MILWAUKEE (AP) — Turnovers just might be

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the most important statistic in football.Just ask the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.The
49ers last week had a 33-10 edge in first downs against Arizona but still lost
by 10 following five giveaways.The Packers (2-2-1) almost doubled the Lions in
total offense (521-264) and still lost 31-23 after coughing up three
turnovers.Guess what the Packers will be focusing on in practice as they prepare
to host the 49ers at Lambeau Field on Monday night?“Sometimes that ball bounces
your way and sometimes it doesn’t. But you have to create more
opportunities C. J. Beathard Jersey White ,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday. “We’ve created too many giveaway opportunities and we clearly don’t have enough
takeaway opportunities.”A team considered one of the top contenders in the NFC
is off to a choppy start. Other than a 22-0 win over Buffalo, the Packers have
alternated one bad half with one good one.The first half has been the problem in
three games, which has forced Green Bay to play catch-up. It worked in the
season opener, when Aaron Rodgers tossed three touchdown passes in the fourth
quarter for a 24-23 win over Chicago after falling behind 20-0.But slow starts
have doomed the Packers in losses at Washington and Detroit. Against the Lions
last week, the Packers fell behind 24-0 at the half before losing 31-23.“That’s
not how you start games and expect to win, especially against a good opponent.
We’ve got to start faster than that,” receiver Davante Adams said after the
Detroit loss.The 49ers (1-4) were sloppier, overshadowing the gaudy stats they
put up on offense. They also failed to force a turnover.“I think we’ve been
close to winning. It’s not an excuse. We definitely should have won more games
than we have,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We’ve got to find ways to not
turn it over and get the ball in the end zone.”Some other notes and things to
watch:BACKING KICKERMcCarthy offered a vote of confidence for Mason Crosby
following the kicker’s awful game against Detroit, going 1 of 5 on field-goal
attempts and missing his only extra-point try. Crosby was 10 of 11 on the year
before last week, including two 52-yarders in Week 4 against Buffalo. He also
missed an extra-point attempt in that game.“He’s a proven, highly successful
kicker, I still believe in him,” McCarthy said. “But he knows it – he has to
make those kicks. … So hopefully we’ll learn from it and move on.”NOT PRIMEThe
49ers were expected to be an intriguing team based on a five-game winning streak
to end last year with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. That earned them five
prime-time games, starting with the trip to Green Bay.But the Niners are a much
less compelling draw with a losing record and Garoppolo out for the season with
a knee injury. They already had a game on Oct. 21 against the Rams moved out of
prime time and could lose another in December at Seattle as viewers are less
interested in watching backup C.J. Beathard than Garoppolo.“When things are
good, you’re on top of the world, people praise you Cassius Marsh Jersey White ,” Beathard said. “When things are bad, they’ll bash you and you’ve just got to take both of those the same way and not even
acknowledge anything on the outside.”RODGERS’ KNEEThe two-time NFL MVP seems to
be moving a little better each week after hurting his left knee in the first
half of the season-opening win over the Bears. Rodgers, though, did say he took
a shot to the knee early in the Lions game that might require him to keep
wearing a brace.He also had to play last week without injured receivers Randall
Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (concussion/hamstring). Allison did at
least clear the concussion protocol this week.The Packers will get a break after
the 49ers game with a bye week.OPEN SCREENShorter is better for Beathard. The
49ers were able to exploit Arizona’s defense with screen passes, with Beathard
going 11 for 14 for 130 yards and a TD on throws that didn’t cross the line of
scrimmage. His 129.2 passer rating on those passes eclipsed his 60.3 rating on
passes beyond the line of scrimmage.“Screens are always hit or miss,” Shanahan
said. “Sometimes, you catch them in blitzes. If you can get it off and no one
sees the guy you’re screening to, there’s a lot of room to run.”RUN DOWNAaron
Jones might be the most explosive option out of the Packers’ crowded backfield,
averaging 6.1 yards per carry. But he was limited to seven carries for 40 yards
last week as Green Bay played catch-up against Detroit. Jamaal Williams starts
the game and is good in pass protection, while Ty Montgomery is a receiving
threat out of the backfield.If the Packers can play with an early lead, they
might be able to give the ball more to Jones to run and balance the offense.
Saturday morning, I explained that the situation in San Francisco is more about
urgency than friction. My argument would have been a little stronger if I’d
known at the time that, one day earlier, 49ers G.M. John Lynch had uttered
similar words.“We fully understand we’re going into Year Three,” Lynch said
Friday in an appearance on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, via the . “This is a
production-based business and we have to start winning games. We feel really
good about where our team is in terms of being set up to do that. We feel great
about the progress we’ve made. It’s put-up time. We understand that.”The 49ers
haven’t won nearly enough games during the first two years of the Kyle
Shanahan-John Lynch relationship. That doesn’t mean the relationship is ending.
It does mean that the relationship will perhaps be tested a little more
strongly, if Year Three ends up more like Year One and Year Two and less like
some of the better years the franchise has experienced. Regardless , Lynch insists that he and the head coach are still working together as they try
to turn things around.“The notion we’re not working together couldn’t be further
from the truth,” Lynch said. “We have a tremendous working relationship. We’re
great friends off field. There’s a lot of trust. We came into this together
knowing there’d be tough times and it wouldn’t be easy, but it would be worth
it.”Lynch, a former player with a clear no-nonsense vibe, had a message for the
faithful: “I can tell Niner fans that, hey, we’re as strong as ever and there’s
a lot of trust and faith. I feel so great for this organization that they have
Kyle Shanahan, a tremendous leader, tremendous mind. . . . Our players love him.
I love him. We’ve got each other’s back, and that’s all I will say on that.
That’s the truth, and as they say, the truth shall set you free.”The original
argument that was made in support of the idea that change could be coming pushed
the idea that Shanahan wants to hire his own guy to handle personnel decisions.
This overlooks the reality that Lynch was Shanahan’s own guy, hired by Shanahan
in large part because Shanahan’s authority over the roster would have made it
much harder to hire an executive under contract with another team.Whether it’s
Lynch or someone else, Shanahan will have to find a way to make it work with ,
unless and until he’s willing to surrender final say to a G.M. whom Shanahan
essentially would be working for. That’s the truth, and it’s one of the many
reasons why Shanahan isn’t setting Lynch free.
Posted 16 Oct 2019

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