The 49ers play the Green Bay Packers in five days. In the meantime, I’ll break down two key matchups a day.
CB Carlos Rogers: 6-0, 192 pounds, 31 years old, 4.44 40-yard dash
WR Greg Jennings: 5-11, 195 pounds, 28 years old, 4.42 40-yard dash
Jennings plays every wide receiver position, but over his final five games last season he lined up in the slot on roughly 65% of passing plays according to Pro Football Focus. The last time Rogers played a game that counted – the NFC Championship Game – he gave up 10 catches for 142 yards to slot receiver Victor Cruz. Jennings, a Pro Bowler in 2010 and 2011, will be just as tough of a matchup for Rodgers.
TE Vernon Davis: 6-3, 250 pounds, 28 years old, 4.38 40-yard dash
SS Charles Woodson: 6-1, 202 pounds, 35-years-old, 4.44 40-yard dash
Woodson, the former Raiders cornerback, is the Packers’ starting strong safety this season. That means he’ll mostly cover tight ends, and that means he’ll match up against the Niners’ No.1 offensive weapon – Vernon Davis. Woodson reportedly will switch to nickel back and cover the slot receiver when the Packers use nickel personnel (three cornerbacks, two linebackers), but I can’t imagine him doing that against the Niners, whose slot receivers are Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams. The Packers absolutely must contain the dominant Davis, and Woodson is the Packer with the best chance to do that. Still, Woodson is getting old, and Davis seemed uncontainable at the end of last season. Woodson may not be able to keep up, and if he can’t the Packers will have to double team Davis.