There weren't many bright spots for the 49ers against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. The Packers had their way on offense, and San Francisco didn't have anywhere near the requisite firepower to keep up.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a much easier time than he experienced in either of the two games the two sides played last season, passing for 305 yards and four touchdowns in leading Green Bay to a 34-17 win. He carved the 49ers' injury-riddled defense, which didn't offer up much resistance.
After the game, though, Rodgers singled out one 49ers defensive player, offering high praise for linebacker Fred Warner.
"It was good for us," Rodgers told Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews. "It was a different game. They're obviously depleted on both sides of the ball. They've had probably one of the worst injury years I've seen in a long time. So, it's not the same football team that we saw twice last year. But, they still have possibly the best middle linebacker in the game, and a lot of pride, and we went out and executed the way we expected to."
Considering Rodgers arguably is the greatest quarterback of all time, that's quite a compliment for Warner. As usual, he was everywhere on the field Thursday night, finishing with a game-high 13 tackles.
From a statistical standpoint, Warner has been one of the best linebackers in the league so far this season. His 74 combined tackles currently rank fourth among all NFL linebackers, and only one other player at his position has posted a superior coverage grade according to Pro Football Focus.
Though Warner slowly has been getting more well-deserved recognition, he still flies under the national radar far more than he should. As evidenced by Rodgers, though, that's bound to change soon.