The San Francisco 49ers remain one of the best stories in the NFL. Alex Smith and company probably should have made it to the Superbowl last season. They were a botched return or two away from beating up on the Giants. Now, they start a new journey with a slightly re-tooled team. They still have an awesome defense that stops the run and gets after the quarterback. They still have some of the same problems on offense that they had last season. Now, they get to go to Green Bay to start off the year.
The Packers are just a less than touchdown favorite at home in this game. The Packers were routinely favored by a ton of points last year at home. Now, they are slightly shorter favorites in a game that figures to be pretty good. What do we know about these teams? What should we expect when the two clubs square off during the first week. You should know that it will be a battle of wills. It will be a battle between an elite offense and an elite defense. Who wins depends upon who can inflict their will on the other.
Chances are that the Packers will still be the most powerful offense around. Last season, Aaron Rodgers destroyed opponents in route to a record-breaking season. They routinely put up 30 or 40 points against all sorts of teams. This was especially true at home, where the Packers blew most people out. The Packers also tend to play very good defense at home. This is the where the real difference comes into play. On the road, the Packers are not nearly as potent on the defensive side of the ball.
Many people believe that the 49ers were a mirage last season. They believe that the team had no business winning all of the games they won. This is only partially true. The 49ers were certainly not an explosive offense. They won with turnovers and good defense. Some would say that the turnovers were good fortune for this team. The truth is that San Francisco took down teams using strength and attitude. They created turnovers on defense in a way that other teams could not. Are they for real? They might possibly be. Whether or not it will be enough to win at Green Bay is another question.
Green Bay went almost the entire 2011 season until they finally lost. It is a good bet that they will win this week. The game might be closer than you think, though.
Posted by Wunderdog’s trusty sidekick ” Wundercat ”
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