Packers get education on how to beat ‘bully’ 49ers
Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Green Bay Packers have learned a lesson they can use for a possible future rematch against the San Francisco 49ers in January.
When facing the schoolyard bully, take it to them, but don’t let your guard down.
A 34-28 loss to the San Francisco 49ers to start the 2013 season was very similar to the way the Packers' 2012 season ended.
As has become the norm, the offense was effective and efficient.
Aaron Rodgers had his typical day at the office, finishing 21 of 37 for 333 yards, 3 TDs and one interception (which was not his fault). Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb each had over 100 receiving yards. Jermichael Finley redeemed his drop which led to Rodgers’ interception with a TD catch.
Although the run game struggled to gain yards against a tough 49ers defense, Eddie Lacy ran hard.
One has to wonder how much better his inaugural game could have been had he not been benched early for a fumble
As for the defense, it has much room to improve on after this loss.
After spending a good portion of the off season working on stopping the read option offense which torched the Packers defense in the playoffs, the 49ers found a new way to torch the Packers: through the air.
Holding the 49ers to a mere 90 rushing yards was a major improvement following the embarrassment in last years’ Divisional Playoff loss. There was little room for the 49ers backs to run, which was good to see.
The wide open receivers running down the field? Not good to see.
Colin Kaepernick was barely touched en route to going 27-39 for 412 yards and 3 TDs against the Packers’ defense.
He had all day to throw the ball, with Anquan Boldin being the primary beneficiary (13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown).
Not having Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward on the field most definitely hurt the Packers defense.
It’s certainly possible they could have made some difference, but one can only speculate on how much of a difference considering the shredding Kaepernick and Co. unleashed.
494 yards later, the 49ers walked away victorious, while the Packers walked away puzzled and perplexed, particularly on defense.
79 points and 1,043 yards in two games is the damage inflicted on the Packers D by the 49ers in the past eight months.
Not exactly inspiring statistics for a team with Super Bowl expectations.
Right now, the bully has their number, and nobody likes bullies.
Fortunately for the Packers, there is a lot of season still left to play to sort out the issues on defense and respond with a knockout playoff punch should the two teams meet again.
John Rehor (@jrehor on Twitter) is a writer at PackersTalk.com and co-host of Cheesehead Radio.
Jay Sorgi contributed to this analysis.