There’s a bad blood between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers after the divisional playoffs clash last season. These two franchises meet again this Sunday at 4:25 PM ET at Candlestick Park for week one.
The odds have the 49ers as 4.5 favorites to win at home. The game total is set at 48.5.
“We had an entire offseason to focus on last year’s loss, having time to kind of figure out a way to defend (Kaepernick),” Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. “We obviously like to think we’re better prepared to defend that type of offense and what he brings to the table.”
Colin Kaepernick took the Packers by surprised as he passed for 263 yards and ran for an NFL quarterback-record 181 yards, while recording four total touchdowns in the 45-31 win.
“When the quarterback can run like that, that opens up the arsenal of play-calling,” defensive tackle B.J. Raji told the Packers’ official website. “Obviously if you can’t stop the run, that’s football 101.”
The Packers also need to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers if they want to have a shot; Rodgers was the most sacked quarterback in the entire NFL, in 2013. Green Bay didn’t score a touchdown in preseason with their first team on the field, and that raised some concerns.
“It’s preseason. We had five good drives. No three-and-outs, one sack, we lost the ball on downs, missed a field goal and had three field goals,” Rodgers said. “So we had productive drives. The biggest issue is we didn’t have our whole team together.”
Green Bay is 12-4-2 ATS in its last 18 games when playing San Francisco. The 49ers are 15-6-1 ATS in its last 22 games at home.