With the preseason all wrapped up, fans are now anticipating the start of the regular season.
Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens will face their up-and-coming divisional rival, the Cincinnati Bengals. How about Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos making their regular season debut against the vaunted Pittsburg Steelers defense?
All great match-ups, but can those games top what we might see when the San Francisco 49ers head to Lambeau field to face the high-powered Green Bay Packers offense led by last year’s regular season MVP, Aaron Rodgers.
The classic offense vs. defense matchup should not come to mind when these two teams butt-heads on September 9.
While the San Francisco 49ers still rely on their bone-crushing defense, changes have been made on the offensive side. With the amount of success the 49ers received in the 2011 season, why should they change their approach?
Well, the 49ers aren’t changing their identity; rather, head coach Jim Harbaugh is tweaking his offensive game plan. Who can forget the porous performance by the 49ers wide receivers in their NFC Conference championship bout against the New York Giants last year?
The 49ers responded with the A.J. Jenkins selection in the first round, and the additions of Mario Manningham and future hall-of-fame receiver, Randy Moss.
Do I expect the 49ers to air it out more? Sure. But will it be at the expense of their running game? Heck no!
The 49ers will improve in the passing game in order to complement and, more importantly, strengthen their strengths.
So fans, don’t fret when you see Alex Smith air it out a bit more this year than he has in previous campaigns. The former first overall selection should improve, as should this offensive unit in the coming season.
You’ll still see Patrick Willis making a bone-crushing hit on an imposing running back or Frank Gore punishing defenders in the hole.
The difference is that the 49ers will now be a more complete offensive team.