Green Bay Packers
(0-0) at San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, at Candlestick Park, San Francisco - TV: FOX
*TV announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
*Keys to the game: The last time the Packers walked into Candlestick Park, they were ushered out with a 45-31 49ers victory in the divisional round of last season's playoffs. There's no question where Green Bay's defensive focus will be after 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick
set an NFL record by a quarterback by rushing for 181 yards that day. San Francisco will continue to run the ball until Green Bay proves it can handle assignments in the read option. RB Frank Gore will also be heavily involved. Kaepernick remains largely inexperienced, so the Packers' goal is to force him to prove his accuracy in the passing game - and get some good lick on him while on the move. Green Bay's offense averaged nearly 65 plays per game last season, but the stated goal is to run the ball more with a backfield headed up by rookie Eddie Lacy. Green Bay's offensive line is a significant concern, and QB Aaron Rodgers
will be under serious heat if forced to play from behind in a one-dimensional attack.
*Matchup to watch - Packers QB Aaron Rodgers vs. 49ers FS Eric Reid: San Francisco's first-round pick won the starting job, but as defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said this week, "There are no Sacramento States in this league." The SEC is hardly chock full of Sacramento States, but the point is Reid must make a quick leap from the SEC to contending with Rodgers, one of the league's most experienced and prolific passers.
*Player spotlight - 49ers CB Nnamdi Asomugha: The Bay Area native returned home looking to rebound following two disappointing years in Philadelphia. Asomugha won the third cornerback job, which will put him on the field for most of the game against the Packers.
*Fast facts: Rodgers has four consecutive seasons with a 100-plus passer rating, tying Steve Young's NFL record. ... 49ers OLB Aldon Smith's 33.5 career sacks is the most in NFL history for a player through two seasons.
WHO WILL WIN AND WHY
The Packers lost LT Bryan Bulaga and RB DuJuan Harris during the preseason, robbing the offense of two key starters and leaving QB Aaron Rodgers too exposed. And until Green Bay proves it can handle Colin Kaepernick's diverse big-play ability, too many arrows point in San Fran's direction.
*Our pick: 49ers 34-24
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