Packers vs. 49ers in 3…2…1…

2015 Week 4 (49ers)

At 3-0, the Packers are onto a spectacular start, and after defeating two strong teams in “revenge” games, another one is on the horizon. The San Francisco 49ers are next on the calendar after a couple rough weeks they seek redemption against the Packers.

And we all know what has happened between those two teams in recent years, but they both are extremely different this season. The Packers look like a powerhouse team to be feared, while the 49ers seem to be trending downward. That brings us to this weeks 3…2…1…

For those who haven’t been reading this series, every Saturday and sometimes Tuesday I will use this countdown system to preview the matchup. I will showcase 3 key matchups, make 2 bold predictions, and 1 key stat. So let’s get started.

3 KEY MATCHUPS

  1. BJ Raji vs. Daniel Kilgore
    • The 49ers are a power running team at their core with Carlos Hyde showing some great potential. And the Packers have been good at stopping the run over the past few weeks, shutting down a power back in Marshawn Lynch and a slasher in Jamaal Charles. And it all started with the play of nose tackle BJ Raji. The big man has looked his best since 2010 and his dominance has translated to the way the run defense has held up. He needs to win his one-on-ones against a strong center in Kilgore for the Packer defense to hold up.
  2. Sam Shields vs. Torrey Smith
    • This one is on the underrated side, but we as fans cannot forget that Colin Kaepernick has an absolute hose attached to his right shoulder. It’s not the most accurate and takes a while to get loose, but he can sling it. Torrey Smith was brought in to be a deep threat and to spread the field. And some of the drives can hinge on stopping him from getting over the top. Sam Shields, the best cover guy on the team will draw the responsibility for Smith and his speed can help this defense box in the 49er offense.
  3. Corey Linsley vs. Glenn Dorsey
    • On the opposite spectrum of matchup number one, the 49ers have a good tackle of their own experiencing a career resurgence. Glenn Dorsey was seen as a sure thing coming out of LSU when he was drafted by Kansas City in 2008. But injuries and a poor system fit hurt him and he was seen as a borderline bust when he came to San Francisco in free agency last season. He is a strong man who can hold the point well, and he will meet Corey Linsley in a battle of brute strength to free up Eddie Lacy.

2 BOLD PREDICTIONS

  1. Colin Kaepernick runs for 50 yards but turns the ball over 4 times.
    • Kaepernick struggled with turnovers last week and really has for a couple of years, and that won’t change this week. The Packers are looking good at forcing turnovers, and also do so at the most opportune times. After last week’s disaster, Kaepernick appears to be shaken and might have the yips. If that persists, look for at least two interceptions (by Casey Hayward and Damarious Randall) and two fumbles lost.
  2. Micah Hyde runs a punt back for a score.
    • I predicted this a couple of weeks ago but with Ty Montgomery on a kickoff, but I stand by my predictions for special teams. Hyde always seems to be on the verge of breaking one when he chooses to return a punt, and this week will be the week he takes one to the house. San Francisco is nicked up which will affect their special teams in a negative way.

1 KEY STAT

  1. Yards per carry
    • We have read at length about Carlos Hyde and the 49ers running game. We have also read about Kaepernick’s success running against Green Bay. The key problems that the team had against the 49ers in the past were the big plays that seemed to change the game completely. This week they need to hold the team to under 4 yards per carry. That means, to me, playing the same general defense as they did against Seattle, with one exception, and that is to contain Kaepernick to the pocket. You can’t let him outside. Offensively, look for a heavy dose of Lacy and Starks to control the clock and keep the threat of Kaepernick on the sidelines.

PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Exorcise the Demons!

One of my favorite things about the 2010 championship season was all of the wrongs that were righted.  Obviously winning the second Super Bowl of my lifetime and the club’s 13th title was important, but there were so many demons that were exorcised by Aaron Rodgers and the 2010 Packers.

During the regular season the traitorous Brett Favre and his Vikings were dispatched.  First the Packers defense got the Favre monkey off their back by forcing the Gunslinger into 3 INTs and thwarting a patented Favre comeback.  In the second game (in Minnesota) Rodgers buried Favre and the Childress-era Vikings 31-3.

Michael Vick and the Falcons won the first playoff game by a visitor at Lambeau field, a painful day for Packers fans.  Green Bay dismissed Vick in the Wild Card round and the Falcons in round 2.  Most of the post-Super Bowl XXXI pains were put away by that 2010 team.

Since Super Bowl XLV title new demons have arisen.  Packers fans have awful memories of the Giants, Seahawks and 49ers, losing regular season and playoff games to each.  The Giants have taken care of themselves and aren’t a very good football team anymore.  Since Super Bowl XLV, the Seahawks beat Green Bay in the “Fail Mary” game, the season opener of 2014 and the NFC Championship game of the same season.  Seattle was just dispatched by the Packers at home on Sunday Night Football and sit at an unimpressive 1-2.

The 49ers are the last remaining demon of the post Super Bowl XLV era.  Most of the players that caused problems for the Packers are gone.  Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Mike Iupati, Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore are gone, but Colin Kaepernick remains.  Kaepernick has beaten the Packers twice, and in two different ways.  The playoff victory was a dominant rushing performance, setting a QB playoff rushing record with 181 yards on the ground.  The following season Kaepernick torched Green Bay through the air, going 27/39 for 412 yards and 3 TDs.

That’s not going to happen on Sunday.  Kaepernick doesn’t appear to be that quarterback any more and even more than that he doesn’t have the same weapons.  The Packers are heavily favored on the road against a 49er team that just got massacred by the Arizona Cardinals.  Exorcising this demon might be fun.

Why the Packers Will Win: they are the better team.  San Francisco simply suffered too many losses.  Jim Harbaugh is gone.  Most of the defense is gone.  A lot of the offense is gone.  If Kaepernick was some transcendent talent he might be able to overcome those losses but he’s not.  He’s an above average starting QB in the NFL.  According to FootballOutsiders’ DVOA, the 49ers defense ranks 30th in the league.  That ranking takes into account the 49ers dominance of the Vikings in week one.  Beat up or not, this Packers offense still has Aaron Rodgers and is a problem for any defense.

Offensively things aren’t going much better for the 49ers.  Carlos Hyde seems to be every bit as good as Frank Gore but you can’t run the ball a whole lot when you’re getting smoked.  Kaepernick was a disaster a week ago, throwing 4 interceptions against 0 touchdowns, with two of those INTs being returned for TDs.  The strength of the 49ers offense was the offensive line for a very long time and most of those key players are gone.  Jonathan Goodwin and Mike Iupati play for other teams and RT Anthony Davis retired.  This Packers defense is, in my opinion, the finest unit they’ve had since 2010.  I think it will show on Sunday.

Why the 49ers Will Win: the Packers aren’t that great of a road team.  It’s a statistic that cherry picks quite a bit because of Aaron Rodgers’ 2013 injury but the Packers are just 9-9 in their last 18 road games.  I understand that the Packers mantra is to split your road games and go undefeated at home, but this roster is too good to go .500 for any reason, no matter where the games are played.  Part of the reason I picked the Packers to go 13-3 this season is that I predicted a better effort on the road.

If the Packers offense struggles to get ahead early it’s entirely possible that San Francisco could keep themselves in the game until the latter part of the game.  In a close game, if I were the 49ers, I would use Carlos Hyde and Kaepernick to test the perimeter of the Packers run defense.  BJ Raji and Mike Daniels have proven too tough of a task to run against up the middle.  If the Packers struggle on offense and struggle to contain the perimeter running game they could lose a close, low scoring game.  It could happen.

Bottom Line: I’m more nervous that I should be about this game.  I think a lot of us are more nervous than we should be about this game.  Yes, it’s a road game.  Yes, it’s against the 49ers.  Yes it’s possible that Minnesota is a good team and they got their asses kicked in Santa Clara.  These concerns and thoughts are much more associated with the uniforms across the field and not the players in those uniforms.  The 49ers roster isn’t very impressive and they aren’t very well coached anymore.  Coach McCarthy purported that his “fast start” would be achieved if the Packers win on Sunday and move to 4-0.  I expect that to happen quite easily.  Packers 38 49ers 17

You guys didn’t really think I was going to use this title and not show this video, did you?

Packers Big Favorites to Exorcise their Kaepernick Demons

colin kaepernick 49ers, Packers

After ripping through Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs (before letting up and giving up three late TDs) the Packers defense showed the ability to be better than just “ok.”

Dom Capers showcased the depth on his bench, using a multitude of packages that included getting players like Chris Banjo and newly re-signed Joe Thomas some meaningful snaps. The Packers sacked Alex Smith seven times in this game and held Jamal Charles to 49 yards rushing.

Off of this performance, the early sports handicapping picks established the Packers as 9.5 point favorites to beat the 49ers in their own building. Apparently, their memories are shorter than those of Packers fans, who still throw up in their mouth a bit when Colin Kaepernick gets mentioned.

For that matter, 49ers fans certainly haven’t forgotten how easily the demon Kaepernick sliced through the Packers defense in record-setting manner. Perhaps it’s the 49ers fans putting up the early money on this game, resulting in the odds dropping down to 8-8.5 points currently.

It’s an understatement to say the 49ers are not the team they’ve been the past few years, when they broke the Packers hopes and dreams of gridiron success. But does any of that really matter now?

The Packers are on a roll and the 49ers are struggling. The Packers will exorcise their demons on Sunday, but this is not a game I’d like to wager on with the points.

Out of the Pocket: Internet Rumors

Out of the pocket Packers Podcast

Kelly, Dick, and Colleen “really, really” sit down to talk about the Green Bay Packers recent playoff loss, free agency, turtlenecks, the internet rumors about Aaron Rodgers and why you should get married before you’re thirty.

Listen using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

More Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

Join two of the PocketDoppler Angels and Richard Chang as they take their show on the road and bring you a weekly dissection of the Green Bay Packers as only they know how.  All three are longtime Packer fans who bring their infinite wisdom, passion and snark to the Packers Talk Radio Network. Check out their work at PocketDoppler.com and Dick’s Favorite Blog. And follow them on Twitter at @WhatRUTinkin , @Ceallaigh_k and @RichardMChang.

PackersTalk.com Game Predictions: Wild Card Game-Packers vs 49ers

Playoff football. Frozen Tundra. Lambeau Field.

It doesn’t get any better than this.

 

Cory Jennerjohn (@coryjennerjohn)

The 49ers have the distinct advantage on the offensive and defensive line. And since this game will be played in biblical polar conditions, the big boys up front will win or lose the game. The biggest nightmare for Dom Capers should be Vernon Davis. He is healthy and virtually unguardable, especially with the linebackers the Packers have. The Packers must play mistake-free football to stay close.

49ers 31 Packers 23

 

Jacob Westendorf (@jacobwestendorf)

This season has been a roller coaster. The packers were sitting pretty, then things looked bleak, now they’re NFC north champions and have a shot at redemption against the San Francisco 49ers. Despite what some may say the Packers can compete with this team, but in the end the 49ers are just a better team right now. I expect the game to go down to the wire, but the packers lose a heart breaker.

49ers 31 Packers 27

 

John Rehor (@jrehor)

Who would have thought 8 weeks ago we would be getting ready for a Packers playoff game, and at Lambeau Field no less? What a crazy season it has been. But that was the regular season-the second season begins today with a rematch against the 49ers. For the Packers to win this game, there are a number of “ifs” that need to happen: IF the Packers can get Eddie Lacy going on offense; IF the Packers play mistake free football on offense (zero turnovers); IF the defense can beeeeeennnnnnd but not break; and IF the defense can force turnovers, the Packers stand a very good chance to win this game. I think this team has a little bit of luck left in it, and will find a way to win a very close, very physical game.

Packers 27 49ers 23

 

Ross Uglem (@rossuglem)

I want to pick the Packers.  I want to believe that they are going to win on Sunday.  In my heart as a fan I still believe in this Coach, team, and especially QB.  I just can’t see that the Packers are a better team right now than the teams that have lost to the 49ers in the past.  Without Matthews the Packers defense just doesn’t match up well and I just don’t see the offense being able to keep up in the conditions that will be present on Sunday.

49ers 34 Packers 27

PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: A Familiar Foe

Aaron Rodgers

Packers fans at this point would probably say that the 49ers are their biggest rival besides the Chicago Bears.  Unfortunately since the 2010 34-16 game (the Donald Driver incredible TD game) the Packers “rivalry” with the 9ers has resembled the type of rivalry that the Packers have with the Vikings. One sided.  The Packers were physically dominated both times they played the 49ers in 2012.  The Pack also fell just short in San Francisco in this season’s opener dropping the contest 34-28.

To get a win this time against the 49ers the Packers are going to have to play a near perfect game.  The defense, seemingly punchless without Clay Matthews, is going to need to stop the run as they did in week 1, but also not allow Colin Kaepernick to throw all over them.  The offense will need to run the ball effectively and possess the ball for longer than they did in the week 1 contest in the frigid conditions at Lambeau Field.

Why the Packers Will Win: With Aaron Rodgers at QB, the Packers are capable of beating anybody.  The home crowd and conditions could be a great equalizer.  Eddie Lacy is seemingly more healthy that he has been in weeks and is certainly a more effective runner than he was in week 1.  The Packers offense has every starter from week one except for Jermichael Finley.  Packers OLB Andy Mulumba is possibly emerging as the pass rusher the team needs until Clay Matthews can return.

Why the 49ers Will Win: The 49ers are a more complete team than the Green Bay Packers right now.  They can beat you running the ball and with good defense.  Colin Kaepernick showed in week 1 that if you make him beat you throwing the ball he is capable.  The weather, which some are considering to be an equalizer, actually works in the advantage of the 49ers, as they are more capable of moving the game to the ground and winning a slugfest.

Bottom Line: I want to pick the Packers.  I want to believe that they are going to win on Sunday.  In my heart as a fan I still believe in this Coach, team, and especially QB.  I just can’t see that the Packers are a better team right now than the teams that have lost to the 49ers in the past.  Without Matthews the Packers defense just doesn’t match up well and I just don’t see the offense being able to keep up in the conditions that will be present on Sunday.  49ers 34 Packers 27

No Huddle Radio: 2013 Week 1 Recap with Justin Felder of WLUK-TV Fox11

No Huddle Radio from ALLGBP.com on Packers Talk Radio Network

Game 1 is in the books and the Packers fall again to the San Francisco 49ers.  Join Adam Czech (@adamczech), Kris Burke (@KrisLBurke) and Jason Perone (@jasonperone) from ALLGBP.com as they break down the 49ers game and look ahead to the week 2 matchup and home opener vs. the Washington Redskins and RG3.

Our special guest tonight is Justin Felder, Sports Reporter at WLUK-TV, Fox-11 in Green Bay.

Justin and the guys will tackle a myriad of questions; Can the Packers contain another mobile quarterback?  Will they continue to improve?  Can this team really run the ball?  How did the 2 young offensive tackles fare?

Tune in as the trio runs another “No Huddle 2 Minute Drill” with a 10-pack of rapid fire questions about the Packers.

Listen using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

 

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Join the writers at AllGreenBayPackers.com for a fast hitting discussion of all things Packers. Please be sure to visit  ALLGREENBAYPACKERS.COM, where we are “All Packers All the Time.”  You can also browse Packers Talk Radio Network for more Packers podcasts and follow @PackerstalkNet and @NoHuddleRadioGB on twitter.