September 6, 2013

Why Packers vs. 49ers will dictate Green Bay's entire season

Watch and learn Sunday afternoon because Packer fans will get answers to many of their offseason questions and concerns. The 49ers are the most complete, talented and physical team in the NFL and this matchup will directly dictate the entire fate and trajectory of Green Bay’s season. Here’s how and why.

We’ve all heard, read and seen what the Packers deficiencies are:
Can the Packers offensive line keep Aaron Rodgers upright?

  • Will they be able to defend the read option and running quarterbacks?
  • Will be able to block for Aaron Rodgers?
  • Will the defense be able to stop anyone?
  • Will they find a solution at running back?

The 49ers will push Green Bay in each of the above categories, giving Packer fans a sense of the progress (or lack thereof) the team has made in the offseason. What I’m most interested in though beyond these specific factors, is the coaching matchup. Week one is the culmination of thousands of hours, hundreds of days and multiple months of preparation.

Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers are square in the spotlight, after an embarrassing lack of preparation was evident the last time these teams met. Personnel issues are one thing, but this football team better be prepared appropriately and there better be a sense of nasty in the eyes of Packers defenders.

If the Packers fall flat at San Francisco again, the season story line will constantly shadowed by the idea that the Packers can’t play with the NFC elite. If the Packers play well, the team will have a renewed sense of hope and confidence as it moves forward into the league’s 6th most difficult regular season schedule.

Green Bay doesn’t need a victory for their performance to be a success. It sure would help, but I’m looking for significant progress from last year’s matchup. More specifically, the Packers need to show:

  • They can tackle a running quarterback and limit his out of pocket effectiveness
  • A hint of explosiveness in the running game and commitment to a balanced attack
  • Hard hits and a swagger on defense 
  • Ample protection so Rodgers doesn’t feel like he’s running for his life

No matter the outcome, if I see all of the above Sunday afternoon I’ll feel pretty good about this team. That being said, here’s my game prediction.

Game Prediction
Green Bay’s defensive line proves surprisingly stout against the league’s best offensive line and forces Colin Kaepernick to be a true pocket passer for 90% of the game. He still torches the Packers with one 30+ yard TD run, but also throws two INTs, fumbles once and is unable to find enough open receivers to pull ahead of the Packers.

Rodgers gets the ball back tied with less than a minute on the clock and leads his crew on an impressive drive, mainly targeting Jermichael Finley to get Mason Crosby a 51-yard FG attempt to win at Candlestick. Crosby drains it and the Packers start 2013, 1-0 with a 27-24 defeat of the defending NFC champions.


  1. San Fran D too physical for our weak, unproven line. Only way I see GB on top is two turnovers and Rodgers goes for three TDs. Honest prediction... 27-20 SF

  2. Nice nice. Like the honesty here, makes sense. I would agree that we'll need to win the turnover battle. Also remember their secondary isn't as good as last year. They have a rookie safety and no Dashon Golson, so that could be a weak spot for them. I see lots of quick slats in this game, trying to get the ball out of A-Rod's hands ASAP. I think the game will be closer than people think.

  3. Love the optimism. True storytellers perspective. Unfortunately, the 49ers present the toughest possible matchup for the Packers. Week 1 in San Fran I don't see it. Niners 27-20. Should be an adversity laden season with the Pack hopefully peaking at the end like the 2010 Super Bowl run. Pack 10-6 and if Lacy emerges along with a combo of Nick Perry and/or someone else on the d-line we can make a late season run at the thing. My first post was much more eloquent than this but my iphone had a brain fart.