There's little time to fix what ailed the Packers in their season opening 30-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field on Sunday and there's absolutely no time to dwell on it what with the rival Chicago Bears coming to town Thursday night in the NFL Network Regular season premier.
The items most concerning to the coaching staff was the lack of run production, what little they did run after falling behind 23-7. Cedric Benson managed only 18 yards on 9 carries. Contrast that to the 112 gained by Frank Gore of San Francisco and the disparity helped swing the balance of the game to the visitors. It's not that Benson had gaping holes either, guard Josh Sitton admitted, "We all have to be better, we have to block better and the back has to run better." When the 49ers took away the run, Mike McCarthy deployed Randall Cobb in the backfield or shifting him to the slot to take advantage of favorable matchups. That worked to the tune of a game high 7 catches for 77 yards. On defense, the Packers obviously had trouble slowing down the run and while they applied decent pressure on Alex Smith, when he had time, he found receivers beating zone coverage breakdowns that allowed Randy Moss to stand alone in the end zone for a 14 yard score and Vernon Davis run free across the field for a 29 yard gain moments before he snared a touchdown catch. San Francisco also created mismatches by shifting backs out wide and leaving linebackers to cover receivers, never a good idea. Michael Crabtree caught several balls with either A.J. Hawk or number one pick Nick Perry chasing. When M.D. Jennings failed to pick up a coverage call on the Moss TD, he was benched in favor of rookie Jerron McMillian who is likely to continue working in the nickel and dime packages.
Two medical concerns of note, both players with groin injuries. C.J. Wilson did not return and Greg Jennings pulled a groin in the final series. McCarthy indicated both will be carefully watched when the team opens the practice week for the Bears Tuesday.
Erik Walden returned to the team Monday after serving his one game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Last November, Walden was charged with domestic violence after an incident involving his girlfriend. Walden spent the week at his home in Georgia and said he's very happy to be back and believes his slate is finally clean and he can get on with a new chapter in his life. To make room for Walden on the roster, the Packers released backup defensive back Brandian Ross on Monday. The Packers also reached a settlement with linebacker Vic So'oto and released the second year pro from BYU from the injured reserve list.