A few days ago I was telling a friend that I could see a blowout for the 49ers today. But my thinking has changed a bit since then. I’m still expecting a loss, but not quite a blowout. I think the 49ers just won’t be quite as good as they were a year ago this year. I think they think they are better than they are – starting with their head coach. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they go right along with the media, kind of overlooking the Packers here (as ridiculous as that may sound). I guess I’m just a bit surprised that so many pundits and everyone is just dismissing the Packers today – Rodgers/MM tend to thrive when disrespected. So again while I think they’ll lose, it won’t be the bloodbath that last year’s playoff game was.
Eddie Lacy could be a major factor in this game. If he can get any momentum going and take the pressure off Rodgers and the O-Line, we could really be in for a good game. If not, I envision us playing from behind, starting from pretty early on.
Defensively, I think there is no way we contain Kaepernick. The only way he’s contained is if he opts to contain himself (like by being too cautious – taking steps to avoid possible injury…a decision he/coaches might make if Matthews and others can pop him a couple times early). If he gets out of the pocket and does some of the option crap, our LBs aren’t good enough and our secondary is too young to know how to manage that. Unless we can somehow get a lead and make the 49ers force things a bit, I see a long afternoon for our defense (despite my thinking that the 49ers offense is worse this year than last year).
The Packers have Aaron Rodgers – who keeps the Packers in any game no matter how great the other team is. Unless the Packers get off to a horrid start (which is possible given the mess we have on the O-Line and our defensive iffiness), with Rodgers leading the team I think it will be tough for us to get blown out.
I would like to see which of our receiving targets steps forward this year. One concern I’ve had going into the season is that without Jennings/Driver around, Jordy and Jones may not be able to get open as easily against #1 and #2 CBs. Now, they have both flashed some serious talent when Jennings was out and Driver was hardly playing (so against #1 and #2 CBs before) – true. But I still have some questions this year about which of these 2 guys will stand out.
I expect the biggest WR #s from Cobb this year. The guy is a stud and impossible to defend. I expect Finley will end up being our #2 receiver. Both will be Rodgers’ go-to guys.