The San Francisco 49ers head into their Divisional Round matchup of the 2013 NFL Playoffs sitting as three point favorites over the visiting Green Bay Packers. The 49ers completed a solid 11-4-1 season in which they knocked off Green Bay at Lambeau in Week 1. The 49ers have not been able to gain a ton of momentum throughout the regular season, but they're in the playoffs and have their shot to make some noise.
Heading into the playoffs, the 49ers handled their business at home against the Arizona Cardinals to secure the NFC West and a first round bye. They needed to win that game, however, because the Seahawks had thoroughly thrashed the 49ers the week before on Sunday Night Football. In a game that got out of hand fairly quickly, the Seahawks dismantled the 49ers 42-13 behind an all around dominant performance.
I was talking with Kevin McCauley (our Packers blogger, with whom I share office space at SB Nation), and he brought up that game, saying it was a "thing". I actually think that is a good description of the game. There is something there to be analyzed, but in the context of the 49ers abilities heading into their matchup with Green Bay, what exactly is it?
I still don't know what to make of the game. Had it been a little closer, there might have been one or two issues to point to. However, given the type of game we witnessed, the list is lengthy. In the week following the game, Coaches Harbaugh, Fangio and Roman all acknowledged as much, simply stating that the team did not do nearly enough.
In looking back, you could point to the travel back from New England, the Seahawks motivation and emotion heading into this game (as well as that of their fans), Justin Smith's absence, some questionable officiating, and a host of other issues.
There are numerous issues, but in looking ahead to Saturday's Divisional Round matchup, how much of what happened in the Seahawks game matters? The 49ers are obviously not as bad as they were in that game, but where do they actually stand?