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  Friday April 18th, 2014    

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Nice Rebound for Coach Mike McCarthy (12/13/2006)
By Dave DeLano


     
Mike McCarthy's return to San Francisco, where he was the 49ers offensive coordinator last year, was a sweet one, as his 2006 Packers rebounded nicely from last week's debacle and soundly defeated the Niners by a score of 30 - 19. The win stops a three-game losing streak for the Pack and brings their number of wins this year to five, one more than the team managed last year.

McCarthy coached his best game of the season. The Packers' performance Sunday was that of Jeykl and Hyde proportions compared to the shellacking they got last week. A poor coach might have had his team "mail it in" this season, but that was not to be the case, as the Packers played with both emotion and abandon.

The Packer offense unveiled a new wrinkle for the Niners with a "triangle" formation which utilized two fullbacks side by side in the backfield with the tailback behind them. The formation utilizes the talents of two good-blocking Packer fullbacks and is designed to clean up "back side" run blocking, which has been a problem for the rookie offensive linemen this season. Brett Favre played one of his best games in quite a while, playing efficiently without turnovers and managing the game well. By halftime the Packers were up 17 - 6, without a single penalty or turnover.

The Packer coaching staff also changed their thinking on defense and inserted Cullen Jenkins or Corey Williams at right defensive end in place of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila on occasion. The rational is that KGB is somewhat of a liability at stopping the run and also he may be more effective with his pass rush skills if he is "fresh" on obvious passing downs. The defense allowed the Niners three or four explosion plays, but for the most part held Frisco's offense at bay. Nick Collins and A. J. Hawk came up with key interceptions late in the game, which sealed the fate for the 49ers.

The Packers' much-maligned and inexperienced offensive line gave Favre lots of time this week. When Favre has time and Donald Driver is not double or triple teamed, there usually are offensive fireworks. Favre hit Driver on a beautiful 68-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Driver had over 150 yards on the day. His totals on the season now exceed 1,000 yards.... the third year in a row. Driver is a deserving candidate for all-pro this year, probably the only Packer that deserves that accolade.

Next week the Detroit Lions invade Lambeau where the Packers have been just awful this year with only 1 win and 5 losses. The Lions are arguably the worst team in the NFL, having lost 5 games in a row. The Packers better not rest easy because a cornered lion can be a very dangerous animal. A victory next week and another over the Queens the following week would bring the number of wins to seven. If that happens, Mike McCarthy will have had a successful first season. 

 

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