10 Biggest Matchups for Packers vs. 49ers NFC Wild Card
10 Biggest Matchups for Packers vs. 49ers NFC Wild Card
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. And just because everyone has the 49ers favored doesn’t mean the Packers can’t pull out the win.
What makes the contest between Green Bay and San Francisco so intriguing is the numerous matchups in several areas. There are incredibly talented players located at almost every position on the field, which is why I believe the playoff game between the Packers and 49ers will be the most exciting this weekend. Sure, other games could turn out to be closer. However, no team will have the explosive offensive weapons that Green Bay and San Francisco will showcase on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams will have high-profile quarterbacks and running backs ready to make huge plays when it matters most. Also, the Packers and 49ers showcase some of the most talented wide receivers in the NFC. There’s no question the game will be filled with a heavy dose of offense.
Make sure to click through the slideshow to see the 10 biggest matchups for the Packers vs. 49ers NFC Wild Card playoff game. Also, make sure to comment below on which matchups you believe will be the best to watch. Along with that, mention what matchup you think will be the difference maker in the contest.
10. Mason Crosby vs. Phil Dawson
Since both teams have been involved in close games this season, 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.
9. Greg Roman vs. Dom Capers
San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive coordinator Dom Capers have been under plenty of fire this season. For Capers, the big number that he must avoid is the 579 yards of total offense the Packers surrendered to the 49ers last season in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Roman must become more aggressive with his play calling. Both coordinators are expected to be tested in a very heated matchup.
8. Packers Coverage vs. 49ers Returners
It’s no secret that Green Bay’s special teams hasn’t performed that well this season. More specifically, the punt and kick return coverage has been horrendous. Even though San Francisco’s returners aren’t a huge threat, LaMichael James is more than capable of breaking a big run.
7. Outside Linebackers vs. Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick set a NFL record last postseason with 181 rushing yards by a quarterback. The Packers did a good job containing the signal caller in Week 1 as Kaepernick only rushed for 22 yards on seven attempts. Green Bay’s outside linebackers will have to step up once again and contain Kaepernick in the pocket instead of letting him pick up big yards on the ground. Along with that, the outside linebackers will have to go straight at Kaepernick to put him under pressure. Otherwise, he will tear apart the defense through the air.
6. Ahmad Brooks vs. Don Barclay
Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks has been great this season. He has 52 total tackles, one interception, seven defended passes and a team-high 8.5 sacks. The most important thing for Green Bay will be to protect Aaron Rodgers, which means right tackle Don Barclay must have a career performance blocking Brooks.
5. Eddie Lacy vs. 49ers Rush Defense
It’s no secret that the Packers must run the ball with success if they want to be victorious. That means putting Eddie Lacy in the best possible position to succeed. The 49ers allow just 95.9 rushing yards per game, which is good for fourth in the league. It won’t be easy but Green Bay will have to figure out a way to open holes for Lacy and James Starks to run through. If they don’t, the game is as good as won for San Francisco.
4. Anquan Boldin vs. Tramon Williams
Anquan Boldin tore it up against the Packers in the season opener. The wide receiver hauled in 13 receptions for 208 yards and one touchdown. There’s no question Green Bay must do whatever it takes to shut down Boldin, which means Tramon Williams must have the game of his career.
3. Packers Receivers vs. 49ers Secondary
Green Bay employs the most talented group of wide receivers in the league, especially with a healthy Randall Cobb back in the mix. If Carlos Rogers is unable to go for San Francisco, the 49ers could be in big trouble. Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin, Andrew Quarless and Cobb are all primed for a big game with Rodgers back under center. If the 49ers are unable to slow down the Packers’ receivers, the upset could come to fruition.
2. Frank Gore vs. Packers Rush Defense
Frank Gore and San Francisco’s running attack has been dominant in 2013. Considering Green Bay ranks 25th in the league with 125 rushing yards allowed per game, it could be a really long day for the Packers defense. The weather is supposed to be less than ideal, which means whichever team can run the ball with more success will most likely be victorious. The amount of success Gore has will go a long ways to deciding who will win.
1. Aaron Rodgers vs. 49ers Secondary
The biggest and most important matchup to watch will be Rodgers versus San Francisco’s secondary. Rodgers is the most talented quarterback in the league. More importantly, he’s a game changer who creates all sorts of problems for opponents. The 49ers did a decent job against Rodgers in Week 1, although he did throw for 333 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The secondary will really have to step up in order to stop Rodgers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs.