Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Prediction: GB 24, SF 20 (Line: SF by 3)

This is the replay of the season opener when the 49ers went to Green Bay and shocked the Packers with a 30-22 win that was 23-7 entering the final quarter. The 49ers ended 11-4-1 on the season but held a 6-1-1 record at home. The Packers struggled through the early part of the schedule but then went 9-1 the rest of the way until week 17 when they had nothing to win.

The Packers are getting back all their receivers and ended the season with some big scores and an impressive record. The 49ers have played much less consistently with their defense showing problems and the offense not scoring as much but that was limited almost entirely to road games. This is a true coin flip game. It has been eight years since the last time all home teams won in this round. This is the best chance to see a visitor win along with potentially Atlanta hosting the Seahawks.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI 23-10 11 @DET 24-20
3 @SEA 12-14 12 @NYG 10-38
4 NO 28-27 13 MIN 23-14
5 @IND 27-30 14 DET 27-20
6 @HOU 42-24 15 @CHI 21-13
7 @STL 30-20 16 TEN 55-7
8 JAC 24-15 17 @MIN 34-37
9 ARI 31-17 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 30,1 - 290,2
RB Ryan Grant 20 1-10 -
RB DuJuan Harris 40 4-30 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 3-30,1 -
WR Greg Jennings - 4-60 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 2-30 -
WR Randall Cobb - 7-90 -
WR James Jones - 4-30,1 -
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Packers took down the Vikings last week but there was not much to take away from that game thanks to Joe Webb. In short, he was horrible as a replacement for Christian Ponder. The Vikings never really had much of a chance and the Packers were finally able to bottle up Adrian Peterson to take the win with only 274 passing yards and one score from Aaron Rodgers and only 47 yards on 17 runs from DuJuan Harris.

It is equally hard to draw much from the season opener four months ago when Rodgers passed for 303 yards and two scores but the Packers defense allowed 30 points to the visiting 49ers.

Rodgers' production has been solid this year thought at times inconsistent thanks in part to a new ability to run the ball. That's likely to go away against the 49ers who rank #2 against running backs. They have only allowed two visiting runners to score on them all year and the Packers still have never seen more than 80 yards from any runner all year.

That will push Rodgers into a throwing mode all game. In that first meeting, all receivers were healthy and the scores ended up with Jermichael Finley (7-47) and James Jones (4-81). All other wideouts had a role as well with Randall Cobb (9-77) leading the group that included Greg Jennings (5-34) and Jordy Nelson (5-64).

Finley has done little else the entire season and only scored one more time. His yardage improved in recent games though and yet the 49ers lower ranking against the position is all about allowing eight touchdowns but minimal yardage almost every week.

The 49ers have only allowed five touchdowns to visiting wideouts and only two managed to gain over 100 yards on them. With four wide receivers certain to play, the ball could end up spread out in so many ways that it is hard to predict.

Notable too is that the Packers defense has been much better for the last month, holding opponents to an average of around 13 points per game for the four weeks leading up to the meaningless week 17 game. Charles Woodson also returned last week and ended with four tackles and two assists in his first game back.

Jordy Nelson has a bad ankle which made him leave the game last week but he is still expected to play even though he missed practice on Wednesday. Finley also missed practice with a hamstring tweak but returned and is still expected to play.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 2 29 1 13 21 17
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 6 2 5 14 1 9


San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL 24-24
2 DET 27-19 11 CHI 32-7
3 @MIN 13-24 12 @NO 31-21
4 @NYJ 34-0 13 @STL 13-16
5 BUF 45-3 14 MIA 27-13
6 NYG 3-26 15 @NE 41-34
7 SEA 13-6 16 @SEA 13-42
8 @ARI 24-3 17 ARI 27-13
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
QB Colin Kaepernick 30 - 240,1
RB Frank Gore 70,1 2-20 -
TE Vernon Davis - 3-20 -
WR A.J. Jenkins - 2-20 -
WR Randy Moss - 3-30 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 7-60,1 -
PK David Akers 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The 49ers come off their bye with two kickers having signed Billy Cundiff and yet still have David Akers. There is a good chance both will still be on the roster this weekend so there is no "safe" 49ers kicker to start if you are in a contest. Akers was a league leader last year and but has struggled this season.

The biggest change from the season opener is that Alex Smith has been benched for Colin Kaepernick. Smith passed for 211 yards and two scores in Green Bay while being sacked four times. Kaepernick has started seven games in all but his highest yardage was 276 yards last game against the visiting Cardinals. He is averaging around 230 yards per game as a passer and his rushing yardage has waned later in the season. He will bring a new element to the game with his rushing from the last meeting.

Another change is that both Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham are now on injured reserve. Randy Moss has stepped up to the #2 wideout role though he's been locked in right around 30 yards in each of the last five games. He's a minor factor with his score in New England against his old team as his only touchdown in the last eight games.

That's all evolved such that Vernon Davis is getting double coverage which Kaepernick is not willing to throw against so that he ends up throwing around a dozen passes every week to Michael Crabtree. This has been a breakout season for Crabtree who scored nine times this year and racked up four 100+ yard games. When the 49ers face a weak secondary, Crabtree has been deadly effective and scored twice against both the Patriots and Cardinals. He was held to seven catches for 76 yards in the season opener while Davis scored once on his three catches for 43 yards that week. Davis has averaged only one catch for 10 yards over his last six games.

Frank Gore opened his season with 112 yards on 16 runs and one score in Green Bay. It was actually one of his best games of the year since he has once again slowed down deeper into the year and has not topped 100 yards in the last nine games. Most of his eight rushing scores did come at home though and he is giving up only around six to eight runs to LaMichael James who is not doing much with his opportunity.

Factoring out Adrian Peterson who is unlike anyone in the history of the NFL, the Packers have been solid against the run for much of the season and not allowed over 100 yards to a non-Peterson back other than Gore back in week one. But the Packers have allowed eight scores to running backs when on the road - one per game on average.

This game will come down to the 49ers ability to keep Aaron Rodgers from hurting them with the pass and not getting into a passing war since Kaepernick has really only thrown successfully to one player - Crabtree. Gore's stats will reflect how long the 49ers remain in the lead and can just hand off the ball.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 11 14 21 7 10 15
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 14 17 18 1 13 7



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