Legendary senior writer, Packers lead blogger & NFC North columnist jclombardi presents Good, Bad & Ugly from Packers loss to 49ers.
QB Rodgers (333 yards, 3 touchdowns, 102.6 passer rating).
WR Nelson (7 receptions for 130 yards).
WR Cobb (7 receptions for 108 yards).
LB Matthews (7 tackles and 1 sack).
Running defense (outstanding. 49ers gained just 90 yards on 34 carries averaging only 2.6 yards ypc. Heads up to the front line including B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly, Mike Neal, C.J. Wilson, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk).
Guards Josh Sitton & T. J. Lang. While the entire offensive line executed badly in an awful Packers running game, Sitton got flagged for three 10 yards penalties. According to PFF, both guards had bad games.
KR/WR Ross. His worst offense involved an ignored stop sign from special teams teammate Kuhn, while Ross waited an extra second before running the ball out of the end zone to only the 10 yard line! The Packers had horrible field position all day.
Young safeties M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian had horrible days. According to PFF, McMillian had a negative 5.7 grade missing four tackles and lost in coverage. 49ers veteran receivers found the seams in the Capers zone coverage: WR Anquan Boldin (13 receptions for 208 yards) and WR Vernon Davis (six receptions for 98 yards).
HC McCarthy & DC Capers--ineffective game plans & inconsistent offensive execution (fast & famine) with no real half-time adjustments; an ineffective defensive game plan stressing horrible zone coverage with weak wide-open middle zone. In 2011, Capers fielded the worst NFL passing defense giving 299.9 passing yards per game. In this Sunday 34-28 loss to the 49ers, 49ers QB Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns. As MicCarthy admitted, "We were not sharp."
1. Everybody knew the 49ers game plan to anticipate zone coverage for the "ameuturish college" read-option 49ers play book. Their game plan would attack the Packers weak middle zone defense with its slow linebackers, young safeties McMillian & "Fail Mary" Jennings & nickle back Hyde. It was a solid 49ers game plan. As McGinn observed:
Nickel back Micah Hyde lost leverage and couldn’t catch up on gains of 22 by Boldin and 37 by Davis.McMillian and (Tramon) Williams had a mixup in a classic Cover 2 sideline toss to Boldin for 22. Boldin made a fabulous catch for 22 against Sam Shields and McMillian. There was confusion between Shields and M.D. Jennings on a 30-yard pass to Boldin.When the Packers took their only lead, 28-24, with 8½ minutes left, Shields and McMillian inexcusably missed the tackle on a 13-yard pass on second and 9 to Boldin that ruptured into 43 and quickly set up the go-ahead TD.The 49ers drew first blood when their coaches successfully matched Davis on Jennings and the result was a 20-yard score.
Further, as coaches say, Injuries are no excuse although the pissant bloggers whined about the absence of veteran safety Burnett and cornerback Hayward. The point is that the coaching staff failed to make any effective adjustments with the foregone conclusion that the Pack lost the game. With DC Capers, its an old story. Finally, coming up short again to be 3-0 against the 49ers, the Packers could not score enough points to win.
2. Rookies will play like rookies, not veterans. RB Lacy started slow with a key fumble, but he got better throughout the game (14 carries for 41 yards and 1 touchdown). LT David Bakhtiari was beaten a few times, but he did okay considering his lack of experience and the quality opponent.