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A lot has changed since the 49ers smashed the Packers 37-8 back in Week 12.
On one hand, Green Bay’s defense has rebounded dramatically from a midseason rut. But on the other hand, San Francisco has become a lot healthier than it was at the time.
San Francisco won that game handily without the services of Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander, Matt Breida and Joe Staley, all of whom played in the team’s first playoff game and should be ready to roll Sunday.
So while this might not be as one-sided as the regular-season battle, the majority of our experts are willing to lay 7.5 points with San Francisco.
“We’ve already seen this movie,” Davenport said. “Quite recently, in fact. In that 37-8 rout, the Green Bay offense was completely shut down, managing less than 200 total yards. Rodgers had one of the worst outings of his career, passing for only 104 yards and one touchdown. Rodgers and the Pack aren’t the same team away from Lambeau Field, and the Niners were firing on all cylinders in last week’s throttling of the Vikings. This (probably) won’t be a blowout, but San Francisco’s front seven is just too good.”
Indeed, the Packers barely beat the terrible Detroit Lions in their road finale, and they were outscored 63-19 by the 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers in their two trips to California this season. Meanwhile, Rodgers’ passer rating was 101.6 at home but just 89.6 on the road in 2019.
Sobleski, meanwhile, is more focused on what he sees as a coaching edge in favor of San Francisco.
“The difference in this matchup really comes down the head coaches/offensive play-callers,” he said. “Kyle Shanahan holds a decided advantage over Matt LaFleur. San Francisco’s leading man is a star when it comes to play design and keeping opposing defenses guessing. Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine won’t be deterred and will unleash his full onslaught of blitzes and various looks, but San Francisco is far too varied and capable of beating opponents in different manners to doubt its effectiveness.
Alas, we have no unanimous consensus here, either. Gagnon is taking the points with another mild public fade.
“Green Bay has surrendered only 15.7 points per game ever since that prime-time loss to San Francisco,” he said. “That strong pass rush should be able to do some damage against a quarterback who lacks playoff experience. Also, the Packers should get right tackle Bryan Bulaga back from an illness, and he left that regular-season loss to the 49ers after playing only nine snaps. Ultimately, there’s no way I’m laying 7.5 points against Rodgers with his legacy on the line, especially considering that we saw vintage A-Rod with the game on the line last week against the Seattle Seahawks.”
And for what it’s worth, our lone dissenting voice in this case was the regular-season picks champion.
PredictionsDavenport: 49ers 27, Packers 16Gagnon: 49ers 23, Packers 20Sobleski: 49ers 28, Packers 20Consensus: San Francisco (-7.5)
Score Prediction: 49ers 26, Packers 17
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