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49ers vs. Packers: The playoffs and Jim Harbaugh

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Guess whom we have to thank for this year's success? The coach the media loves to be annoyed by!

USA TODAY Sports

Last season, after the 49ers beat the Saints such that they advanced to the NFC Championship, I wrote a level-headed article called "The 49ers Are Playing in the NFC Championship Game!" And by "level-headed" I of course mean "way-too-excited-and-homerish-not-to-mention-long."

I mean, it's not all bad. The historical parts are pretty cool. But for the most part, the article is an exercise in being homerish. Not that that's too bad. I mean, after suffering since 2002, I had every right to be a homer. You did too.

But, I think that energy could have been channeled better. I could have made a better overarching point. And that point is still applicable. I also think it's somewhat obvious, but as fans, we can totally stand on the ledge after any little thing goes wrong. So let's review what was the primary difference between last year (and this year) and the year before that.

Jim Harbaugh.

Is the man a perfect coach? Not at all. Even more, his coaching staff has some issues. Greg Roman, while a very good offensive coordinator, is clearly the weakest link on that staff. At the end of the day, the coaching regime under Harbaugh - and Harbaugh himself - has been a revelation of epic proportions. In the last two seasons, we have seen a defense and an offense that have been some of the most efficient in the NFL. This year, they are both playing at a great, if not elite, level. The team is incredibly young and set to have major success in the future. We likely have our QB of the next ten years. This team has been one of the best in the NFC and should only get better.

Green Bay is a huge test. A loss, while not ledge worthy, would be a step back for what I think is probably a better team. And hey, you're either getting better or worse.