NFL Divisional Playoff Preview - San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

NFL Divisional Playoff Preview - San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

Barry Devoe
1 year ago
2 min read
NFL Divisional Playoff Preview - San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

Two of the marquee franchises in the NFL will meet in the Divisional Round of this year’s playoffs as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers. The top-seeded Packers will look to advance to their second straight NFC Championship Game, while the Niners will look to pull off a second straight upset to get there themselves. Green Bay enters as a 5.5-point favorite, though these teams have already played a tight game earlier in the season.

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers upset the Dallas Cowboys on the road during Wild Card weekend to get to the Divisional round. They held the explosive Cowboys offense to just 17 points, stopping the Cowboys as time expired to seal the victory. Things do not get any easier for the Cowboys this week, as they face a Packers team that is just as capable of putting big numbers on the scoreboard as Dallas was.

Any time a team faces an offense led by Aaron Rodgers, defense is going to be the top priority. That is the case for the 49ers here, as they will need to get pressure on Rodgers so he cannot sit in the pocket and pick out his receivers as he pleases. In order to do that, the health of Nick Bosa and Fred Warner will be key, as the status of both players isn’t certain ahead of this massive matchup at Lambeau Field.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers had last week off, as they earned a first-round bye for finishing the regular season with the NFC’s best record. With an extra week of rest under their belt, the Packers will hope to avoid any rust and pick up where they left off this year. In order to do that, they will need to protect Aaron Rodgers and give him the time he needs to do what he does best.

Rodgers was sacked just one time against the 49ers when they met earlier this season. That allowed him to connect on deep passes down the stretch, setting up the Packers for the game-winning field goal as time expired in that contest. If the Packers can keep Rodgers off the ground at home this time around, they could run away with this game, given the combination of home field and rest advantages.

Keys To The Game

The biggest key to this game for the Niners will be the play of Jimmy Garoppolo, who was inconsistent in the second half against the Cowboys with injuries playing a role. He sustained a sprained throwing shoulder in that game against Dallas and may not be able to start. Whether it is Garoppolo or Trey Lance, the quarterback for San Francisco will need to keep them afloat in a game where they may need to score big to win.

On the Green Bay side, the biggest key to the game is simply not buckling under the pressure of high expectations. Green Bay is better at the quarterback position and is the healthier team coming into the postseason. As long as they do not beat themselves with shaky play and penalties, they are considered likely to get to the NFC Championship Game.

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