The Green Bay Packers bulked up their front seven through the draft, returned key members from injury, studied read-option principles at Texas A&M and entered the 2013 regular season determined not to let the San Francisco 49ers rip them apart on the ground.
Despite falling 34-28 in Northern California with all those touchdowns coming against the defense, Packers fans have to view Green Bay’s ability clash with San Fran’s read-option tinged, physical run attack a success.
Just last year the Packers allowed 186 yards on 5.8 yards per carry in the opener with Alex Smith under center before getting torched for 323 yards in the divisional-round loss. The latter came against Colin Kaepernick, who went for 181 on the ground in that contest and saw that drop to just 22 yards in this contest.
Today, Green Bay often employed multiple spies for the QB yet still managed to stand up the Niners’ physical offensive line. Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and Kaepernick averaged just over 2.6 yards per carry this afternoon; a paltry number by Niners’ standards.
The return of front-seven stalwarts like Johnny Jolly has to encourage Green Bay heading into Week 2. As does Clay Matthews starting off another campaign worthy of Defensive Player of the Year attention.
The Packers did embarrass themselves a bit in allowing Anquan Boldin to shred them time and time again for almost 200 yards, but I’m confident that this is a deep, quality secondary that will play better than it showed Sunday.
As soon as stud second-year corner Casey Hayward and safety Morgan Burnett — essentially the leader of the secondary following Charles Woodson‘s departure — come back from injury it should shore up a secondary that is playing behind a stout front-seven for the first time since their Super Bowl run.
For more from Rant Sports on Week 1: