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San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers: A Prospector's Guide

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The 49ers head to the potentially frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers this Sunday. The 49ers visited Green Bay last year and almost pulled what would have been a sizable upset. After trailing 23-3, the 49ers marched back in the second half and cut the lead to six. However the 49ers defense was unable to make one final stop to get the offense another chance.

This season the 49ers head into Lambeau looking to steal a huge road win in their bid to get back into the NFC West divisional race. The 49ers do not have to win this game to make the playoffs, but notching a win this Sunday would be monstrous. Although the 49ers have won four of their last six games, it has been against opposition that was not exactly in the best position to take advantage of the struggling 49ers.

A win is a win is a win, but the 49ers beat the Raiders before they got hot, the Broncos who suck, the Rams at Candlestick when the Rams have generally struggled on the road, and the Cardinals who also suck. The question becomes whether the 49ers can win or at least play well on some kind of remotely consistent level. They blew a golden opportunity to take a big step forward against Tampa Bay amidst a two-game winning streak, and they lost all the momentum they gained.

This Sunday, it'd be great to win the game, but it'd be nice to at least see them show up with a decent effort. While the win over Arizona was nice, the 49ers still had me nervous considering the way they used a similar game plan as they had done in the past. They were fortunate to be playing a crappy team that appears to have given up on the season. Now we get to see what the 49ers can do against a quality team. If the 49ers manage to knock off the Packers, there will be no doubting it is an impressive victory and I might be more open to the idea that the 49ers can win enough games to win the division.

The line for this game is sitting somewhere between 9.5 and 11 points. The 49ers have shown an ability to play up against some quality teams. Of course they were also smoked by the Chiefs and the Bucs so I guess that just goes towards their inconsistency. The upside to this game is that whatever happens we should know a bit more about the 49ers, good or bad.

Once again I've attached a prediction poll. Head after the jump for random tidbits about this matchup.

San Francisco will travel to the Frozen Tundra for the second consecutive season to face the Green Bay Packers. Lambeau Field has proven to be a tough place for the Niners to pick up a win in recent years as the team will look to change their misfortune in this early December battle of NFC foes. Green Bay leads the overall series 33-26-1, including knocking off the Niners last season, 24-30.

The 49ers defense made a statement against the Cardinals offense in the Monday Night Football matchup at Arizona this past Monday. San Francisco held the Cardinals to a mere 13 yards rushing, marking just the fourth time in franchise history that the defense held an opponent to 13 yards rushing or less for an entire game.

RB Brian Westbrook shined under the bright lights in prime time by racking up 136 rushing yards on 23 attempts and one TD, his first 100-yard game since 12/7/08 at NYG (33 atts. for 131 yards and 1 TD). Westbrook's 136 yards rushing are the most on Monday Night Football this season.

49ers-Packers Connections
- 49ers secondary coach Johnnie Lynn coached with Packers WR coach Jimmy Robinson on the New York Giants staff (2002-03).

- 49ers WR coach Jerry Sullivan's son, Jon-Eric Sullivan, is in his 10th year as a college scout for the Packers.

49ers LB Patrick Willis was tutored by Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum at the University of Mississippi when Slocum served as linebackers coach during the 2005 season.

- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy served as offensive coordinator with the 49ers in 2005.

- Packers tight ends coach Ben McAdoo was the asst. offensive line coach/quality control for the 49ers during the 2005 season.

PACKERS-NOR CAL CONNECTIONS: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (2003-04) and LB Desmond Bishop (2005-06) both played at Cal ... Packers WR James Jones played at San Jose State from 2003-05.

49ERS GREEN BAY CONNECTIONS: Special assistant to head coach Bill Nayes got his start in the NFL as an administrative assistant/football operations with Green Bay from1997-99. Nayes, who is also a graduate from the Univ. of Wisconsin, also served as a football operations assistant with the University (1994-97) and later as Asst. AD/Director of Football Operations (2006-08) ... Pro personnel scout Quentus Cumby spent the summer of 2005 as an intern with the Packers player personnel department.

FORMER 49ERS: Packers LB Matt Wilhelm played in a total of 11 games (1 start) for the 49ers during the 2009 season. He was released from the 49ers following the 2010 training camp.

BURNING UP - 49ers WR Kyle Williams and Packers RB Dimitri Nance were teammates at Arizona State University from 2006-09.

BAYOU BENGALS - 49ers DT Ricky Jean Francois Packers QB Matt Flynn and FB Quinn Johnson were all teammates at LSU from 2006-07.

O-H-I-O! - 49ers CB Nate Clements, Packers LB Matt Wilhelm and DE/NT Ryan Pickett were all teammates at Ohio State University from 1999-2000. 49ers QB Troy Smith and WR Ted Ginn were teammates with Packers LB A.J. Hawk from 2004-05.

LION LOVE - 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman and Packers TE Andrew Quarless were teammates at Penn State University from 2006-09.

TROJAN TIES - 49ers S Taylor Mays and G Chilo Rachal, and Packers LB Clay Matthews were all teammates at USC from 2006-07.

ROCKY TOP - 49ers NT Aubrayo Franklin, LB Parys Haralson, and Packers C Scott Wells were all teammates at the University of Tennessee during the 2002 season.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 60
Series Record: Packers Lead Series 33-26-1
49ers Away Record vs. Packers: Packers lead series 22-10
First Meeting: 11/26/50, Packers win 25-21
Last Meeting: 11/22/09, Packers win 30-24
Current Streak: Lost 7
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 7 (12/10/50-12/5/54)
Longest Packers Win Streak: 7 (10/14/96-Present)
Most 49ers Points: 48 (2 times - Last 12/7/58)
Most Packers Points: 41 (10/23/60), 41-14, at Green Bay
49ers Shutouts: 1 (12/5/54 - 49ers win 35-0)
Packers Shutouts
: 2 times (Last: 11/19/67 - Packers win 13-0)

At Green Bay, WI, November 22, 2009

After digging themselves a 23-3 hole at halftime, the Niners battled valiantly in the 2nd stanza, only to come up short by less than a TD. The afternoon began with the teams trading FGs. After an impressive drive by the Packers, San Francisco's defense managed to hold the Packers to just a 23-yard Mason Crosby FG. The Niners offense seemed up to the task by answering immediately with their own scoring drive, highlighted by a 42-yard RB Frank Gore scamper and a 46-yard Joe Nedney FG. The home team marched the length of the field on their next possession and again Crosby connected, this time from 27 yards.

Sadly for the visitors, the 2nd quarter was highlighted by a Packers offensive explosion. The scoring began with a 64-yard TD pass from QB Aaron Rodgers to WR Greg Jennings. After an SF 3-n-out, the Packers took over at their own 19 yard-line. Rodgers directed his unit 81 yards and sealed the drive with a 7-yard TD pass to Jordy Nelson. The Niners again struggled to a 3-n-out on their ensuing possession, and the Packers capitalized with another Crosby FG (27 yards), sending SF to the locker room down 23-3.

The 49ers came out of halftime like a completely different squad on both sides of the ball. After trading scoreless possessions, SF QB Alex Smith connected with rookie WR Michael Crabtree, who made a spectacular play on the ball over Pro Bowl CB Al Harris for a 38-yard score and the only points of the 3rd quarter On the 49ers 1st offensive play of the final qtr., and backed up in their own end of the field, an errant Smith pass landed in the awaiting hands of GB S Nick Collins, who returned the ball to the SF 11. Three plays later, Packers RB Ryan Grant ran in from the 1 yard-line to give his team a 30-10 lead.

Following a 76-yard kickoff return by 49ers WR Josh Morgan, who was stepping in for the injured RB Michael Robinson, Smith connected with TE Vernon Davis down the middle of the field on a 24-yard TD pass. The San Francisco defense answered the call on the next series and forced GB to punt. Smith took over at his own 17 yard-line and completed 6 of 8 pass attempts on an 83-yard scoring drive, capped by a 10-yard toss to Gore. Despite the 49ers 2nd-half transformation, the Packers took over and embarked on a 10-play drive that ran out the final 5:56 remaining in the game to seal the 30-24 victory.

2010 Statistics

49ERS (rank) PACKERS (rank)
4-7 (3rd NFCW) Record 7-4 (2nd NFCN)
17.0 (31st) Points per game 24.5 (8th)
320.3 (23rd) Total Offense 354.0 (12th)
110.8 (17th) Rushing Offense 98.4 (23rd)
209.5 (21st) Passing Offense 255.6 (7th)
29:45 (22nd) Possession Avg 30:13 (16th)
20.5 (t-10th) Points allowed/gm 15.1 (1st)
316.8 (11th) Total Defense 320.7 (12th)
98.3 (8th) Rushing Defense 112.5 (18th)
218.5 (16th) Passing Defense 208.2 (10th)
23 (t-13th) Sacks 31 (t-5th)
46.0 (6th) Punting Avg (Gross) 43.2 (23rd)
-5 (t-24th) Turnover Differential +6(t-6th)