If there’s one thing that’s certain about Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers, it’s this: The 49ers may just be the best team the Packers face all season.
It was clear from Sunday’s game that the 49ers are one of the most balanced teams in the league. They have a great offensive line, they run the ball well, their quarterback doesn’t make mistakes, their defense is the cream of the crop and their special teams are top-notch.
That said, and as badly as the Packers played Sunday, they still nearly pulled out a win at Lambeau Field.
The fact remains that the Packers were outplayed in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams … well, maybe special teams were a wash with the return of a punt for a touchdown by Randall Cobb. Nevertheless, it’s over and the Packers are 0-1.
Could they open the 2012 season at 0-2? After all, it is the Chicago Bears who are coming to town in 48 hours – a 1-0 Chicago Bears team that destroyed the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday. Ok, so it was the Colts – a not very good Colts team.
Either way, we all know it’s time to throw out the records and previous games – it’s the Chicago Bears that are coming to town. It’s a division game and if the Packers are to win the North Division, they have to beat the Bears.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy understands that. So, does Aaron Rodgers.
That’s why they must learn from the 49ers game and move on … quickly.
In 48 hours they will be kicking off against the Bears in one of the more unusual scheduling tricks played on both teams in recent years. After opening the campaign on Sunday, both the Packers and Bears must turn around and play the opening Thursday Night Football game.
So, how do the Packers keep from going 0-2?
Well, they get after Jay Cutler and punish him; they play solid special teams and they get their offense going – namely their running game.
It’s a tall order, but remember, this was a team that had 15 wins last season … it’s not time to panic, but it is time for the Packers to play football like they are capable of playing football. It’s also time to get back to winning football games.
Thursday night’s the best time to do that.