Packers vs. 49ers Preview: The Perception vs. The Reality

By Grant Sawyer
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

If you’ve listened to any national media outlets this past week, you’re aware that the Green Bay Packers have little to no chance to actually defeat the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday at Candlestick Park.

In the Packers’ last 56 regular season games (three and a half seasons!), they have only lost one of those by more than eight points. But if you hear anyone discuss last year’s Week 1, game you would think the 49ers beat the Packers to the point Lambeau Field was evacuated and every home on Shadow Lane was put up for sale.

The reality is that despite the beating the 49ers put on Aaron Rodgers and friends (and make no mistake, they did beat them physically), it wasn’t until the Packers’ final drive late in the fourth quarter that the 49ers clinched the victory.

The story in their 2012 playoff game wasn’t much different. Despite Colin Kaepernick having a coming out party so big it should have been broadcast on the Bravo Channel, the Packers were still in the game until Frank Gore sealed the win, scoring with 10 minutes left in the game.

Yes, the Packers were beaten in both games, but the perception of the 49ers’ sheer dominance in those two games have been tremendously over-exaggerated all offseason long.

The Packers, as has been the case ever since he took his first snap for them, have a chance as long as Rodgers is behind center. Every single Packers fan wants their team to be tougher and to stand their ground against the “mighty 49ers”; but in the end, even if they don’t, that doesn’t mean they can’t win.

When it comes down to it, the near-perfection of Rodgers’ quarterbacking play negates virtually every advantage the 49ers have.

If the Packers survive and win this game, their fans and the media will discuss how much tougher the Packers have become. If the Packers lose, it’ll be the story of how the 49ers “won the war in the trenches yet again”. In reality, the only “war” that’s winning this game is the Packers stopping the read-option and the 49ers’ secondary shutting down the Packers’ receivers.

Grant Sawyer is a Green Bay Packers writer for Follow him on Twitter @Statmark, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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