GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A few halftime thoughts from Lambeau Field, where Green Bay leads San Francisco by a tidy score of 23-3:
I stand by my assertion that the Packers started this game a bit cautiously, at least for them. Nine runs in their first 19 plays is pretty balanced for a Mike McCarthy team. But after establishing that balance, the Packers pulled away from the 49ers in the air. Rodgers threw on 21 of the Packers’ next 25 plays and set a career high for passing yards in a half with 274. My impression through the season has been that San Francisco has a decent defense, but the Packers gashed the 49ers for 17 first downs and 362 total yards.
The statistical mismatch was even more glaring on the other side of the ball. The Packers are physically dominating the 49ers' offensive line with a relative minimum of blitzes. All three of their sacks have come from players lined up as defensive linemen (B.J. Raji, Cullen Jenkins and Aaron Kampman). Overall, the admittedly pathetic 49ers offense has 57 yards and one first down. All but 15 of those yards came on one play, Frank Gore’s 42-yard run on their opening drive. Quarterback Alex Smith has 5 yards passing.
If this score holds up, the Packers will vault into a smaller group of teams competing for a playoff spot while pushing the 49ers further down that list. Entering Sunday, only one game separated the two teams in that race.
Even the Packers’ special teams are doing their part. Here are the yard lines where San Francisco’s offense has started its five possessions: The 20, 16, 20, 20 and 19.