Last nite Vegas had 49ers by 3. I guess that is traditional homefield advantage +3 without thinking thru the MATCHUPS:
Site: Ok, pretty simple. If game started at Lambeau at 8:15 EST, weather would be 10-18 degrees, field frozen, maybe frost, snow, icy rain or hail. Give us 14 pt advantage for NOT playing there.
QB and Playcalling: Ok, might as well start here. Does Aaron Rodgers, schooled 4 yrs on Bret Favre's knee and winner of SB ring already, an elite Qb at reading D's, give GB an advantage over Kap? Duh........How about say, maybe 21 pts? In all honesty, a lot of this will come down to O playcalling, so if Roman dials up the SEA O gameplan, we are down 21 pts in first half. If he dials up the NE game, that's a different story. Unfortunately, this is the same roman who called a loss and a tie against the Rams(admittedly improved), but our gameplan sucked. So a polished multiyr pro, vs a 1/4 season rook, unnhh, 21 pts advantage GB
RBs: I like Frank, but unfortunately, the GB OL is now healthy, and they have a pair of good RBs, but most of that is based on OL blocking. Again, have to factor in playcalling, but I like Frank and LMJ maybe 6 pts over GB. We are definitely going to miss Hunter.
OL: This is straightforward. Good runblocking, lousy pass protection. One problem: BJ Raji stops two blockers cold, and needs 3 to move him out of his "space". Pulling OG or OT will help, but consider Frank's running lanes effectively cut down to between OG and OT. Raji takes up the zero, one and two holes. That is a lot of man to move, and he is playing at near all pro level. Hence Frank is going to have trouble running up the gut, or between C and OGs. Packers OL has been shoddy, but Rodgers makes up for this. First game of yr, OL almost got Rodgers killed. That has stopped. For OL, let's call it a draw, because of GB's front 7 plus corners.
WRs & TEs: Ooops. We got crabs, there's a disconnect between Vernon and Kap or vernon and roman, heck, maybe both. We got moss, half as good as GBs #2. We got AJ...unnhh, ok we don't. GB is going to field 4 excellent WRs, and we are reminded of last yr having only crabs catch one pass for 3 yrds in two playoff games as our total passing game. Will somebody please shake and pound sense into roman and Coach H that vernon HAS to be a big part of this game?....and I don't mean blocking, either. Put delanie in for that. If we play Crabs, moss at WR, and put vernon in the slot, I could see some serious hurt put on GB. Kap with his BIG ARM, is going to have to take some mustard off the hot dog to complete dinks and dunks, or 1 to 3 steppers if you will. If we come out and Kap throws a beautiful 65 yd , typically incomplete pass on our first play of game...we lose. Quick snap it and sling it is the ONLY thing that will get GB off the LOS, and a bunch of those 3-5 yrd completions will set the tone for a win. If Kap can do that, and i'm not sure he can, that will open up the long bomb for kap later. But we have to establish a really up tempo bunch of WR completions early on. Also, if we come out pistol, we are dead. If Coach splits WRs out sideline to sideline, Frank can run in the creases, and we can get 3rd down conversions with early 1st and 2nd down 3 and 4 yrd passes. Compare our receiving corps to GB...give GB a 14 pt edge.
Front 7: Ours was the best in the business, but with Justin and one good arm, we lose here. As bad luck would have it, I just tore my triceps in isometric exercise, and I can hardly unzip my zipper to take a leak. Justin? 310 lbs, going up against another 325 lbs, gives you 635 lbs of static mass. Add kinetic energy to that and you get maybe 1100 ft pounds of force, a good bit of it on Justin's bad arm. Big advantage GB. The brace is nice, but trust me, it doesnt help much. Sometime during game , Justin will tear his triceps some more.If he can finish the game I will be amazed...and very impressed. I give GB a 10 pt edge, but that vanishes, if Justin can play well.
Corners and DBs: Ours are good, GB, now back at full strength and healthy, are better.....give GB a 6 pt edge.
Punter: Lee is best in league, give us 7 pt edge. Maybe more if field position factored in.
PK: No need to discuss this one. We are in trouble here, altho maybe cundiff brings something to the table. We'll see...give GB 9 pt edge.
Coaching: Heck, McCarthy was once our OC for a yr, and GB, probably ron Wolf, snagged him for HC, which I thot strange at the time. Retrospectively, a brilliant move while we kept noln. Now, however, the ericson,noln, BM, days are over. Coach H established his bona fides last yr. Oddly this yr he fell off some, and it appears to be every 3rd game. Obviously that can't be true, yet he calls a game like NE and looks like all world . Then he lays a pair of eggs in Ramsland, and follows that up with a forgettable and regretable game in SEA, and that loss was 90% coaching loss. I give a fair share of blame to roman, who JH yanked the playcalling board from in the 2nd half, but damage was already done. So at OC, if JH shows up and keeps a lid on roman, i give us a slight edge, say 3 pts.
DC: Fangio has proven he can do it. But his playing not to lose has consistently and certainly lost for us. If he rushes 3, we lose. If he has Aldon's hand on ground, and a four man rush, we probably lose. Rodgers is like Brees, Brady, Eli, and Peyton. None of them play well on their backs, and that is the way we most likely can win this game...knockdown, sacks, hurries on Rodgers is the ONLY way to win. So if Mr conservative, fangio, has an ILB blitz, corner blitz, Safety blitz every set of downs...OR MORE...we have a good chance to win. Give Rodgers time and he will beat us like a drum. And I am afraid that is fangio's game plan. Worse, Justin is going to be sub par, if he can even finish the game, and with that, aldon has done little..in fact he has disappeared.
GB's DC has done a great job, but now his team is healthy, and expect the Hawk to beat up on Kap all day....IF, IF, IF, kap is throwing 5 and 7 steppers. If the ball is gone quickly, one or two steppers, dinks and dunks, we win. Once we get GB off LOS, we can beat them. If they park on LOS, and coach doesn't get them off LOS, game is over before it begins. So for DC, it depends on whether fangio is aggressive where we gain 14 pts, or pansy azz, where GB gets the 14 pt edge.
Coaching adjustments at half time: Has not been a strong suit for us and has been worse since Kap started. Give GB a 4 pt edge here
Summary: Add it all up, and it comes out GB. We do have one win on them this yr, which is good....and bad(revenge). We did have a way to beat them 16 long games ago, and I trust JH had those game films available to all players. We can win:
if Justin can pull off the superhuman feat of being Justin,
if Fangio is aggressive and blitzes..(.a lot),
if roman forgets Kap's BIG ARM, and has him throw WCO, dinks and dunks...also, I would love to see Coach H come out with his playcalling game chart, and turns off roman's microphone
, and if somehow, someway, the receivers, both TEs and WRs, and especially LMJ are made a big part of this game with swing passes, dump offs, etc . I could see us win in that scenario...but that is an awful lot of "IFs", and oddly, this game could be won or lost, primarily by coaching. Which Coach Harbaugh will show up Saturday nite? Man, i hope it is the guy who coached the NE win...at least in the first half, anyway. If it is the Coach H from Rams or SEA games, well.....