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4th Time's a Charm? Containing Kaepernick Key to Packers Victory

Colin Kaepernick had dominated the Packers defense the last two times these teams have played, once with his legs and once with his arm
(WFRV-TV) - Colin Kaepernick ran through the Packers defense to knock Green Bay out of the playoffs last season while setting an NFL record with 181 rushing yards from the quarterback position.  As a team San Francisco ran for a whopping 323 yards; 176 of those came out of the zone-read option look catching Green Bay off-guard.

Then in the rematch in Week 1 of the 2013 regular season, the Packers came back more physical and prepared to stop the run. They held Kaepernick to just 22 yards rushing and Frank Gore to only 44 on the ground.  Green Bay was one of only 5 teams to hold the 3rd ranked rushing attack in the NFL to under 100 yards in a game this season .  The problem was, Kaepernick killed the Packers through the air throwing for a career-high 412 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"Obviously we've watched the last three times we've played them," said inside linebacker A.J. Hawk.  "For the most part we did stop the run pretty well last time, but they torched us through the air so you got to find a way to kind of both of them."

Hawk is fond of saying "there's no magic potion" to fixing what went wrong in those game, and others in the locker room surmised it was all about simple performing and executing the game plan better.

CB Tramon Williams has another thought.

""Dictate the game ourself," said Williams Thursday.  "I feel in the past couple of games (against San Francisco) we didn't dictate the game.  I felt that we let people dictate what we want to do.  Stay strong and stick to our strong points and hopefully everything will be alright with doing that."

After being among the best in the NFL early on, the Packers have fallen to 25th in the NFL in run defense.  Still, they are one of only five teams to hold the  San Francisco's 3rd ranked rushing attack to less than 100 yards in a game this season.  They'll likely need a repeat performance to stand a chance to win Sunday.

"One of the things you have to do is just eliminate the run game," says outside linebacker Mike Neal who played defensive end the last time these teams played.  "If we can do what we did the first game and eliminate the run game and force them to pass, I think we have a better deal going on this time to be able to stop that."

The defense knows they already have a lot on their plate preparing for everything they've scene already, but everyone knows when the Niners come to town you have to expect the unexpected on offense.

"You just have to be prepared for un-scouted looks and something you haven't seen before," says defensive lineman B.J. Raji.  "They do a good job with the formations making you think one thing, and it's something else .  You just have to play what you see."



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