From the look of it, the Green Bay Packers played this game is if it was their Super Bowl. Kinda Like NASCAR in that Daytona is the first, and the biggest, race of the year. Well, sorry Green Bay, you lost 34-28. To prepare for this matchup, their first game since the last beat-down handed to them by the 49ers, Green Bay sent their coaching staff to Texas A&M to learn how to stop the read-option, they consulted with the coach of the Hawaii Warriors, who beat Kappy at UNR in 2010, and Clay Matthews had Kappy on his mind all offseason, yapping to anyone that would listen that he would “hit Kaepernic early and hit him often.”
Well, a funny thing happened to the game plan. Green Bay did an awesome job stopping the run. Well, they gave up 90 yards on the ground. A far cry from the 323 yard rushing the Niners laid on them in the playoffs last year (181 from Kappy, 119 from Gore for a tidy 3 hundy). Unfortunately for the Packers, they negelected to stop Kaepernick and newly acquired Anquan Boldin. Kaepernick put up 412 yards through the air, and Boldin had 208 of those on 13 catches. VD also pitched in with 98 on 6 catches, and 2 TDs. There’s a lot of whining from the Packers fans that it would have been different without 2 of their DBs Casey Heyward and Morgan Burnett in there. There’s also a lot of whining about the comments Kaepernick made after the game regarding intimidation. “I’m not worried about what people are saying. If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one.” I love it. Matthews yapped all offseason about how he would hit Kaepernick. Well, he had to resort to a cheap shot to do it. When Joe Staley grabbed sister golden hair, he threw 2 punches at Staley. This resulted in (!) offsetting penalties. Which the refs later said should have led to the play standing, and as a result lead to a 4th down.
In my interpretation of the rules, the original hit by cheese-dick was not a dead-ball foul, but a continuation play. That immediately should have given the 49ers 1st and goal. The skirmish afterwards is where the offsetting aspect comes into play. If the rules are interpreted as they (wrongly) said yesterday, then it is OK to head hunt the opposition QB as long as you get a retaliation fight. Then the penalties offset, instead of protecting the QB against unwarranted cheap shots.
Anyhow, back to the game. Worrying to me was the lack of pass rush that the defense generated. The 2 sacks were pretty weak ass tumbles by Rodgers, and he had way too much time to sit back was wait for Jordy Nelson to come free. It’s hard to fault the DBs for their efforts too much because of the lack of pressure, and Eric Reid looked like a very solid safety in his debut, but the tackling by the group as a whole was terrible. Cox missed what should have been a minimal gain and let it go for a 12 yard score, and Asomugha looked overmatched at various points in the game, but did make a nice play to close it out. The run game was pretty much shut down, but then again, that was Green Bay’s prime directive. Stop the run. They did, but they couldn’t stop the pass. All in all, a good day for the home team. Even if they looked at times like they were still in preseason mode.