49ers expect tougher test against the Packers this time

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA — Are these the same ol’ Packers the 49ers will face in the NFC championship game?

The team that flew to Santa Clara in November, fumbled at the 2-yard line during their fifth play from scrimmage, gave up a touchdown one play later and lost 37-8 before flying back to Wisconsin thoroughly beaten?

The team with that first-year head coach, Matt LaFleur, who made no adjustments and looked overwhelmed on the sideline when he lost to the 49ers?

The team with that quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who practically never smiles, as if life is too painful? Who threw for just 104 yards and got sacked five times against the Niners?

The team that hardly showed up to that game? Those Packers?

“That’s definitely not the team we’re going to see this week,” head coach Kyle Shanahan explained politely on Monday. “We know it’ll be different. Everyone knows how good Green Bay is, how good their coaching staff is, how good their players are, how good their quarterback is. That game really holds zero relevance to what’s going to happen this Sunday.”

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This article has 26 Comments

  1. I definitely see a lot closer game, but i still think the Packers are just too over-matched. I think from a talent perspective, Vikings are better than the Packers. However, the X-factor is definitely Rodgers, but the guy looks past his prime. This team was rested and healthy against the Hawks, and were nearly upset.

    I predict 31-21 Niners. I think it will be a lot more competitive, but ultimately the Packers will not be able to stop the run and will have no answer for Kittle, who will have a big game.

  2. “Since the Packers lost that game by 29, they have won six in a row, and their defense has given up just 15.6 points per game.”“They have improved big time. “

    Yikes. I am somewhat concerned. I wonder who they played in those six games? Oh, I see it was the Giants, Skins, Bears, Vikings and Lions.

    No longer concerned.

  3. “Since the Packers lost that game by 29, they have won six in a row, and their defense has given up just 15.6 points per game.”

    True. But in those 6 games the Packers have faced Giants, Redskins, Bears, Vikings, Lions, and Seahawks. Thats 3 of the worst offenses in the NFL, 2 mediocre offenses, and the Seahawks who are not in the top 10 offenses in the NFL. Not saying this game won’t be tough but it’s not like the Packers have played anybody in the last 6 games. Very very very soft second half schedule.

    1. They barely beat the Lions who were playing for nothing. I don’t even think Stafford played. And that game meant something to the Packers. If they had lost, we could be facing the Saints now!
      All teams are pretty flawed and the only knock on the Niners is can Jimmy G handle the playoffs.
      The Vikings were a much better defense that the Packers and the Chiefs. If the Titans make it they could be the toughest test with Henry and their tough minded defense. But that would make for some bad ratings so I don’t think the League will let that happen. We will see all kinds of replace shennigans to make sure the Chiefs make it!

      1. Lions were playing for nothing and were down to their 3rd string QB. Packers were playing for the #2 seed and home playoff games. Much much more important to the Packers. And the Packers barely squeaked out a win. Rodgers had a horrible game. Overthrowing open receivers all over the place. I just can’t bring myself to think the Packers are very good. But when the NFL is involved you never know what will happen. Just like last year when the NFL decided they wanted a team from LA in the superbowl they absolutely screwed over Saints fans.

  4. KS to his players about factoring in last game in their mindset- ‘Dont be that stupid. That’s not real.’ ‘I think that week 12 game really holds zero relevance to what’s going to happen this Sunday.’
    I agree. While I would like a repeat of week 12, I expect a lot tougher game. Rodgers is going to throw the ball a lot quicker, and they will run the ball more.
    KS cannot expect LaFleur to go brain dead again, and the Packers have a history of knocking the Niners out of the playoffs. KS just needs to have his team well prepared, and have them play fast, focused, disciplined and in control.
    The Packers rank 22nd in rushing defense, so I hope the Niners line up their RB deep in the I with Juice lead blocking. The RB can build up a head of steam before hitting the weakness in the line.

    1. A history of knocking them out? You mean in dating back to when Garcia, Young and Grbac were QB? 75% of the players on this team were not even in kindergarten the last time GB beat the 49ers in the playoffs (Jan 2002).

      Niners are 5-2 in the last 7 matchups. AR is 4-5 vs SF, 1-4 in SF(SC).

      Also, GBs run game was 15th overall this season. The Vikings, who the Niners completely shut down, were 6th. There is zero fear of Aaron Jones, the last time they faced him he had 13 attempts for 38 yards (2.9ypc), and that was with a long of 11 yards, so he averaged 2.3 yards on all other carries.

      Rodgers can try to throw quicker, but with Eman playing for spoon, they won’t have the separation to complete those passes. Both he and Sherman like to read the QB and jump routes.

      I won’t say its going to be a 30 point victory again, but this game will be over after the 1st. It might be tight for the first quarter, but much like the Vikings game once the separation begins, it’ll be a wrap.

    1. I’m hearing a lot of talk about a 9er blowout-or something approximating that. And there are certainly valid reasons for being confidant for this game………….but KS is absolutely correct. Packers need to be held in the absolute utmost respect for this game. We need the mindset of the ’81 9ers going up against the Cowboys in the NFCC. I hope the 9ers are mentally and spiritually prepared for this game to a fine edge–otherwise, they lay the foundation for another ’87 Vikings game…………….
      We should prepare for GB as if they were the ’76 Steelers. 9ers have accomplished much and yet, in another sense, nothing. We can be proud after the season is over. Their emotional high will be something like ours. The winner will be who out-schemes and out-executes their opponent.

  5. Good call Grant:

    Packers will be better.
    But I also expect the Niners defense to have higher quality players, due to return of Ford and Alexander.
    We did have some balls bounce our way last time; and will be in for a battle if breaks go evenly.
    Here’s hoping the refs don’t influence the game; nobody gets injured; and Niners win!!!!

  6. I watched the Packers play the Lions in the last game of the season. It was part of a parlay I hit. Packers were one of the games I was sweating because it was so close. After watching that game I just can’t get too worked up about the Packers. I guess Rodgers could come into this NFCCG super hot and steal the show. But I think the 49ers are the better team across the board and I don’t think it’s particularly close.

  7. False narrative. Conveniently neglecting to mention (or fully analyzing) that the teams the Packers have played since they met the 49ers last are mostly complete trash. Have the Packers actually improved? Maybe. Can the results be attributed to the strength of schedule. Seems more likely.

    That said. If the 49ers come out flat, or don’t execute; even a trash team like the Packers can win. They have enough pieces. Please refer to Falcons vs 49ers week 15.

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