2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers look to slow down Kaepernick this time

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-05 17:26

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Clay Matthews and the Green Bay defense spent a good chunk of the offseason focused on figuring out how to stop the read option and defend mobile quarterbacks like San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick left that much of a mark on the Packers' embarrassed unit in a 45-31 divisional playoff loss to the 49ers at Candlestick Park in January. Now they meet again in a second straight season opener between a pair of NFC powers.

``I'm sure they've been game-planning for us since training camp,'' 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said. ``Any time you lose a game like that, you should be very mad.''

Kaepernick rushed for a quarterback-record 181 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two more TDs.

The Packers have been forced to relive the game in the film room this week - even if many of Green Bay's players weren't part of it.

``It was a disappointing night for us,'' quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

Kaepernick, for one, has vowed to forget about that impressive playoff debut eight months ago.

``We're not worried about what happened last year,'' he said.

The Packers have no choice but to be worried. They were embarrassed by the NFC champions in their opener last year at Lambeau Field, then again in the postseason.

Here are five things to watch in Sunday's Week 1 NFC showdown and rematch of the divisional playoffs:

TWO NEW TACKLES: Rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari and inexperienced starting right tackle Don Barclay are being counted upon to fill huge holes in Green Bay's offensive line. They face the daunting task of protecting Rodgers against one of the best defensive fronts in football.

Rodgers' simple message: ``Block those guys, please.''

Bakhtiari took over after left tackle Bryan Bulaga was lost to a season-ending knee injury early in training camp, while Barclay beat out veteran Marshall Newhouse for the other spot.

``Their front seven is a big challenge all the way through,'' coach Mike McCarthy said. ``It's definitely something our young guys have been preparing for.''

The 49ers expect Rodgers to release the ball even sooner to take some pressure off the O-line.

``They've got a $100 million quarterback - we know they're going to want to throw the ball,'' 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said.

Willis, meanwhile, is scheduled to play as he recovers from a broken right hand.

KAEPERNICK'S TOP TARGET?: Anquan Boldin makes his 49ers debut as San Francisco's projected top wide receiver for Kaepernick. Everybody involved hopes Boldin, Davis and a healthy Kyle Williams can pick up the load with 2012 top wideout Michael Crabtree sidelined until at least November recovering from a torn right Achilles tendon that required surgery.

Boldin, who beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl with Baltimore, and Davis expect productive years alongside the athletic, strong-armed Kaepernick in his first full season as starter.

``The chemistry that we're building, the brotherhood that we've put together, it's impeccable,'' Davis said. ``It's amazing that you come in here each and every day and be able to work with a guy like Kaepernick.''

GREEN BAY RUNNING GAME: McCarthy has faced question after question about his running game.

Now, all eyes will be on rookie Eddie Lacy to see whether he can back up his coach's confident stance - against stingy, run-stopping San Francisco, no less.

Lacy and Johnathan Franklin were drafted to improve Green Bay's backfield. The Packers cut ties with 2012 top rusher Alex Green.

Former Alabama star Lacy carried 204 times for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns last year.

REID'S MOMENT: With hard-hitting rookie free safety Eric Reid earning a starting job, the 49ers have the chance to redeem themselves after last year's debacle with top draft pick A.J. Jenkins, who didn't catch a pass and was traded last month to Kansas City.

San Francisco selected Reid with the 18th pick of April's draft out of LSU. He replaces departed star Dashon Goldson.

``The first day I got here, it was a lot faster than college and the defense was tougher, but it just takes practice and repetition,'' Reid said.

HELPFUL INTEL ON THE 49ERS: The Packers picked up a pair of former 49ers quarterbacks just in time for Week 1: Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien.

More so than Wallace, who spent only a week in San Francisco's system, Tolzien could provide some valuable insight into the 49ers' schemes and playbook.

Jim Harbaugh acknowledges the issue, though he noted ``danger is not the word I would use'' in describing the potential advantage for the Packers.

``Our plan remains the same,'' Harbaugh said. ``There's things he knows. We'll see how that plays out.''

In fact, Matthews said he would try to find an hour of time to connect with Tolzien before game day.

---

AP Sports Writer Genaro C. Armas in Green Bay, Wis., contributed to this story.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

Robert GeathersFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals DE Robert Geathers was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Greg LittleFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Greg Little was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group