Sunday, December 29, 2013
Quick Take: 49ers at Packers
By Rob Demovsky
Three things to know about the Green Bay Packers’ matchup against the San Francisco 49ers next weekend in an NFC wild-card playoff game at Lambeau Field:
1. Fourth time the charm? This will be the fourth meeting between these teams since the start of the 2012 season, and the first three did not go the Packers’ way. From the season opener in 2012 at Lambeau Field to last year’s NFC divisional playoff loss at Candlestick Park to this year’s season opener back in San Francisco, the Packers have come up short each and every time.
2. Up to Capers: This is a chance for redemption for Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers. In the 45-31 playoff loss to the 49ers last season, his defense was embarrassed. It was completely fooled by the 49ers’ read-option plays and gave up 579 yards, including 181 yards rushing by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Part of Capers’ defensive plan will have to center around receiver Anquan Boldin. In Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals, Boldin had nine catches for 149 yards against his former team. It was reminiscent of what he did to the Packers in Week 1, when he caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers' 34-28 win. Capers’ defense has struggled in the past three meetings with the 49ers, so it will be up to him to devise a different game plan.
3. The Rodgers factor: As long as the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, they have a chance. That was proven once again on Sunday when he returned after missing seven starts because of a broken collarbone to lead the Packers to their NFC North-clinching win over the Chicago Bears. If Rodgers looked rusty in the first half, he quickly regained his old form in the second half.