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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