In the game, two of the league’s younger quarterbacks will face off in Brock Purdy and Jordan Love, who are both first-year starters with their respective teams.
However, their paths to get to this stage couldn’t be more different.
Purdy was a seventh-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, who earned his opportunity when Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo got injured last season and ran with the chance. On the other hand, Love was a first-round pick in 2020, but sat each of his first two seasons behind Aaron Rodgers before emerging as the starter in 2023.
With two of the explosive offenses going at each other on Saturday night, will we see a battle between Jordan Love and Brock Purdy?
In our latest podcast episode, we discussed the 49ers’ divisional-round matchup with the Packers, detailing the quarterback battle and how each team could approach the game.
The video for the show is embedded above, while the audio is available below.
While both quarterbacks have seen success this season, the playoffs are a different landscape, as running the football becomes more important.
Looking at the Packers’ wildcard win over the Dallas Cowboys, they got a great performance from Jordan Love, who completed 76.2 percent of his passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns.
However, what separated the Packers from the Cowboys was their willingness to stick to the run and be balanced early on, leading to a 118-yard and three-touchdown performance from Aaron Jones.
Jones has now gone for 100+ yards in each of his last four games, playing his best football at the end of the season, and he’ll likely see ample volume against the 49ers as well.
On the other hand, the 49ers have the NFL’s leading rusher by a wide margin in Christian McCaffrey, who has gotten three weeks of rest heading into the divisional round.
McCaffrey will allow the 49ers to be balanced, while they’ll continue to distribute the ball to all of their weapons in the passing game as well.
Both quarterbacks will have an integral role in this game, especially if it turns into a shootout, but this game should be determined by which team can be more successful with a balanced approach.