Packers Periscope: NFCCG vs San Francisco 49ers

Preposterous. Enigmatic.  These are just a couple of words to describe the Green Bay Packers being one win away from the Super Bowl. But to be the best, you have to beat the best, and the San Francisco 49ers are the best of the four teams remaining in the 2020 NFL Playoffs. They are also the last team in the way of the Packers accomplishing the unthinkable.

Sunday’s NFC Championship is going to be amongst two of the league’s most decorated franchises. There are nine combined Super Bowls between Green Bay and San Francisco, however, only once have these two teams met in the NFC Championship. Coincidentally, in 1997, the 49ers were again the one seed while the Packers were the two. Green Bay won the game 23-10 but eventually lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII.

Every Packers fan would take a different result than what happened in week 12. Coming off the bye, they sleepwalked their way into Levi’s Stadium and were handed a 37-8 drubbing. A strip-sack of Aaron Rodgers on the first drive put Green Bay in an early hole. San Francisco never looked back scoring 23 unanswered.

The Packers were dominated in offensive production despite running 25 more plays and picking up three more first downs. Of course, they were not granted the luxury of having starting right tackle, Bryan Bulaga, for almost the entire game, but it’s hard to equate his first-quarter exit to being the root cause of a 29-point loss.

Still, without his right tackle, Rodgers had one of the worst games of his career, throwing for a mere 104 yards while being sacked on five different occasions. The head coach and quarterback have been very reticent this week when discussing how they will attack the 49ers differently. Although, both seem to expect a different offensive output than last time.

The offense may have failed to show up previously, but it is the defense that may be this week’s x-factor. Quarterback Jimmy Garropolo is making only his second career postseason start. In last week’s win over the Minnesota Vikings, Garroppolo offered up a pedestrian performance of 131 passing yards and a single touchdown to match one interception. The 49ers ground game carried the load putting up 186 yards rushing and two scores.

Against the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay did a poor job containing Russell Wilson. While Garroppolo is no Wilson, San Francisco will be nowhere near as one dimensional. If the Packers can figure out how to stop the run and get after the quarterback, already this game will be much closer than the regular-season matchup.

On offense, Matt LaFleur will need to make a concerted effort to run the ball. That will help to neutralize the 49ers pass rush and also possibly open up some big plays downfield. We all know Rodgers is capable of playing hero ball, but Green Bay’s best chance at winning is avoiding that altogether.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (44)

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mnbadger's picture

January 17, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Mis-direction runs, draws and screens with short passes to control clock along with the chains. A couple big plays and hell yes, Packers win 23-20.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 01:06 pm

Hit them hard and strip them for fumbles. Can the DBs play press-man successfully? 49rs have one too many weapons for Pettine to account for. The D has to create turnovers for this squad to move on. Maybe Ervin gets behind coverage for a big gainer, not counting on MVS. Should be fun in the sun.

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CAG123's picture

January 17, 2020 at 01:59 pm

49ers have too many weapons? The Packers DBs locked up those receivers last game Deebo had the big play but that’s it from the WR group Jaire is 2-0 against Sanders this year clamping him up against Denver and the 49ers the DBs will be fine can our front get consistent pressure and keep the run game in check is the real concern here.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 03:03 pm

Kittle.

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CAG123's picture

January 17, 2020 at 03:23 pm

Is Kittle a WR?

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Samson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 01:49 pm

Agree... A little more up-tempo at times will also throw the 9ers off... They really aren't as good as the media is portraying them or as their own fans think. --- Gonna love sending them to their offseason before the SB.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 17, 2020 at 03:15 pm

" They really aren't as good as the media is portraying them or as their own fans think."

Possibly, but this is also true if directed toward the Packers.

SF is the better team and nothing can change that fact. The better team doesn't always win, and we certainly seen that a lot this season with GB and to their favor.

GB 'needs' SF to make some mistakes but GB would still 'need' to capitalize on those mistakes.

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CAG123's picture

January 17, 2020 at 02:29 pm

The media isn’t hyping the Packers though this team was supposed to be making a mere cameo in the playoffs “worse 13-3 team in the playoffs” I believe was the term rating Rodgers as the worse QB in the playoffs hell the fans aren’t even beating their chests like this is the best team we all just believe we have a chance.

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Samson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 02:52 pm

Taryn.. Please... no need to reword or add to my post... Just take it as it's written... You have an amazing ability to mislead with your perversion & pilfering of the English language.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 17, 2020 at 03:18 pm

I did no such thing nor do I. It's how you wish to interpret what I write. It's what blind optimist do.
I merely pointed out that your words can be attributed to the description of any media and fan base of any team.

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Samson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 04:38 pm

This blind optimist has picked the Pack in every game this season. ... My record is 14-3... What's your record? ---- LOL! --- Booyah!

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:43 pm

I don't pick a game based solely on being a fan of that team. Your 14-3 record is a by product of that homer-ism coupled with the fact that this team played,at more times than not, below average. That means many things fell their way. Besides, how hard is it to just pick the Packers to win every game when you have, most likely, nothing riding on the outcome to lose. One thing I do know is a smart fan doesn't let homer-ism/blind optimism be part of the equation when betting.

I stated often before the season started that GB would win more than 9 games and if things befell a few teams when they met they may pick up a couple more. That prediction was based on my looking at the team as a realist and not,as like you and many others here, simply because you predict them to go 16-0 like any other dolt, who claims you're not a fan unless you do.

I have the Packers with the points because I think they can cover that unless they go dead for an entire half, which is their M.O. They may even win if SF plays like the Packers for a half, dead, but I think this game means much to Rodgers and that is why I think they cover the points, at least.

I'll go on a limb here and say you picked the Packers to win every game the last three seasons and likely more. It would match the M.O. of many a fan here.

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CAG123's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:57 pm

Your first reply wasn't really necessary though just for the simple fact that not many if any are giving the Packers a shot besides their fans who like I stated before have more of a belief in their team than actually believing they are the best. We are all aware that this team has played pretty average in most of their games but in the end they got it done and wins are all that matter. Saints won pretty and were dominant all year as did the Ravens and where are they at right now? The crib chilling. At this point with one win away from a SB they weren't supposed to be in forget realism HOMER-ism is where its at don't be such a stick in the mud loosen up.

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Samson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 06:05 pm

Taryn ....As usual .... yada .. yada ... yada...

This train is headed toward Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL... Too bad you missed it. --- Booyah!!

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Samson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 01:44 pm

An early lead & win the turnover battle.... GB doesn't need pretty, just more points.

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Packers0808's picture

January 17, 2020 at 03:10 pm

Keep Kittle bottled up and the ankle nobody really knows how it really is! Like I said I have a big gut and it was right last week, Pack wins by 4!

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Demon's picture

January 17, 2020 at 03:16 pm

Im saying same thing Pack 20 9er's 16.

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cheesehead1's picture

January 17, 2020 at 04:07 pm

You know SF will try to stop the run and neutralize Devante. We obviously must try and do the same to Kittle and their run game, although easier said than done. Garoppolo is good but not that good and he’ll make mistakes like most QB’S with pressure. Can’t see us winning without winning the turnover battle. One or two receivers must step up big time. Lazard for sure can step up and Tyler Ervin could be a wild card. Win or lose, it’s been a much better season than I could have ever imagined! Go Pack!

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WMA's picture

January 17, 2020 at 04:19 pm

Pack win on a Crosby field goal as time expires. Soon after I'll likely expire. Good way to go though.

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jlc1's picture

January 18, 2020 at 09:58 am

Meet ya there. Go Pack Go!

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 17, 2020 at 04:23 pm

During the lead up to these playoff games, I always forget how we tend to look at the past games and past records. It’s kind of fun to relive those games that I had just about forgotten about (except for the few I never want to discuss again). Kind of makes me wonder what this one will be like looking back at it from the future. Will it be a sore spot we never want brought up again? Will it be a glorious all-time memory? If the past is prelude, we will be talking about this game in the future. I’m hoping/praying for an all-time great Packer victory.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

January 17, 2020 at 04:58 pm

Shouldn't be too sore of a spot, considering NO ONE expected them to go this far under a rookie HC. I expected 9-7 or so, so I'm thrilled. If they are at least competitive and still don't quite get it done, it won't be the sore spot some other games have been.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:06 pm

In 2014 I thought we had no chance against the Seahawks. Seattle was an 8 1/2 point favorite. We took it to them, dominated the game, and should have won. Now we face a similar situation as a 7 1/2 point underdog on the road. Hopefully the end result is different.

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Sol's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:10 pm

Every team has a chink in their armor. One of San Francisco's may be, Richard Sherman 6'3" 193 lbs against Allen Lazard 6' 5" 228 lbs. I also like the idea of the hurry up offence sometime early in the game to take the edge off the defense. But who am I just a fan trying to think of possible ways to get to the big one. I sure our Team and Coaching staff will have a good plan that will give us an opportunity to win the game.

Go Pack

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CAG123's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:41 pm

I'm not sure that's the best matchup with Lazard being so young his lack of experience, polish and speed plays right into Sherman's hands he's a smart savvy veteran that's still playing at a high level. Remember Adams first matchup against him. I think the fact that Sherman doesn't travel works more in our favor though,

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carlos's picture

January 17, 2020 at 06:48 pm

What do you mean Sherman doesn’t travel?

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CAG123's picture

January 17, 2020 at 07:02 pm

He doesn't follow the number one WR but instead sticks to one side so if Adams starts out left and motions right Sherman won't follow him.

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carlos's picture

January 17, 2020 at 09:20 pm

Ok. Gotcha. Didn’t quite understand. I have heard that also. Just haven’t heard it put that way, but it makes sense to me now. Thanks. Go Pack!!

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edp1959's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:11 pm

Watching Around the NFL on NFL Network, I think I am going to puke. Listening to these guys Packers might as well stay home.

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Montana's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:29 pm

Anyone here heard whether Raven Greene is playing this weekend?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 18, 2020 at 12:32 pm

IIRC, he has to be placed on the 53 by 4:00 p.m. today to be eligible to play Sunday.

IIRC, he has to be placed on the 53 by 4:00 p.m. today to be eligible for the super bowl. Otherwise, he returns to the IR.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

January 17, 2020 at 05:45 pm

Sternberger is the hidden weapon. He's fast, strong, and has been given a lot of playing time lately as a blocking back. Vitale is sick and may not play. I see Jace running some of Graham's deep middle go routes, only faster. This is a much different team than the one that played in week 12. On Offense... Bulaga, Ervin, a healthier Adams, an improved Lazard, less Allison and MVS, improved offensive schemes... On Defense... better communication, a healthier Clark, Z'Smith playing like Khalil Mack for the last six weeks, a slow QB, Sullivan's emergence, improved run defense... I'm saying "There's a chance." A good chance.

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Db5231966's picture

January 17, 2020 at 06:58 pm

“So your telling me there’s a chance”?

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 17, 2020 at 07:07 pm

The hierarchy has been set. Let the Playmakers deliver.

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Thegravedigger's picture

January 18, 2020 at 01:28 am

Gmo or jimmy g are gonna have to make some plays i believe because wit the double team on davante that will leave sherman on lazard most of the time. That 3rd guys gonna have to step up. I have a feeling they will. They both caught 3rd down balls last week. Im not sure kumerow has the speed to be number 3.

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carlos's picture

January 17, 2020 at 06:50 pm

We’ll put Johnny. Go Pack!!

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

January 17, 2020 at 10:56 pm

I totally agree, Johnny. I also think Mercedes Lewis can be a bit of a wild card and could be in the mix.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

January 18, 2020 at 02:02 am

You have to play the game to win the game and never, ever, underestimate your opponent. Just ask the Titans opponents during these playoffs. I doubt many of us would have predicted the Packers and Titans would be playing in the championship game for a chance to represent their conference in the Super Bowl, me included. It's going to be an exciting weekend. Enjoy the ride.

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Boneman's picture

January 18, 2020 at 05:52 am

I have a sneaking suspicion they bring back the early deep shot to MVS. He usually is open and this time Rodgers hits him and he catches it! Cinderella story, story book tale!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 18, 2020 at 12:37 pm

It would be amusing if MVS and/or Graham were the guys who stepped up. Me, I am already eating crow since I thought little of Lazard (and secretly still think he is a #4 WR), so some more for Graham and MVS would just allow me the chance to vary my crow stew recipes.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 18, 2020 at 05:20 pm

I said at the beginning of the week that I was Betting GB, & I am going to. Betting GB getting 7 1/2 goes against everything I stand for. The line is inching down to 7 which bodes in GB's favor. They have a Betting program on TV out here called Odds & Ins, hosted by Bret Musberger. They go over the games with all the Sports Books in town. They are mostly on SF, but not solidly. The one thing they said this week is "The Sports Books" are getting pummeled with Teasers on SF & KC. That's enough to make me think that GB will win this game Outright. There are $290 Moneylines out there. I can't pass that up, Win or Lose. The Books like SF at -7 not 7 1/2. If this line goes to 6 1/2, I believe GB Wins. I don't like GB Getting or Giving 1 - 3 or 4 unless it's against a Powerhouse. 7 or 7 1/2 changes my thinking on the game. It confuses me as to what Vegas is trying to do. I'm betting GB because at 7 or lower, I'm thinking Vegas has the majority of Cash going towards SF. Can't believe I said that with GB in the Game, but that's how I feel. This is AR's 4th NFC Championship game. This is Jimmy G's 1st. You have to give the edge to AR. I just hope our Defensive line holds up against SF. Our Offensive line will have a Tough time, but I think AR can handle it. I just hope, If the game is close at the end, Tramon Williams is sitting on the bench. He still owes me from the last one. Go Packers Big Time!!
LVT

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 19, 2020 at 02:12 am

Packers placed Raven Greene on the 53-man roster. He is eligible to play against SF.

That said, I don't know what to expect. GB has played a lot of 3 OLBs. Greene might not quite be fully recovered yet. He could be a healthy scratch or on a snap count. I don't get the sense that Campbell has been quite what Pettine has been looking for.

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davidrawence's picture

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