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One Positive From Packers-49ers: The Pass Rush

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Presswire

We've spent a lot of time over the last couple of days dwelling on the negatives from this weekend's game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, and we've done that for good reason. We expect a lot out of our team this year, and their performance wasn't very good in Week 1. There's a lot more bad than good to discuss from that game.

However, I thought I'd close the day with something positive. Last year, the Packers' pass rush was an utter embarrassment. The one Pro Bowl-caliber player we had, Clay Matthews, was also our only competent pass rusher (given how tired B.J. Raji was constantly). His stats suffered because teams had no reason not to double team him on every play.

In their first game, Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy made a difference. No, they didn't tear San Francisco apart, but the difference between those players -- a couple of rookies in their first NFL game, against a great team -- and the guys who played in their spots last year was astronomical. They freed up Matthews, who had an excellent game rushing Alex Smith.

Dom Capers has a lot of work to do, and I'm hoping his play-calling makes more sense on Thursday than it did on Sunday, but it's not all negative. We have a competent pass rush now. Hopefully the rest of the defense falls in place.