A rematch it won't be Saturday night in San FranciscoWisconsin Sports
-- It will hardly be a rematch on Saturday night, when the Green Bay Packers play the 49’ers in San Francisco in their second-round N-F-C playoff game.
GREEN BAY - It will hardly be a rematch on Saturday night, when the Green Bay Packers play the 49’ers in San Francisco in their second-round NFC playoff game.
The Packers lost to the Niners 30-22 at Lambeau Field on the opening day of the regular season in September. But since then, nine players from those teams ended up on injured reserve – and they’ve had eight new starters. The Packers are starting two new linebackers and two offensive linemen, plus a new corner and running back. But the biggest change is San Francisco’s quarterback. The more mobile Colin Kaepernick took over in November, after Alex Smith suffered a concussion and lost his starting spot later. Kaepernick, who was raised in Fond du Lac until moving to California at age four, ran for 415 yards in the regular season. And Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers says he’ll account for more mobility at the quarterback spot – in addition to the Niners’ strong running game with Frank Gore.
Also, the Packer defense is much improved from Opening Day – when they did not show much improvement from a year ago, when Green Bay had the NFL’s worst defense. By the end of this season, the numbers were much better. Green Bay ranked 11th among the 32 NFL teams in both yards and points allowed. Capers says his unit is quote, “more battle-tested” – and he hopes they’re more confident in their schemes. Among other things, the Packers had a fresh Charles Woodson on the field in their playoff win over Minnesota. He had six tackles on Saturday night, after missing 11 games with a broken collarbone. And Woodson was a big factor in keeping Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson to 99 yards on the ground.