Packers vs. 49ers – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: SF 34 GB 28 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Matthews late hit on Kaepernick
Matthews late hit on Kaepernick – (Getty images)

Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers:  2013 Game 1

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.



All eyes (or at least these) will be on the Packers offensive line. Can they keep the 49ers away from Aaron Rodgers or create some running lanes for Eddie Lacy? They are my key to the game on the field.

Off the field, Mike McCarthy has to show he and his coordinators can hang with Harbaugh and his guys. MM had his lunch absolutely handed to him by Harbaugh twice last season. Let’s see what you have, Mike.

Of the two players listed as “questionable,” Morgan Burnett is out and Brad Jones is in. Would gladly reverse those two…


Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
29 CB Casey Hayward
42 S Morgan Burnett
51 LB Nate Palmer
58 LB Sam Barrington
65 G Lane Taylor
86 TE Brandon Bostick
93 DE Josh Boyd

With Burnett out, 22 S Jerron McMillian and 43 S M.D. Jennings will be the two starting safeties.

San Francisco 49ers
5 QB B.J. Daniels
13 WR Chris Harper
23 RB LaMichael James
48 FB/DT Will Tukuafu
56 LB Nate Stupar
78 G Joe Looney
84 WR Jon Baldwin


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Camp: I feel like we were able to get through a lot of different concepts and packages.

Happy with young players: It’s about a football game, about the 46 we’re going to dress, it’s going to be emotional and chippy, we have to stay above that stuff.

How long to have a fee of your team: If you have the same group lining up every game, you know by the first quarter of the season who you are.

injutries: Morgan unfortuante thing that popped up late in the week, casey, Dr,. McKenzie hasn’t givenb us a timetable.

MD and McMillian – they’ve played a bunch in the preseason. Morgan has been our quarterback back there so they have to step up.

young players on OL: Well, I’m extrenmely confortable witrh them – they’re all starting today.

CK & read/optin: Colin is one of the young studs at the QB position. he can make the throws to every quadrant and of course, we’re aware of his mobility . Read/option will frankly be a non-issue today.

returnes; Be amart. With Burnett out, we’ll take Micah Hyde out of that equation.

run game: I’m tired of talking about the run game. At the end of the day, it’s about scoring points.

I think this going to be a heck of a football game in all three phases.





Packers vs. 49ers – First Impressions – First Half:

First play of the 2013 NFL Season – a handoff to Eddie Lacy.

Second play of the 2013 season – Rodgers is sacked.  Bakhtiari executing a cut block, which means it’s supposed to be a quick pass. Rodgers does not unload the ball (will have to look at the tape to see why) and is sacked as he trips trying to avoid the rush.

Still real early, but Packers OL opening no holes for Eddie Lacy. They are, however, looking decent in pass protection.

Starting out, looks like Jolly, Raji & Pickett in base, Neal and Jones in nickel.

Overall, I like the aggressiveness the #Packers D is showing, although the end result was still a TD from CK to Vernon Davis.

CK looked at Davis the whole way on that TD.

Lacy with the big gain on a screen pass. Best looking #Packers screen in forever and not because of Lacy. OL actually got out in front and downfield as a group. You just never see that from GB.

Masthay kicks off instead of Crosby, and makes a one-on-one open field tackle. Impressive.

Score after 1 quarter: Packers 7 49ers 7

They’re hurting in the secondary, but whatever happens, I like the aggressiveness the Packers defense is playing with. they’re not playing “soft,” that’s for sure.

Packers defense much more aware of CK’s scrambling. I’ve always said that’s what really killed them in the playoff game, more than read option.

Clay Matthews, what the hell are you thinking? Gotta be smarter.

Boldin owning the middle of the field with McMillian and Jennings at safety.

Matthews on the bench for the Packers defensive series…

Watching the Packers OLBs’ it’s obvious their first responsibility is not pass rush – it’s contain and keeping CK in the pocket.

On that note, Nick Perry is doing what he’s been asked to do – and doing it very well…

Oh, Jermichael…

Matthews back in, and Neal gives Perry a rest at LOLB.

Packers DL bringing it. Nowhere for SF to run. Now if the secondary could just keep track of Anquan Boldin.

Mike Neal looking good at OLB, as he did in preseason…

what? #Packers screwed by a mis-enforcement on the double penalties? Should have been 4th down instead of replaying the down!

The only thing wrong with the #Packers D so far is Casey Hayward and Morgan Burnett not being there. Seriously…

Score after 1 half: Packers 14 49ers 14


Packers vs. 49ers – First Impressions – First Half:

If you have Anquan Boldin on your fantasy team, you’re probably winning this week. Continuing to single-handedly kill the Packers.

On the bright side, Boldin is sure to collapse from exhaustion soon.

Capers critics need to take  a seat today. Only problem for #Packers is no Burnett and Hayward…

The only time #Packers have made any yardage on the ground today, the OL was penalized. Telling.

While knocking the Packers OL for their poor run blocking, let’s commend them on their pass protection today. they’ve done the job.

Matthews close to a taunting penalty. He is JACKED UP!!!

Score after 3rd quarter: Packers 21 49ers 21

49ers finally get pressure on Rodgers from both DEs – Rodgers has no where to go and takes a sack.

Would love to see the #Packers force a fumble here. That was sorely missing last season…

Johnny Jolly on the ground… Get up Johnny! Get up!

Anquan Boldin on the ground. Stay down, Anquan!, Stay Down!

Sam Shields shows that great recovery speed on a long pass – and he needed it – beaten soundly.

Jordy Nelson, how does he make those sideline catches and keep those toes in bounds?

Jeremy Ross has been a disaster today returning kicks. Bad decisions.

Vernon Davis 1st down catch is the type of creative play that doesn’t seem to be in MM’s playbook.

Packers should feel good about their effort . Last season and this, I’ve felt SF was the best team in the league.

Final Score: 49ers 34, Packers 28





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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


97 thoughts on “Packers vs. 49ers – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: SF 34 GB 28

  1. I’VE GOT TWO THINGS TO SAY (needed to yell there)…

    We can hang with, and beat anybody in this league!

    Cow42, if you had any honor, you would make like a Dick… and beat it! Never come around again. Your 9ers got us due to our self inflicted wounds and the refs spotting them 4 points. None of your offseason crap talk happened, Rodgers had time to throw, we stopped their run… You’re a regular NostroDumbass… Like I said, make like a Dick and beat it.

    1. 400+ yards given up through the air.

      There is nothing that the Packers do better than the 49’ers.


        1. GB hung toe to toe with SF. In SF. Without Burnett at S and Heyward at CB (2 best interior pass defenders). They stopped the run in all respects. SF got gifted 4 points by the refs. SF got a ridiculously lucky INT off Finley’s hands. Lacey fumbled inside GB’s own 20. And GB STILL barely lost.

          I’m encouraged. GB is now JUST as physical as SF. And they’ve got better skill position weapons on O. I have a feeling these two teams are going to meet again. And when it happens, GB will come out with the W. Yes, I’m that confident

          1. My hope is that the physicality and intensity will carry on through the season. A letdown against Washington next week means the Packers could start the season 0-3.

          2. Nice glass half full insight.

            The other side is. Finely still dropping passes. Defense is as porous as ever. SF receivers were not just open, they were WIDE open. Still no pass rush. The D made the QB look like Joe Montana. Please please get rid of Capers. PLEASE

            1. 1. Finley still drops passes – yes. But not many passes are going to go right off his hands into the hands of a defender.

              2. The Defensive issues are fixable. I fully believe Capers will fix it. Burnett and Heyward will make a BIG difference back there over McMuffin and the Doctor.

              3. Capers plan was to neutralize Kap’s running ability. Not to sack him. You do that by bracketing the QB. Goal achieved. If you notice, GB got more sacks than SF anyway.

              We’ll be fine.

      1. Why do you even come here you negative puke. We get it, you hate the Packers. Go find anther hobby other than bagging on the Packers because everybody here, is frustrated enough with a loss where once again the Refs have a hand in it. It it you’re a 49ers fan? Then go be with them.

  2. You guys can downplay this game if you want, but I have to work with over three 49ers fans. And yes, they LOVE to trashtalk.

  3. I feel like this was the 2013’s teams “Atlanta 2010” game where they could have, perhaps should have, won but made too many self-inflicted mistakes.

    Gotta love the D-line’s performance. Pretty much everything on the defensive side of the ball was great except the horrendous safety play.

    I feel good about the Packer’s chances should they meet again (assuming they stay healthy and those other players return).

    Sad that they lost but good game. Big fan of the Matthews penalty. I’d rather be rough and dirty than soft and slow any day of the week.

    Good job setting the tempo as ol’ Chubs likes to say.

  4. 1) Packers won’t face a better team in 2013

    2) Packers were not out-physical’d, and not out-talented

    3) Packers front seven and OL looked pretty darn good.. Rookie OT’s played commendably vs. one of the best DL’s in the league- great sign.

    4) Feeling pretty good about the 2013 Packers, despite the loss!

    1. I agree, I feel a lot better than I did in January. Still wonder what would happen if T.T. actually went out and got a safety that’s been missing since 2011. McMillan and Jennings are a Joke. Ross should be cut Monday Morning. He put the Packers in poor field position to many time. Defense played their hearts out, well the front 7 did anyways.

      1. Not to defend Ross, but on that KR in the 4th when he was tackled inside the 10, they showed a replay where the tackler ran unblocked down the field to hit Ross. That one wasn’t on Ross…the others, weelllll…

    2. To bad the Refs blow that call. That’s a 4 point difference. With 3 seconds left who knows, they were at about the 45 yard line of SF right? Hell we know Crosby has the leg, just don’t know where the ball might end up. We’ll see them again, hopefully in Green Bay in the Playoffs.

      1. If CMIII wasn’t so hell-bent on laying a hit on Kaepernick, the Niners probably kick a FG anyway.

        It was a bonehead play from the leader of the Packer D.

        1. We’ve seen what happens when the Pack isn’t hell bent on hitting Kaep – we saw it in January. I’ll happily take a stupid penalty now and then just for the knowledge that the Pack are trying to play nasty. Nasty is going to win us a close game or two before this season is over.

  5. Hey Al, hope all’s well with you. Sitton (3 10 yard penalties. Finley (great catch and then drops the ball), McMillan and Jennings (forgot to cover the center of the field),Referees (here we go again, can we say Seattle?), Aaron Rodgers (please stop throwing the ball horizontally), D-Line (best game in two years), Bakhtiari (great game against a great player, welcome to the NFL, you have a great future),Capers (great plan against the run, secondary weak, frankly outplayed), Jolly (hope you’re okay, welcome home JJ, welcome home), Ross (wtf?).

  6. Random thoughts:

    Impressed by Masthay on kickoffs. Can he kick field goals?

    The defensive front 7 played very well. Not as impressed by the OL.

    Is that ex-Jet KR still available?

    1. Can the Ginger Wolverine play safety? He can certainly tackle better than the ones we put out there yesterday.

  7. Well, we were expecting improvement and we got it, but not enough to win. The run D was great, but the secondary, supposedly a strong point of the team was dreadful. I realize Burnett and Heyward were out, but the secondary was cut to pieces. Some pass rush but not enough to help the secondary. Offense started out slow but I thought performed really well overall. O-line was not great but seems improved. Lacy fumble and CM3’s late hit really hurt. Without the late hit the refs do not screw up and let SF replay 3rd down, resulting in an FG’S rather than a TD. Congrats, to those who took the under on Finley. I thought he played very well except for his drop resulting in an INT.
    If we can every week like we did this week, we’re in for a good season. Go Pack Go. See you next week. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. Who’s better at the 3/4 that’s out there? Dom is a dictionary. He has faults yes, but that was a good team that his D just hung in there with. Don’t you think the 9ers attacked McMuffin and the Doctor because that was the only weakness.

        Heyward and Burnett change that.

        1. D “The G” C’s defenses have been getting gashed for the last two seasons and now today. They did well in the SB year and have laid eggs since. I keep hearing he’s a genius and I keep wondering why.

  8. Packers had the worst O-line in the last two years and did nothing to fix it. Today shows this will be a long season. Can run still, passing game would have scored 2 TDs had it not been for some great catches and YAKs. But that’s not gonna work throwing while harassed all year.

    And can we now retire the Capers-is-a-genius myth? The D line looks much improved but bottom line is it doesn’t matter if the run is stuffed at teh cost of 400+ passing yards a game-long inability to get off the field on 3rd down opporutinites.

    I was POed as could be over the bad re-done 3rd down call but by the end of the game it was clear SF simply outclasses GB.

    And by the way, why did McCarthy take a 5 yd penalty on 4th and 1? Make SF kick a FG there instad of giving them another free shot at a TD. The refs’ mistake will cover up for the horrible coach’s decision but it never should have come to that.

    1. Capers was missing a couple key men in the secondary, namely Burnett & Hayward. He had rookies & second stringers in the middle. Whatyagonna do?

      1. Whaddaya gonna do? I’d suggest teaching the safeties that when a CB passes a WR on to the S, that the S actually try to cover the man. Kapernnick is not one of the top throwers in the league. But men were wide open all game long. When SF needed a big 3rd down play they got it. 2 players are not going to reverse that completely.

        Bottom line is don’t expect to win a lot that way.

    2. Um, the Packers Oline featured a rookie OT going against the most dominant RE in the game.

      The Packers OL looked quite good against one of the toughest 7 man fronts in football.

      Relax a little. Football is more enjoyable if you, you know… enjoy it.

      1. RBs had nowhere to go most of the time. I can’t say the OL did well unless they can open up some holes for ball carriers. Too many holding calls, too.

      2. I know they O line featured a rookie against a good player. The result is a bad O line and teams with bad O lines do not do well in the long run.

        I’m just offering opinion w/o wishful thinking. I’ll “relax” watching the rest of the games because my expectations will be relaxed from here on out.

    3. “Packers had the worst O-line in the last two years and did nothing to fix it.”

      Really? So it’s his fault his two #1 pick offensive tackles are out? And grabbing Bakhtiari in the 4th round was a bad move, too, I suppose?

      1. He knew one of them was out going into this year’s draft and the other one had an injury history. I understand he did draft two OT in two years but the bottom line is the O line was STILL miserable despite those drafts.

        Other than those two picks TT has the history of trying to cheap out on the O line with low rounders. WE had a terrible line last year and one 4th rounder was not going to change that.

        But 4 or 5 tight tends … those he keeps adding.

        1. I agree,as talented as Thompson is drafting lieman has not been his forte. A better question might be to scrap the zone blocking or not.

    4. On 4th and 1, Harbaugh would have gone for it and made the first down. Taking the penalty at least gave them a chance to stop the play, and they did (except for a penalty)

      1. No, we didn’t stop them (except for the penalty). W/o the penalty, SF was right back where they started: 4th and a yard or two. I you know they would have gone for it on the first instance you should know they’d go for it in the 2nd instance. Taking that penalty was one of the worst gametime coaching decisions I have ever seen. Almost all risk and virtually no reward.

    5. Actually that’s a great point about the penalty. Why would McCarthy take a 5 yard penalty when it was 4th and one. The defense had held the 49ers and I doubt Harbargh passes on a FG attempt from there that early in the game. That WAS a pretty dumb decision on McCarthys part.

      1. Thanks. And look what happened. Assume there was no penalty after the play. SF was right back at 4th and short. All the penalty did was give them 2 plays at a TD instead of one.

    1. I can’t blame the secondary too much. They had a couple people down the depth chart in there. The special teams play was putrid outside of Masthay. And that’s without Crosby even getting on the field.

    2. And the offensive line which let to many 3-and-outs and the defense’s inability to produce the same or to produce a stop on 3rd down almost every single time.

  9. If the past has told us anything it’s be prepared to see subs — so they better know what to do.

    And over the years we’ve learned that nobody knows the squirrelly Capers’ zone D. I don’t care how smart (or sleepy, or bored) Capers is (or looks) — his smarts don’t get through to the players !!!

  10. the 49ers have one receiver that can beat us — and we proudly choose to deviate from the past practice of having the best DB on the best receiver?


      1. People forget that Boldin–despite an inauspicious couple seasons in Baltimore–has made a career doing exactly what he did to the Packers today. He’s not flashy, but he has great hands, he’s a bear to tackle, and he knows how to take what a defense gives him.

      2. Nothings that simple of coarse, but it was strange they didn’t try to at least do something with him. Last season Williams holds Marshall to 8 receptions for 80 yards and 1 TD. Maybe it’s just the 49ers scheme that gives them fits. Last year it was Crabtree, now Bolden. I think we saw today just how valuable Burnett is. He gets the secondary all lined up. There were just to many times guys were WIDE open, no one around. McMillan was schooled over and over.

  11. I’m sorry, but did I miss something?

    I was pretty sure I just watched the Green Bay Packers -narrowly- lose to the reigning NFC Champions, who have arguably the best roster 1-53 in the NFL.

    A loss that was predicated more on self-inflicted wounds than being overtly over-matched or outplayed.

    Goodness gracious, the ‘the sky is falling!’ crowd is overwhelming!

  12. Lots to be happy with, Lots to be mad about but no injuries and got a lot of questions answered. Not bad for first real game action. So much for rust.

    Same frustrating problem no coverage in middle of field and backbreaking plays after stops.

    Team will be better once we dump Capers . Now dont wait. I’ll take my chances with losing the Wizard

  13. What upset me was the Niners had 2 receivers to cover..Bolden and Davis. Why not bump and play man with a safety over the top? Capers zone and 10 yards off the receiver 75% of the time resaulted in over 400 passing yards..come on..Hayward and Burnett were, come on!

      1. They played a lot of man last January. How did that work out? Kap ran for a buck 80 on us.

        Zone was the right call. Just needed Burnett and Heyward back there..

        1. This. Match coverage was what gave Kap lots of room to run last year- CB’s with backs turned running downfield with WR’s was an open invite for Kapernick to run wild.

          Per Dom Capers today, they had double coverage called on Boldin many times, but the call “was not executed”. What does that mean? It was someone, or more than one player, effin up their assignment.

          I really didn’t think Burnett’s being MIA was going to have a big effect in this game. I was really, really wrong.

    1. You would never want to bump those large and aggressive rec with our sm non physical dbs. . It would of been touchdowns instead of lg gainers.

  14. Great game, little sloppy and a few officiating questionable calls. Not bad for having Burnett and Hayward out.

    For the Capers haters – Do you realize he went against his mentor, the guy that created the 3-4 today? Our D will shut out a few teams this year. Relax.

  15. Difference in game – A Boldin!

    Apparently DC incapable of simple in-game adjustments i.e., like double covering the WR having a career day. But, Packer fans insist he’s a genius.

    btw – T Williams lost coverage too many times today. Shields was lost in zone coverages. And safeties were a total joke. As was Hawk and Jones. Down the middle was open all day. Those 4 guys should not be starters on an NFL defense, at least not on opening day.

    DL did well as did OLBs, incl Neal.

    Should have given Starks more chances. MM has no feel for mixing up the run and pass. He started the game by running on all 1st downs. How imaginative.

    Mental Mistakes by MM – He blew it by taking penalty that voided a 4th down. What was he thinking? Also blew it by not knowing that offsetting deadball penalties do NOT negate the play. That should be coaching 101.

    More bad news – Lions and Bears looked good in their wins today. Reggie bush and Bell guy were two-headed monster for Lions on ground and short passing. Megatron had two near TDs ruled no catch.

    Vikes did not look very good. Peterson was not able to do anything against Lions defense (except for first carry from scrimmage). I saw G Jennings catch two balls but he was generally underused in first game as purple. They preferred going to J Simpson. Go figure. Did not see Des Bishop in the game.

    1. I’l wholeheartedly agree with one thing you wrote – MM’s offense is as predictable as the taste of rice krispies. No imagination. I’ve been saying this for years.

      1. Seems about the time Philbin left it became predictable. He ran 3 screens I recall. One that Rodgers overthrew Lacy on in 1st quarter. The second to Lacy for 31 yards and the one to Starks. Do the Packers ever throw a slant anymore?

      2. I think the best offenses are predictable most of the time.however, I enjoy the wrinkles that Cobb provides.

      3. I kinda disagree with you, Al.

        DC’s across the league consider MM to be one of the best, and most aggressive, play callers in the NFL. Always talking about how he finds new ways to stress a defense.

        WEll, I suppose, that’s not quite the same as being unpredictable.

        1. Hey, think of it this way- when John Kuhn was in the backfield for a series or two, didn’t you find yourself weeping, “Dear god, please, please, MM… Don’t you dare call a FB dive”?

          I know I was, and I was sure it was going to happen, but it never did.. UPREDICTABILITY!!


        2. McCarthy says he has enough plays just in no huddle to play a triple header. Where are all these plays. Watch a Packers game closely and you’re likely to see slight variations of the same 5-8 plays. I watch other teams and always find myself saying, wow, what a nicely designed play. I don’t do that much for the Packers…

    2. The Loins looked a little better on defense & Reggie Bush is an improvement. But they still played sloppy and couldn’t quite put the Vikings away until late in the game. The Vikings looked quite mediocre.

      I wasn’t as impressed by the Bears. I think they’re more or less the same team they were last year. Bengals look tough, but made too many boneheaded plays. Here’s hoping they don’t get it straightened out before Week 3.

      1. It was the same old Lions today…except they managed to win this one. That was the difference between their last couple seasons: whether or not they could pull it out at the end.

  16. The 49ers are the best in the NFL, and the Packers kept it close on the road w/o Burnett and Hayward. Hope Johnny Jolly is ok.Do we have an upgrade over MD Jennings?

  17. meant even better, Jolly back, Bak and Sitton were a big upgrade from last year,takes care of left, Lacy proved even with awful blocking he is the real deal and more ,in run and with Rodgers as a check down open field weapon. When it gets cold no one will want to tackle him/ That alone and no injuries.

  18. I somehow wonder if this game turns out completely differently if J-Mike catches the ball rather than tossing it at Reid…who looked really good today (safety, anyone?).

    You can’t win…Capers sold out to stop the run and make Kaepernick beat the Packers with his arm, which everyone was calling for. Which left room for receivers to run. Boldin did what he always does, find holes underneath and break tackles.

    What would people be saying if the Packers got out of contain mode in the second half and let Kaepernick run free? The Packers got beat by a good team on their home field. Moral victories don’t mean much, but in this case, it’s better than getting your ass handed to you and there are positives to build on.

    1. Finally, someone who sees why the ‘9ers actually won (2 GB turnovers to 0 49er turnovers).

      They did OK, they never gave up, and there is a lot to build on.

      1. If the Packers play like they did today all season long, they’ll win a lot of games. There aren’t many teams out there that match the Niners in terms of physicality and intensity. The Packers showed they could be one of them, today.

  19. I feel good about our team after watching this game. The D will be better and we will score a lot of points. I not happy with our coaches. I agree with Al that McCarthy is unimaginative in his play calling. Capers is just off. Having Williams, House, Shields and Hyde…but couldn’t find a way to keep receivers from being 5-10 yards WIDE open all game long. over 400 yards passing and 34 pts. SF was missing their 2 best WRs….come on Dom!!

  20. Stop run ,cover middle, cover deep. we only did one of the min 2 you need to win. Selling out to stop run to then give up a back breaking 3rd down play is our Achilles /Caper heel. Whats the point? Aslo getting sick of No fumbles created, not even an attempt to strip, His genius is a joke , our joke

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