49ers vs Packers Wild Card preview
At 8-7-1, it took a miraculous return from Aaron Rodgers last week to get to the playoffs. The Packers are a brand new team with their superstar quarterback back on the field, but they have a tough task ahead of them. The 49ers come into this game as the hottest team in the NFL, winning six straight games to close out the season.
The major factor in this matchup will be the weather conditions in Green Bay, where sub-zero temperatures are expected at the Frozen Tundra. The 49ers are built to win in this weather with their running game. They ranked third in the NFL, averaging 137.6 yards per game on the ground. Collin Kaepernick has 10 TD passes and just one pick during the 49ers six-game win streak. This team is riding high and their defense has been a major reason for their 12 wins this season. They ranked 4th against the run and 7th against the pass. This team has too many weapons on offense and too much talent on defense to lose right now. Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, and Michael Crabtree have made Kaepernick’s job a whole lot easier. Kaepernick can beat you in so many different ways.
The Packers defense will have trouble containing Kaepernick, Frank Gore, and the pistol offense the 49ers can run. Rodgers won’t be able to get a firm grip on the ball in freezing temperatures. Eddie Lacy and James Starks have been a dynamic duo in the backfield, but the 49ers allow less than 100 yards a game on the ground and that won’t change Sunday. When it comes to playoff football, you can’t pick against the team that is hot. Right now, nobody is beating the 49ers and they are more equipped than any other team to win on the road and in the cold. A major concern for Green Bay will be the absence of linebacker Clay Matthews. That should open up some holes for the 49ers to run the football up the middle.
Yes, Rodgers and Randall Cobb are back hooking up for touchdowns. Yes, the game is at Lambeau. Yes, it’s going to be awfully cold. The 49ers want to get back to the Super Bowl and they are clicking at the perfect time. They have too many options to go to on offense and their defense is not allowing many points. Expect a low-scoring, physical, smash mouth type of game at Lambeau. There could be a couple of fumbles from both teams, but in the end, the 49ers will prevail and head to Carolina to take on the Panthers. The 49ers will run for 200 yards and their defense will hold Rodgers to just 17 points.