Last postseason, the 49ers defeated the Packers 45-31 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick Park, ending Green Bay's season. Clay Matthews said he hasn't forgotten about it and talked about how the league has changed offensively.
"I think for the most part we had the entire offseason to focus on [last year's] loss," Matthews said in a conference call. "We've been noticing the league having quarterbacks who present problems with both their arm and leg."
In last year's playoff loss, Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards on the ground which included a 56-yard run that resulted in a touchdown. Besides being a threat on the ground, Kaepernick also found Michael Crabtree for two touchdowns and threw a deep 44-yard pass to Vernon Davis.
While the 49ers quarterback had a field day against the Packers, head coach Mike McCarthy said they will not let last year affect them on Sunday. He said that the 49ers will not have the same game plan as before and the team is preparing for something different.
"Had a heck of a night last year," McCarthy said of Kaepernick from the playoff game. "We studied the film, but this is a new team and different year. I don't think anyone would be motivated from that performance alone. We're prepared for an entirely different outcome."
The Packers coaching staff spent a part of the offseason at Texas A&M to learn more about the aspects of college football being implemented at the NFL level. In the playoff game against the 49ers, the Packers looked unprepared for the read-option as they allowed 323 rushing yards on the ground, 119 of them to Frank Gore.
McCarthy said they talked with Texas A&M Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin on football matters involving the approach for a team offensively and defensively. The Aggies have the defending Heisman winning quarterback Johnny Manziel who excelled last season.
Joe Staley praised the Packers linebackers for his play making ability on defense. When both teams started in the opening game last year, Matthews had the best of the 49ers LT, but it set a mark to improve later in the year.
"[Clay Matthews] is a terrific player and there is nothing but great respect for him," Staley said. "You see the intensity is what he plays which is the game of football. I look forward to a fun battle."
Matthews said that while this game isn't all about revenge from last season, he is looking forward to what is in store for Sunday.
"Fans want to see this game and we want to get another shot," Matthews said. "It's a good measuring stick against a Super Bowl favorite. Last year we failed as a team and failed to live up [to our expectations]."