Sunday, December 29, 2013
Quick Take: 49ers at Packers
By Bill Williamson
Three things to know about the San Francisco 49ers' matchup against the Green Bay Packers in an NFC wild-card game at 4:40 p.m. ET Sunday at Lambeau Field:
1. Two teams no one wants to play. This rematch of the 49ers’ Week 1 home victory is easily the most intriguing matchup of the first weekend. The 49ers are the NFL’s hottest team. They have the longest active win streak in the league at six games and have won 11 of their past 13 games. This is a 12-4 juggernaut. However, the Packers are dangerous. A healthy Aaron Rodgers makes them a contender, and winning at Lambeau Field in the playoffs is never easy for the road team.
2. Will the read-option live? This should be an interesting cat-and-mouse game. Last year in the divisional round in San Francisco, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran all over the Packers using the read-option. It was a huge storyline heading into Week 1 -- and then the 49ers barely used it as Kaepernick threw for a season-high 412 yards, including hitting Anquan Boldin 13 times. They used it sparingly the rest of the season, but they do break it out now and again. Will it happen again at Green Bay? I can see it being used, at least a bit. The Packers will definitely be on their toes.
3. Check the weather. It is expected to be cold with a chance of snow next weekend in Green Bay. Of course, it is Green Bay in January. The 49ers are a physical, grinding team. They fancy themselves as a cold-weather team. It shouldn’t be a big problem, but the weather is always an advantage for the Packers.