Sept 9, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) can't catch a pass while being defended by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown (25) at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Vic Fangio, it's Rod Marinelli on line one.
The 49ers were ready for the Packers. And not just ready in the traditional, pregame, emotionally hyped way, but schematically ready for Rodgers & Co..
Marinelli, the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator, may not have the defensive personnel that 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has in San Francisco next Thursday night when the Packers play the Bears, but certainly Sunday's tape will be studied by the Bears and opposing defenses on how to stop the Rodgers attack. An attack which has been deemed in the past, unstoppable.
The 49ers have an incredible amount of talent. Many Niners' defensive players have yet to become "household"names, but that should change quickly if they keep it up.
Sunday the Packers offense looked predictable, lacked snap, and the 49ers knew what was coming and had the speed and instincts to stop both the run and the pass, as pointed out by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com,
The Packers can fix the passing game, the current running back group though doesn't have a great history of success in Green Bay though Benson excelled in Chicago and Cincinnati.
Benson for his part didn't get many chances. When he did there was nothing doin'. Benson totaled 18 yards on nine carries. Rodgers was the leading Packers rusher with 27 yards on five attempts.
"We didn’t run it very well. Give credit to their run defense," head coach Mike McCarthy admitted.
"We wanted to get into a run-play mix there early with the no huddle offense. I thought Aaron did a good job with that. But yes, the production definitely wasn’t there. A 2.0 (average), that’s not good enough. That’s not what we’re looking for.”
After the game, the Packer locker room chalked up the lack of offensive production to a simple fact of tremendous talent and execution on the other side of the ball.
"They’re tough up front," Rodgers said.
"They’ve got a great front seven. We had some good looks to run the ball on the first couple drives, but didn’t get a whole lot done."
Rodgers went 30 of 44 for 303 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT. His passer rating was sub-100, at 93.3, foreign territory for the reigning NFL MVP.
He again gave credit to a tremendously talented 49er defense, "They’ve got a great defense, you’ve got to give them credit. They’ve got some of the top guys in the league at their position. They made some good plays, good adjustments, disguised some coverages. We didn’t have the opportunity to take a lot of shots downfield, but when we did, they made some plays on it and we missed a couple third downs there we probably should have had to keep drives going.”
Offensive issues aside, the Packers defense is week in too many spots. Against the run the Packers gave up 186 yards on 32 carries. 16 of those carries came from Frank Gore who totaled 112 yards.
Clay Matthews played great, recording 2.5 sacks.
But 49ers quarterback Alex Smith held his own. He wasn't intimated by the pass rush or the penchant of Green Bay defensive backs to go for the INT. Smith completed 20 of 26 passes for 211 yards with 2TD.
"We beat ourselves," Jarrett Bush, starting at cornerback, told the the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
"We just have to hunker down and make sure we're gap sound and get on the same page. Obviously, small things being miscommunicated on the field become big things, so they exploited us and that's what happened."
As poorly as they played Sunday, the Packers are too smart to let a single game dictate their entire season.
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