If the San Francisco 49ers are going to make a run at a championship, they will have to get through the 2011 Super Bowl winners first.
Aaron Rodgers and the 11-5 Green Bay Packers are traveling to the Bay Area on Saturday in hopes of exacting revenge for a 30-22 loss to the Niners at Lambeau Field in the 2012 regular season opener.
The 49ers silenced the Packers' offense for much of the day in that September win, recording a rare interception on Rodgers and holding the running to just 45 yards. They may have a difficult time having similar success the second time around. Rodgers hasn't thrown a pick in six straight games.
Green Bay's running game may once again be quiet, however. Going up against a 49ers defense allowing 94.2 yards per game on the ground is a rushing attack that managed just 72 yards against the Minnesota Vikings last week. DuJuan Harris has home-run speed, but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to find a crease against Aldon Smith and Co.
The Packers will be taking on Colin Kaepernick for the first time after facing Alex Smith in the season opener. Kaepernick has played very well since taking over the Niners' starting quarterback job. In his last outing, he threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns to zero interceptions against a strong Arizona Cardinals secondary. The Packers should be less of a challenge on paper, but they welcome omni-defensive back Charles Woodson back to the secondary from injury. The veteran forced a fumble and had 1.5 sacks when he played the 49ers in September.
Game Time: 8:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, Jan. 12
Location: Candlestick Park, San Francisco.
Line: 49ers by 3 points