10 Bold Predictions for Packers vs. 49ers NFC Wild Card
10 Bold Predictions for Packers vs. 49ers
It’s official. The Green Bay Packers will host the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Divisional playoff game. It will be the fourth time the Packers and 49ers face each other in two years, with the latest battle shaping up to be the most exciting. Just because San Francisco is 3-0 in those contests does not mean it will be the same tale this time around.
There are plenty of storylines surrounding Sunday’s contest. In fact, many people are putting their money on the Green Bay vs. San Francisco showdown to be the most thrilling of the four Wild Card playoff games this weekend.
The main storyline will be how the return of Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb saved the Packers’ season. That storyline will morph into how Rodgers’ return will make Green Bay a very dangerous team, a team no one wants to play in the playoffs. Another big storyline will be San Francisco’s six-game winning streak and how they just might be the hottest team entering the playoffs. One storyline nobody will be able to ignore is the major similarities between the Packers this season and the 2010 season when they won Super Bowl XLV.
Make sure to click through the slideshow to see the 10 bold predictions for the Packers vs. 49ers NFC Wild Card playoff game. Also, make sure to comment below on which team you think will win the contest and why. Along with that, mention any bold predictions that you came up with.
Packers Will Contain Colin Kaepernick
The Packers did a good job containing Colin Kaepernick in the pocket in the season opener. Kaepernick only rushed for 22 yards on seven carries and he was sacked twice. Obviously, the focus will still be on containing him after he set a NFL record in the divisional playoff game last year when he ran for 181 yards against Green Bay.
Frank Gore Will Rush for 150 Yards
Green Bay ranks 25th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (125.0), while San Francisco is third in rushing yards per contest (137.6). Something will have to give. The assumption is that the Packers will put so much focus on Kaepernick and the big wide receivers that Frank Gore will be able to have his way in the run game.
Packers Will Protect Aaron Rodgers
The Packers have allowed their quarterbacks to get sacked 45 times this season. Meanwhile, the 49ers have done a decent job of getting after quarterbacks as they have 38 sacks on the year. In the first meeting this season, San Francisco only got after Rodgers twice. On top of that, Green Bay’s offensive line has done a decent job of protecting the signal callers in recent weeks.
Colin Kaepernick Will Throw for Over 300 Yards
Kaepernick’s best game of the season came in Week 1 against the Packers. He tossed three touchdowns and 412 passing yards. He had not gone over 300 yards again this season until Week 17. Considering Green Bay’s pass defense is just as bad as their run defense, expect Kaepernick to go over 300 yards through the air.
Packers Will Force 49ers to Use Someone Besides Anquan Boldin to Win
It’s no secret that Anquan Boldin must be stopped in order to have a chance against the 49ers. Boldin rocked the Packers earlier this year when he hauled in 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown. For that reason, Green Bay will do everything in their power to shut down Boldin and force San Francisco to win a different way.
Michael Crabtree Will Have a Big Game
Since the Packers will shut down Boldin, or at least give their best effort, someone else in the receiving corps will need to step up. The assumption would be Vernon Davis, but I have to imagine Green Bay will keep a close eye on him as well. For that reason, Michael Crabtree, who has missed a lot of time this season, will be the one to have a big game.
Clay Matthews Will Play
There’s no indication that elite pass rusher Clay Matthews will be able to suit up for the first round of the playoffs after he had a second surgery on his injured thumb. With that being said, the Packers could play him with a club on his hand. The reason for that is because his presence on the field alone will be enough to create problems for the 49ers.
Turnovers Will Prove to be Costly to 49ers
San Francisco has been outstanding in creating takeaways this season. In fact, they are +12 in turnovers, which ranks fourth in the NFL. However, Green Bay’s defense has done a tremendous job in recent weeks in getting takeaways. The 49ers are so use to controlling the ball that turnovers will prove to be very costly for them.
Game Will Come Down to Kickers
Both teams have been involved in very close games this season, including their Week 1 contest. For that reason, don’t be surprised if the outcome is decided by the field goal kickers. Mason Crosby (33-for-37) and Phil Dawson (32-for-36) have been outstanding this season. With the weather likely to be less than ideal in Green Bay, the kickers will play a big role.
Packers Will Defeat 49ers
The boldest prediction of them all is that the Packers will defeat the 49ers. Nobody is giving Green Bay the light of day to beat San Francisco even though the game will be played at Lambeau Field. The so-called experts claim the magic for the Packers has already worn out. I beg to differ. The return of Rodgers and the come-from-behind victory against the Chicago Bears proves that the magic is just the beginning.