On the heels of two straight run-deficient performances, in which it allowed 201 yards and a per-carry average of 5 yards to Seattle's Shaun Alexander and 105 yards and a per-carry average of 4.8 yards to the Jets' Cedric Houston, Green Bay must try to contain the powerful and speedy Gore.
The league's No. 3 ground gainer is without peer, excluding Atlanta QB Michael Vick, by averaging 5.5 yards per rush. The early outlook is the Packers plan to cut off Gore on the outside by working in a stout Corey Williams in place of right end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila on early downs. Swarming to the football, whether Gore's running inside or outside, is paramount because he breaks tackles with regularity.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy vs. 49ers head coach Mike Nolan
It's pointless to argue which coach should have the upper hand in knowing the schematic ins and outs of each other's team after they worked together with San Francisco last season.
The chess match originating from the sidelines will be interesting nonetheless, especially when McCarthy's offense is on the field against Nolan's defense.
Perhaps more so than Xs and Os, the winner will come down to which coach does the better job of getting his respective struggling team to play with purpose, minimize its mistakes and break a losing streak.
49ers CBs Walt Harris and Shawntae Spencer vs. Packers WRs Donald Driver and Greg Jennings
The 49ers' starting tandem is expected to be back intact as Spencer returns to practice this week after missing two games with an ankle sprain. Driver and Jennings have combined for 102 catches for 1,518 yards and nine touchdowns.
49ers LB Brandon Moore vs. Packers RT Tony Moll
Moore has been relatively quiet the past two games after making a big splash into the starting lineup in his first three games.
Moll, a rookie who is starting his fourth consecutive game at the position for the injured Mark Tauscher, started four games earlier this season at right guard.
49ers RT Kwame Harris vs. Packers DLE Aaron Kampman
Harris will play the entire game because Adam Snyder went down with an injury.
Kampman leads the Packers with 10 sacks and leads the linemen with 77 tackles.
49ers LT Jonas Jennings vs. DE/DT Corey Williams and DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila
Jennings continues to be plagued by an ankle injury. He'll be up against Williams, who is expected to replace Gbaja-Biamila on early downs. On passing downs, Jennings will face Gbaja-Biamila, a 250-pound speed rusher who has five sacks this season.