Found September 09, 2013 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
Handing out grades following the Green Bay Packers' 34-28 loss to the San Francisco 49ers: Passing Offense: A- Aaron Rodgers apparently didn't need more than the five drives and 46 snaps he got in preseason, as the Packers quarterback performed at a high level in San Francisco. Rodgers completed 21 of 37 passes for 333 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 102.6. Rodgers' interception was hardly his fault as it came on a play in which tight end Jermichael Finley dropped a pass and then tipped it into the direction of 49ers safety Eric Reid. When Rodgers was given the freedom to just keep throwing it, Green Bay's offense was at its best. The Packers' third offensive possession was six plays (all passes) for 80 yards in 1 minute, 47 seconds and resulted in a touchdown. Later in the first half, Green Bay's eight-play drive featured six passes and only two runs, it too concluding with a touchdown in quick time (1 minute, 16 seconds). Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were both fantastic. Like Rodgers, neither wide receiver was slowed down by their lack of preseason work. Nelson (knee) and Cobb (biceps) only played two preseason snaps, but both looked to be in midseason form. Nelson finished with seven receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown, while making one sideline catch that will be on the Packers' highlight reels all year. Cobb had seven catches for 108 yards and one touchdown. Cobb's extra effort and outstretched body near the goal line helped Green Bay tie the game at 7 early on. Finley made up for the interception that his dropped pass led to by scoring a touchdown right before halftime. Finley showed tremendous work after the catch, gaining 11 yards after the one-yard toss from Rodgers and made his way into the end zone. Surprisingly, James Jones really struggled after a very productive training camp and preseason. Jones was targeted twice but dropped one of them and finished with zero receptions. Rushing Offense: C- The Packers' first-half grade in the run game would have been, well, giving it a D-minus would have been very, very kind. In the opening two quarters, Green Bay gave up more yards on penalties in the run game (30) than the team gained in rushing yards (16). Add in an Eddie Lacy fumble that gave the 49ers short field position and an eventual touchdown, and that's about as poor a performance in 30 minutes of football as it can get. Starting left guard Josh Sitton, who's usually the Packers' best offensive lineman, had a first half to forget. All three penalties on running plays were called on Sitton; two for holding and one for illegal use of hands. The second half had some improvements in the rushing offense and gave Green Bay some positive moments to watch on film. Lacy, who had five carries for four yards in the first half and was benched for three series after his fumble, looked a lot more like the running back that the Packers saw at Alabama before they made him their second-round pick. Lacy had nine rushes for 37 yards (4.25 average) in the second half, including his first NFL touchdown. Lacy had his best play of the game when he caught a short pass from Rodgers on second down and turned it into a 31-yard gain. It demonstrated that, when Lacy has room to work, he can be a difference maker. The problem for Green Bay is that, against the 49ers, Lacy rarely had any space in front of him. Cobb ran it twice out of the backfield for six yards, fullback John Kuhn had one rush for three yards and Rodgers scrambled twice for 13 yards. In total, the Packers could only muster 63 yards on 19 rushing attempts (3.3 average). Rushing Defense: A When the 49ers dismantled Green Bay earlier this year on Jan. 12 and knocked the Packers out of the playoffs, Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore combined to rush for 300 yards on 39 attempts (7.7 average). With Green Bay's defense focused on not letting Kaepernick scramble or effectively run the read-option, as well as getting tough inside to stop Gore, it was mission accomplished for defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Gore had only 44 yards on 21 carries (2.1 average) and was a non-factor. The majority of that credit goes to the Packers' defensive linemen. With B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly starting and playing in the base 3-4 defense, the three biggest linemen on the team all played very well. Kaepernick was unable to work the read-option. All of Green Bay's offseason work paid off, as every Packers defender carried out their role and didn't let the mobile quarterback have a repeat performance. Kaepernick's seven rushing attempts resulted in 22 yards. With the exception of his 15-yard run, Kaepernick's rushing day looks even more held in check. Passing Defense: D For everything that went right for Green Bay's defense in stopping the run, just about everything went wrong in defending the pass. Kaepernick tore the Packers apart through the air, completing 27 of 39 passes for 412 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. That was good for a passer rating of 129.4. The problems with Green Bay's passing defense started with a lack of pass rush. The 49ers have one of the NFL's best offensive lines, but the Packers generated very little heat in the backfield on Kaepernick. Jolly and Clay Matthews both recorded sacks, but throughout the majority of the game, Green Bay's defense didn't disrupt Kaepernick. The Packers' secondary had no answers downfield, allowing 32-year-old receiver Anquan Boldin to nearly have a career-best day in his 49ers debut. Boldin had 208 receiving yards on 13 catches (17 targets) with one touchdown. Boldin continued working the middle of the field, exploiting rookie nickel back Micah Hyde (who started in place of an injured Casey Hayward) and safeties Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings (both of whom saw more playing time with Morgan Burnett sidelined). Tight end Vernon Davis dominated as well, finishing with six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Davis, like Boldin, really worked over McMillian, Jennings and Hyde. With Michael Crabtree injured, this is a below average San Francisco receiving corp relative to the rest of the league. Yet, Green Bay couldn't stop the only two threats that Kaepernick had to throw to. Having Burnett and Hayward available would've been a big help for the Packers, but that can't be used as an excuse. Special Teams: C Tim Masthay has officially become Green Bay's kicker on kickoffs, replacing Mason Crosby. Mathay's first two kickoffs weren't great, but his final three all sailed through the end zone for touchbacks. The strong leg that Masthay showed in training camp while the Packers tried out Giorgio Tavecchio has translated into the fourth-year punter adding a new role. Crosby's only four appearances were all extra points. So, no field-goal attempts for Crosby yet this season. Green Bay used both Jeremy Ross and Cobb in punt return. Ross was in for three of them, and Cobb for two. The one that Cobb didn't fair-catch was returned for a 16-yard gain. Ross was used on all kick returns, and he made a couple costly decisions. He caught one of them two yards into the end zone and hesitated for several seconds before taking it out. The result was being tackled at the 8-yard line, made worse by a Mike Daniels illegal block penalty. Another was fielded by Ross four yards into the end zone and brought out only to the 9-yard line. Overall: B- The pros and cons for the Packers in their regular-season opener were on such extreme sides of the spectrum. Rodgers was his normal great self and his receivers delivered, with the defensive line shutting down Gore and the 49ers' ground attack. But Green Bay was so ineffective in its offensive run game and in stopping Kaepernick through the air that the final result was a loss and a 0-1 record to begin the season. If the expectations for the Packers are to make the Super Bowl, this performance wasn't good enough. For the third time in 12 months, San Francisco found a way to beat Green Bay. Though there's a lot of season to be played between now and January, it's likely that if these two teams meet again it would be a postseason game back in San Francisco. How realistic is it that the Packers have the pieces to defeat the 49ers if a rematch happens? Green Bay just seems overmatched in overall talent, especially now that Kaepernick has begun to prove that he's more than just a two-month wonder. If the expectation is for the Packers to be good enough to win the NFC North for a third consecutive year and make it to the divisional round of the playoffs again, Green Bay showed in this game that it's probably capable of doing that. So, it's all about expectations. But, at the end of the season, if the Packers can't beat the 49ers, Green Bay won't be representing the NFC in Super Bowl XLVIII. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter

Rodgers hasn’t received apology phone call from Braun

Aaron Rodgers says he still has not received an apology phone call from former friend and business partner Ryan Braun. Braun has been calling Milwaukee Brewers season ticket holders in an effort to apologize for using steroids and repeatedly lying about it, and to rehab his image. The Green Bay Packers MVP quarterback says he […]

Green Bay Packers: Hard fought effort from beginning to end

Aaron Rodgers (Photo Credit: Cary Edmondson/ USA TODAY Sports) The game was a slug fest.  When one team would score the other would answer.  When one team made a defensive stop, the other would counter again.  For the third time in 12 months, the Packers and 49ers took the field against one another and showed why each could be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. In the end...

Black, Blue, and Ornery: Aaron Rodgers “last line of defense” against San Francisco 49ers

Good morning, folks! Welcome to the Water Cooler Sports’ Black, Blue and Ornery, your source for NFC North News on this Wednesday, September 11th, 2013. When I think about other things that happened twelve years previous, it seems like it was so long ago.  The attack on the World Trade Center, however, still feels like […]The post Black, Blue, and Ornery: Aaron Rodgers “last...

2013 NFL Awards

MVP: QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) Rodgers was my highest ranked quarterback in my top-200 and in my fantasy projections and the top quarterback usually wins this award as long as his team makes the playoffs. In his last 45 games, including the playoffs, Rodgers has thrown for 114 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, and 12738 yards. Over 16 games, that’s 41 touchdowns, 7 interceptions...

James Jones Fails To Catch a Pass in Week 1

Green Bay receiver James Jones did not have a catch in the season opener.Fantasy Spin:Jones only saw two targets while Aaron Rodgers looked for Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley a combined 30 times. Jones had just 784 yards last season but led the NFL with 14 touchdown receptions.

Braun, Rodgers no longer partners

Aaron Rodgers once said that he didn't regret backing his friend up when Ryan Braun was suspended from Major League Baseball for 65 game for using performance-enhancing drugs. Apparently, their business relationship will be changing, though. A restaurant group that owns a restaurant co-owned by Braun and Rodgers has cut ties with the Brewers outfielder, according to USA Today...

Randall Cobb Tops 100 Yards in Loss

Green Bay wideout Randall Cobb was targeted 12 times and had seven receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown.Fantasy Spin:At 5-foot-10 and 192 pounds Cobb doesn't look like a prototypical receiver, but as Aaron Rodgers' expected top target he is a fantasy stud.

Jordy Nelson Looks Healthy in Opener vs. 49ers

Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson's knee looked pretty healthy Sunday against the 49ers.Fantasy Spin:Nelson had knee surgery in early August and missed most of training camp, but he had 130 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions Sunday. As one of Aaron Rodgers' top-two targets, Nelson will have a huge season if he stays on the field.

Aaron Rodgers Ends Business Relationship with Ryan Braun Read

When Aaron Rodgers called out Brewers former MVP Ryan Braun in July for lying to Rodgers about PED use Rodgers said it hadn’t been determined whether their restaurant partnership will continue. It looks like a decision has been made and it’s not a good one for Braun. From a joint statement released by SURG Restaurant Group: Restaurant group co-owner Michael Polaski said he...

Jim Harbaugh on Clay Matthews: ‘Come with some knuckles’ next time

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews’ late hit against Colin Kapernick was a “cheap shot” on his quaterback. “All in all, there were a lot of things going on in 

Aaron Rodgers Ends Business Relationship With Ryan Braun

In case there were any doubts before I think it is safe to say now that the Aaron Rodgers/ Ryan Braun bromance is over. In case you have been away from a computer for the last few months, Green Bay Packers quarterback and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun were buddies--that is until Braun lied to Rodgers about taking PEDs. If it was just the personal lie the relationship...

Aaron Rodgers Hasn’t Received Apology Phone Call From Ryan Braun, Says He’s Not Disappointed About It

Ryan Braun has been busy making the apology rounds on his road to redemption, but in the process, it appears he may have skipped over the “A” names in his phone book. After issuing a public apology, the disgraced slugger personally called up some Brewers’ season ticket holders in an attempt to mend fences, as well as admit his guilt and regret. But Braun has yet to reach out...

Packers lose to 49ers again, 34-28 in opener

The Green Bay Packers found a way to keep Colin Kaepernick in the pocket and stop all those read-options runs that embarrassed them in the playoffs. They just had no answer for his arm. Or his newest receiver. Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards and three touchdowns to outduel Aaron Rodgers, and the San Francisco 49ers held off the Packers 34-28 on Sunday in the season...

Tackles Are Major Underdogs

We have some incredible facts to put into context the challenge facing the unlikely offensive tackle duo of David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay. They'll be put to the test against the Niners' elite defense. "We’ve got to win a lot of those battles," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.