In what appears to be the best and most compelling game of week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers visit the Green Bay Packers. This is a fantastic match between two of the best teams in the NFC, and two of the best teams in the league. Each one lost in the postseason to the New York Giants last season, and each one has legitimate Super Bowl aspirations for the coming year. So which of these clubs will come out ahead with a massive week 1 win?
Green Bay has one of the best and most explosive offenses in the league. And not just in the league right now, but in the history of the league. Led by MVP Aaron Rodgers, the team can put up touchdowns in the blink of an eye, and he has so many weapons to choose from, it’s a real embarrassment of riches to put them all out there on the field at the same time.
The defense certainly has some work to do, as they went down as one of the worst passing defenses in the history of the league last season. However, a lot of that has to be due to the fact that they went up by such large margins every game, and then their opponents took the air to try to catch up.
For the 49ers, of course, the defense is the known commodity. They are a physical, bruising, shutdown defensive unit, and their entire core of starting defenders is back from last season, led by defensive end Justin Smith, and linebackers Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis. With everyone back and locked in, that group could be scary good.
The question for the 49ers really is whether or not Alex Smith can repeat his strong showing from last year, or whether he will come back to the form he displayed in the first five years of his career. They helped out Smith in the offseason, bringing in Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs as added weapons in addition to tight end Vernon Davis, and running back Frank Gore.
The odds for the game show the Packers as 5 point favorites. You can take Green Bay at -235 and San Francisco at +195. The over/under for the game is at 46.5 points, and that’s a high mark considering how stout the 49ers defense is, but this is a classic offense vs. defense match-up.
You know what you’re going to get from Aaron Rodgers and that Packers offense. They are exceptionally good, and they’ll be able to get on the board, even against the 49ers and their very good defense. Especially playing at home in Lambeau Field, you have to like the Packers in this match-up. Take Green Bay to win, but San Francisco could keep it close and beat that spread. Of course, these two teams could end up meeting again, perhaps in January with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.