GREEN BAY – Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner wasn’t the only reason the Packers struggled offensively against the 49ers last season in two meetings, but he was a big one.
The No. 7 overall draft pick in 2016 and a second-team All-Pro selection last year, Buckner came over to the Colts in a major offseason trade, so the Packers saw him again Sunday in Indianapolis. Only this time, Green Bay effectively handled him with a variety of players and approaches.
Playing 55 of the Colts’ 60 defensive snaps, Buckner was credited with just two tackles, and he never got a QB hit on Aaron Rodgers . Unfortunately for the Packers, Buckner was in the right place at the right time to recover Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s fumble in overtime, the only high-impact play he made all game.
Here’s how the Packers neutralized a nemesis, from early in the game through late in the fourth quarter.
Quick hint: Buckner is easy to find on the Colts’ defense because he’s the lineman wearing the full white sleeves. It’s much easier to spot those than his No. 99, which is often crinkled and hard to read.
Play No. 1: Third-and-1 from the Indy 42, first quarter, 11:06 left
Result: 4-yard run by Rodgers