“It’s the No. 3 spot where there are worries. Though Ambry Thomas has made his own strides this season, quarterbacks had a 96.4 passer rating when targeting him in the regular season and he’ll be playing with a cast on his surgically repaired hand. Meanwhile, the team’s had trouble finding a veteran backup this season as they’ve cycled through Anthony Brown and Jason Verrett (shoulder injury) before recently signing Terrance Mitchell, 31, to the practice squad.
Opponents likely will try to put the 49ers in nickel situations the way the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals did in their wins over the 49ers. That will begin with the Packers, who had four wide receivers — Jayden Reed (793), Romeo Doubs (674), Dontayvion Wicks (581) and Christian Watson (422) — reach 400 receiving yards this season.”
“Drew never had the strongest arm, but he was so pinpoint accurate,” Snead said. “He knew when to let the ball go to make sure you’re catching it in stride, and Brock has similar traits. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he can anticipate guys getting open.”
The other favorable comparison, Snead said, is the drive and commitment to be great.”
“The Rams’ loss against third-seeded Detroit raised the possibility of the 49ers facing QB Jared Goff if they reach the NFC title game. And the 49ers have good memories of facing the Marin Catholic-Kentfield and Cal alum, who is 0-5 and has posted a 76.8 passer rating in his past five starts against them.
They also have fond memories of facing the Packers in January, beating Green Bay in the playoffs in two of the previous four seasons. However, the Packers will arrive Saturday after an offseason makeover in which they became the NFL’s youngest team while trading QB Aaron Rodgers, 40, and elevating backup Jordan Love, 25....Love has thrown 21 touchdown passes and one interception in his past nine starts, which includes Sunday, when he became the fifth QB in NFL history to throw three touchdown passes in his playoff debut.”
“It’s real,” Purdy said. “You’re playing in front of the whole world, it seems like. If you’re not on top of your stuff mentally, you’ll get exposed. It’s the NFL. That’s the way it works and that’s the nature of the game.
“For me, you have to be in the mindset of being sharp every play and knowing what you’re doing. So, in that moment, yes, I was sort of back in the football mode of ‘I got to go be a surgeon.’”