49ers-Packers matchups: Pass rushers v. Eddie Lacy

The Packers’ favorite personnel grouping on offense is “11″ personnel – one running back, one tight end and three receivers. This gives Aaron Rodgers four immediate receiving threats on the line of scrimmage and one running back in the backfield to pick up a blitzer or a free rusher.

But the Packers’ rookie running backs, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, did not pass protect in college. Pass protection is new to them, and learning pass protection is the most difficult thing for a rookie running back.

So, I don’t think the Packers can get away with using mostly “11″ personnel against the 49ers. That grouping puts too much pressure on Lacy, rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari and second-year right tackle Don Barclay.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers used the Diamond formation with Rodgers under center. That way, the Packers would have a tailback who’s a play-action threat, plus two tight ends who can chip on Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks.

Advantage: 49ers

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  1. They took a Mulligan from the Rams who is a blocking tight end. Could it mean less 11 personnel and more 12 or 21 personnel? With Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, and a strong running presence, they could be more creative out of a single back set with two tight ends. They’d have the ability to really stretch the opposing defense by attacking multiple levels and sides of the field. In addition to that, they could have a strong package of personnel for their “no huddle” offense, further wearing down the defense.

    1. The Packers released Mulligan at final cutdowns. The Packers’ oft-stated intention to emphasize the running game more is still suspect until they prove they’ll actually do it. The Packers almost certainly will have to keep tight ends in to help out on edge rushers. Starting off against the 49ers is a tough draw to begin with and a less-than-ideal opponent to set the running game tone. My guess is the Packers still rely on Rodgers more than they should. If the Packers still had DuJuan Harris, whom they had big plans for as a 1-2 punch with Lacy, then there might be more of a credible threat to emphasize the run.

  2. I disagree with this thought process. GB promoted Lacy. Alabama is essentially an NFL team. You can say what you want about Saban, but he definitely knows how to build a program. Lacy did fine in blitz pick up in College and before all you with too much time jump on the difference between College and the NFL, let’s just wait and see how he does on Sunday. I suspect Lacy will have 80 yards and 1 td.

    1. I suspect Green Bay’s substandard offensive line will be overwhelmed by our front 7. 16 carries 41 yards 0 TDs. No knock on your guy Lacy, he just has very little help up front.

      1. We’ll have to see. I think you’re overrating this defense. Rogers mobility makes his RBs better. They were atrocious last season, but if Rogers was Brady, they’d of looked even worse.

    1. I just don’t think GB tries to run the same formations that didn’t work last season 2 times. I think Rogers will remind you that he is actually a pretty mobile QB -nothing in comparison to Kaepernick, but still quick and able to get away from pressure.
      I’d love a 49er blowout but I think the game will stay close and that running the ball will be a big part of the game. JMHO.

  3. This 49er receiving core is the best they’ve had in years even with the lost of Crabtree. Kaepernick will make Marlon Moore and Jon Baldwin better. But the rookies in Patton and McDonald will make immediate impacts. I think you all will be pleasantly surprise (well those not posing and trolling) as 49er fans in the amount of weapons the team has now.

  4. They can’t block the 49er defense from any formation. I think they’ll go shotgun with 4 receivers and Rodgers will have the ball out of his hands 1 second after he catches the snap. If they try to use any power sets when they are at such a disadvantage in so many line match-ups they’ll get Rodgers killed.

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