Whitner believes 49ers 'really in trouble' after Packers loss


A lot can change in four hours.

Before the 49ers' game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner was confident San Francisco still could make the NFL playoffs.

But after the 49ers' 34-17 loss to the Packers at Levi's Stadium, Whitner has completely changed his mind.

"I'm a stand-up guy, and I have to admit, before the game, I said they had an opportunity make the playoffs and beat a couple teams they had on the schedule," Whitner said on "49ers Postgame Live" after the loss. "I take that back. From seeing the game today, I don't know what they are going to do moving forward. This looked like a completely different football team than what we are accustomed to seeing and they have to figure something out.

"Yes, they'll get Trent Williams back. Yes, they'll get a couple guys back like Kendrick Bourne, but I don't really see them being difference-makers. They're really in trouble right now."

During "49ers Pregame Live," host Laura Britt asked Whitner if the 49ers had a path to the playoffs.

"I see all winnable games on their schedule," Whitner said. "I see Dallas, I see Washington, I see the LA Rams. I see a bunch of winnable games. Just because the players haven't played before doesn't mean they don't have talent and can't get the job done. You still have a top-5 defense. You still have a way to get turnovers and win these games with defense.


"If you do it the proper way, you can get it done. The offensive side of the ball, Nick Mullens has shown he can really move the football. If they can move the football, not make mistakes, play the short field game, those are all winnable games."

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore up the 49ers' defense with the help of star wide receiver Davante Adams, while Mullens was effective but not spectacular Thursday night.

The 49ers have been besieged by injuries this season and it's starting to take a toll on the team. Additionally, four players were forced to sit out Thursday's game due to COVID-19-related issues.

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But at 4-5, the 49ers face an uphill battle to make the playoffs. Their next three games come against the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills.

Whitner's latest feeling about the 49ers likely is a sentiment held by a lot of fans moving forward. At this point, with what coach Kyle Shanahan has to work with, the playoffs are going to be tough to reach.