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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Packers-49ers: Three keys

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The Smiths Welcome to the NFL, David Bakhtiari.  The rookie left tackle will have his hands full with defensive end Justin Smith and linebacker Aldon Smith, who led the NFC with 19 1/2 sacks last season.  The 49ers can be exploited through the air but for that to happen, Aaron Rodgers will need time to throw.

3rd Down During last January's meeting the 49ers were 8-13 on 3rd downs with several of those conversions coming on 3rd-and-long.  The Packers must find a way to get off the field.  On offense the short-yardage third downs will be key.  Eddie Lacy is a tough-yardage, physical back but faces the 4th best run defense from 2012.

Corral Colin The Packers beefed up defensively but will we see a different result from last year?  Colin Kaepernick ripped the Green Bay defense with a quarterback playoff record of 181 rushing yards.  While keeping Kaepernick in the pocket would be ideal, if he runs the read-option the Packers must be physical with him.

Prediction 49ers 31, Packers 24

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