When the Packers take the field against the 49′ers on Sunday, they are going to be in for a battle. These two
teams have history but the most recent history has heavily favored the Niners. We pretty much know what to expect from each of these teams…ground and pound, good quarterback play with great wide receiver corps. When we look back on this game the Monday after, I think we are gonna see that it was the little things that made the difference one way or the other. The little things…stuff the oddsmakers ignore or fantasy owners may overlook. Football is a game of inches and here are a few things few will talk about before the game but we all may be talking about after it.
1. Mason Crosby – Named a postseason captain, Mason Crosby is having a great year. I was predicting a walk off game winner during the Rodgers-less stretch but it didn’t happen. Crosby has been money and this could turn out to be his finest hour. Keep an eye on him.
2. Field position – Lately the Packers have been giving up too much ground on kicks…even saw a punt or two that were less than adequate (a rarity since Masthay has been with Green Bay). The Masthay/Bush combination on punts has been incredible to watch and we will need to force the Niners to earn every INCH of turf on Sunday.
3. Penalties – The Packers have done a good job penalty-wise for the most part but we have seen a few VERY ill-timed penalties by the offensive line. We cannot afford anything of the kind against the 49′ers.
4. Defensive backfield play – Everybody is sad (me no less than anyone else) that Clay Matthews will not be taking the field Sunday…and no one is happier than Colin Kaepernick. This will likely result in a less formidable pass rush and will put a LOT of pressure on the DB’s. They have been getting an average of 2 INT’s a game for the last 4 games and NOW is the time for these guys to gel and come into their own. In my opinion…if they don’t…we go home.
So there are a few of the things I am NOT hearing about every time I turn on NFL Network or go to packers.com. Of course, I’ll be going over all the stuff people are talking about too but what do you think the keys to the game are?