The moment everyone heard that free safety Morgan Burnett was a scratch for the Packers-49ers game, most people panicked.
The secondary did look awful. But that’s not the reason the Packers lost.
The reason they lost is because the defensive line only recorded two quarterback pressures, and that includes a late garbage sack by Johnny Jolly.
Colin Kaepernick was allowed to pick apart the Packers’ secondary and despite his awkward throwing motion, he was allowed to get comfortable and make just about any throw he wanted.
The defensive line did do a good job bottling up four-time Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore to just 2.1 yards per carry. But it was Kaepernick that would’ve carved up a healthy Packers defensive backfield.
This is the NFL. The passers and receivers had a big advantage before the rules were altered lessening the contact by the secondary. It’s why 12 quarterbacks threw for at least 300 yards in Week 1 — a week generally reserved for offenses to get in rhythm — and three threw for at least 400.
The best way to throw the passing circus off balance? Bring the wolves with a massive pass rush to throw off the timing. Which is exactly what the 49ers did. Aldon Smith and Justin Smith made Aaron Rodgers constantly check over his shoulder and either flushed him out of the pocket or made him throw it away.
Robert Griffin III is a better passer than Kaepernick. He got off to a rough start on Monday night mainly because he hadn’t played since tearing his knee in a Jan. 6 playoff game. But he looked much better in the second half when he nearly brought back the Redskins from a 33-7 deficit.
On the plus side, the Packers won’t have to worry about much of a running element from Griffin. With an awkward brace, he looks like the Tin Man when he tries to scamper. But he has proven his ability as an efficient passer by registering nine games last year with at least a 65 percent completion rate. His senior year at Baylor he had 44 completions of 25 yards or more.
Without the impending threat of an electrifying quarterback, the Packers can lock and load on the quarterback without worrying too much about getting torched with a deep run.
The Packers need to desperately generate a pass rush because the next two opponents — Cincinnati and Detroit — lean heavily on the forward pass.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn