All the teams and times are set for next weekend and it's looking to be a treat. Well, the NFC side of the draw at least. The AFC may have two blowouts on its hands, but I'll venture that one of the games ends within a score at the end. On our side of the draw, Packers at 49ers and Seahawks at Falcons appear to have the makings of two classics. I'm not sold on Atlanta, but Seattle looked less than stellar on the road against a hobbled RGIII. Russell Wilson played his second-worst game of the year (the worst being at SF) if you use ESPN's QBR, which many folks do nowadays.
In our matchup, the Packers can never be underestimated and I'd have a hard time betting on the Niners if it were in Green Bay and we played last week. But, alas, the replacement refs gave us the home field for this one. Not fair, but fine by me. Has anyone seen where the Seahawks would have landed in the seeding if they lost that game? They would have created a three-way tie with Chicago and Minnesota for the two wild card spots. I've looked on the internet but have come up empty handed. Anyone want to help me out?
Divisional Round: Packers at 49ers
Christian Gin makes a good case as to why the Packers were the best possible matchup for the 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He notes that Green Bay's offense is completely one-dimensional. The 49ers losses this season came when teams were able to run on them. Also, Green Bay played us with Alex Smith at quarterback, not Colin Kaepernick, so we have an edge in that yes, they've played us, but no, they haven't played this offense. | Packers are the best divisional round playoff opponent for the 49ers (Gin)
Even Mike McCarthy knows that Joe Webb playing a read-option style of quarterback in place of the injured Christian Ponder was one of the best things that could have happened. It gave the Packers a near bye and helped them prepare, in real time, to face the running element of Colin Kaepernick's game. It's a lot easier to defend the read-option and a running quarterback when they can't complete a pass, though. | Mike McCarthy: Vikings aided Packers' prep for 49ers (NFL.com)
Here's a look at the playoff history of these two storied franchizes. Did the words "storied franchizes" come out of my mouth or was that NFL Films? | New chapter coming in 49ers-Packers playoff history
Cam Inman takes a deeper look at every game Aaron Rodgers has ever played against the 49ers. | Breaking down Rodgers' all-time meetings against 49ers (Inman)
Eric Branch looks at the meeting. He notes that Green Bay has had a running back by committee approach this season and are ranked 20th in the league on the ground. The failings of all of the possible kickers is also a prominent aspect of the game. To think, we may have a game with three kickers in which Billy Cundiff is the most confident. | Storylines: You know the QBs, but who is DuJuan Harris? (Branch)
Packers' McCarthy: 'We've established our brand of football' (CSN Bay Area)
Aaron Rodgers finally gets to play in SF (Killion)
BASG notes that the 49ers aren't getting as much love from the impartial crowd as they were. Losing 42-14 against Seattle will do that to a team. | 49ers bandwagon a little less crowded these days (BASG)
The media circus surrounding 49ers Director of Player Personnel Tom Gamble and teams' quest to land him as their new GM may finally be over. It appears he is the favorite to land the Jets' job. There was the idea that wherever he went, he may take a 49ers assistant or quarterback. That may not be the case in New York as their coach is set, and I don't think playing for Rex Ryan in Clown Town would be Alex Smith's style. | 49ers executive Gamble favorite for Jets' GM job (Maiocco)
I throw this one out there because it is an interesting topic. Robert Griffin III and his knee injury are taking up a lot of the national news media's attention today and, since there's not much news out there...enjoy! | Did Shanahan lie about RGIII's injury? (SF Gate)
Being a Sheep
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