Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts are scheduled to square off in Brazil on Sept. 6. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Packers, Eagles set for Friday night opener in Brazil

Week 1 of the 2024 regular season will include an international affair between the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, who were announced as the opponents for a Friday primetime matchup in Brazil.

The Eagles were selected for the first-ever game in South America — Sao Paulo at the Corinthians Arena on Sept. 6 — in February, but the Packers weren’t officially announced as their opponent until Wednesday.

It’s the first Friday night game on opening weekend in the NFL in more than 50 years.

Packers CEO Mark Murphy hinted Tuesday the decision could be coming.

“I think we’re either the first- or second-most popular team in Brazil,” Murphy said. “As we talked about, we’re kind of the peoples’ team. People really like the idea of a community-owned team, with our history and tradition.”

Five regular-season games are part of the NFL International Series in 2024. With the game in South America, the league will have held at least one preseason or regular-season game on five of seven continents.

–Field Level Media

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver David Moore (19) breaks away from Green Bay Packers linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) for a 52-yard touchdown reception during their football game Sunday, December 17, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Report: 49ers signing ex-Packers LB De’Vondre Campbell

The San Francisco 49ers are signing former Green Bay Packers All-Pro linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, NFL Network reported Friday.

The deal is for one year, though financial terms have not been disclosed, per the report.

The Falcons selected Campbell in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he spent four seasons there before one season with the Arizona Cardinals (2020) and three with the Packers.

Now 30, Campbell was named an All-Pro following a 2021 season in which he made a career-high 146 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. He added two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Last season, he was limited to 11 games (all starts) and dipped to 75 tackles and one fumble recovery.

In 115 career games (110 starts), Campbell has 779 tackles (40 for loss), 9.5 sacks, seven interceptions, 28 passes defensed, eight forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

–Field Level Media

January 20, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers guard Jon Runyan (76) during the first quarter in a 2024 NFC divisional round game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Giants agree to deal with G Jon Runyan Jr.

The New York Giants reportedly agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with guard Jon Runyan Jr., according to published reports.

Runyan, 26, reportedly will receive $17 million in guaranteed money.

Runyan spent four seasons with the Green Bay Packers and started 50 of 51 games over the past three seasons. Overall, he played in 67 games for Green Bay since he was a sixth-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2020.

Runyan figures to step into the Giants’ starting lineup.

He is the son of former longtime offensive tackle Jon Runyan, who played in 207 NFL games from 1996-2009.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (8) reacts after getting first down against the New York Jets during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: RB Josh Jacobs expected to sign with Packers

The Green Bay Packers are expected to sign running back Josh Jacobs, NFL Network reported Monday.

Terms of the deal were not reported.

Jacobs, 26, took a slight step back last season for the Las Vegas Raiders from a productive year in 2022, when he rushed for 805 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games, all starts, as he worked his way through a quadriceps injury.

One season earlier, Jacobs rushed for an NFL-best 1,653 yards and 12 TDs in 17 games. In five seasons with the Raiders, he rushed for 5,545 yards and 46 TDs in 73 games (72 starts) after he was a first-round draft pick in 2019 out of Alabama.

The Raiders did not place a franchise tag on Jacobs last month, although it was believed that Las Vegas had prioritized re-signing the 2022 NFL rushing champion.

The Raiders are expected to turn to Zamir White to lead their rushing attack next season. White rushed for 451 yards and one touchdown last season in 17 games, while starting the four games when Jacobs was out.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst speaks to local media at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 27 in Indianapolis.

Packers lovefest with QB Jordan Love just beginning

INDIANAPOLIS — A lot changed in a few months for the Green Bay Packers at the end of the 2023 season, including general manager Brian Gutekunst’s opinion of quarterback Jordan Love.

“Really proud of him,” Gutekunst said Tuesday at the morning media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine. “The work that he put in, really, he was very much rewarded for all the work. He’s been put in some tough situations throughout his career. Had lack of opportunity early with the COVID and not having preseason games and different things. But to go through the tough stretch in October and to see him so steady through all that, and just really lead our team to get better week in and week out, and to see the rewards at the end of the season, I was very excited for him and our football team. And just again, for as good as he played, there’s so much more in front of him and just excited for him and where he’s going.”

Love closed the season with a flurry beating the Chicago Bears in a de facto play-in game Week 18 before a record-setting showing at Dallas in the wild-card win in his playoff debut.

In October, Gutekunst was looking at a different player. He said he would “need to see more” before determining a course for Green Bay at the position in the offseason.

Now that the offseason has arrived, Gutekunst counts Love among his no-doubter decisions, the preferred outcome when it became apparent Aaron Rodgers and the Packers would split. The trade to the New York Jets left Love as the QB1, but head coach Matt LaFleur and Gutekunst knew there was only one way to grade the 26th overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Love had to play to grow.

Now the GM that all but put his extremities on the line to draft Love, trade Rodgers and make the kid the starter isn’t able to hide a level of elation over having this super-sized box checked for next season and beyond.

“Probably the toughest position of all professional sports to play. The amount that is on that guy’s plate from pre-snap to post-snap and everything that goes into it, the amount of information he has to process in such a limited amount of time, all the leadership stuff, the intangible stuff makes it an exceptionally hard position to play,” Gutekunst said. “There’s a certain amount of athletic gifts and talent that you have to have, and then there’s so much more beyond that and I think the thing that I think is lost at times is how much of it has to be developed over time. And so, you never really know until you have that time to try to develop a guy, whether he’s going to be able to do it at a high level or not.”

There still are decisions — and checks — in Gutekunst’s future where Love is concerned.

Love is signed for only one more season — 2024 — after the Packers gave the 25-year-old a modified contract to replace the fifth-year option available to NFL teams with first-round picks.

Not everything will be status quo for the Packers heading into 2024. A major change on the defensive side of the ball in the form of defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley — hired to replace Joe Barry — assures a new look. Hafley plans to move to a traditional 4-3 defense from a 3-4 scheme.

“We’re still getting to know each other and stuff but just going through the process and getting to know Jeff a little bit, just really like his energy, kind of his leadership style and the expectations and standards that he’s going to put forward for our football team,” Gutekunst said. “The play style is going to be a big thing for him, and I think it will be very welcomed. I think we have a really good nucleus of players coming back. We need to fill each room with enough competition that those guys feel that and can grow like our offense did this past year. That will be on us to do that. But I do think we’re in good hands right now.”

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry reportedly was fired by the Packers on Wednesday.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Packers part with DC Joe Barry

Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry was fired after a rollercoaster season in Green Bay, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Barry’s defense was 17th in the NFL in the regular season in total defense and 10th in points allowed, but ranked No. 28 against the run and 25th on third downs.

The Packers allowed 128.3 rushing yards per game and 335.1 total yards per game. Opponents converted 41.1 percent of third downs to first downs.

The Packers hired Barry in 2021 to replace Mike Pettine. The 53-year-old was previously defensive coordinator in Washington and Detroit, and his second stop in the NFL came with the Tony Dungy-led Buccaneers. That Tampa Bay staff included defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, Barry’s father-in-law.

Green Bay’s season ended last week in a divisional round playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Pettine was fired by head coach Matt LaFleur following the 2021 NFC Championship game loss. LaFleur and Barry were assistants with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017.

LaFleur said prior to the playoff trip to San Francisco that he was pleased with Barry and the defensive turnaround he helped lead after the team fell to 6-8 following a disconcerting defensive showing against the Buccaneers on Dec. 17.

“I couldn’t be happier,” LaFleur said before the loss to the 49ers. “I know what Joe Barry is all about in terms of resiliency. There’s (been) tough moments, and there’s tough moments in every season. I felt like I know what we have in him, and (the staff) was confident that if anybody could right the ship, so to speak, it was him.”

–Field Level Media

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) scores a touchdown on a 39-yard run during the third quarter of their NFC divisional playoff game Saturday, January 20, 2024 at Levi         Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers 24-21.

Packers-49ers projected to set 30-year U.S. broadcast mark

The primetime Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers divisional playoff game is projected to be the most-watched Saturday telecast on any U.S. network since the 1994 Winter Olympics, Front Office Sports reported Monday.

An average of 37.5 million viewers watched San Francisco rally for a 24-21 victory against Green Bay on Fox Sports, making it that network’s most-watched Saturday telecast in its 37-year history.

The popularity of the two franchises helped to make it the most-watched Saturday NFL divisional game ever, with a 31 percent increase over last season’s meeting between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.

Viewership data from Saturday’s earlier game that saw the Baltimore Ravens defeat the Houston Texans has not yet been released.

–Field Level Media

January 20, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) and linebacker Fred Warner (54) celebrate after defeating the Green Bay Packers in a 2024 NFC divisional round game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers storm past Packers, reach third straight NFC title game

Christian McCaffrey rushed for two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 1:07 left, and the San Francisco 49ers held on to beat the Green Bay Packers 24-21 in an NFC divisional round playoff matchup on Saturday night in Santa Clara, Calif.

Brock Purdy completed 23 of 39 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown for the 49ers, who advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the third season in a row. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw picked off two passes, including one in the final minute to seal the win.

San Francisco will host the winner of Sunday’s showdown between the host Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the opportunity to advance to the Super Bowl.

Jordan Love completed 21 of 34 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Green Bay. Aaron Jones had 18 carries for 108 yards.
The high-stakes contest featured three lead changes in the third quarter.

The Packers grabbed a 13-7 lead on a 19-yard pass from Love to Bo Melton with 9:27 to go in the quarter.

Less than two minutes later, the 49ers answered to grab a 14-13 lead. McCaffrey took a handoff, evaded a would-be tackler and sprinted up the middle of the field for a 39-yard touchdown.

The back-and-forth battle continued as the Packers scored on the next possession. Eric Wilson recovered a fumble on a 73-yard kickoff return by Keisan Nixon, setting the Packers up at the Niners’ 20.

Four plays later, Love found Tucker Kraft open near the front right pylon for a 2-yard touchdown. Love then connected with Jones for a two-point conversion for a 21-14 Packers lead with 5:23 left in the third.

The 49ers pulled within 21-17 on a 52-yard field goal by Jake Moody with 14:56 remaining in the game.

The Packers tried to grab a seven-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Anders Carlson missed a 41-yard field goal attempt with 6:18 to go.

Green Bay had the only score of the first quarter with a 29-yard field goal by Carlson.

The 49ers grabbed a 7-3 lead with 8:42 remaining in the second when Purdy connected with George Kittle for a 32-yard touchdown.
Carlson hit again from 29 yards to pull Green Bay within 7-6 before halftime.

San Francisco star wideout Deebo Samuel exited in the first half because of a shoulder injury and was later ruled out. Samuel, who finished with two catches for 24 yards, was evaluated after a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts during the second half of the 2024 AFC wild card game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Books pulling for big underdogs in Divisional Playoffs

Baltimore and San Francisco are heavy favorites as No. 1 seeds coming off bye weeks, while Detroit is a significant favorite ahead of its second consecutive home playoff games.

Only Kansas City’s AFC Championship Game rematch against Buffalo offers less than a 3.0-point road underdog entering the Divisional Playoffs. With the public largely leaning toward the home favorites, sportsbooks will be pulling for the underdogs this weekend.

The biggest underdogs are Houston at Baltimore and Green Bay at San Francisco, with the Texans and Packers both getting 9.5 points. Tampa Bay is a 6.0-point underdog at Detroit, while Kansas City is getting 2.5 points ahead of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ first career road playoff game.

“Chiefs-Bills will be the most bet game but we need one of the big underdogs to at least cover,” BetMGM trading manager Christian Cipollini said. “An upset by the Texans, Packers or Buccaneers would make our weekend.”

The Packers-49ers matchup currently has the most total bets among the four Divisional Playoff games, but the Bills have been backed by the most spread-line money wagered on a single team.

The largest wager placed at the book has been $45,000 on the Texans’ +350 moneyline. A Houston win would pay $157,500.

DraftKings also reported Friday that the Packers-49ers has been the most bet-on game in terms of total tickets and money. San Francisco leads the eight teams in action in terms of money backing a 49ers victory, while Buffalo has been the most popular moneyline wager at the book.

The Texans won the AFC South and dominated Cleveland in the wild-card round on the arm of rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud throwing more than 1.5 touchdown passes at Baltimore was the most popular player prop at DraftKings at +154 as of Friday morning. That’s followed by Houston running back Devin Singletary totaling fewer than 16.5 receiving yards at -135.

The most popular player prop at BetMGM is Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco at -115 to log more than 14.5 rushing attempts at Buffalo. Mahomes running the ball more than 4.5 times is second at -120.

Most bet games (tickets)*
1. Packers-49ers
2. Texans-Ravens
3. Chiefs-Bills
4. Buccaneers-Lions

Most bet teams (tickets)
1. Packers +9.5
2. Texans +9.5
3. Bills -2.5
4. Lions -6.5

Most bet teams (handle)
1. Bills -2.5
2. 49ers -9.5
3. Lions -6.5
4. Texans +9.5

Most bet Overs (tickets)
1. Texans-Ravens 43.5
2. Packers-49ers 50.5
3. Buccaneers-Lions 48.5
4. Chiefs-Bills 45.5

Most bet underdogs to win outright (tickets)
1. Packers +350
2. Texans +350
3. Chiefs +120
4. Buccaneers +220

Most bet players to score a touchdown (tickets)
1. Luke Musgrave +550
2. Jared Goff +900
3. Dalvin Cook +850
4. Deebo Samuel +100
5. David Montgomery -115

Most bet player props (tickets)
1. Isiah Pacheco over 14.5 rushing attempts (-115)
2. Patrick Mahomes over 4.5 rushing attempts (-120)
3. Baker Mayfield over 256.5 passing yards (-115)
4. Devin Singletary under 16.5 receiving yards (-135)
5. Rachaad White under 54.5 rushing yards (-120)

*Data courtesy of BetMGM and includes straight bets only.

–Field Level Media

Jan 14, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) throws against the Dallas cowboys during the second quarter in a 2024 NFC wild card game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wm. Glasheen-USA TODAY Sports

NFC Playoff Betting Primer: End of Love story?

We love the Love story, but the final chapter is expected to be completed Saturday in Santa Clara.

Quarterback Jordan Love piloted the Packers’ magical ride, from legions of fans lamenting the Green Bay departure of the wise one, Aaron Rodgers, to convincing themselves they’re far better off with No. 10 behind center.

The 49ers aren’t worried, and there’s a major reason for their confidence.

See how our NFC playoff best bet developed, and catch our bonus bet and a player prop below.

THE HEADLINER

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
When: Saturday.
Time, TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, CBS.
Odds: 49ers -9.5, total 50.5.

There is no dismissing the special sauce concocted by Packers coach Matt LaFleur and his quarterback Jordan Love.

Green Bay has been dominant down the stretch this season and proved itself with a blowout of Dallas in the wild-card round.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff saw it, digested it and have very likely solved the major challenges.

The 49ers, dominant the past couple of seasons, are routinely favored by double digits. More often than not, the oddsmakers didn’t reach high enough.

With a relatively clean injury report, San Francisco is set to do what it usually does when its stars are healthy: win and cover.

The big boys – Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey – are ready to play Saturday night and assuming four quarters of health, the 49ers will be moving on to the NFC title game next week.

When Samuel and McCaffrey start, San Francisco is 20-3 straight up and 16-7 against the spread (ATS) over the past 23 such games.

In the past 29 games McCaffrey has started, the Niners covered 19 times.

With a raucous crowd comfortably fueled up on a Saturday night, let’s bring the home field and quarterback Brock Purdy into the conversation.

Over the past 12 home games, Purdy is 10-2 straight up, 8-4 ATS. And those spreads were frequently big numbers.

We don’t want to belittle Green Bay’s chances, so we’ll tease the number down a little – but we’ll still use San Francisco in our wager.

Our second leg is simple, the 49ers start quickly and score early. According to Action Network numbers, San Francisco was 11-4-2 on the first-quarter moneyline and 13-7 the past 20 games hitting the first-half over.

And, in Green Bay’s past eight games, it’s 7-1 to the over.

The bet: Two-leg parlay, 49ers -2.5 for the full game with the over 25.5 for the first half (+132 at DraftKings).

BONUS BET
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions, 3 p.m. ET, Sunday, NBC.

We can’t draw too many conclusions from Tampa Bay’s rout of the mystifying Philadelphia Eagles last week, but a win is a win.

The Bucs defense will challenge the Lions, who cleared a major postseason hurdle in their victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

In winning six of its past seven games, Tampa has held its opponents to an average of 15.3 points.

“We’ve gotten tougher over the course of the past few weeks,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said. “Everybody has finally gotten back and playing at the same time. … Communication has gotten a lot better, everybody’s trusting each other next to them and they’re playing for each other.”

Quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles, but was less than stellar in a Week 6 home loss to these Lions.

Detroit quarterback Jared Goff threw for 353 yards in that one and passed a big test in the Rams win.

The Rams were a worthy opponent; the Eagles were not.

The Lions are a cover machine:
35-17 ATS (67.3 percent) over the past three seasons – best mark in the NFL
24-11 ATS since the start of last season.
21-7 ATS in their past 28 games overall.
12-6 ATS this season.

Sportsbooks have dangled the number at 6.5 and bettors have not pushed it to the magic seven. We’re biting.

The bet: Lions -6.5.

PROP PLAY
If the game goes as we expect, the Lions and coach Dan Campbell will enjoy a ground-and-pound second half that features Detroit running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs.

The Bucs’ Rachaad White just won’t have the volume to keep up.

The bet: David Montgomery more rushing yards than Rachaad White (-130 at BetMGM).

–Field Level Media