Hello Wisconsin: These Ain’t Your 2019 Packers

Stop comparing this team to disappointments of years past. It's a new season.

There’s a surprising amount of negativity across the internet from Packer fans this week, who seem to be terrified about the prospect of facing the San Francisco 49ers.

I agree that the 49ers were definitely the most challenging potential opponent for the Packers this week, and it’s not particularly close. But that’s the nature of the playoffs; you’re going to play good teams!

Much of the anxiety about this game seems to have to do with the fact that in the Packers’ last three meetings with the 49ers in the playoffs the team ran all over them. But those games occurred nine, eight and two years ago. They have absolutely no bearing on anything that will happen this weekend.

It’s the 2019 comparisons in particular that have been breaking through a lot this week. But a whole hell of a lot has happened in two years.

Heck, this is a completely different team than the one that beat the 49ers (in their own stadium) in week three.

If it’s the defense that concerns you, consider the following.

First, the 49ers’ quarterback continues to be Jimmy Garoppolo, who, despite his injuries, I expect to play until we hear otherwise from the 49ers. Healthy Jimmy Garoppolo is already mediocre, but expect even less from a banged up Jimmy Garoppolo in cold weather.

Second, consider everything the Packers have added to their defense this season. Even just since week 3, the Packers have a significantly more experienced Eric Stokes, plus the addition of Rasul Douglas in the secondary. The team will likely be adding Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus at edge, neither of whom were on the active roster in that first contest this season.

This is a better defense than what the Packers had available in the 2019 matchups, even if it doesn’t rank quite as well against the run.

Consider also the offense. David Bakhtiari is back in the lineup, which was not the case in week 3. Royce Newman will not be starting against this strong front seven. 

Aaron Rodgers is playing much better football than he was in the first month of the season, as he got off to a bit of a sluggish start compared to how most of the rest of the season went for him.

The Packers have a stacked roster, an MVP quarterback, the coach of the year, a balanced offense, a very good tackling defense, playmakers at every position group and a feeling of inevitability about them. 

Ultimately, the 49ers are just the first stepping stone to a Super Bowl Championship. If the Packers lose to them, they’d have gotten smacked in the bigger games to come anyway.

The Packers have been the best team in the NFL this season. The 49ers may be hot, but they’re not a juggernaut. They’re the ones who need to be nervous this weekend.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

It’s an old standby; New Glarus’s smooth, cloudy farmhouse ale Spotted Cow, crisp and drinkable at just 4.8 percent, a beer for all seasons and palates.

Whenever you mention New Glarus’s flagship beer Spotted Cow on the internet, one of two things will happen:

  1. Someone will pop up talking about how they miss Wisconsin, or

  2. Someone will immediately be like SPOTTED COW ISN’T GOOD NEW GLARUS HAS WAY BETTER BEERS

I do agree that Spotted Cow is nowhere close to the best offering New Glarus has, but that’s not its appeal. 

Instead, what’s great about Spotted Cow is that it never, ever disappoints. You know exactly what you’re getting from it. Everyone drinks it, so it’s the perfect beer for just about any occasion or setting. People who are not willing to try just about anything new will drink it, people who are adventurous drinkers or hardcore craft brew enthusiasts won’t turn up their nose at it. 

It’s not an incredible beer, but it’s always satisfying. And it’s a great tailgating beer, because if you’re going to be putting down a lot of em, you want something drinkable and easily paired with a brat.

So to the naysayers: lighten up, and enjoy a Cow.

This weekend’s Packers will be an entirely new team

I alluded to this a bit already in the opening segment of this column, but it’s worth pointing out again that the team we’re about to see take the field on Saturday is nothing like we’ve seen the Packers put forth this entire season.

The addition of Za’Darius Smith alone is a major boon for this team. Smith played limited snaps in week one before exacerbating a back injury and missing the rest of the regular season. Having Mercilus back as well gives the Packers a group of players they haven’t yet had at the edge: Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, Mercilus and Rashan Gary all available at the same time (not to mention Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry). That’s huge.

The return of Jaire Alexander gives the Packers a grouping of Alexander, Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas all for the first time. Stokes and Douglas were one of the NFL’s best-performing tandems in the regular season, and with Alexander back, that means fewer snaps for Chandon Sullivan, who starts to play more situational football along with Kevin King.

The returns of David Bakhtiari and Josh Myers allowed the Packers to get Royce Newman off the field and shift Lucas Patrick to his more natural position of right guard, a massive improvement for this offensive line.

All of these position groups (EDGE, OL, CB) have been in flux throughout most of the season. It’s wild to think that as well as the Packers have performed in these areas, they’re about to get even better.

What will the Packers do about Deebo Samuel?

The matchup that holds the most interest for me this weekend when the Packers’ defense is on the field is what the team will do about Deebo Samuel.

Samuel has previously given the Packers’ defense fits. But he’s been better than ever in 2021, and earned a second-team All Pro nod at wide receiver for his versatility and explosiveness all over the field. Samuel led all wide receivers with an average of 10.0 yards after the catch. He scored 15 touchdowns, including eight as a runner and one as a passer. 

The 49ers are going to do everything they can to get the ball in the hands of Samuel, especially considering Garoppolo’s injury. 

It’ll be interesting, then, to see what the Packers scheme up to stop Samuel. With Jaire Alexander coming back, the Packers do have the option to have him shadow Samuel. But in general, the Packers tend to keep Alexander on the perimeter and have him lock down a side of the field.

Would that mean we’d see Eric Stokes shadow Samuel instead? It’s not a task I imagine the team giving to Rasul Douglas. 

The 49ers don’t have a whole ton of weapons in the passing game. George Kittle has not been nearly as explosive as in past years. In fact, in the last four games he has nine combined receptions for 78 combined yards and no touchdowns.  If the Packers can take out Samuel, that’s basically the game for the 49ers.

One win from the Packers and I’ll be at the NFC Championship

I’ve never seen playoff football in person before. But if the Packers win this weekend, that will change.

Through a stroke of luck, I have a connection with a friend whose father in law has season tickets and will not be going to the NFC Championship game. They’re pretty excellent tickets, also–about as close to the field as I’ve ever been. 

The Packers have never lost in my presence, with a 5-0 record (2000 vs. Vikings, 2011 vs. Lions, 2016 vs. Vikings, 2019 vs. Lions, 2021 vs. Bears). But this would be by far the most important game I’ve ever attended, and my first non-divisional encounter. 

The possibility of seeing the Packers seal up a trip to a Super Bowl is pretty incredible. But the possibility of witnessing the Packers lose a third straight NFC Championship and having to drive back to Milwaukee afterwards is… not so much.

My wife even asked whether I’d actually be able to have fun given how anxious I’d likely be for the game. 

But there was no way I could pass up such an opportunity. Face value tickets to the freaking NFC Championship at Lambeau Field while Aaron Rodgers is still playing quarterback? And quite possibly seeing Tom Brady play live as well? Likely a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. 

More to come, should the Packers win this weekend. Which I fully expect them to.

Packers can give the 49ers a taste of their own medicine

The last couple undressings the Packers have had at the hands of the 49ers (which, again, do not factor into this weekend’s game at all) took place in San Francisco. 

This time, the Packers have the homefield advantage in cold weather. Jimmy Garoppolo has never started a game below 40 degrees fahrenheit. And the Green Bay Packers have a smashmouth running attack of their own, in shades of what the 2019 49ers delivered in the NFC Championship game.

AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones have both had excellent seasons in very evenly split roles as featured runners in the offense. 

Dillon led the team in rushing with 803 yards, just four more than Jones. Jones led the team in yards per attempt among qualifying players with 4.7, while Dillon had 4.3. Jones caught six touchdowns, Dillon caught two. Both players caught a fair number of balls out of the backfield. 

Expect Dillon and Jones to factor into the game plan in a big way in the cold weather. Should the Packers get a lead in the second half, I’d say a big helping of Dillon is likely on the way to ice this thing.

The prediction

I think the 49ers are certainly capable of coming in and giving the Packers a run for their money. However, the Packers are the healthiest they’ve been all season, have a massive advantage at the quarterback position and have a stronger roster. They’re playing at home in cold weather in front of a packed audience, they have the Coach of the Year and they’re deep at just about every position.

It might be close for a while, but by the end of the game the Packers will have a two-score advantage.

Packers 27, 49ers 17

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

11 points

Comments (68)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Nordom's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:47 am

This game will be decided in the trenches - if the 49ers' ferocious front 7 puts Rodgers in duress all day, don't expect to win unless we manage to do the exact same to them to at least even it out. I pray that we start the game out with some quick and easy passes to get a couple of first downs - trying to force the long-ball at the start of the game against these kinds of excellent physical defenses seems to be how we often lose these games. Rodgers gets rattled after being pressured and hit countless times early on, we're forced off of the field quickly and repeatedly, the defense is worn down and subsequently breaks entirely, and we find ourselves in a 3 to 4-score deficit by the half...which also has the unfortunate effect of making it so we can't even lean on the run game and thus we become even more one-dimensional and predictable. Then we change strategies and do what we should've been doing to begin with in the second half (aka quick and reliable plays that also have the benefit of opening up the offense more down the line) and manage to get the game close in the 4th, but we're not quite able to make up for all the first half errors.

I'm dearly hoping we don't repeat this horrid process for the umpteenth time.

4 points
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Spock's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:43 am

" I pray that we start the game out with some quick and easy passes to get a couple of first downs - trying to force the long-ball at the start of the game against these kinds of excellent physical defenses seems to be how we often lose these games."
^^^THIS^^^ (Along with some hard pounding by Dillion and AJ).

5 points
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Crankbait's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:04 am

Perfect analogy of the last decade in the playoffs I hope this coaching staff gets it right this time.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:19 pm

Mix it up, keep them off-balance. Execute the WCO. It will be on Rodgers to deliver.

0 points
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Savage57's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:49 am

More than any game I can recall in recent memory, this game will be influenced by how the first two possessions proceed for each team. Each team is going to be sky high at kickoff, and the team which can control that and direct it to positive results will establish its game identity.

There can be no slow starts, need to find our rhythm, feel them out.

They must start fast whether on offense or defense and set the tone for what's to come.

In the cold, hostile environment of Lambeau, the Packers need to rip the heart out of the Niners early, eat it in front of them, and spend the rest of the game carving up the carcass.

9 points
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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:36 am

It is an advantage to start fast. Getting 7 vs 3 points in the RZ is key. I agree that this game is even more important to start fast because if you take them out of their game plan of running the ball and have to throw the ball , which I expect from this game, GB should than blow them out. Just like we seen with 4 out of 6 wild card games. If Goroppolo has to pass the ball he will throw one or two INT’s in this cold, windy forecasted weather. They are not set up to be a big play offense and come back from a large deficit.

That said, even if we do start slow GB’s offense is one that can come back and win. Hopefully, that’s not how this game goes as my heart can’t handle another nail biter.

6 points
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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2022 at 11:18 am

You must be fun on hunting trips.

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

January 20, 2022 at 01:02 pm

Yum!

0 points
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Packer_Fan's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:02 am

This is a different time. On the road versus home. Cold versus warm. A dinged QB. New defense. Better ILB.

All of the teams left are good. To win the Super Bowl you have to beat good teams. Go Oack

11 points
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Packer_Fan's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:02 am

This is a different time. On the road versus home. Cold versus warm. A dinged QB. New defense. Better ILB.

All of the teams left are good. To win the Super Bowl you have to beat good teams. Go Oack

0 points
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NickPerry's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:12 am

"Packers can give the 49ers a taste of their own medicine."

This is something I fully expect the Packers to do. Having David Bakhtiari and Josh Meyers is huge, especially in the run game. Meyers is a big physical guy, forget he's a rookie, he's MADE to run the football in January in below zero weather. Bakhtiari is the best LT in football. I think both Jones and Dillon will be huge this weekend, and I fully expect them to beat this team by double digits.

Deebo Samuel... I'd imagine the Packers handle Samuel the same way they handled Dalvin Cook in week 16 when everybody was every bit as freaked out about stopping Cook, especially after what Nick Chubb had done to them the week before. The Packers defense will SWARM to the ball and tackle like they have all season...Very well!. The D-line will occupy the 49ers O-Line while Campbell and Barnes nail his ass before he has a chance to get going...Just like they did to Cook.

Jimmy G... Personally I can't wait to watch Jimmy G try to throw the ball (and he'll need to) with ligament damage on his thumb on his throwing hand. The thumb is pretty important in being able to grip the football. Throw in the fact that the ball is hard as a rock, slippery as hell, AND he'll be facing a Packers pass rush which should be the best we've seen this year, it should be next to impossible. I remember in week 3 when Jimmy G drove them down the field to take the lead leaving what, 37 seconds on the clock. He was ALL smiles on the sideline. About 37 seconds later as Mason drilled a 51 yard FG he wasn't smiling no mo... Sunday Jimmy G, Deebo, or that OVERRATED Shanahan won't be smiling much at all... MLF, the REAL offensive guru will be the one smiling with his entire team.

#12 Quarters to go!

8 points
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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:55 am

Right on Nick! Two thumbs up.

4 points
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pacman's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:31 am

I think everyone would feel a lot better if we felt confident the Packers could play a full 60 minutes of football. Since that has not happened all year, I think it is a reasonable concern until shown otherwise. Once you get to playing only the best teams, the season record doesn't mean much.

GPG!

4 points
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PatrickGB's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:00 pm

Agree. I would feel more confident if this team had not had so many nail biters this season.

0 points
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Spock's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:40 am

Well, let me get this out of the way first, "Instead, what’s great about Spotted Cow is that it never, ever disappoints." I have commented frequently that (small sample size) the one and only Spotted Cow I had while back to Wisconsin VASTLY disappointed me. Granted, I'm hardly a beer connoisseur, but I ordered a different beer for my second as the first tasted (if I could even use the word taste) flat and was not impressive in any way. Sorry, Tim, but you'll have to amend that statement. Frankly, your taste in beers strikes me as a bit weird as I don't get the love for all these "fruity" beers that you usually feature. If I want a fruit drink I'll drink one, if I want a beer it darn well better taste like a beer! Okay, all the Spotted Cow lovers can down vote that comment, but I was honestly excited to try this beer after all the love Nagler, in particular, gives to it. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement! By the way the second beer (an October Halloween special) was spectacular and I wish I'd noted what it was, only know it was from a specialty brewer near the Wisconsin Dells.

Now onto the important (Packers) topic. I have to agree that past performance doesn't translate going forward (Hey, do you do part time work as a financial advisor, LOL). I don't care what shape Jimmy G. is in as I expect he'll only be handing off again as the Packers have been soft against the run and an ice-cold field should favor the offense. If Arod uses ALL his weapons (especially Dillion and AJ) I think this game will go well for the Packers. The cold field conditions may negate a lot of the 49ers speed as the Packers will be wearing the right spikes (I hope).
If QB1 stays true to the MLF offense I have no fear of the 49ers. GPG!

5 points
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Savage57's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:21 am

No downvote, but your experience seems like an outlier to a pretty acclaimed beer. Maybe give it a second chance when you get the opportunity?

-1 points
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Hematite's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:07 am

I agree, give it a 2nd chance.
You may have just gotten a bad one, it happens.
I have never been disappointed.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:23 pm

Naw, he's correct, it's swill.

1 points
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jurp's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:45 am

I agree with you about Spotted Cow... kind of "meh" for me. I vastly prefer New Glarus's Two Women and Staghorn, both almost impossible to find at a bar or restaurant, however.

3 points
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TimBackes's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:59 am

Sounds like you should try expanding your beer horizons! There’s a reason why the fruited sour is the most rapidly growing beer style by far. In the last five years or so brewers have really been exploring some exciting new styles. There will always be a place for the standards, and I love a good Amber or red ale, but I also will drink just about anything and always enjoy trying the new things breweries are coming up with.

-2 points
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jurp's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:13 am

Tim, my son-in-law is quite into the new beers; both he and my daughter quite like sours, for example. SIL has bought me some newer stuff, mostly from local Rockford brewers (yes, they live in Flatland but remain Cheeseheads in exile), and I've had whatever's in their fridge when I've visited.

But...

The beers I've tried have, for the most part, begun making me into a teetotaler. Sours are, quite frankly, NOT BEER, IMO, and almost all of the modern IPAs are truly nastily bitter (and I've been a European Pilsner fan for decades, so that's saying something). I have had some decent to good beers, too, that been interesting - a good nitro and a lager that started with notes of citrus and ended tasting like beer, not kool-aid.

One thing I will say, though - no one should judge a beer on only one or two sips - no matter how foul it initially tastes, you should always drink the entire can, bottle, or tap beer before you can make an adequate judgment. That nitro I mentioned was truly off-putting on first sip, but after a quarter of the can I quite liked it. Drank the rest of the six-pack with much enjoyment (not the same day, BTW :) )

I don't know that it's about expanding horizons so much as picking the right new beers, and perhaps an old duffer like myself is too set in his ways to appreciate beers that taste like kiddy drinks or kool-aid. Now, give me a good Radler or Rauchbier and I'll be happy as King Gambrinus.

5 points
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TimBackes's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:20 am

For sure, I’m not saying you need to like everything, but I think folks are often too dismissive of new styles, especially when they are non traditional.

By the way, there are many who would consider rafters to be not real beers as well! Love them myself, as well as a good rauchbier.

The overly hopped IPA trend has actually swung the other way in recent years. While you’ll still find some really piney ones, currently the trend is hazy IPAs that have a smoother, juicier taste while still maintaining a stronger hop profile.

Ultimately a fruited sour is no less a beer than a European Pilsner. Yes, I’m familiar with Rheinheitsgebot, but even the European breweries don’t follow that standard any more. The style isn’t for everyone, but it takes a highly skilled brewer to create a good sour, and especially one that uses so much fruit, given how volatile it makes the brewing and fermentation process!

0 points
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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2022 at 11:30 am

That's it, I'm having an Adams Wicked Hazy with my lunch.

0 points
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Razer's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:45 am

...It’s not an incredible beer, but it’s always satisfying. And it’s a great tailgating beer, because if you’re going to be putting down a lot of em, you want something drinkable and easily paired with a brat...

Nail on the head. At 4.8 ABV, you can look forward to the next one while enjoying the one in your hand.

As much as this Aaron Rodgers' "redemption game", this is Matt Lafleur's coming of age. He has been slow coming off byes and we can't afford to 3 quarters to "figure" things out. We have had a ton of time to get healthy and prepare so guys better know their assignments. Should be our best game of the year - I'll stock the fridge.

Go Packers

3 points
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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:48 am

49’rs fans are thinking they will come to Lambeau and win, some state easily. The only chance they have is to stop GB Offense or create multiple TO’s

They think their D can shut down this Arod led offense that also includes “thunder and lightning”. One that has a WR that cannot be guarded. An offense coaching staff that keeps defenses on their toes. A QB who doesn’t turn the ball over. A group of unselfish WR’s, H-back, TE group who love to block for these stars. And, of course, with Bak, Meyers and Turner back one of the best OL in the biz. Even without that OL in tact, this O has averaged over 30 points a game in the 2nd half of the year. Can SF score 30+ points? I highly doubt it and expect a 10+ victory with a score around 34-17.

8 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2022 at 11:35 am

I’m left a tad puzzled by many of the comments this week. For a year or more, we’ve seen almost total consensus that this team is what it is because of Rodgers with the only debate being whether that approaches solely (with Adams) or just mainly.

The other consensus as I understood it is that this roster is better than any we have had in almost a decade (Rodgers aside).

This week most of what I’m seeing is discussions where Rodgers is barely a factor. Stokes, Rasul, Campbell, my Amos, Clark too, and they are on D, which I understand most are primarily dubious of. Let alone Gary or P. Smith and maybe Z and Mercillus.

We seldom see anyone talk about the threat posed by Adams, Dillon, Jones, Lazard. All I hear Is Deebo, their speedster, RB and TE. Good as Deebo is, is he more of a threat than Adams and Jones? Is Mitchell Dillon? How much less of a threat is our front 7?

Even if the answer is SF are better (which I would thoroughly debate), who is better, Rodgers or Jimmy G? Which position in football makes the biggest difference—the answer has been parroted a lot, so all reading should have an idea of the answer. Yet that gets forgotten.

Let me put it this way, the Rodgers is our one hope brigade seem to be faint in their confidence. A lot of volume and little conviction. If you have this little faith in what he brings to us, and this match up, so be it: a little less volume and no credibility going forward.

In addition, the associated implied lack of faith in the remainder of our roster is, while more debatable, still difficult to rationalize. Let’s be honest, no MVS would be bad, but we have players coming back of plus quality, even if they are on a snap count.

Time to put our money where our mouth has been and believe. Particularly if you are one of the LaFleur for Coach of the Year crew. There is no excuse for not winning here and the contradictions this negativity has shown suggest more nuance when arguing about the infallibility of a QB you clearly doubt can carry this roster over a Jimmy G led team.

The good news is that their STs have not been much less bad than ours. In addition, it looks like Moore will be returning.

4 points
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Lphill's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:49 am

Super bowl or bust!

3 points
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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:04 am

I normally don’t like that saying, but, for this year I totally agree. “SB or bust” all the way. With all our pro bowl players, minus Jenkins back, this IS our best opportunity in a long time. And, with our salary cap issues, it also is probable we won’t have this opportunity again for quite sometime.

2 points
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HarryHodag's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:15 am

Lets play the game. No more fan chatter.

My only concern is if the game is decided by special teams the Packers are doomed.

1 points
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jurp's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:48 am

The STs have been playing much better of late, and I have hopes for Moore. I predicted a few weeks ago that we'll get a return for a TD from either a punt or a kickoff in the playoffs, so we'll see if I'm right!

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:23 am

I wish that I had your faith, but I’d love to see it! I’d still want Drayton gone.

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:25 am

Something many Packers fans need to consider is how do the 49ers fans feel about coming to GB? The last time we played the 49ers we had to go to their house. This time, they come to us. The last time was Rodgers first year in LaFleur's system. Its completely different now. We are a completely different team from that 2019 team.

From 2019 we are a completely different team, but even from our week 3 matchup we are a completely different team. Dillon for example is a much better player now then he was early in the season. Against the 49ers the first matchup he had 6 carries for 18 yards. I'm willing to bet he will be much more involved in the offense this time around.
The OL is going to be completely different. Bakhtiari appears to be starting at LT. Yosh started that game. Runyan is a much improved player from that game till now. Myers likely the OC, and Patrick the RG. Our OL will be much better overall. At least they need to be.
The biggest difference will be at CB. Stokes is a much different player now then he was that week. Down the stretch he has been able to lock down the CB spot. Douglas wasn't on the team and since could have been an All Pro candidate.
Getting Z, Mercilus and Jaire back will be huge helps!

What will the Packers do about Deebo Samuel?
What i'm curious to see is how do they handle Samuel when he is lined up in the backfield. Earlier in the year when teams did that, they used Black and that was basically a disaster. So the question will be who do they use to cover him?

Packers can give the 49ers a taste of their own medicine-
I expect the Packers to turn to the RB's more in this game. Whether its through the running game or through the passing game, I am expecting to see Jones and Dillon getting a lot of touches. I'm guessing they will both get 15 touches. The play action game should be a big part of the game.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:28 pm

Cobb was not there in 2019 and the other WRs were Greenhorns. Third time is the charm.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:27 am

Not only are we a different team, but hopefully LaFleur has matured. LaFleur got out coached by a country mile in the 2019 and 2020 championships and, worse, made the same mistakes he had made against both teams in season.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2022 at 01:06 pm

No Doubt, he needs to shake that Atlanta playoff scheme out of his consciousness. There should be multifaceted play schemes variating with each quarter. Show them entirely new looks. Runyan makes a difference along with Patrick bringing Attitude. If Bhak cannot play 100% give his roster spot to Braden and let Nijman front up Bosa with a heavy chipper, not A.Jones.

0 points
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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:39 am

I know Stats don’t always tell the story but you also cannot ignore them. GB is 8-0 at home this year. At home, GB scores 8 more PPG and give up 6 less PPG with a 13.9 average margin of victory……enough said! GPG

7 points
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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:03 am

Good stuff, murf7777, it's time for positivity.
***
After all, we fans have supplied the Packers with all of the cautions and constructive criticisms the players need for success ;-).
Being avid readers of CHTV, the players have had ample opportunity to take these caring concerns of our wisdom to heart.
Now, it's time for them to focus mostly on all of the good things we've also noted about them and to go into Saturday night with a winning attitude.
***
This is all said with a little silliness, a lot of seriousness, and total sincerity.
Against the 49ers in the frigid cold of Lambeau Field, the Packers have to be ready to take some hard hits and encounter some adversity.
However, most of all, they need to always keep in mind their triumphs over the past three seasons and remain confident in calmly playing out their game plan to fruition -- and along the way giving out some clean hard hits of their own.
It's simple but difficult: Play it through passionately and intelligently all the way to the end.
If so, no regrets, and the Packers are likely to win.
***
P.S. Along with the advantage of home field, conditions may favor the Packers in practically forcing them to emphasize the run and short passes to control the ball and move the sticks for enough scores to come out on top.
Yet, I like an occasional long pass, too. I'm predicting MVS will surprise the 49ers by catching at least two for more than 30 yards, and at least one touchdown.

2 points
2
0
jurp's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:16 am

I like your predictions better than my own predictions :)

2 points
2
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Coldworld's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:29 am

Unfortunately, I don’t think MVS will play. Perhaps Moore can be used as a deep threat? He’s not MVS fast, but faster than the rest.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2022 at 01:08 pm

Keep moving the chains. Execute the WCO. Let the 49rs stand in the Cold.

2 points
2
0
jurp's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:58 am

I don't think that SF can beat us playing straight-up football, so I think they'll go sandlot and do the following:

- Replace Garapolo (or however you spell his name) with Lance for multiple plays, especially near the goal line. It's possible that Lance will start, as a last minute surprise gift from Shanahan to LaFleur.

- Put two running threats in Lance and Samuel in the backfield at the same time, possibly running an option play from Lance to Samuel, who may have the option to pass it.

- Run at least one (and probably more ) wildcat plays with direct snaps to Samuel. One of these plays will see Samuel run to his right and then pass it downfield. That play will (*sigh*) be successful for a long gain.

- Run at least one true trick play, and probably a fake punt or FG.

I do expect that we'll give up at least two long plays, at least one of which will involve Samuel. He is, I think, their key to winning this game and, as other posters have commented, if we keep him under control, we win. I really hope that MLF and his staff have planned for the advent of Lance and the distinct possibility of lots of trickery from SF.

4 points
5
1
Swisch's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:31 am

What I hear you saying, jurp, is that the Packers have to be ready for the 49ers to try to overpower them in the run game as in the past meeting of the teams in the dismal NFC Championship Game of 2019/2020.
I think you're right; the Packers have to be a physical, swarming defensive team from the first play, and also smart and disciplined in carrying out assignments.
I'm hoping the Packers will have various options on defense for containing the edge and bulking up the middle, perhaps with some run blitzes.
***
I'd like to see the Packers run a trick play or two of our own -- which, perhaps, they've been saving up for the playoffs. Also, a jet sweep or two would keep the 49ers honest, and perhaps produce some exciting gains.

2 points
2
0
PatrickGB's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:11 pm

I very much agree about the discipline thing. Lack of it has resulted in too many busted defenses. However, I disagree about running sweeps etc. I have not seen much from our offense on most any play (except some screens) outside the hash marks. We don’t have the speed and I have not seen good enough blocking to make that work. Even the toss play often loses more yards than it gains. I prefer that we run the plays that we practice and are good at and don’t overthink it.

2 points
2
0
Gee's picture

January 20, 2022 at 10:52 am

man well stated, you took the words out of my mouth. Only thing I would add, with the conditions going forward, no one knows how well JimmY G, various injuries are effected, by the cold.

1 points
1
0
mrj007's picture

January 20, 2022 at 02:08 pm

I agree. Doubt Garapalo even starts. He can’t/won’t throw anyway. Having more run options seems smart. Packers will be fooled on trick plays like in Detroit. Packers D needs to play lights out. I won’t be surprised if they do, but 49ers are going to be a tough out.

0 points
1
1
Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:01 am

Is Rodgers going to lead this team to victory, or is he going to play like a $20 million/year QB and put up some nice numbers and fall short again?

The QB position is all about leadership. Bart could lead. Brady can lead. Montana could lead. We're going to find out if Rodgers can lead this team to the title. He has a very good team around him, we're at home for two games. Come on Aaron, lead this team to a win.

10 points
11
1
Swisch's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:34 am

I'm with you, Leatherhead, in rooting for Rodgers to display both talent and character in leading the Packers to a title.
I'm hopeful he has it in him, and pray he will bring it to fruition.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:34 am

It is put up or shut up in more ways than one for Rodgers. Lose and he’s probably playing his last game in green and gold. To be honest, the same goes for LaFleur to some extent. If he loses the coaching battle again, if we come out soft and fail to use Dillon hard early to open the pass then his myth is shown to be largely hype.

For a lot of reasons this is the year when reputations will be heavily shaped and it truly is win or bust.

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 20, 2022 at 02:54 pm

Exactly what it all boils down to at this point. Either he does or he doesn't. The team talent is there to win this game and any other but it's time they prove it.

1 points
1
0
LeotisHarris's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:16 am

Backes' butt has 18" of aluminum bleacher space waiting for it at Lambeau. NFCCG. So it has been written. So it shall be done. GPG!

4 points
4
0
dobber's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:54 am

I go both ways on this game. I can see scenarios where either team wins, and I can see scenarios where either team wins by multiple scores. In the end, my gut says it will be all about momentum: get a fast start, force some early 3-and-outs for SF, and let the momentum build and cold weather take their toll on the Niners. I think it ends up a one-score game: the Packers have played 9 one-score games and are 6-3, the Niners have played 10 and are 5-5: Packers 28, SF 23.

4 points
5
1
Coldworld's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:40 am

If the Packers lose this then it will be a harbinger of change on a generational scale. The lack of belief that Rodgers is going to be a real difference maker in this game lies in telling contrast to the squeals of woe over the possibility of his departure heard some loud and often of late. Personally, I think he will confound such low expectations. If he doesn’t, he will soon no longer be a Packer. It will be over.

0 points
0
0
ricky's picture

January 20, 2022 at 10:06 am

Nervous? Absolutely. What if Trey Lance is the QB instead of Jimmy G? How quickly could the Packers adjust to that change? And although Kittle has been a non-factor in the previous games, that is irrelevant. He can wreak havoc if given the chance. Also, Shanahan and LaFleur are very familiar with each other. Is there an advantage there? Besides, getting guys back after long layoffs is good in the longer term, but short term, like this game, you can be they'll be used more sparingly. Finally, there is the "X-factor". Who expected Raheem Mostert to become a great RB at the perfect time? And the thought of facing the Bucs again in the NFC championship game?

5 points
5
0
mrj007's picture

January 20, 2022 at 02:11 pm

I forgot how GB tends to make TE look all world. Didn’t Mark Andrews have 2 scores and about 200 yds against the Packers? Thanks for reminding me - not!

2 points
2
0
PewAuKeeFan's picture

January 20, 2022 at 10:53 am

I'm not one of those who are worried about the Niners. The only reason why they are considered "hot" is because they sucked until the last few games. I expect them to go out with a whimper this Saturday.

2 points
2
0
barutanseijin's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:23 pm

They were disorganized and sloppy vs Dallas. They were lucky to be playing a team that was even sloppier.

0 points
0
0
JohnnyLogan's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:05 pm

The Niners have three great runners, Samuel, Lance, and no one has yet mentioned Elijah Mitchel who has been a revelation for them this year. When he's played he's been one of the better backs in the league breaking tackles and making big plays. There's a lot of speed on this team and their receivers aren't nothing. Aside from Samuels, Aiyuk and Jennings are players to be accounted for. But it's the run that is most dangerous, and I honestly believe, given Garoppolo's mediocre talent as a passer, and his injuries, we'll be seeing a lot of Lance, Samuel, and Mitchell and it will be run, run, run.

Yet the Packers will stop them, despite what I believe is the Packer's weakest link; Joe Barry.

I have been a major critic of Barry all year and still believe he's one of the three major weaknesses of this team; the other two being ST, and lack of a really good #2 receiver (imagine OBJ opposite Adams. You can talk up MVS all you want but damn that was a fail not signing OBJ). I just can't get out of my mind how bad Barry's schemes have been the last two months. Predicated on stopping the long pass, he lets teams march down the field, which eats up time, and keeps Rodgers off the field. I'd prefer a D that tries to get three and outs, not give up 7 and 8-minute drives.

But we'll win because there is simply too much talent on this defense now. King and Sullivan will sit so there isn't really a weak spot to exploit anywhere. Gary will have to hold the edge and Campbell will plug the holes and they'll stuff the run.

This is a really powerful Packer team right now and Rodgers is motivated. I think it's a blowout. 38-17

4 points
5
1
jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:39 pm

49rs with a very good offensive line. Trent Williams ALL-PRO and Alex Mack running the inside game. Tomlinson solid and Compton with good feet. I agree with your biggest concern being Barry. Will LaFleur get
into the defensive scheming to prevent the Pettine laissez-faire approach to Playoff Football exhibited in last year's giveaway @ Lambeau ? Barry is HIS GUY.

2 points
2
0
Dragon5's picture

January 20, 2022 at 11:50 am

I don't know why, but this postseason feels like '96, or should I say perhaps the precipice of a '96, where everything just came together. That team was so dominant; perhaps we'll see similar results soon. I'd love to say postgame Saturday we were more physical than SF, and while Kerry Collins and Tom Brady shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence (Tim suggesting our future opponent), I wouldn't be shocked to see the Rams upset the Bucs, nor the Bills upsetting the Chiefs. TEN is a mystery given their passing game is predicated on play-action and Julio & AJB haven't been on the field together much given the injuries between them, but now with Henry back, things are coming together for them too. KC has been penchant for allowing big leads out of the gate in playoff games, only to storm back. I feel confident BUF can take them out.

SuperBowl: GB vs TEN/BUF

3 points
3
0
Starrbrite's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:58 pm

A very good analysis—I can easily see it.

0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

January 20, 2022 at 12:10 pm

I'm not expecting Z, Bak, and Mercilus back. However, getting the other players back improves us a great deal. Niners will get their yards from their four stars, but we have a Rodgers that is almost healed from his toe injury. Pack 27-20

-2 points
0
2
Starrbrite's picture

January 20, 2022 at 12:55 pm

Tim, that’s exactly how I see it.
Some of my packer pals (not all) are nervous—handwringing over every detail.
I have said previously, I don’t see how we lose. We clearly have a better team.
Vic Ketchem said Packer fans are winsome—always in fear of losing.
Not me! Sometimes we lose when we should win, but not this time.

2 points
2
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:12 pm

If some Packer fans fear playing the 49ers and think that is was bad luck that we have to play them so early in the playoffs, I'm not one of them.

If any team is unlucky, it's the 49ers having to play the Packers.

If the 49ers are in fact the best of the teams the Packers will face, I say bring it on and we are ready to rock and roll. I believe the Packers have the strongest roster in the NFL and are playing their best football. The returning players who are now coming off injured reserve and will be available will just make us better. They are going to have fresh legs and are hungry for some action.

I am excited to see the Packers take the field Saturday and play some top notch ball.

7 points
7
0
Jvschultz's picture

January 20, 2022 at 02:09 pm

I agree the ingredients are all there for a big win. They still need to play the game though.
What is in the players heads will determine the outcome. Can’t afford any dumb decisions, like a Quarterback run with 14 secs left and no time out. Play smart, stay focused and the Pack should win.

3 points
3
0
Jvschultz's picture

January 20, 2022 at 02:09 pm

I agree the ingredients are all there for a big win. They still need to play the game though.
What is in the players heads will determine the outcome. Can’t afford any dumb decisions, like a Quarterback run with 14 secs left and no time out. Play smart, stay focused and the Pack should win.

1 points
1
0
mrj007's picture

January 20, 2022 at 02:24 pm

Won’t know until Saturday night. I predict 49ers start Lance at the last second and use run game as decoy and really try getting ball to Kittle. Packers D will struggle with this matchup like they did against Baltimore. On offense- I see Packers being about same - starting slow - doing well in Q2/Q3- then holding on late. The ST of GB are the unit most likely to spoil the day. The key will be how GB defense holds up. I am ok with offense and already expecting ST to be awful - but to me the defense is the biggest question mark. Not because they can’t get it done- I just don’t know if they will. Won’t know until Saturday…

1 points
2
1
PatrickGB's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:15 pm

I am nervous about this game. Of all the teams we could have faced This one scares me the most. But then I am always nervous about games. That’s on me.

0 points
0
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Starrbrite's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:03 pm

I certainly get it PatrickGB. I was nervous during last year’s NFCCG because I wanted soooo badly to beat Brady (the Antichrist).
This year I am supremely confident.
Let’s get’em!!!

1 points
1
0