undefeated on the year. San Francisco is now 1-3 on the season.

Here's what we learned from the NFC clash.

First-half Defense Keeps it Close

Following a Rodgers-led scoring drive on Green Bay's first series, San Francisco's defense forced three consecutive punts from Tim Mashtay. The 49ers allowed the lone scoring play in the first half, a 9-yard touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers. It was also the Packers lowest first-half scoring total of the year.

Green Bay was 1 for 7 on third-down conversions in the first half. The Packers did, however, pick up a pair 4th-and-1 plays with runs by Eddie Lacy. The second of which helped set up a Mason Crosby field-goal attempt late in the first half. Fortunately for the 49ers, Crosby missed his 44-yard attempt to keep it a 7-3 halftime score.

The first-half defense didn't exactly translate to the second half for the 49ers.

On their first possession of the third quarter, the Packers converted all three of their third downs and scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by fullback John Kuhn to give the visiting team a 14-3 advantage. Crosby later added to the lead with a 31-yard field goal to give Green Bay a 14-point advantage.

The 49ers defensive efforts were led by captain NaVorro Bowman, who recorded eight tackles on the day. Aaron Lynch (2) and Ahmad Brooks recorded the team's three sacks of Rodgers.

Considering San Francisco gave up 40-plus points in back-to-back games, limiting Rodgers and the Packers to 17 points is definitely something for Eric Mangini's unit to build on.

Patton Has Career Day

Quinton Patton posted a career-high 53 receiving yards on the day. The third-year wideout caught a quick pass from Colin Kaepernick while in motion and took the ball around the left side of the field for a 40-yard gain. It was San Francisco's biggest offensive play in two weeks and also Patton's longest reception in his three-year career. The sideline dash accounted for 40 of 57 yards on a 12-play scoring drive that was finished off with a 33-yard Phil Dawson field goal.

The field goal were the only points scored by the 49ers.

Patton later added a 13-yard reception on a crossing route in the third quarter.

Special Teams Watch

Bruce Ellington returned to the active roster to handle kicks.

Jarryd Hayne remained as the team's punt returner. Hayne picked up six yards on his first return.

Later in the first half, safety L.J. McCray collided with Hayne on the rookie's second punt-return attempt. The ball bounced off Hayne's hands and was up for grabs for a short second, but luckily for the 49ers, second-year cornerback Dontae Johnson was in position to hop on the ball and secure possession.

Etcetera

  • With Vernon Davis (knee) inactive, Garrett Celek started at tight end and caught two passes for 18 yards.
  • The 49ers put in cornerback Keith Reaser in for linebacker Michael Wilhoite on the dime defensive personnel on Green Bay's second drive. The move was made to counter Packers receivers Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb lining up in the backfield next to Rodgers. On one snap, Montgomery carried the ball for one yard and was tackled by Reaser.
  • First-round draft pick Arik Armstead displayed solid back-side pursuit as he brought down Rodgers on a scramble for a four-yard gain. It forced the Packers first punt of the game.
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