San Francisco at Green Bay prediction, game preview, how to watch: NFL Divisional Round Preview
San Francisco vs Green Bay How To Watch
Date: Saturday, January 22
Game Time: 8:15 ET
Venue: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
How To Watch: FOX
Record: San Francisco (10-7), Green Bay (13-4)
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San Francisco at Green Bay Divisional Round Game Preview
Why San Francisco Will Win the NFC Divisional Round
It got lost in all of the Dallas narratives that San Francisco is really, really good.
The Cowboys had all the pressure in the world on their shoulders - and played like it. They were tight, they were off, and the offense that ripped through everything late in the season couldn't do a whole lot of anything until desperation kicked in.
The ground game was mediocre, Dak Prescott never got into a rhythm, CeeDee Lamb barely showed up, and it's all because of a San Francisco pass rush that kept battling in the backfield.
Even with Nick Bosa going out with a concussion - he's expected to be back for this - the 49ers still came up with five sacks. Dallas didn't have any.
But even with Dallas - we're adults here; we can call it what it was - gagging away the playoffs, San Francisco did its part by being more physical with its running game, more careful with the ball, and a whole lot smarter.
Elijah Mitchell was the best running back on the field, the 49ers were +2 in turnover margin, and they had the ball for close to 34 minutes. This team is able to adapt and adjust with peerless play calling to go along with a "nobody believes in us" attitude.
The talent is there to win this, but …
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Why Green Bay Will Win the NFC Divisional Round
It's Green Bay. It's mid-January. It's a Saturday night game, it's supposed to snow in the morning and be close to 1 degree at some point in the evening.
The 49ers don't get to play in the sterile, Texas-gauche conditions of AT&T Stadium.
Yes, again, San Francisco is really, really good, but it pitched an almost perfect game and it still needed Dak Prescott to be hip checked by the umpire to get out alive.
Dallas was committed to come up with new and creative ways to get penalized - Green Bay doesn't have a penalty problem.
The Cowboy offensive line had a rough day keeping Dak Prescott from getting popped, mostly because there just wasn't anywhere downfield to go. San Francisco came up with four sacks in the first meeting with the Packers and it still lost because Aaron Rodgers came through late.
And then there's the pressure factor. Of course Green Bay is in Win or Bust mode with 12 desperate to be sucked up to by every team with a quarterback opening, but it's not like it was in Dallas.
Does Aaron Rodgers strike you as a guy who's about to buckle under the pressure of the moment?
Prescott didn't - that was a team-wide problem for Dallas last week as it tried to win the Super Bowl with every play - but Rodgers sets the tone for this bunch. Jerry Jones sets the tone for Dallas - as if you couldn't tell by the constant reaction shots during the game.
Beyond all of that, can Jimmy Garoppolo and the passing game keep up if the Packers get up early?
This is about as healthy and deep as the Green Bay offense has been all year - assuming the O line is fine and Aaron Jones isn't having any knee issues. A few quick strikes early could all but end this, but …
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What's Going To Happen, Who's Going To Win the NFC Divisional Round
San Francisco will score. The Packer defense might be stronger against the run than Dallas was last week, but the secondary will get dinked and dunked on. The rested Packers should be far more spry and far better conditioned for the elements.
The NFL format has an unfair advantage for the 1 seed. Green Bay has effectively had three weeks off - Aaron Rodgers and the ones went early in the loss to Detroit before shutting it down - all while San Francisco is playing its fourth game away from Santa Clara in the last five weeks.
It had to play well against the Rams, and that went into overtime. It had to deal with Dallas and all of the drama and the emotion of that thriller. It had to deal with the physical style of Tennessee back in Week 16, and to take this even further, this is going to make it six away game in two months.
This is when the travel, the fight, the lack of a break, and the cold weather will all take a toll.
And the offense balance of a rested and jacked up Green Bay team that's about to do all the things Dallas didn't - that's going to play a part, too.
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San Francisco at Green Bay Divisional Round Prediction, Line
Green Bay 30, San Francisco 20
Line: Green Bay -6, o/u: 47.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 4.5
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