Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers Preview

 @ernestshepard on January 12 2013 1:58 PM
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers Preview

Green Bay Packers leads the San Francisco 49ers in the head-to-head matchups 6-1 since 2001.

On paper, the NFC Divisional matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers looks like one for the ages. Both teams can score and they boast aggressive defenses.

This is rematch from when the two teams met while kicking off the first week of the NFL season. The 49ers came out on top with a 30-22 win in Lambeau Field. Several observers believed that the matchup was a preview to the NFC Championship Game.

QB Aaron Rodgers was superb (303 passing yards) as always for the Packers, but it was the running game, or lack thereof, that doomed them.

The 49ers countered with a strong rushing attack of their own. RB Frank Gore led the way with 112 of the 49ers 186 yards on the ground.   

The rematch will have a different twist to it. Despite winning with Alex Smith at QB, the 49ers have opted to go with second-year QB Colin Kaepernick under center. Kaepernick is a more mobile quarterback than Smith is. He can make plays with his feet as well as his arm. He will challenge the Packers defense in a way that Smith could not.

What the Packers must do is force Kaepernick into making mistakes. This will be a tall task as Kaepernick has only thrown three interceptions this season. The Packers will look to make him match that number of interceptions tonight.

Not only the Packers have to stop Kaepernick, they will have to deal with leading pass-catchers TE Vernon Davis and WR Michael Crabtree.

The Packers have a new dynamic also.

Undrafted rookie RB DuJuan Harris takes over as the starter in the backfield. The emergence of Randall Cobb at receiver makes the passing attack of the Packers more dangerous than ever before.

The 49ers will have to keep Rodgers in the pocket and not let him make plays on the fly. DL Justin Smith will return tonight game after missing the last two games with a partially torn triceps tendon.

This matchup has the potential to be the best of the weekend.

My prediction: Packers 27-24.