Well it wasn’t the start the Pack was looking for yesterday falling to the 49ers 30-22. The bad news, the 49ers did a lot of what the Chiefs did last year and took away the big play, but the good news is that it will be the best defense the Packers see all year. Plenty of positives and negatives from the game so let’s get to it.
Randall Cobb- Cobb looks like he could be a huge playmaker for the Packers this season. He brought in nine passes for only 77 yards but the threat of him lining up in the backfield gives defenses something else to prepare for. Even though he was helped by a block in the back he showed his great explosiveness and fancy footwork on his punt return for a touchdown.
Sacks- While I wasn’t completely happy with the pass rush the Pack recorded four sacks yesterday with 2.5 coming from Clay Matthews and 1.5 coming from Charles Woodson. That’s about a seventh of what they recorded last year. Good start.
Run defense- The Pack’s run defense was middle of the pack last year and I am hoping yesterday was not a sign of things to come when they gave up 186 yards on the ground with Frank Gore getting 112 of them.The 49ers averaged 5.8 yards a carry which is completely unacceptable and backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 17 yard scramble was the reason David Aker’s 63 yard field goal even happened. On a personal note, I am sick and tired of seeing QB’s scramble for long gains against the Packers.
Pass rush- At the top of this article I was happy with the four sacks the Packers recorded but when the opposing QB goes 20-26 you didn’t disrupt enough passes. Guys like Jerel Worthy and Nick Perry were drafted to provide pressure, they need to show up Thursday against the Bears.
Penalties- This was a team that had 73 penalties enforced against them last season which tied the Colts for least in the NFL. The Packers are on pace to break that by their 8th game when they racked up 10 yellow flags yesterday. These NEED to get cut down. Unacceptable amount.
Running game- I realize the 49ers had the best run defense in the NFL last season but Aaron Rodgers had another game where he led the Pack in rushing with a mere 27. Cedric Benson couldn’t break a tackle and I don’t remember seeing Alex Green in the backfield. Need a legit running game to set up the play-action the Packers utilize so well.
I realize it is the first game of the season and there is no reason to jump ship but the Pack need to find a way to capitalize when teams take away the big play. The defense looked like it’s old self quite a few times yesterday. Their communication skills need to improve and quick. Another tough test against the Bears on Thursday and I am excited to see how this team responds at home.