Fixing Packers' Week 1 problems
Weak running game can be overcome; defense should improve
One of more surprising results of Week 1 was the San Francisco 49ers going into Lambeau Field and dominating the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers' defense was outstanding and their offense exhibited a great balance of run and pass. Many of Green Bay's weaknesses of a year ago were exploited in Week 1, but going back and studying the film, there isn't as much reason to be worried as Packers fans think.
Here's a look at the major problem areas against the Niners and how I think the Packers can overcome them.
Short passes can help lackluster run game
The Packers had only 45 yards rushing against the 49ers and 27 of those were scrambles by Aaron Rodgers, meaning that running back Cedric Benson had only 18 lethargic yards on nine carries. With the 49ers' safeties playing very deep there was room to run, but this offense couldn't get it done. As a result, the Packers abandoned the run game early and morphed into a one-dimensional passing game -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Packers went to a spread attack and ran 31 of 61 plays without a running back on the field. This is an offense that doesn't seem to be obsessed with offensive balance, so how can it make up for a lack of a ground game?
To read more about why Green Bay Packers fans shouldn't panic, plus get all of Insider's NFL content, sign up to be an ESPN Insider.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- NFL or Michigan? Harbaugh said to be torn
- Cowboys list Murray (hand) as questionable
- Slip of the tongue: Obama shouts out Flacco
- Rivera 'confident' Newton will start Sunday