The San Francisco 49ers looked like they were going to get blown out early by the Green Bay Packers after coughing up a quick 7-0 lead. But despite some poor defensive miscues, the Niners held their own in the first half on Monday Night Football and have a 24-20 lead going into halftime.

The San Francisco 49ers were relatively healthy for their Week 6 Monday Night Football Matchup against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, and that health played into head coach Kyle Shanahan's opening drive, as running back Matt Breida (who was questionable with an ankle injury) put the Niners on the board with a 3-yard touchdown run, capping off an impressive offensive possession in the process:

Yet the Packers answered right back with quarterback Aaron Rodgers finding wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a bootleg for a 60-yard completion. The receiver got open thanks to a blown coverage by Niners defensive back Jimmie Ward. Green Bay appeared to score on the following play, but a would-be touchdown by running back Aaron Jones was ruled down at the 1-yard line. Running back Ty Montgomery managed to punch it in two plays later to tie things up.

To make things worse, kick returner D.J. Reed fumbled on his return on the ensuing kickoff. The Packers recovered, which isn't exactly a recipe for success for a 49ers team going up against Rodgers.

Green Bay managed a field goal shortly thereafter to take the 10-7 lead.

The Packers tacked on seven more off another blown-coverage pass to tight end Jimmy Graham, which went for 54 yards, and was capped off by a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Davante Adams. Just like that, 17-7 Green Bay.

Fortunately, San Francisco was able to answer back with a 67-yard touchdown pass from quarterback C.J. Beathard to wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, which put the Niners within three:

After the 49ers managed to force the Packers' first punt of the night, fullback Kyle Juszczyk fumbled on the very next offensive snap, giving the Packers the ball back at the Niners' own 40-yard line. That marked San Francisco's second lost turnover of the night and contributed even more to what's the NFL's worst turnover differential.

Green Bay tacked on a field goal off the turnover, by the way.

Offensively, the Niners didn't run into too many problems outside the turnover. San Francisco answered right back after the field goal with a 30-yard touchdown by Goodwin again to put San Francisco up 21-20. After that play, Goodwin already had three catches for 114 yards and the two scores.

And after the 49ers forced a Green Bay punt, which included a third-down sack by defensive tackle Sheldon Day, the Niners offense was able to march back down the field, thanks to some big runs by running back Raheem Mostert and more toughness from Beathard. Beathard's 11-yard scramble on 3rd-and-long was critical on the drive, which culminated in a 46-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to increase the lead to 24-20.

One of the biggest problems from the 49ers defense isn't totally the scheme, rather the team simply lacks the personnel to operate it effectively. And defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is still struggling to find ways to put his players into positions to succeed.

Such as not putting in defensive end Solomon Thomas at the 3-technique spot in first- and second-down passing situations, of which there were many from Green Bay.

Still, the Niners managed to hold the Packers to a crucial 0-of-5 mark on third down, which certainly helped keep Shanahan's squad in the game and preserve the lead heading into the half.

Green Bay will start the third quarter on offense.
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.