Once upon a time, being a wild card team meant that you were going to have a short playoff run. Yes, you might win a game or two, but you could forget about making it to the Super Bowl, much less winning it. Yet as the San Francisco 49ers embark on their “Quest for Six”, they are well suited to be able to play three road games and win each one of them.
The 49ers have a number of things that favor them. The first is that they play well on the road. The 49ers finished with a 6-2 road record, with their only two losses coming against the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints, two teams with great home records.
If you look deeper, you will notice that the 49ers had a puncher’s chance of winning the game late against Seattle while some questionable refereed decisions affected a close game vs. the Saints.
it’s not just the win-loss record which proves that the 49ers are a very good road team. Anyone who has watched all of their games will be able to you that they play better on the road than at home in many ways. They come out with better focus which they sometimes failed to show when playing at home.
The 49ers have the two most important attributes needed to win on the road: a very good running game and a very good defense. In these two areas, the 49ers are considered to be in the NFL‘s top-five with a great offensive line and Frank Gore leading the rushing attack. On defense, they have four Pro Bowlers who lead a defense that has played well and been consistent in their performances throughout the season.
Playing against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in a playoff game is always going to be a difficult task for any team, but if the last decade-plus has shown us anything, it is no longer the impossible task that it used to be many moons ago. Given that the 49ers like to play on the road and have the ingredients needed to succeed, it is a great place to begin a Super Bowl run and to show off their road warrior credentials.