When the San Francisco 49ers lost in the Super Bowl, the team wasted no time in getting back to work. And, it wasted no time in getting better.
If the work put in by general manager Trent Baalke and the players pays off, it will lead to success in 2013. That success could come in the form of a Week 1 win as the 49ers will take on the Green Bay Packers.
The game, which will start on FOX at 1:25 PM PT, will be watched by many. Both teams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders, and the 49ers are thought of by many as the Super Bowl favorites. So, the 49ers and Packers will both be highly scrutinized.
Quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Aaron Rodgers will be the main recipients of the scrutiny. The two are both capable quarterbacks, but neither hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at the end of last season. Both are hoping that this season culminates in a championship, and a Week 1 win would be a great start for both teams.
If Kaepernick can shred Green Bay’s defense, it would benefit the 49ers greatly. He ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns last postseason (against the Packers), setting the record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback.
It’s extremely unlikely that he matches that mark, but he will still chalk up some yardage on the ground. He should pick up a solid amount of passing yards as well, even though he doesn’t have the best wide receivers in the league.
Michael Crabtree is hurt, and his loss could hurt the 49ers. If his absence hurts, it could open the door for Rodgers, who can easily will Green Bay to a win. He has a solid array of targets in Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley, and he has a solid running back in Eddie Lacy.
Can Kaepernick explode, or will the Packers make the necessary adjustments to stop him? This should be a good game, and I think it will be decided by just 3 points. The 49ers will hold off Green Bay’s quest for revenge, failing to cover the 4.5-point spread but winning a thriller 31-28.
Can they start the year off on the right foot? You can see for yourself by grabbing San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers tickets for this Sunday’s game. This has the makings of a conference championship preview so make sure to find a way to Candlestick Sunday afternoon.