I certainly think Kaepernick is a special talent and has a real chance to be as good as anyone, but 10 games into his career, I haven't yet reached the point where I feel he's a lock to be excellent in every game. That's not to say he won't be...but I can imagine him struggling.
These first two games concern me...arguably two of the three toughest games the 49ers will play all year (and Seattle in Seattle should be easily the toughest game of the year). How the 49ers do in these first two weeks could really say a lot about this team (but not necessarily...if they win today and lose next week, I think that will basically be matching expectations).
Anyway, I'm all checked in from the steamy press box high above Bill Walsh Field. If you guys missed any content this week, we had lots of great stuff from Bill Huber over at PackerReport. He does a great job with his site.
I posted five keys to today's game for subscribers here. Give it a look.
I don't like making predictions, but I have a hard time seeing the Packers coming out of this one with a win. The 49ers just present too many matchup problems and they start on the line of scrimmage on both sides. I don't think they'll let Kaepernick run loose like he did in the playoffs, but I'm not convinced they'll be able to stop the Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Gore averaged six yards a career combined in both games last year. I'm not sure there's anything schematically Green Bay can do to stop San Francisco and its offensive line.
Aside from stopping the run, the Packers will have to find ways to neutralize Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks. As I wrote in the Keys piece, expect a lot more of Aldon Smith lining up on the strong side than we've seen in the past. I'd imagine Vic Fangio will throw as many looks at the rookie left tackle as possible, which would include going against Brooks.
Look for the Packers to come out with a lot of high-tempo, no-huddle stuff in the beginning. The best way to slow down pass rushers you can't block is to wear them down by upping the tempo and using a lot of three-step drops. Expect Eddie Lacy to have his hands full in pass protection trying to help out David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay.
On the other side, Green Bay's banged up secondary could be a big deal. As of now, Morgan Burnett is questionable leaving the Packers with M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian. Vernon Davis presents enough problems as is, but he could really be in line for a big day if Burnett is out.
ChrisBidermanND wrote: On the other side, Green Bay's banged up secondary could be a big deal. As of now, Morgan Burnett is questionable leaving the Packers with M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian. Vernon Davis presents enough problems as is, but he could really be in line for a big day if Burnett is out.
The Packers are also going to be without Casey Hayward, who's arguably their most talented corner. He's been their slot coverage corner and he had, I think, 7 interceptions last year as a rookie and was a very good blitzer.
Minden9er wrote: Five hours and counting--Predictions (prolly pretty safe). Boldin 100 yds, Gore 100 yds, Kaep 300 and 100 yds--total domination of their D. Can we keep Rogers off the field??? Niners 31 Pack 24
With that kind of domination where does the pack have time to score 24?