GREEN BAY, Wis (WFRV) – Playoffs. We’ve reached that time of year where it’s go big or go home.
In past years, the 49ers have proven to be a problem for the Packers in the postseason. However, here are five keys that if the Packers hone in on, the Green and Gold should be victorious and move on to the NFC Championship game.
- Stop the run. It’s obvious, I know, but it’s clearly the key to the game. The 49ers are known for their run game and Packers fans still have PTSD from the 2019 NFC Championship game when Raheem Mostert ran all over Green Bay and right into the Super Bowl. But Joe Barry’s scheme has proved well all season and Kenny Clark is having himself a year. Deebo Samuel is being used more like a running back this season and players have acknowledged how explosive he is whenever he’s on the field. If the Packers limit the run game, they’ll be in good standing.
- Clock management. Keep the ball in Aaron Rodgers hands and out of Deebo Samuel’s. If the Packers offense is on the field for long drives and they are getting meaningful points out of each drive, then it’s considered productive. Going down there and then having to punt or turn over on downs is gonna end with the Pack playing from behind.
- Starting off fast. This brings me to my next point. You have to start off the game fast. Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur have all talked about how if you start behind the eight ball with this team, it’s a long day for you. The Packers have struggled with starting fast all season, but if they can get a touchdown right off the bat, the rest of the offense can click into place the entirety of the game.
- Control the 49ers pass rush. Nick Bosa is cleared to play and Fred Warner says there’s no problem with his ankle that caused him to leave the game against Dallas. Both teams are healthy and raring to go. But Rodgers is at his best when he has time to look at his reads. Limiting how much the Niners are getting to the quarterback also allows for the Packers own run game to get going. This is something I’ve said all season, when Aaron Jones doesn’t get 15-20 touches a game, the Packers offense gets one dimensional.
- Win the turnover game. It’s the key to almost every game. The team that turns the ball over less, wins. Jaire Alexander picked off Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3 that helped set up a momentum drive for the Packers. Rasul Douglas is probably itching for another pick six. Win the turnover battle, and the Packers are looking at a trip to an NFC Championship game.