The 49ers are built to do a few things very well- on defense the goal is to shut down the run and force the offense to beat them through the air. Then to pressure the QB enough to force mistakes, turnovers, and help out the secondary. And on offense pound the ball with the run game and use it to tire out the defense and set up play action. Sounds simple enough, right?
Well this Sundays game in Green Bay will be a huge test for the Niners seeing how the Packers don't run the ball very well or at all really and with the teams leading rusher(and overall leading offensive player) Frank Gore out with a fractured right hip. Aaron Rogers is very effective at moving the ball with his selection of outstanding wide outs, tight ends, and backs. Dispite all the injurys Green Bay has had to deal with having a league high 15 players out on IR they have managed to stay in the top 5 of the NFL in offense. This could pose a HUGE problem for the Niners if they can't get a good amount of pressure on Rogers disrupt the timing of the Packers deadly offense. The Niners who have to put lightly "struggled" all year at defending the pass ranking at the bottom of the NFL in pass defense will have there hands full going up again one of the leagues top passing offenses dispite having virtually no threat of a running game. Nate Clements Shawntea Spencer and the rest of the Niners very young secondary are gonna have to rely heavily on the play of Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, and the rest of the front seven to get to Rogers consistanly. Which compared to last year might not be the easiest thing to do seeing how Rogers was one of last years most sacked QBs to this year where pass protection has been a major improvement for the Packers.
Knowing the Packers are explosive on offense and are very capable of putting up points the Niners are gonna have to pull out as many stops as possible in attempts to get points on the board just to keep pace. With Gore out Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon will get the running duties for the rest of the year. Not easy shoes to fill even for two people. Even though Westbrook is coming off a impressive performance last week in Arizona Singletary still feels that the 23 carries he got might be too much too fast at this point do to his very limited play time this year. Which might mean more play time for rookie Anthony Dixon then anyone woulda ever expected. Even though Dixon played well in pre-season he hasn't played much during regular season. Even with both Dixon and Westbrook coming out the backfield Troy Smith i feel like will still need to make some plays down the field to keep the Niners in the game. No easy task either. The Packers are no bums on defense having the leagues leading sacker Clay Matthews and a secondary that ranks at the top of the league. Troy and shown a smooth confidence and leadership about him though, now 3-1 as the Niners starting QB. His ability to extend the play and keep his eyes downfield has helped the young O line who is banged up and struggled to keep a clean pocket for any QB all year. Plus the way he manages the game and keep the team in the game by making very few mistakes has gotten most Niner fans the most excited about our QB play then we have been in a long time.
All that being said sounds like its not gonna be pretty for the Niners who are fighting with everything they have to keep pace in the weak NFC West. But maybe not. Recently the Niners have really shown up against the NFLs power house teams. Took a lucky desparation pass by Favre and a very late game drive by the Colts last year to get past the Niners. And this year the defending superbowl champ Saints needed a last second field goal to get a win and we had the W in Nate Clements hands against the Falcons. Lost a few tough games by 3 points or less this year. A lil more determination and luck maybe everyones talking about the Niners in a completely different light right now. If we play hard and keep it close and try not to shoot ourselves in the foot with stupid penalties and turnovers then I feel the Niners have a very strong chance at not only beating this Green Bay Packer team but any team in the NFL.
Lets get this W for Frank guys!!!!! Go Niners!!!