San Francisco 49ers' Week 1 Offensive Scheme Should Keep Green Bay Packers Guessing

By John Ware
Jim Harbaugh
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers will open their 2013 regular season campaign against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park.  These two teams met the NFC Divisional Round and San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran all over the Packers’ defense.  This year the Packers will be looking for revenge for getting embarrassed by Kaepernick’s running.

Moving the football effectively and keeping the quarterback safe should be their staple on offense for this game.  To do that the 49ers will need to give the Packers’ defense heavy doses of running backs Kendall Hunter and Frank Gore.  It may not be as exciting as having Kaepernick sprint throughout the open field on Green Bay’s defense, but it is smart and takes pressure off the quarterback.  The team will still need to pass the ball, however, because the NFL is now a passing league.

Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis need to the signal caller’s primary targets.  Though they are missing All-Pro defensive back Charles Woodson to free agency, Green Bay still has a decent and well-sized secondary.  It would be wise to use the more physical pass-catchers against a physically gifted secondary.  Boldin and Davis are both athletic and possibly stronger than any defensive back in the league.  The passes need to be short and/or intermediate to get the defense on their heels.

In addition to throwing to the wide receivers and tight ends, Kaepernick needs to incorporate his runners into the passing game.  Gore and Hunter do not need to run deep routes, just a few flairs and screens to keep the Packers’ defense guessing.

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