Packers-Niners Playoff Preview

Packers-Niners Playoff Preview

We have the key stats and notes from both teams, plus our prediction, as the Packers (12-5) take on the 49ers (11-4-1) tonight.

GREEN BAY (12-5) At SAN FRANCISCO (11-4-1)

KICKOFF and TV: Saturday, 7 p.m., Fox.

OPENING LINE: 49ers by 3.

RECORD VS. SPREAD: Green Bay 10-7, San Francisco 9-7.

SERIES RECORD: Packers lead 34-27-1.

AP Pro32 RANKING: Packers, No. 6; 49ers, No. 3.

LAST MEETING: 49ers beat Packers, 30-22, Sept. 9.

LAST WEEK: Packers beat Vikings 24-10; 49ers had bye.

PACKERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (13), RUSH (20), PASS (9).

PACKERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (17), PASS (11).

49ERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (4), PASS (23).

49ERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH (4), PASS (4).


DIVISIONAL MATCHUPS


PackerReport.com's Bill Huber and NinersDigest.com's Craig Massei produced a five-part series breaking down the matchups. Part 1 is the Packers' passing game against the 49ers' pass defense, Part 2 is the 49ers' passing game against the Packers' pass defense , Part 3 is the Packers' running game against the 49ers' run defense and , Part 4 is the 49ers' running game against the Packers' run defense and Part 5 is the special teams. As always, take advantage our ONE-WEEK FREE TRIAL. Cancel within the first week and you will not be charged.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: Green Bay ranks No. 3 in league history with 30 postseason wins, while San Francisco ranks No. 4 with 26 playoff victories. ... Teams last played in divisional playoffs in 1996, with Green Bay winning 35-14. ... Packers have won four of five previous meetings against 49ers in playoffs, including two of three at Candlestick Park. Overall, Green Bay has won 13 of its last 15 games against 49ers, but dropped season opener at Lambeau Field 30-22. ... Franchises last met in postseason in wild-card game after 2001 season at Lambeau Field, 25-15 Green Bay win. ... Playoff meeting in the 2001 season was last time teams played where each had 11-plus wins - both with 12-4 records. ...Teams played each postseason from 1995-98. ... This marks sixth time these teams meet in postseason, tied for second most by Packers against one opponent and behind seven playoff matchups with Giants. ... Green Bay owns three-game road playoff winning streak dating to 2010 title run and is 3-1 on road in playoffs under coach Mike McCarthy. ... Packers are only NFC team to reach divisional playoffs each of last three years.


FREE STORY: Playoff X-factors — six key players who had minor roles in Week 1
Green Bay gave up 10 points to Vikings in wild-card game for fewest allowed in playoff game since 10 at San Francisco on Jan. 11, 1998. ... Packers QB and Northern California native Aaron Rodgers passed on by 49ers with No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005 as Alex Smith went first and Rodgers fell to 24. ... Rodgers has 110-plus passer rating in four of his seven career postseason starts. That's tied for fourth in league history behind Joe Montana (six in 23 starts), Brett Favre (five in 24 starts) and Tom Brady (five in 22 starts). ... Rodgers hasn't thrown interception in five straight games, 177 passes. ... Green Bay WR Greg Jennings has 19 receptions for 226 yards and three TDs over last three games. ... Packers have five turnovers in last six games. Meanwhile, they have held opponents to 20 or fewer points in nine of last 11. ... Packers went 4-4 away from home this season. ... 49ers 12-3 at home in divisional playoff games.

49ers didn't have three-game winning streak all season. ... San Francisco defense allowed only 36 drives to reach red zone all year, tops in NFL. ... 49ers TE Vernon Davis, having quiet year, has 16 catches for 351 yards and 4 TDs in four career games vs. Green Bay, including one touchdown in each game. ... San Francisco RB Frank Gore ran for 112 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown in season opener at Lambeau. Gore also had 130 yards on 18 carries and a TD against Packers on Dec. 10, 2006. ... WR Randy Moss' 14 touchdowns receiving against Green Bay are most by any player in NFL history vs. Packers. His 1,320 yards receiving against Packers rank No. 2 in league history. ... WR Michael Crabtree's first career touchdown catch came at Green Bay on Nov. 22, 2009 (38-yarder from Alex Smith). ... 49ers LB Aldon Smith went final three games without sack to finish with 19 1/2 and three shy of Michael Strahan's single-season record set in 2001 with Giants. ... DE/DT Justin Smith expected to play after he missed final two games with partially torn left triceps muscle. ... 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick makes first playoff start. ... San Francisco will use struggling veteran PK David Akers over newcomer Billy Cundiff. While Akers has been inconsistent making just 29 of 42 field goals, Cundiff missed potential tying 32-yarder that might have cost Harbaugh's big brother John's Baltimore Ravens trip to last season's Super Bowl in loss to New England for AFC championship.

PACKER REPORT PREDICTION (14-3): Statistically, the 49ers have the edge in rushing offense, total offense, rushing defense, passing defense, total defense, scoring differential and turnovers. They've got nine players on the Pro Bowl team and six players named first-team All-Pro. They're healthier and they'll be at home. No position, however, is more important than quarterback, and the Packers appear to have the overwhelming edge with former Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers going against second-year pro Colin Kaepernick. Rodgers has started seven playoff games. Kaepernick has started seven regular-season games. Every great quarterback has to start somewhere. Rodgers wasn't great until he won a championship. Ditto everyone else, from Bart Starr to Peyton Manning. Maybe Kaepernick's jumping-off point is tonight. Until he proves he can win a big game, however, it's hard to go against Rodgers. Both teams, obviously, are different than in Week 1, but the Packers have made the most improvements. Despite what the national pundits say, they have an actual, living and breathing running game. When Green Bay had to stop Adrian Peterson last week, it did, and it will do the same to Frank Gore and make life uncomfortable for Kaepernick. Rodgers, meanwhile, will be Rodgers. Mike McCarthy will spread the field and Rodgers and his receivers will win just often enough. Packers 20, 49ers 17.


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