While players might keep an eye out for other player smack talk and predictions about games, I'm guessing they are not nearly as concerned about what the media is saying. I'm sure there is some motivation gained from such predictions, but for every Arian Foster avatar, there are are plenty others who don't even pay attention to what the media says.
Of course, fans are a different beast entirely. I've been amused this week to see both the 49ers and Packers fan bases talking on Twitter and elsewhere about how their team is the more disrespected team heading into Saturday's NFC Divisional Round matchup.
Well, if you're looking for some disrespect, here you go. These are predictions by eight CBSSports.com writers:
Some of you will ignore this, some will be mildly amused, and some will be incredibly fired up by them. Everybody responds differently. While I am not overly concerned by media predictions, I am not entirely confident heading into this weekend. I do think the 49ers can win this game, and I do hope they win this game, but there remains nagging concerns.
If the 49ers can take an early lead, they can turn this into their type of game. Ground and pound on offense, pin their ears back to a certain extent on defense. But, I remain concerned about the 49ers dropping behind early, and being left scrambling to figure out solutions. When the 49ers have fallen behind, it seems like the team is quicker to abandon the steady diet of Frank Gore and LaMichael James. This is not always the case, but in their four losses, it has been an issue.
I imagine part of this is that I simply want Saturday to get here. I'm sure facing Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs might also have a little something to do with that.
Even as the 49ers remain a three point favorite, I remain a bit concerned. The line opened at three and has stayed strong at three, which indicates to me that the odds-makers nailed it right off the bat. People view this as a potentially very close game, with the slim edge going to the 49ers because of home field advantage. If the 49ers pull this one out, we should send a big thank you card to Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings.