Ugly game. Officiating was poor and at times it was atrocious – but I don’t necessarily believe it is why we lost.
The Packers are not THAT bad and the 49ers are not THAT good. Alex Smith played as well as he could have, Gore was good and had fresh legs (he was far better than he’ll be after about 4 more games), and the Packers just plain didn’t bring it.
We were outcoached in this one. McCarthy was outcoached, Capers was outcoached. They were just WAY more prepared than we were.
If I had to pin the difference in this game on one thing – it would be tackling. The 49ers D is incredibly good at tackling. It’s impressive. All of our WRs can make people miss and while we had a few good jukes here and there, for the most part we just didn’t get the YAC we typically do in good part because their defenders were all over our WRs in coverage and then wrapped them up immediately when tackling. Just an impressive defensive display.
We seemed overly confident. Even though we were losing late in the game, I thought we’d come back and snatch away the win. I think many of the players assumed this as well – but the fact was we were beaten by a quality team that was not only ready to play, but a team that seems ready to play pretty much every time they step on the field. Remember a few years back when Mike Sherman’s teams would come out right away either not pumped up or simply not ready to play? It just seemed to me that we just weren’t ready for the 49ers and their game plan today. We were chasing for much of the game, especially on defense – and we just didn’t seem ready. The 49ers, on the other hand, were absolutely ready.
Our defense sucks. I’m not sure why I said before the game that defense (positive defense) would be the difference in this game. I didn’t really believe it when I said it and I certainly don’t believe it now. I guess if you think about it, we added virtually nobody on defense except Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy. And our defense was awful last year. So maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that our defense was so bad.
I’m getting concerned about what we’re seeing from Mike McCarthy when we face defenses that seem to know what we’re up to. Looking at our last 3 losses (Chiefs, Giants, 49ers) – each game had a very similar feel. In each game, it became apparent, obvious even, that our play-calling mix was not working. We were out of rhythm and we weren’t able to get into a rhythm of any kind. While I had hoped that McCarthy’s offense would never become predictable based on stories I’ve read about his how complex and in depth his playbooks are, there are times when he seems to get in a rut and can’t get out – and others teams pretty much know what’s coming. And – even with Rodgers making a few of the playcalls (so it’s not all McCarthy) – the concern is still that defenses aren’t so clueless anymore. Anyway, it’s a concern that maybe the uniqueness of McCarthy’s offensive system is no longer the weapon it was – other teams have had a chance to catch up and now have a better idea of what we’re up to.
Rodgers didn’t look great to me. His stats weren’t terrible but he threw a terrible interception (2 guys could have made a play on that) and throughout the game, he just didn’t seem as dialed in both physically and mentally as he usually is.
We missed Bishop today – big time. Those Frank Gore runs killed us. Many of them came at the perfectly worst time – and had Bishop been in there, I don’t think Gore would have hurt us so much.
The 49ers were smart to pick up Randy Moss. He just knows way too much and still has enough talent to ever be left alone. Incredibly, I believe on 3 of his catches, he was left pretty much alone. Though the worst such offense was when we left Vernon Davis wide open streaking down the middle to set up a score. But again, by adding Moss and Manningham, the 49ers suddenly have a group of receivers that need to be taken seriously.
We wouldn’t have been close in this game without Randall Cobb. What a player he is. I’m wondering if we should just borrow from the Patriots and make him our Wes Welker. Use him the same way. I was watching him come off the line today and he almost can’t be defended – seriously. He is incredibly quick and nobody can stay with him off his first or second move.
I did not like how we used Benson today. Clearly our O-Line is not used to having to block for RBs because he had zero holes whatsoever. But I thought we should have worked to get him involved in the passing game a bit too just to get him more involved in the game – and importantly, to make him seem like a threat at least. After about mid-way through the 2nd quarter, the 49ers simply didn’t have to defend against the possibility we’d run the ball. That makes playing defense much easier.
On to a difficult Bears game. I watched the Bears today and though they started slowly, they got it going. They could be really good this year (I have them and the Pack at 11-5 this year). The key will be getting pressure on Cutler. Outside of some good pressure by Mathews and Woodson – our pressure was not that good today. And it killed us. Cutler with Marshall to throw to, will tear us up if we don’t pressure enough.
I think one of the things that make McCarthy’s offense fall into ruts is that we have zero running game. When we won the Super Bowl Starks was a very legitimate threat running the ball during those last 5+ games or so. We won 15 last year without a running game (or defense) which I think was a fluke…McCarthy needs to establish some threat out of the back field otherwise good teams – especially in the playoffs – will hurt us with the pressure on Rodgers. Our O-Line should be embarrassed by their play today. Zero run blocking and they missed a lot of seemingly simple stunts, blitzes…etc…
All that said, most teams don’t have a defense like SF so I think we’ll still win a bunch with Rodgers and the Receiving corp airing it out. (Cobb is a stud)
11-5 ARE YOU KIDDING?!!!!?!!?!?! they would be lucky to win 5 games this year- the D sucks beyond all that sucks and the offense is as predictable as a hollywood movie -oh well such as life-it will be another 15 yrs or more till the pack win anything significant.
Did Driver even have a snap today? The Packers played a ton of four WR sets and Driver couldn’t crack the lineup. I’m not complaining about that…I think Jennings, Jordy, Cobb, and Jones all are better options at this point. But, IF Driver is going to contribute this little then the Packers should have let him go and added a young WR who at least can contribute on special teams and maybe develop into a starter. Sort of sad to seen him standing on the sideline all game holding a towel.
This defense is a hot mess right now.
ILB: Smith and Hawk inside are just not good enough for a 3-4 team. This team will miss Bishop all year and teams will exploit the middle of the field all year. Hawk didn’t even have a terrible game. He’s just not a play-maker and the Packers need some juice at one of these spots.
OLB: Matthews was back to form today. What a beast. Perry was lost. He was atrocious in space and just didn’t provide any juice in the pass rush. He’s a 4-3 DE playing out of position. Maybe he gets better but it’s a real shame the full fury of Matthews won’t be realized again because the other side is so pedestrian.
You can’t be a great 3-4 team with three average linebackers and besides Matthews they are average.
Cornerback: I still can’t believe Shields has regressed so much that he can’t beat out Bush. Bush will never be an adequate starting CB in this league. He gets flipped around way too much and has almost no ball skills. He will give up big plays and pass interference calls every game until he is replaced. You would think that with Williams, Woodson, House (when healthy), and Shields you could find a way to keep Bush off the field except in dime.
Safety: Burnett is no Collins both in terms of leading this offense or actually covering real estate. The SS spot is also a mess and I’m not sure moving Woodson there part time is the answer. They looked confused all game and gave up big plays because of it. And, Woodson’s post game comments of “all is well” were frightening.
The bright spot for me was the D-line. I think we have a player in Worthy and a solid rotation with Raji, Pickett, Merling, Daniels, Wilson. This unit is better the last year.
The Pack has never recovered from the loss of Nick Collins and cullen jenkins.
It is only week one, so i want to resist the temptation to overreact, but there were way too many guys running wide open for SF. I expected SF D to give the Pack problems, but I didn’t expect them to have their way on O like they did.
Bears game becomes almost a must-win, it would be very tough to overcome starting 0-2 at home.
Packers will have a rough year this year. Disappointed in Thompson. His ego has caught up with him. Even Wolf went out and got defensive playmakers. (Reggie, Sean jones, Eugene Robinson, etc…). Thompson needs to let Capers go. How much longer before we all admit that Capers is not a good coach. Matthews and Collins made Capers look good in 2010. I love the Pack but the future is now and our GM can’t see that. Go Pack Go!!!
I knew that game was over when that 63 yarder was good. Flashbacks of the hail mary pass to end the half against the Giants in the playoffs.
I was buying into the “Sky is Falling” stuff during and right after the game. After sleeping on it, I’m not so concerned. The 49ers Offense is better than last year, but still not elite. They looked much better due to our awful D. Our Offense WILL be able to move the ball against lesser defenses. We are going to get clowned exactly the same way against the Texans, but aside from that, every other game is win-able in the style of last season: score a bunch of points, give up a bunch of points.
That’s not how you advance in the post-season, as we’ve all seen. But this team will still win a bunch of games, and hopefully the D will turn around a bit when the rookies get more comfortable in the system, especially Perry in his coverage. Hopefully. If not, it’s going to be a long and ugly season. I’d rather watch the Packers with an average offense and a decent defense than watch the Offense light it up knowing full well that I’m going to have to painfully endure the Defense give up third and longs until the other team scores on the next possession.
The run game will improve slightly in the coming weeks. No one runs effectively on San Fran. Instead of 1 ypc I expect Benson will be able to grind for about 3 ypc avg.
I’m already seeing Bears fans getting smug as shit, apparently in their little pea-brains a rebuilding Colts franchise (worst in the league!) is comparable to the team that, aside from some fluky stuff, should have represented the NFC in the Superbowl, and thus their opening victory is to be lorded over our loss. They feel like they’ve already won this Thursday night’s match up. Chicago’s D is another year older and another year slower, and Tillman got hurt this week. We ought to be able to move the ball much more effectively against the Bears than the 9ers. I think that Bears O line is still a garbage fire and will allow us to get some heat on Cutler. OTOH, if we can’t stop Forte and Bush, we’re boned. They’ll just set up the run and play action to that nutjob Marshall all day while Bush sits in coverage with his thumb up his anus.
Go Pack, let’s not all jump ship after just one (admittedly very ugly) game.
Hey Chapel Hill, I will be in Raleigh at the Carolina Ale House watching the game Thursday night with a bunch of bears fans. Please beat the Bears Packers. I m catching a lot of shit right now about how the Pack has lost 3 of their last 5 games. Win Thursday and get some confidence. However the defense still blows and will probably keep me nervous all year. Step up bitches!!!
Go Pack Go!