From Green Bay's perspective, the 49ers are a much different team than the one they faced in the season opener at Lambeau Field on Sept. 9, a 30-22 San Francisco victory.
After all, Alex Smith was the quarterback then and Colin Kaepernick offers an entirely new look under center with his stronger, albeit, less accurate arm, and running ability.
Not that any of this, mind you, matters much to Packers coach Mike McCarthy. At least, not publicly. And not six days before the 49ers play host to the Packers in an NFC divisional playoff game. Besides, the Packers got a taste of the zone-read option in their playoff opener Saturday against Minnesota emergency starter Joe Webb.
"Definitely, it will definitely help with Kaepernick, and (the 49ers) ran some, a little bit with Alex Smith, prior to our first game," McCarthy said in his Sunday media conference. "So, you'll look at all those components. They've had an extra week to prepare, so there'll be some new wrinkles, as there always is, but at the end of the day, we've established our brand of football. And that's what we're taking to San Francisco and that's what we're taking to San Francisco to win. It's not going to get any cleaner than that for us.
"We're not going to sit here and start making up things and trying to chase ghosts and worry about schemes that are out there. We're going to stay focused on things that we do."
It worked against the Vikings, to the tune of a 24-10 beatdown a week after losing the regular season finale at Minnesota.
A blown call by the replacement refs at Seattle in Week 3 cost the Packers a game and the No. 2 seed. Otherwise, the 49ers would have been playing Minnesota this weekend and the Packers would be sitting at home waiting for that winner.
Instead, the Packers are coming off playing the same divisional foe twice in six days and nursing a variety of bumps and bruises. Particularly worrisome for Green Bay is the tweaked hamstring suffered by tight end Jermichael Finley.
McCarthy said Sunday his medical staff was "still going through the process of seeing a number of players" but that there was "nothing of a serious nature" to report.
Unless you're talking about egos. No doubt the Packers will be reminded at length this week of losing to the 49ers at home in the opener and told the 49ers should be favored to win at Candlestick Park.
"Our players like that," McCarthy said. "I think they respond better when they're disrespected, and I'm sure that we'll get some of that this week, too, because we weren't successful in the first week. So I think it brings a little more energy.
"But at the end of the day, personally, I think you've really got to keep your eye on the target and make sure you're focused on the things that are about successful football, and that will start as we do our gameplans and make sure that we don't get too far away from who we really are."
"We are who we, we really like who we are as a football team," he said, "and that's what we're taking to San Francisco."
Oh yeah, the 49ers are favored by three points in an early line…for entertainment purposes only, of course.