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Packers' report card vs. 49ers

Nov. 6, 2013 11:15 AM
 
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USA Today handed out its weekly Packers report card following the team's victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus The best passing and receiving tandem in the league the second half of this season shredded another overmatched defense. RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus The inclusion of rookie James Starks for the first time netted one of the top running performances of the season. The Packers had 34 rushing attempts for 136 yards. PASS DEFENSE: C San Francisco quarterback Troy Smith's numbers were far from eye-popping 10-of-25 for 194 yards, one touchdown, one interception, passer rating of 64.4. They should have been a lot better against a Packers defense, which, despite getting to the mobile Smith for four sacks (two by end Cullen Jenkins), had spurts of shoddy coverage and dodged a few bullets. RUSH DEFENSE: B The 49ers went away from running the football after they had great success even without an injured Frank Gore the previous week against the Arizona Cardinals. They totaled just 97 yards, and the per-carry average was boosted to a solid 4.4 yards thanks to three bailout runs for 28 yards from Smith. SPECIAL TEAMS: C Kicker Mason Crosby and punter Tim Masthay had sluggish showings in the team's first subfreezing game amid a stiff wind. COACHING: B-plus Head coach/play-caller Mike McCarthy showed good faith in the new-look running game, a week after he went one-dimensional in the loss at the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers wound up with perfect balance with 34 pass plays and 34 run plays.

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