Packers-49ers: Early analysis
Sure, you can talk about the officiating. Sure, you can talk about the one-in-a-million 63 yard field goal to end the first half. But the reality is this game was about execution. When it came time to execute the 49ers did it better than the Packers.
Outside of the first half touchdown drive the Packers offense was out of synch for most of the first three quarters. Credit goes to the San Francisco defense for that. Certainly they have a solid front seven but last year the 49ers were middle of the pack in pass defense. On Sunday San Francisco used blanket coverage and never allowed big plays to develop. The Packers offense is about rhythm and that rhythm often materializes because of YAC or yards after catch. There was little YAC on Sunday. If there's one thing San Francisco does well is tackle and the suffocating nature of the 49ers defense cut into the Packers offense throughout the day.
The Packers registered four sacks which is certainly a plus but in the first half Alex Smith was getting comfortable and that is never a good thing. Smith showed plenty of poise until the fourth quarter then the Niners decided to get a bit too conservative. The 49ers do not have an explosive offense but they certainly had their share of explosive plays today. That's fine as long as the Packers bend-but-don't-break defense forces a few turnovers. Instead there were no turnovers and that ultimately wiped out an improved pass rush.
It was good to see a lot of Randall Cobb as a receiver, a returner and in the backfield. He was one of the true bright spot against the the 49ers and he put enough numbers up today that the Bears will need to be ready for him on Thursday.
Sunday was about execution. From winning the turnover battle to winning the line of scrimmage, the 49ers had a well-conceived game plan and executed it superbly. The same cannot be said for the Packers. That was the difference on Sunday.