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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Packers-49ers: First half thoughts

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The first was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Well, maybe not quite but it sure felt that way.  It seemed like for every good play there was a bad one.  The debut of Eddie Lacy has been a dud.  He was bottled up on five carries and had a costly fumble deep in Green Bay territory.  And every time the Packers ripped off a nice run it was called back due to a penalty.


However, on the up side Aaron Rodgers was sharp, hitting Jordy Nelson five times for 85 yards.  Rodgers also finished a pair of drives with touchdown throws. By and large protection has held up and with time to throw he can pick part this secondary.


The run defense was stellar.  Just in terms of pure, physical football the Packers have matched the hard-hitting 49ers.  Frank Gore did nothing and Colin Kaepernick was contained.  It's safe to say the Packers were ready for the read-option this time around.


But the pass rush wasn't consistent enough.  Even though the Packers registered a pair of sacks Kaepernick has had plenty of time and without Morgan Burnett Kaepernick is attacking deep.  Earlier in the half the Niners converted on five straight third downs.  The Packers must get off the field on third down.


The sequence in the final minutes summed up the back-and-forth nature of the half.  First a Finley drop/interception that first appeared to be a pick-six.  Then a quick strike by the 49ers into Green Bay territory.  The missed field goal opened the door for a quick two minute drive and sure enough Finley atones with an incredible catch-and-run for the game-tying score.


So despite the lack of a running game, two turnovers and five penalties we've got a tie game.  If the Packers can avoid turnovers and clean up the penalties a victory is well within reach.

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