49ers game plan vs. Green Bay

Published: Sunday, Sep. 8, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Sunday, Sep. 8, 2013 - 4:50 pm

49ERS GAME AT A GLANCE

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line: 49ers by 4 1/2

Records (2012): 49ers 11-4-1, Packers 11-5

TV/Radio: FOX40 (Joe Buck play-by-play, Troy Aikman color), 810, 1320

MATCHUP TO WATCH

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick vs. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews

Matthews and the Packers' defense have made their intentions perfectly clear: If Kaepernick tries the read option, successful vs. Green Bay in the playoffs last season, the Packers plan to hit him whether he holds onto the ball or not. That will create an interesting chess match. If Matthews and the Packers' outside rushers are eager to penetrate the backfield and get their hands on the quarterback, it means there will be soft spots elsewhere. Kaepernick, meanwhile, has been making defenses pay for picking their poison since he was a freshman at Nevada.

THREE KEYS TO GAME

• The 49ers must knock quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' passing game off rhythm, and the best way to do that is to rush Rodgers' delivery. The Packers' two starting tackles, rookie David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay, have four NFL starts between them. That should be an advantage for outside linebackers Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks. Both had a sack in last year's opener in Green Bay.

• The Packers rushed for 45 yards against San Francisco in last season's opener and aren't much of a rushing team. The 49ers, however, should prepare for a more robust effort today. Green Bay used a second-round pick in the April draft on 230-pound tailback Eddie Lacy of Alabama.

• The Packers have used three – and even four – wide receivers as much as any team in recent years. In two games last season, Chris Culliver was an excellent matchup for the 49ers against receiver Jordy Nelson. Today, that burden falls to Nnamdi Asomugha, who had a strong offseason.

INJURY REPORT

49ERS

• Questionable: RB LaMichael James (knee), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (collarbone)

PACKERS

• Out: CB Casey Hayward (hamstring)

• Questionable: S Morgan Burnett (hamstring), LB Brad Jones (hamstring)

• Probable: CB Jarrett Bush (ankle)

– Matthew Barrows

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



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