NFL Playoffs: Packers vs. 49ers

11

Jan 2013

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Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 8 p.m. ET

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup in the NFL this weekend will be the Green Bay Packers heading to Candlestick Park to take on the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers dominated the competition throughout the regular season in the NFC with a lockdown defense and a formidable offense regardless of the quarterback change at midseason by head coach Jim Harbaugh. San Francisco made a bold move following a concussion suffered by starter Alex Smith. With Smith going down in the overtime game resulting in a tie against the division rival St. Louis Rams, the 49ers’ coaching staff made the change to second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick in relief of Smith and as a result has remained the starter. Coming into the postseason, the 49ers won the regular-season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, but were coming off a rather devastating loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Rookie Russell Wilson and company were able to carve up the 49ers’ defense on Monday Night Football a few nights ago on their home field in Seattle leading many to believe Harbaugh’s squad might not be able to contend with the best of the best in the NFC come playoff time. Despite the loss to the Seahawks, San Francisco will play host to the Packers on Saturday and are currently the favorites to advance to the NFC Championship game for a second consecutive season. As for Green Bay, the Packers lost the regular-season finale against the division rival Minnesota Vikings due to another huge game by superstar running back Adrian Peterson. Fortunately, Aaron Rodgers and company were able to get the best of the Vikings last weekend at Lambeau Field in order to advance to the division round. At this point in time, the Packers are underdogs on the road with the 49ers have a -3 point spread in their favor. San Francisco is a tough place to place for any opponent of the 49ers with Kaepernick and company excelling on their home field. The most intriguing part of this showdown between NFC heavyweights will be the high-powered offense of the Packers going up against Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and the lockdown defense of the 49ers. This matchup could easily go either way with both teams more than capable of pulling out the victory and advancing as a result. Although the Packers are a force to be reckoned with offensively, I believe the 49ers’ defense will be too much for them to handle on Saturday.

Prediction: 49ers -3

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