49ers demolish Packers

The Aaron Rodgers-led offense produces plenty of punts while the defense gets gashed once starting corners exited a lackluster loss at San Francisco.

On Monday, the scoreboard said the Packers lost, though it felt like they won. On Saturday, the scoreboard said the Packers were thoroughly outplayed, and they were.

Green Bay was outclassed in a 34-6 drubbing at San Francisco, dropping the Packers to 0-2 in the preseason. The final stats were about as ugly as the final score.

Total yards: 182 to 355, including 46 to 233 at halftime. Third downs: 2-for-14 (14 percent) to 8-for-18 (44 percent). Sacks allowed: 6 to 0. Penalty yards: 78 to 40. Turnovers: 3 to 1.

"I'm not pleased with it at all," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It was not a very good performance for us offensively."

Aaron Rodgers' northern California homecoming was anything but happy. Facing the team that snubbed him with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005 — on the night in which Brett Favre made his New York Jets debut, no less — Rodgers finished just 9-of-16 for 58 yards and could have been picked off twice.

"I had a lot of family and friends here tonight. I was disappointed that I didn't play better in front of them," Rodgers said. "It was great to have a lot of my friends and family here. I would have liked to have done better."

Rodgers was sacked four times, a byproduct of poor pass protection, poor rhythm between Rodgers and his receivers and Rodgers simply waiting too long to unload the ball.

Against Cincinnati on Monday, Rodgers led the Packers to 10 points in four mostly crisp possessions. Against San Francisco, he led the Packers to 61 yards and five punts in six first-half possessions. The Packers' scoring "drive" lost 6 yards.

"This was a great experience to learn from," McCarthy said of Rodgers.

For all of the futility, though, the receivers didn't do Rodgers many favors. Donald Driver dropped a deep ball that could have resulted in a touchdown had he run through the ball rather than dive. And after Charles Woodson's interception set up the Packers inside the 49ers' 10-yard line, Donald Lee dropped an easy touchdown pass in the end zone, and the Packers had to settle for a short field goal by Mason Crosby.

It wasn't all doom and gloom, though. For the second consecutive week, the No. 1 defense looked like the kind of dominant unit McCarthy envisions. The starting secondary played the first four series, and the 49ers mustered 69 yards, one interception and three punts in that span.

"I thought the defense started strong. They gave us opportunities, field position," McCarthy said.

The secondary — which looked like the strength of the team — was dismantled once Al Harris and Woodson departed, though. The target du jour was Jarrett Bush, who played mostly cornerback on Saturday but has lined up mainly safety during training camp.

The Packers led 3-0 until the 49ers moved the ball 87 yards in 15 plays. Twice, journeyman J.T. O'Sullivan converted third downs with big gains against Bush, the first a 27-yarder to Jason Hill on third-and-8 and the second a 22-yarder to Josh Morgan on third-and-3. DeShaun Foster capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-goal.

The 49ers needed just four plays to cover 72 yards on their next drive, with O'Sullivan hitting Morgan for a 59-yard touchdown. A defensive breakdown let Morgan get open.

Rodgers exited at halftime, but the Packers' offense didn't fare any better in the second half. Brian Brohm completed 4-of-9 passes for 33 yards and should have been intercepted. Matt Flynn completed 5-of-6 passes for 33 yards but was sacked twice. The Packers' other three points came on Brohm's watch, with the first of Jordy Nelson's two long kickoff returns setting up a 49-yard field goal by Crosby.

"The productivity wasn't there for the offense, so you can't every sit here and say the quarterback played well when that doesn't happen," McCarthy said. "There's some decisions that I'm sure we'll look at and learn from. But based on the whole offense, it was not a good evening for any of our quarterbacks."

The Packers had two practices to get ready for the 49ers. They'll have three before playing at Denver on Friday.

"We'll take a long look at the film and definitely correct it, and we've got a lot of work to do before Denver," McCarthy said.

Woodson expects a tough week of practice.

"The one thing about these kind of games is there stunning a little bit, but what they do is they humble you," he said. "But, you go back, you watch some film of it. You've got to have a short term memory in some respect, but at the same time you need to work on those mistakes that you made during that game. So, you better believe that it will be a tough week for a lot of people and you've got to make up for it in the next week."

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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