Green Bay Hits Road to Face San Francisco
Green Bay brings a 3-0 record into its meeting Sunday with San Francisco, while the 49ers dropped to 1-2 after a falling big to Arizona, 47-7, last week.
San Francisco has owned the Packers lately, and has defeated Green Bay the last four times. In those four games, the 49ers have ended the Packers' season in the playoffs twice. Green Bay last defeated San Francisco, on Dec. 5, 2010, 34-16.
But the 49ers have had a disastrous offseason with players retiring and leaving and with a coaching change. Last week, Colin Kaepernick tossed four interceptions. Two of Kaepernick's interceptions came within the first four minutes of the game against the Cardinals. However, Kaepernick is 3-0 against the Packers in his career. So, can he get going against Green Bay?
Green Bay, meanwhile, has reeled off three straight victories to start the season despite losing key players. Jordy Nelson was lost for the season in the preseason and Sam Barrington was placed on injured reserve in the first few games. But Green Bay's had several players step up. James Jones, who the Packers signed after the New York Giants released him, has caught four touchdowns. Richard Rodgers has had a nice start to the season. With Eddie Lacy banged up, James Starks and Alonzo Harris have added depth to the Packers' running game. Don Barclay has came in for an injured Bryan Bulaga. Defensively, Jayrone Elliot is turning into a solid pass rusher.
Then, there's the usual suspects. Aaron Rodgers has been Aaron Rodgers. He still hasn't thrown a home interception. Last week against Kansas City, Rodgers tossed five touchdowns. In three games, Rodgers has thrown for 771 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. Now, he heads back to his home state and looks to defeat his childhood team, the 49ers.
With Nelson injured, Randall Cobb has became Aaron Rodgers' top target. Cobb caught three of Rodgers' five touchdowns against the Chiefs. Also last week, veterans Clay Matthews and Sam Shields had big games. Shields had an interception and Matthews picked up two sacks. Matthews has been a force inside and outside for the Packers.
Packers: Cobb, Datone Jones, Lacy, Mike Neal, Sean Richardson and Aaron Ripkowsi were full participants in practice Thursday, while Davante Adams, Bulaga, Morgan Burnett, Demetri Goodson and Jake Ryan did not practice.
49ers: Kenneth Acker, Alex Boone, Ahmad Brooks, Reggie Bush, Bruce Ellington, L.J. McCray and Vance McDonald were full participants in practice Thursday, while Navorro Bowman and Eric Reid were limited in practice and Vernon Davis did not practice.
Sunday, will the Packers continue to roll or will Kaepernick and the 49ers rebound? Watch the Packers and 49ers play at 3:25 p.m. CDT on FOX or listen to the game right here on ESPN 99.1.
Sam Tastad will have stories on the Packers all season with pre-and-post game previews. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.