Monday, September 9, 2013

5 Burning Questions - The Answers

For the second year in a row the 49ers opened their season with a victory over the Green Bay Packers, this time by a score of 34-28.  Let's take a look at the answers to the 5 burning questions leading up to the game.

1)  Will Green Bay become more balanced?

No.  Green Bay ended the day with 39 called pass attempts to only 17 rushes.  The 49ers on the other hand stuck with the ground game, calling 34 runs although they were only able to average a paltry 2.64 yards per rush.

2)  How does Aldon Smith do against rookie left tackle David Bakhtirari?

Very well.  Smith ended the day with 1.5 sacks, and finished off the game by beating Packers right tackle Don Barclay around the edge to not allow Rodgers the opportunity to even get the ball near the endzone.

3)  Will Kaepernick show improvement as a game manager and gel with his new wide receivers?

No and Yes.  The 49ers offense was called for 2 delay of game penalties and forced to use 3 time outs to avoid more.  If they struggle this much at home, how are they going to get it together next week with the jet blast noise of the Seattle crowd raining down on them?

13 receptions, 208 yards and 1 TD.  That was the line for Anquan Boldin, and a record for a 49ers wide receiver on opening day.  Boldin's performance was amazing, with two of his biggest catches of the game coming in the 4th quarter after injuring his knee while blocking on a run play.

4)  How will the new look 49ers defense hold up?

The defense had an up and down day giving up 333 yards to Aaron Rodgers including 3 TD's, and a total of 28 points, the most against the Packers in their 3 matchups over the last 2 seasons.  Nnamdi Asomugha struggled both in coverage and with his tackling at times on Sunday.  The tackling issues could play a big role next week in Seattle.

Rookie safety Eric Reid played a very nice game in his first NFL start.  After missing a tackle on Jordy Nelson along the sideline, Reid came back to make a nice interception of a tipped pass and was a sure tackler the rest of the way.

5)  How does the 49ers offense handle Clay Matthews?

Matthews ended the day tied for the most tackles by a Packer with 7, but Joe Staley did a nice job against him all day long in pass protection giving up only 1 sack.  That protection was key in allowing Kaepernick the time to put up over 400 yards passing on the day and 3 touchdowns.

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