Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.
When: September 8, 2013, 4:25 PM ET
Watch: FOX Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Live on the radio: Green Bay Packers Network; WTMJ streaming live
Live Broadcast Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
It seems like we were just here, doesn’t it, Packers fans? Candlestick Park. 579 total yards given up. Colin Kaepernick‘s record breaking 181 yards rushing. Complete embarrassment for the Packers.
Well, today starts a new chapter in the 93-year history of the Green Bay Packers franchise. Certainly that game last January was a simple blip on the radar screen, but in our fresh memories it was a bigger than that. Today the Packers finally get their shot at redemption.
Many questions abound. Will the Packers running game finally get going? Will the Packers defense contain Kaepernick and the 49ers offense? Will rookie David Bakhtiari hold up against the Smith boys – Aldon and Justin? Will the Packers offense continue to show the league that it’s as explosive as ever?
So much rides on this first game. Bragging rights. Getting off to a good start. Making a statement that the Pack is back.
And with all the questions floating around, some of us staffers over here at Lombardiave have once again banded together to place our predictions out on the table.
Ray Rivard: I really dislike being the fly in the ointment. I want so badly to think that the Packers have solved their defensive issues; I want so badly to think that Aaron Rodgers will carry the Packers to victory; I want so badly to think that Eddie Lacy is the savior of the Packers run game; I want so badly to believe in David Bakhtiari and that he will shut down the 49ers defensive rush from the left side.
But I can’t.
I feel the Packers will make a game of it and may even have a shot to win it at the end – God forbid that Mason Crosby misses wide right from 39 yards with the clock at zero. It will be close, but I just feel the 49ers are the better team at this point. It’s opening day, the 49ers are at home, and the Packers just haven’t gelled enough to overcome the Niners.
49ers 24 Packers 23
Darryl Krejci: I am going to predict that the Packers lose a heart breaker 24-21. As they are driving late in the 4th quarter, the lights will mysteriously turn off shifting momentum and the final nail will be a blown call by a referee in the end zone. Okay, they lose cause the Forty-Whiners win on a last second field goal.
Dan Dahlke: I say Green Bay surprises everyone and pulls this one off by the narrowest of margins. I think the Packers defense will do a better job at stopping the run and containing Colin Kaepernick. With the Niners dealing with injuries at WR, I think Green Bay will play a lot of single man coverage, which will free up defenders to load up against the run and spy the quarterback.
I also think the Packers offense will do a better job managing the game. They’ll take their time, run the ball, play efficient football in the passing game, and take their shots downfield when they can. The Niners’ secondary isn’t real strong, so Rodgers gets some time in the pocket and because of that I believe Green Bay will win the game. However, I know that’s a big “if.”
GB 24, SF 21
Luke Hanish: The majority of predictions seem rather bleak even in Titletown this morning. Many questions still loom for starting units that, to be honest, haven’t really played all that much in the preseason. For as much as this team (supposedly) committed to defending this read-option that completely shredded them back in January, what better timing for a true litmus test than week 1!
The absence of Casey Hayward will hurt, but Micah Hyde has had a solid camp. Mike Neal and Johnny jolly are my “dark horses” to making defensive plays that will possibly decide the outcome of this game.
In the end, the Pack will at least be in this game but fall just short …
SF 31, GB 27
Tom Mrozla: I think the Packers will be able to contain Kaepernick a little more effectively this time. He might get a few runs but nothing big like last year.
The Packers will present a formidable running game to keep the Niners guessing and Rodgers throws 3 touchdowns, Lacy gets a touchdown, and Packers win.
GB 34, SF 30
Patrick Hughes: Packers versus the 49ers of San Francisco – for Green Bay it is a game of redemption. For the obvious reason the Packers would love to pay the 49ers back for the beatdown they gave them in the Divisional Playoff game. But I think more might be at stake here.
A powerful force which is PRIDE, Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews III and company were embarrassed last January. They want to redeem themselves for their awful performance. Early in the week, I was concerned, cautious and less than optimistic. I am still concerned, but I am feeling good today.
Packers 27, 49ers 21. Go Pack Go and follow me on twitter @phughespdx