On Sunday afternoon, the Green Bay Packers will look to continue their winning streak in Santa Clara, looking to unseat the San Francisco 49ers at home, on the West Coast.
New 49ers head coach, Jim Tomsula, will look to get his hapless team back on track against the reigning MVP- QB, Aaron Rodgers. Tomsula acknowledged that the task is tall, but he thinks his team will be up to dealing with the many challenges that Rodgers presents.
Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass while being chased by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Rodgers has always been a master of the hard count; however, this season – he’s holding dominion over it. He’s doing something so special with his cadence this year, all other 31 teams are taking notice. When it comes to QB cadence, Rodgers uses it as a weapon to attack the opposing defense. It’s brilliant, really. His preparation is so unique at the line of scrimmage, it’s nearly impossible to identify a plan to slow it down, as all three previous opponents have recently learned.
After Seattle was victimized for a long TD pass and two or three other free plays after a hard count drew the defense offside, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs took notice.
All week, they simulated the hard count. They worked on their patience on the line of scrimmage – not jumping across – and their resilience to play through the penalty, if someone did.
Practice is fine and good. But it isn’t something that can be accurately replicated.
Rodgers has such a way about drawing defenders offside, guys are getting jumpy at the thought of being drawn offside.
All the practice in the world can’t prepare you for the moment in which it happens … and playing through it seemed to be even more difficult to master than remaining onside, especially for Seattle and Kansas City.
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As the world gets more and more wise to the way in which Rodgers uses his cadence to draw the penalty of the free play, they will adjust to it.
Once they do, Rodgers will undoubtedly adjust to that; and the cycle will be cruel and cold and it will continue.
He’s just that good.
Tomsula will have his team ready to go, though – no if’s, and’s or but’s about that.
A strong start against the Minnesota Vikings turned into a nightmare, as the 49ers have given up 40+ points in both of their last two contests, surrendering a 111-passer rating to opposing QBs and over 130-rushing yards per game to opposing running backs.
Rodgers is currently holding a league high 134-passer rating through three contests, in which he’s thrown for 10 TDs and zero INTs against the Bears, Seahawks and Chiefs defenses.
The 49ers are ranked at the bottom of the league in both passing and rushing defense, setting the Packers (sort of depleted) offense up to have a big day in Santa Clara, if their momentum carries.
Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) after Cobb caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It’s important that the Packers do not overlook the 49ers, even though their stat lines aren’t great.
It’s still early in the season and they are just a team that is struggling to find their identity in this league, after so much off season overhaul.
It only takes on game to turn the tides for a team – and they will be looking to upset the Packers, who seem to be taking a straight shot to the post season. There is so bad blood between the Packers and the 49ers in years past, that could play a part in Sunday’s match up.
The Packers defense is trying to show the world that they are a part of Rodgers’ successes – they aren’t just sitting idly by.
They have had much trouble with Colin Kaepernick-led offenses in the past and they are trying to shed those bad memories.
Rodgers still carries a small chip on his shoulder, though he may deny it.
The 49ers, his home team, chose Alex Smith over him way back in 2005, setting him up for a long opening day drop to the Packers at #24 overall.
Even though the outcome was as special as it could have been, you have to believe that Rodgers wants nothing more than to blow into his home state and lay a big ‘ole 50-burger right in their backyard for recompense.
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