In a rematch of their NFC Divisional playoff game from a year ago, the Green Bay Packers will take on the San Francisco 49ers to help kick off the 2013 NFL season.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are seeking revenge for an embarrassing loss in which Kaepernick ran wild and Rodgers actually did not win in a shootout.
This time around things are more interesting as both teams have had an entire offseason to prepare.
Here are the critical things fans need to know about the game.
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco California
When: September 8, 2013, 4:25 PM ET
Watch: FOX Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Packers Player to Watch: Eddie Lacy
Perhaps the biggest key to a Packers victory in the rematch comes in the form of rookie running back Eddie Lacy. One of the biggest reasons the Packers could not compete with the 49ers last time around is because the offense was so one-dimensional.
Now with an ideal running back in Lacy behind him, Rodgers will be able to mix it up against one of the NFL’s best defenses. Lacy will get huge chunks of yardage at a time on the ground and keep the 49ers honest.
49ers Player to Watch: Colin Kaepernick
It seems obvious, but Kaepernick needs to continue on his current path of development. Keep in mind he has yet to play a full NFL season and now the entire league has had plenty of time to study up on how to stop him.
We’ll see how Kaepernick reacts, but for now he has to worry about a defense dead-set on revenge. Clay Matthews and Co. will be coming for him all night. Can he overcome the odds again? Maybe, but it’s a different year and anything can happen.
Matchup to Watch: Packers Defense vs. Colin Kaepernick
This is the thing—Green Bay has been specifically planning for this matchup all offseason long after being bounced from the postseason by the 49ers last year.
That’s not to say the Packers will be able to shut down Kaepernick, but there is no bigger storyline in the game than this. Green Bay has made some upgrades over the offseason, but Kaepernick still has plenty of weapons of his own to utilize as the 49ers remain one of the deepest teams in the league.
If Kaepernick thrives, so will the 49ers. If not, Rodgers is going to embarrass the 49ers.
This game is likely the highlight of the week. Despite what happened last year in the playoff, it’s never smart to bet against Aaron Rodgers. Add in the fact his offense will be less predictable and his defense has prepped all offseason for this game and it’s hard to see San Francisco overcoming the odds.
Rodgers and Co. will get some revenge here in the opening week of the season, but it’s a safe bet we’ll see the two sides face off again later in the year.
Packers 42, 49ers 30