The 3rd Man In

Packers vs. 49ers: Preview, Prediction

Packers 49ers

The Packers are in the midst of a special run. After starting the season 2-5, the Packers turned a corner and made tremendous strides offensively to become a playoff team.

Now, the Packers are riding a four-game winning streak, including a dominating road victory over the Cowboys in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. They enter Saturday’s NFL Divisional Round contest against the 49ers with confidence and a proven ability to pull off another upset. 

Last week against the Cowboys, the Packers elected to receive the opening kickoff, and then their offense went down the field and scored a touchdown on its first drive. The Packers jumped out to a 27-0 lead to bury the Cowboys. It forced the Cowboys to play out of their comfort zone.

The Cowboys thrived throughout the regular season by getting ahead early on teams and forcing opponents to be one-dimensional. It also allowed their offense to run the ball and use short completions to burn time off the clock and extend its lead. 

The 49ers prefer to play the same way. It’ll be necessary for the Packers to jump ahead to an early lead on the 49ers while playing mistake-free offensively. 

Packers quarterback Jordan Love performed at an elite level against the Cowboys. He completed 16 of 21 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Aaron Jones also was sensational, tallying 118 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.

Defensively, the Packers excelled with the lead, forcing two interceptions against the Cowboys. 49ers QB Brock Purdy is prone to mistakes when he’s under pressure and forced to carry the team’s offense. If the Packers can make the 49ers a one-dimensional offense and limit their rushing attack, it’ll be a recipe for success.

This is a challenging contest for the Packers. There’s no question about that. But they are playing their best football at the right time and with zero pressure and expectations. The Packers must start fast against the 49ers to seize the momentum and gain the early lead.

The Packers will shock the world again this week. Andres Carlson will kick a game-winning field goal to stun the 49ers and keep the Packers’ magical run alive.

Prediction: Packers 27, 49ers 24

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