Found January 11, 2013 on
San Francisco 49ers
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (11-5) at San Francisco 49er’s (11-4-1)
Game Day: Saturday 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Line: 49er’s -3
Series Record: Green Bay leads series 6-1 (Although the 49er’s won 30-22 this year)
Just in case you didn’t know: “Colin Kaepernick grew up watching Brett Favre while Aaron Rodgers grew up watching Joe Montana” -That’s cute, but I’m sick of a lot of these intertwining comparison stories. The fact their logo’s look similar, the fact that Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers were both in the same draft class is not important. The truth of the matter is, this massive NFC battle will have a dampening effect on the loser, and will create a surge for the winner that could take them all the way to the Super Bowl.
In 2011 the Packers were robbed of a chance to double up their Super Bowl winning ways after running into a Giants team that could do no wrong. The Packers 2011 domination over the league was all for nothing, yet even after swallowing their pride and being optimistic towards this season, they fell victims to one of the worst NFL blown calls in the replacement-Ref era; A hailmarry Touchdown in Seattle that was clearly an INT. The Packers didn’t quit though, they played hard all season and now get a chance to prove their worth out West against a team that started their rocky season 0-1.
The last time the San Francisco 49er’s (a team who is currently tied with the 2nd most Super Bowl wins in the NFL history) held the trophy, was way back in 1994. Only the Redskins have a longer streak of winning a Super Bowl and then not getting back to a position anywhere near it. The past two seasons have been amazing for the Jim Harbaugh led squad, they have instant turn-around success and I can honestly say the 49er’s look to be one of the most well balanced, roster royal teams in the NFL at this point.
Keys to Packers Win
There has never been a game in which someone has said the Green Bay Packers need to lean on the running game more, at least not now with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. The Packers love to sling the rock, but in my opinion it’s the downs and distances they should be careful of. Last weekend against the Vikings, undrafted RB DuJuan Harris became a productive decoy that should be effective again this week against the 49er’s. The draw plays were used in a very clever fashson, allowing Rodgers to take a peak down field but retreating for decent yardage by handing the ball off. This simple yet effective strategy allowed for much more manageable 2 and 3rd down situations. I strongly believe a team like the Packers are more of a threat on 2nd and 4 or 5 than any other position. While Rodgers is comfortable in any down and distance, the team needs to make things easy on themselves and showcase as many possible looks against a 49er’s defense that will do doubt be coming after the quarterback.
In order for the Packers deep passing attack to remain effective I would target as many curl routes and back shoulder fades as possible early on. Lean on draw plays to create the illusion of a balanced attack while always prepping for the long ball. We all know that Rodgers could easily fire rocket passes all game, but to keep the chains moving I think the team should try to keep the 49er’s guessing and frustrated.
Defensively, I would send the heat at Kaepernick on as many plays as possible. Teams have been burned in the past with such a strategy but I feel the odd turnover may be the difference maker in this one. Sitting back and giving the kid time, is the worst way to get picked apart. The Packers speed and size need to cause havoc.
Keys to 49ers Win
Thumbing their noses at the pass-happy offenses dominating the league right now, the 49ers are a bit of a throwback team. They prefer a more balanced attack that is predicated on establishing the run first, then using their dominant defense to grind out victories. This philosophy isn’t popular, but it’s working. Since Jim Harbaugh took over two seasons ago, this is the second consecutive appearance for his team in the Divisional playoff round- somewhere San Francisco hadn’t been in a decade.
Harbaugh’s unorthodox approach to coaching has led to some unconventional strategy. Namely, making a quarterback change in mid-season that helped breathe some life into San Francisco’s passing attack. Colin Kaepernick has done a better job getting the ball to his wide receivers than Alex Smith did. Kaepernick is also a dangerous runner who is more than capable of escaping the pocket and running for first downs.
As stated, the 49ers are a throwback team and the running game is their bread and butter. They’ll look to establish Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore early and often. Gore had an excellent game against the Packers in San Francisco’s Week One win, rushing 16 times for 112 yards and a score. You can bet that Harbaugh will want to keep Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense on the sidelines as much as possible and the best way to do that is feeding the ball to Gore. Rookie LaMichael James will spell Gore and could see 10-12 touches. Anthony Dixon is a short-yardage bruiser who could see a carry near the goal-line.
The 49ers offense thrives when they can get the opposition to sell-out to stop the run. Putting an extra safety in the box can lead to one on one situations for Michael Crabtree. Crabtree has thrived since the QB-switch and will remain the top target. Randy Moss isn’t near the caliber of player that he once was, but he remains a solid deep threat that must be accounted for. Rookie A.J. Jenkins has taken over for Mario Manningham (knee) as the third wide receiver.
While San Fran’s receiving corps has thrived under Colin Kaepernick’s tutelage, the tight ends have all but disappeared. Vernon Davis was a 2011 playoff hero, but has been limited to a single reception in each of the last four games and hasn’t scored since Week 11. Don’t be surprised if Davis is utilized much more in this game as the 49ers try to attack the seams. Second tight end Delaine Walker will also see significant time on passing downs.
One major problem limiting the San Francisco offense has been David Akers‘s sudden decline. Akers hasn’t been fully healthy and has lost both range and accuracy. It’s gotten so bad that Harbaugh brought in Billy Cundiff as insurance and it’s entirely possible both kickers could see opportunities in this game. Considering Green Bay’s own struggles with Mason Crosby, both coaches may be inclined to attempt to convert more fourth downs than you would normally expect in a playoff game.
Defensively the 49ers will likely take the same approach that they used in their Week One victory over Green Bay. In that contest, the 49ers often blitzed their slot defender, forcing Aaron Rodgers to get rid of the ball quickly and usually to the wide open slot receiver. While good for short gains, this strategy contained a potent Green Bay fairly well. Justin Smith and Aldon Smith are both hurt but expected to play in this game.
Each team will make one mistake that will result in points Sunday. Whether it be a INT or fumble, I believe field position and turnovers will be the ultimate deciding factor. I like the Packers in a close, yet high scoring affair: Packers 31-27
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Rodgers throws a pass against the 49ers in the week one matchup. (Getty Images/Andy Lyons)
The Green Bay Packers head out west to take on the San Francisco 49ers with a trip to the NFC Championship game on the line.
These two teams faced off in week one with the 49er’s winning 30-22 in Lambeau. Both teams have changed since that game, which will make this game completely different...
The anxiety-filled green room and draft day seem so long ago now to Aaron Rodgers.
Still, on this weekend, any lingering feelings of frustration about how far he dropped will be directed right at the team that passed him up with the No. 1 pick nearly eight years ago.
Rodgers brings the high-scoring Green Bay Packers (12-5) to Candlestick Park on Saturday to face No. 2 seed San...
Laura Kaeppeler was named Miss America 2012, entering the pageant at Miss Wisconsin. Therefore, you can put aside your stereotypes about fat people in Wisconsin; at least for a year. Tonight she relinquishes her crown. And as you might expect, she’s a Green Bay Packers fan.
Kaeppler introduced herself on the evening of her 2012 crowning moment by mentioning the NFL’s defending...
There is no shortage of hype surrounding Saturday Night’s NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. The breakdowns and the analysis of this game seems never ending. Yet the only analysis you need is this – if the Packers are to escape with a win, it will be because Aaron Rodgers is special.
Period. End of discussion...
Not cool T
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers look a lot like Flanders from the Simpsons. Rogers has his hands full today, but I still wouldn’t wanna go against this guy in the playoffs.-TO
Greg Jenning’s Sister Bashes Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers Shops at Piggly Wiggly
Sorry about your homecoming Aaron Rodgers. I’m sure one of these days you’ll be able to win in San Francisco. All the talk heading into this game was about Aaron Rodgers homecoming, how the 49ers were going to be upset they didn’t draft him back in 2005. Yes, that is right, Rodgers is still crying 7 years later. Well Aaron that was before Harbaugh’s time and he drafted Colin...
From Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews to Frank Gore and Aldon Smith, you know all the big names who will have key roles in the divisional playoff showdown. Here are six players who will be key performers on Saturday night that were not when these teams met in Week 1.
It all started so well for the Green Bay Packers, taking an early lead on an interception returned for a touchdown. Then, over the final 58 minutes of the game, the San Francisco 49ers dominated offensively and sent Green Bay into the offseason with its second divisional-round defeat in two years.
Handing out grades following the Packers' 45-31 loss to the 49ers:
Now with Double Naughty Bits
10) How was Bud Light able to find enough Oakland Raider fans to speak coherent sentences about quasi-science?9) Will Verizon also let sad sick stay at home kids have their in-school robot avatars get wrecked, or will they give them defensive capabilities?8) Is it telling that Pizza Hut seems more concerned with the box than the food?7) Why are the kids...
I missed on the picks yesterday. Like I said, this week looks incredibly tough to predict. I was hoping to see a Peyton Manning vs. Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl. I think that’s the dream matchup all of us wanted to see this year. After last night, that’s out of the picture. I should have kept the Broncos (-2.5)/Patriots (-2.5) teaser alive, but the 70-yard bomb with 36 seconds left...
In week one, Green Bay fell short to San Francisco, 30-22. On Saturday, it was the same story, just a different quarterback. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick picked up his first career playoff win with a 45-31 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Kaepernick totaled 444 yards and four touchdowns (2 rush, 2 pass). His 181 rushing yards set a record for the most rushing...
After an early afternoon reprieve from regular season rematches, it’s back to teams that have seen each other in the recent past. Last go-round, it didn’t go so well for Houston. A defense that had already showed signs of vulnerability going against Aaron Rodgers earlier in the season was picked apart in a game where the Patriots didn’t even have Gronk playing.
So unless the...