Welcome to the 2013 NFL season.
The Green Bay Packers open their schedule the same way they closed out last season—with a trip to San Francisco to face the 49ers. While it is only Week 1, Packers fans should get a pretty good handle on what the 2013 version of their team looks like as they face off against the defending NFC champions and a team many predict will return to and perhaps even win the Super Bowl.
When we last met….
Both the Packers and their fans need little reminding of their last encounter with the 49ers.
Last January, Green Bay traveled to San Francisco to face the 49ers in the NFC Divisional playoffs and ended up being sent home in one of the most embarrassing playoff defeats in franchise history. 49ers Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns in addition to two touchdown passes and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense just couldn’t keep up.
San Francisco brilliantly executed the read option against a Green Bay defense that was woefully unprepared for it. Charles Woodson said after the game he didn’t realize how fast Kaepernick was. If that doesn’t show lack of preparation, who knows what does?
The defeat shell shocked the Packers so bad that Mike McCarthy sent his entire defensive coaching staff to Texas A&M to study the read option and how to stop it. The Packers’ two backup quarterbacks also happen to have been on the 49ers’ roster at some point this year.
Sounds like Green Bay wants this one pretty badly.
What they’re good at
As you can tell above, the read option offense but there is more to the 49ers attack than just that.
Kaepernick has both quick feet and a strong arm. Everyone focuses on what he can do outside the pocket but he is also underrated in what he can do in the pocket. He is lethal as a runner but his arm is still very strong and can make his throws from inside the pocket as well. With as much emphasis the Packers have made on stopping the read option, the 49ers could use a more traditional attack and still get results.