San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers face off on Saturday in Candlestick Park in a NFC Divisional Playoff match up. The 49ers are -3 point favorites over the Packers with an over/under point total set at 45.
The Green Bay Packers are looking to get back to the Super Bowl and while they have had their share of injuries and bad breaks this season they are just two wins away from accomplishing their goal. The Packers opened the season but losing at home to the 49ers and they will be looking to get revenge here when it also counts the most. Aaron Rodgers has been sensational this season completing nearly 70 percent of his passes in the Wildcard win over the Vikings and 67.2 percent on the year and while he was sacked 51 times it was more of a matter of him hanging on as long as he could knowing he could make a play rather than just throwing the ball away while he had a chance. The Packers running game has been largely uninspiring this season as it was last Sunday with DuJuan Harris averaging just 2.8 yards per carry and Ryan Grant gaining a meager seven yards on seven carries. The Packers are healthy once again at receiver and Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones are all contributing as Rodgers continues to spread it around. Defensively Clay Mathews is healthy once again and he had two sacks on Saturday and Charles Woodson returned with six tackles while Sam Shields led all tacklers with seven. It was tough to tell exactly where the packers stand defensively as the prior week they were gouged by Adrian Peterson but held him in check on Saturday when the Vikings were forced to start Joe Webb at QB who eliminated all threats of the pass.
The San Francisco 49ers looked to be the dominant team in the NFC for most of the season but in the end after struggling a little down the stretch it took a loss by the Packers in week 17 to get the 49ers a first round bye in the playoffs. San Francisco is a solid team on both sides of the ball but in a game where QB play is so important it seems to be where San Francisco has their biggest question marks. Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith both attempted the same number of passes, 218, with Smith completing over 70 percent and Kaepernick completing 62 percent but Kaepernick is the starter, mainly because of Kaepernick’s mobility which saw him rush for over 400 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season. Frank Gore is one of the best backs in the game averaging 4.7 yards per carry and scoring eight touchdowns as he possesses both breakaway speed and brute power. Michael Crabtree had twice as many catches as the next 49er receiver with 85 and nine touchdowns while Mario Manningham had 42 and Vernon Davis had 41 though San Francisco also threw to Delanie Walker in stretches and we saw Randy Moss make a contribution. Defensively San Francisco is rock solid with Aldon Smith nearly breaking the sack record while finishing with 19, NaVorro Bowman finishing with 149 tackles, and Patrick Willis leading the defense with his spirited play and 120 tackles. San Francisco wasn’t playing their best football in the season’s final few weeks.
Green Bay is 4-1 against the spread in their last five playoff road games, 13-4 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 5-2 against the spread in their last eight Divisional playoff games, and 2-5 against the spread after allowing 15 points or less their previous game. San Francisco is 14-5-1 against the spread in their last 20 home games, 23-11-1 against the spread in their last 35 games overall, 3-7 against the spread against the NFC, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five playoff games. Green Bay is 5-1-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings of these two.
This one will belong to the defense and I have it coming in under the total.