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Up front, the 49er defense is anchored by two good starters in Isaac Sopoaga and Ray McDonald and a 2011 First-Team All-Pro selection in Justin Smith. Rodgers recently praised Smith (via packers.com), saying, “He’s one of the very best in the NFL, regardless of position.”
Smith is a true force on the line. In his 11-year career, he has registered at least six sacks all but two seasons. For a guy who plays defensive tackle in a 4-3 and end in a 3-4, those numbers are eye-popping.
The Green Bay offensive line must make sure Smith doesn’t become a one-man pass rush. If he does, San Francisco can sit back with eight defenders to defend the pass all day. The line needs to make the 49ers send an extra guy or two. That way, the passing lanes will clear up for Rodgers.
The offensive line must also clear room for Cedric Benson to run. Green Bay learned the hard way in the playoffs you can’t rely only on passing; you must have some sort of rushing attack to keep the defense honest.