Green Bay ran the ball 30 times against the 49ers — in two matchups in 2012 — for just 149 yards. San Francisco ran the ball 54 times for 315 yards against the Packers. So what did Green Bay do to help combat the vast difference in rushing numbers?
They drafted Eddie Lacy out of Alabama with the 61st pick and UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin with the 125th pick. In the two team’s last matchup in the divisional round of the playoffs – a 49ers 45-31 victory – Aaron Rodgers passed for 257 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. Rodgers will be protected this Sunday by a rookie tackle and a second-year tackle, which may create a need to get the ball out of his hands a little more often — and run the ball.
In an interview with 49ers.com reporter Andrew Pentis, San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said they will be ready if Green Bay decides to run more: “They may make more of a concerted effort to run it,” 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “I really don’t know… but we’ll be prepared for them to attempt to run it some more.”
Eddie Lacy sits atop the depth chart for Green Bay, and All-Pro 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis has been studying the big, talented back, “If you let him get started, he can be a nuisance,” Willis said of Lacy. “It’s definitely up to us to make sure to not let him get started. We just have to tackle as it as against any running back, big or small.”