Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/19/14
This week’s NFL Divisional Round playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers is the true test on whether Jim Harbaugh’s decision to change quarterbacks – to go permanently with Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith – was the right one or not. Smith, the original first string quarterback of the Niners this year, already proved last season he can guide his team past the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Smith and the 49ers lost in the Conference Championship in overtime to the New York Giants after securing a thrilling win against the New Orleans Saints. This weekend won’t be any kind of walk in Candlestick Park for Kaepernick and his offense. The Packers on defense are at their healthiest high point of all year. It will be a knockdown, drag-out type of game. The question is whether the pressure will get to Kaepernick. Will he make that one fatal mistake young quarterbacks are known to make when the heat is turned up and there’s everything to lose? To his credit, Kaepernick hasn’t been making key errors so far. He has just three interceptions, with 10 touchdowns, on the season. But undoubtedly this game on Sunday is bigger than any other game in his career. Many questions abound: What if Kaepernick can’t handle the pressure? Where does Alex Smith go from here? Should Harbaugh have kept things the way they were? And will his coaching reputation suffer any damage should the 49ers lose with Kaepernick struggling? What if Smith had come back after the concussion and Kaepernick continued as the hybrid Wildcat-type quarterback with the element of surprise playing on an occasional down? Possibly, with Kapernick under wraps of sorts, his value wouldn’t have gone through the roof the way it has now and maybe the Niners could have kept both quarterbacks next season and beyond. It’s all conjecture at this point, and it ends up as worthless if Kaepernick shines while the Niners overcome the Packers to advance. But it would seem this is the one team with the bye that is ripe to be beaten. And almost every season since byes were given out, at least one of the bye teams has lost. Prediction:  Packers 21, Niners 14 Other Division round predictions: Atlanta 31, Seattle 17 Denver 27, Baltimore 17 New England 28, Houston 20 Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com The post Is Jim Harbaugh’s Coaching Reputation At Stake Saturday? appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kentucky remains unbeaten after thrilling win over ND

Alabama DT arrested on domestic violence charges again

John Calipari blasted for postgame interview

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador


WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

WATCH: Enes Kanter embraces boos in return to Utah

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.