The San Francisco 49ers will start their season off with a match-up that will be a great test to show exactly where the 49ers are as a football team. They will begin their 2012 journey where some say it all started, as they will play the Green Bay Packers at historic Lambeau Field. This could easily be a playoff matchup down the road and should certainly tell the league where these two teams stand in the NFC. The 49ers have the better defense and have added a lot of pieces on offense this offseason to try and get to be as explosive as the offense of the pack. Time will tell if they were successful in doing so, but Alex Smith would have to take several huge leaps to get to the level of Aaron Rodgers.
The 49ers made additions through both the draft and free agency almost exclusively on offense. Randy Moss and Mario Manningham come in to help a receiving corps that had just the likes of Michael Crabtree. These additions should give Smith plenty of options at QB and makes me wonder just how quickly coach Harbaugh may be trying to build Smith into a good QB. What may have hindered this, however, were the rumors of Harbaugh trying to get Peyton Manning to town. This could be especially damaging for a QB like Smith who has shown to have a fragile psyche. Hopefully last season’s success helped him build some confidence in these areas though.
Green Bay is the same old team with few major additions this offseason. They did struggle defensively last season, which they hope to build on. Offensively, they may also be able to break up the plays more with the addition of a better running game due to the acquisition of Cedric Benson from the Bengals this offseason. In the end, this game should come down to how effective the new San Francisco offense can be.