Hey guys. Packer fan here. Been lurking to see your thoughts on the game and put my two cents down.
BTW, I'll definitely come back to give you the chance to eat crow if I'm wrong/we lose.
Here's my breakdown of our team and why we will win (by at least two touchdowns). I like the way the 9ers play defense and think Harbaugh is awesome, but there's no way you win this game.
So here's the deal. A LOT of talk here about our defense last year. We almost never played from behind and a lot of those yards given up were because we were putting up insane numbers, but that's definitely a bit of an excuse. Our defense had a lot of problems (no pass rush from the front seven and everyone double and triple teamed CM3) and gave up a ton of yards. Losing Nick Collins really hurt there and Tramon Williams played with basically one arm. With that said.. we did go 15-1. We've made a ton of changes to the front seven as you all know. Our revamped D-Line (adding Merling and Worthy) plus the addition of Nick Perry will be huge. We finally have guys who can hold the point of attack again, and our LB's can do their thing. With all that said, we were tied for creating more turnovers than any team in the league last year, and are at or near the top the past several years. That is a trend... last year's defense was not. The biggest question will be how our nickel safety does (when Chuck Wood moves down to corner) and how the opposite starting corner will fare (opposite from Williams in the base defense), assuming Alex Smith can put the ball on the money. Two names to look at.. DJ Smith replacing Desmond Bishop at ILB (Smith is a shorter guy but is always around the ball... Dom Capers said he reminds him of Sam Mills) and Dezman Moses at OLB in sub packages.
Aaron Rodgers is scary. As someone who grew up watching #4, to see someone who is even better is unbelievable. Favre was amazing, but Rodgers is a true pro, always looks to get better, and is only 28 years old. Think Tom Brady intangibles with Peyton Manning accuracy, and almost as good an arm as Favre (not quite though). Not being a homer.. this guy is off the charts, and if any of you think it's because of the system he's in you'll be in for an education on Sunday.
Only things that bring our offense down are drops by our receivers/tight ends. Our pass catchers are the deepest in the league, but had a ton of drops last year. Look for us to attack right up the seams in the middle of the field. Jordy Nelson is the best of the group.. he had the quietest 15 touchdown season ever last year and looks to be even better going into this season.
Our O-line starters are solid. Newhouse is serviceable but definitely not a weak link. Issues will arise with any injuries as we have little depth (especially at tackle).
Runnings backs really don't matter, but Benson is a huge upgrade. I actually like Alex Green more than James Starks... but either way the RB's job is to not fumble the ball and block for #12.
If you notice teams that give us trouble, they are the ones with a nasty d-line, not teams with nasty linebackers. Think Giants not Steelers.
Yes, the 9ers won against the Saints last year, but we won't turn the ball over 5 times. The Saints did and it took a near miracle for you to win... at home nonetheless.
You guys remind me of the 2006 Bears. Great defense, good running game, below average quarterback who made enough plays to win for one year.
Only way you have a chance to win is if you force a ton of turnovers... doubt that will happen. We will spread you out stay in the no-huddle and remind you guys why you haven't beaten us at Lambeau in over 20 years.
Packers - 42
49ers - 20
You'll be no better than 9-7 this year. Later.
[ Edited by bobbyoshea on Sep 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM ]