The San Francisco 49ers edged out the Green Bay Packers 23-20 in a wild affair Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. The 49ers will now head back home to the South Bay, and then travel east next weekend to face the Carolina Panthers. There was some talk about potentially staying in Youngstown, Ohio this week, but without knowing the potential opponent, it was somewhat impractical.
The 49ers and Panthers will square off at 10 a.m. PT next Sunday on FOX. Under Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers have generally played well in 10 a.m. PT games. However, it is still an early game. Combined with the travel back tonight and the general exhaustion today's game likely brought, it won't be an easy one.
The 49ers almost beat the Panthers in San Francisco earlier this season, dropping a 10-9 decision. This is a chance for some revenge with a whole lot more on the line. The game is a pick 'em right now. It will be interesting to see if that line changes at all over the next few days. Odds Shark opened it at Panthers -1, but it's pick 'em across the board right now.
The last game saw the 49ers struggle to get into the end zone. They put up three field goals in the first half, and then went scoreless the rest of the away. The Panthers put up a touchdown and a field goal, and that was all she wrote. The 49ers did not have Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis and Eric Reid both suffered concussions in the game. There return guarantees nothing, but it puts a whole new spin on this matchup.
The other NFC matchup features the New Orleans Saints traveling to face the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. PT. I'm not holding my breath for a Saints win, but if they somehow sprung the upset, the 49ers would be playing on Sunday for a chance to host the NFC title game. My fingers remain crossed, but there's a lot of work still to be done.