Packers-49ers: How we picked it
WESTON HODKIEWICZ (3-0)
PACKERS 35, 49ERS 20
Colin Kapernick owns three consecutive victories over the Packers, but Green Bay will have only itself to blame if the struggling 49ers quarterback manages to make it four in a row. San Francisco is a hot mess. Coming off an embarrassing 47-7 loss to Arizona, the 49ers appear to have lost their identity under first-year coach Jim Tomsula. The Packers' defense is better suited to defend Kaepernick with Clay Matthews in the middle of the field and Julius Peppers applying pressure from the edge. San Francisco no longer possesses the shutdown defense that allowed Kaepernick to sneak out another 23-20 win like the last time the teams met in the 2013 playoffs. The Packers have a golden opportunity to put their recent nightmares against Kaepernick to bed. They have to take it.
RYAN WOOD (3-0)
PACKERS 34, 49ERS 21
There are several reasons why this could become a classic trap game. For all the 49ers' struggles the past two weeks on the road, they looked quite good dispatching the Vikings 20-3 in their opener at home. The Packers will travel to the San Francisco (one of their longest trips in the NFL) on a short week after playing Monday Night Football. Then there's Colin Kaepernick, who the Packers haven't defended well in three games. So don't take this one lightly. With that said, the talent gap is too wide to believe the 49ers will actually win. This game may be closer than expected, at least for a while, but the Packers would really have to choke this one away to lose it.
PETE DOUGHERTY (3-0)
PACKERS 31, 49ERS 21
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is coming off a brutal four-interception performance in a 47-7 loss to Arizona. Does that mean he and the 49ers are ready to implode? Or will it bring out their best? Kaepernick is scary talented with his ability to run and live if erratic throwing arm, but he doesn't have the same team around him as when he beat the Packers three straight times from January 2013 through January 2014. It's hard to see how he can keep up with Aaron Rodgers, who's at the top of his game, and the rest of the Packers' offense.
STU COURTNEY (3-0)
PACKERS 27, 49ERS 19
The 49ers' only hope Sunday is to shorten the game and keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands. They will try to do that by handing off repeatedly to Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 168 yards in a season-opening victory over the Vikings. Colin Kaepernick also will look for opportunities to run rather than risk putting the ball in the air too often on the heels of a four-interception meltdown last Sunday at Arizona. The Packers, who departed for the West Coast on Friday in hopes of getting acclimated to the different time zone, must guard against a letdown after two prime-time home victories. Rodgers, who has lost all three of his matchups against Kaepernick, won't let this one get away.
ROBERT ZIZZO (2-1)
PACKERS 31, 49ERS 17
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been unstoppable in his three victories over Green Bay, rushing for 301 yards and passing for 902. But he's one of the few impact players remaining from those 49ers teams, and it's the turnover on the San Francisco defense that will prove decisive in this game. The 49ers' defense, especially the secondary, is a mess. They're young, a little nicked up and seemingly confused in a new defensive system. That's red meat for Aaron Rodgers. On offense, the right side of the line has been a disaster and San Francisco will try to run the ball with Carlos Hyde as much as possible. It won't be enough, however, as the Packers move to 4-0 for the first time since 2011.