In what is the most high profile game of week 1, two teams that played in a playoff game last season matchup in San Francisco. The 49ers won that game easily by imposing their will on defense while using their strong running game and all around play of QB Colin Kaepernick. Green Bay had its prolific, high powered offense shut down for the first time in that playoff game. They will be after revenge while San Francisco will be out to prove that they have gotten even better in the offseason.
Kaepernick did not even start until past the halfway point of last season. He brings an element of speed and incredible arm strength to the quarterback position. Fully capable of making every throw on the field as well as making plays with his legs. In the offseason they added WR Anquan Boldin who is a strong possession receiver capable of playing on both the outside and in the slot. He could be the missing piece that they didn’t have last season. However he will be replacing injured WR Michael Crabtree. They also lost Randy Moss to retirement and Mario Manningham to injury so the receiving core has something to prove. There are no questions at RB where Frank Gore has been a consistent performer throughout his career and can be relied upon for another great year. Kendall Hunter provides his size and strength as a backup and LaMichael James has tremendous breakaway speed and can be counted on as a change of pace back.
Green Bay lost their number 1 receiver in Greg Jennings to free agency and Donald Driver to retirement and have elected to replace them from within. Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb will comprise the receiving core for star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rogers led the NFL in touchdowns last season and shows no signs of slowing down. While it is debatable, he is the top QB in the NFL. For the first time he is likely to get some help in the running game with draft pick Eddie Lacy. He is a big strong bruising back who played in an NFL style offense in college and should have less difficulty than most transitioning to the NFL game. If he can give Rodgers a legitimate running game that will open up the passing game, in particular the play action pass for Rogers.
This game features two of the best teams in the league. One is known more for its defense while the other excels on offense. It should be a highly entertaining and will likely come down to the final minutes. When its close you go with an MVP quarterback as an underdog.
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