September 11, 2013

Kaepernick and The 49ers Burn the Packers in Season Opener

By Andrew Megow

Vernon Davis caught 2 TDs for San Francisco Sunday
Questions concerning the Packers roster were answered during their 34-28 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. No matter how many times the Packers made a statement on the field, the 49ers were able to reply in a repeat fashion of last years playoff loss last January. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was 27 of 39 for 412 yards and 3 TDs in a shoot-out with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers who was 21 of 37 for 333 yds.

The Positives

Protecting Rodgers

  • Probably the best positive for the Packers was how well Rookie OT David Bakhtiari protected Rodgers’ blind side. Linebacker Aldon Smith did create pressure on Bakhtiari throughout the game and did sack Rodgers twice. For a weak offensive line to handle what is arguably the best defensive front in the League was somewhat encouraging.

The Defensive Line

  • The Packers defensive line is the most positive story out of the defense. Johnny Jolly, Datone Jones and B.J. Raji were able to put decent pressure on Kaepernick and kept Frank Gore to only 44 yards rushing. This opened up holes for linebacker Clay Matthews to make sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage and in the end prevented the 49ers from using the read-option effectively.

The Negatives

The Secondary

  • Oh boy… the secondary. Let me start by saying that the Packers defense was successful at stopping the 49ers read-option. They were, however, unable to stop Anquan Boldin.; the 11-year veteran had 13 reception for 208 yards. Boldin was running laps around Safeties Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings for the entire game. Embarrassing as it was, the Packers secondary was never able to adjust. Fourth year veteran Safety Morgan Burnett and second year play-maker Casey Hayward were greatly missed in this game and it hurts to think what these two might have done differently in the situation.

Eddie Lacy’s Fumble

  • Let’s stop for a moment and realize that Packer’s running back Eddie Lacy is a rookie and he is bound to make mistakes. But the fumble was a game changer. The Packers offense was starting to pick up the pace when Lacy made a crucial fumble recovered by the 49ers. This offset the score and the Packers played catch-up for the rest of the game.

3rd Down Conversions

  • Both the defense and the offense need to work hard at making plays on 3rd downs. Yes, the offensive line was pressured the whole game and prevented many sacks, but the receivers need to catch the balls. Wide receiver James Jones was targeted twice and failed to catch either of the passes when it mattered. The 49ers best plays occurred when they were facing a 3rd down against the Packers defense. The 49ers played extremely well between the 30’s and were able to convert more than half their 3rd downs. 

Five key takeaways from the game:
Packers WR Jordy Nelson was not slowed down by injuries 

  1. If Jordy Nelson and Clay Matthews can stay healthy, they’re both going to have career years.
  2. I expect the sack numbers to fall for Aaron Rodgers if the Packers offensive line can hold up to defenses as good as San Francisco’s. 
  3. We have a run game in the works. Even with no holes at all, Rookie Eddie Lacy was able to grab yardage. If this offensive line can make slightly bigger holes for Lacy, he might be unstoppable. Expect Lacy to only improve as the year goes on.
  4. The run defense is much improved, but the secondary is not. Expect opposing quarterbacks to continue to have great passing games against the Packers throughout the season, if Burnett and Hayward are out for extended periods of time
  5. The offense shook off its rust and proved it’s still as dangerous as ever. If the packers lose games this season, they will be very close games. The 49ers are possibly the best team in the NFL and if the Packers can keep it this close with the best, fans can look forward to many wins against the rest of the league.

1 comment:

  1. I will say that the secondary was awful on Sunday however I'm not as concerned going forward because A) They were without their starting Safety and Nickleback. and B) On most 3rd Downs Capers didn't want to give Kaepernick any running lanes, and because of that they couldn't rush as hard and so the secondary had to cover for longer, which become increasingly difficult after 4-5 seconds.
    This is Moen btw.