Kaepernick played very little in the first meeting between these teams. He will be a big focus of the Green Bay defense on Saturday
Some would simply look at this season’s week one matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers to start breaking down this upcoming Saturday’s divisional playoff game. But each of these teams has made a sizable change between Week 1 and now.
So what are the changes? The 49ers have a new starting quarterback in Colin Kaepernick and the Packers have found a more productive running game. Let’s examine each of these factors as it relates to this upcoming game.
This is the biggest change for San Francisco. In the week one matchup at Green Bay, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was the starter and he was extremely efficient. He was 20 for 26 with two touchdowns and no interceptions. It helped that Frank Gore added over 100 yards rushing and with Smith not under any real pressure all day. The 49ers were able to beat the Packers for the first time since 1999 and the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
In a week 10 game against the St. Louis Rams, Smith suffered a concussion and had to leave the game. That would be his last start and action during the 2012 season. Smith was forced to miss the next week’s game when he was not cleared to return. Read more... (890 words + 3 images, estimated 3:34 mins reading time)
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Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers: Week 1 vs. Now
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Posted in 2012 - 2013 Season
by Jason Perone
Harris has emerged as Green Bay’s offensive X-factor over the past month
The Green Bay Packers finally won a home playoff game, their first since 2008. They defeated the Minnesota Vikings and they’re now moving forward to the Divisional Round of the playoffs and will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers.
That the Packers beat Minnesota should still be front of mind and reason to celebrate. I say “should” because while I believe in the “24 hour rule” (whereby you give yourself 24 hours to revel a win or wallow in a loss), for some reason I have already moved on and am thinking critically about next week’s game.
Since there is no NFC North Preview this week (and I am ecstatic about which team in the division is the only one left standing!), I’ll focus on an early look at the week ahead and what the win over Minnesota told us about what to expect.
One Big Positive
The Packers have found a running game. DuJuan Harris, who was claimed off waivers just a few weeks ago, has sparked the ground game and also added a valuable check down for Aaron Rodgers. Time and time again, Harris was not only a safety valve for Aaron Rodgers but the Packers got a ton of production from him in the passing game.
How scary is the thought that an already-potent Green Bay offense may also have a formidable screen game? Technically it’s part of the passing game but a well-timed screen can act just like a run. It draws in an active defense like San Francisco’s and can burn them if they over pursue. Read more... (1307 words + 3 images, estimated 5:14 mins reading time)