The Packers defense got an unexpected opponent on Saturday night when Joe Webb started at quarterback in place of the injured Christian Ponder.
Webb’s running skills led the Vikings to run some read-option plays early in the game, something that they don’t feature with Ponder in the lineup, and the Packers had a bit of trouble handling it. Not enough trouble to keep them from cruising to a fairly easy 24-10 victory and the experience is one that coach Mike McCarthy thinks is a good thing for his team as they turn their attention to the 49ers.
Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com reports that McCarthy said Sunday that facing Webb and the read-option “will definitely help us with [49ers quarterback Colin] Kaepernick.” San Francisco has integrated those kinds of plays into their offense since Kaepernick’s ascension to the starting job and the Packers haven’t seen much of that style of play so far this season.
That’s pretty much where the comparison ends, though. Kaepernick’s shown a lot more ability to move the ball through the air than Webb showed on Saturday, which makes sense given the wildly different amount of playing time. Getting a look at the read-option will help the Packers, but, as McCarthy knows, there’s not much else the same about the two quarterbacks outside of the read-option in the play books.