Why Jimmy Garoppolo likes playing Aaron Rodgers, per Michele Tafoya

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Why Jimmy G likes playing against Rodgers, per Tafoya originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Most teams dread facing Aaron Rodgers. Even at 37 years old, the Green Bay Packers quarterback still is at the top of his game. 

Rodgers proved that last week when he completed 81.5 percent of his pass attempts for 255 yards and four touchdowns without being intercepted once. That followed a disappointing Week 1 performance where he was intercepted twice, didn't throw one TD and only had 133 passing yards. 

However, NBC Sports' Michele Tafoya says 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo actually loves sharing the field with Rodgers. 

"He looks forward to these matchups with Aaron Rodgers, because he likes to emulate his game after Rodgers," Tafoya said Friday on 95.7 The Game's "Covay and JD" show. "He looks up to him, he thinks he is what he is -- he's a superstar.

"He says when we play and he's on the field, I try to sneak a peek, I try to look and see what I can take from his game."

The defense might feel different than Garoppolo there. If the 49ers' QB can take anything from Rodgers, though, Kyle Shanahan will be a very happy coach. 

When the 49ers face the Packers on Sunday night at Levi's Stadium, all eyes will be on these two QBs. All the offseason drama between Rodgers and the Packers, the 49ers' flirtation with the reigning MVP and Garoppolo's unknown future are just a handful of storylines to watch. But once kickoff comes to fruition, the only thing that will matter is the game being played on the field. 

And Tafoya believes Garoppolo could have a big game through the air. 

"He's finally feeling as though he gets this offense," Tafoya said. "It's really much more natural. He's playing a little freer at the line of scrimmage, not having to think as much. This could be a prime opportunity for him [to air it out]. He certainly has the offensive line to do that, no question about that."

RELATED: Report: 49ers were Rodgers' top offseason trade destination

With a depleted running backs room and a Green Bay defense that can be leaky against the pass, this could be the perfect opportunity for Garoppolo to win a game with his arm. That would certainly quiet his doubters, too. 

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