5 bold predictions for Packers against 49ers

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The Packers’ hopeful road to a Super Bowl title begins with a home game against the 49ers. Here’s how Green Bay will roll San Francisco. 

5 bold predictions for Packers against 49ers
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The 49ers ended the Cowboys’ hopes for a Super Bowl berth in Dallas last weekend and they want to do the same to the Packers on Saturday night. Unfortunately for Jimmy Garoppolo, his trip to Lambeau Field isn’t going to go according to plan.

The Packers have home field advantage for a reason. They’ve been the NFC’s best team all year long and they will play like it in their first postseason matchup of the season. Aaron Rodgers can win games with his sheer force of will in the playoffs. Green Bay won’t need that kind of performance from their star quarterback to prevail this weekend. Read on to discover five bold predictions on how the Packers will secure a comfortable victory.

5. Kenny Clark will notch 2 TFLs

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The 49ers will be desperate to establish the run early in this game to take pressure off of Garoppolo and the passing game. Kyle Shanahan and his offensive staff will scheme a lot of ways to get the ball onto the perimeter, but their bread and butter is trying to churn out yards between the tackles.

Clark isn’t going to allow San Francisco to get their inside game going. He’ll notch at least two tackles for loss from his nose tackle position to turn the game in Green Bay’s favor early on. The 49ers will have real problems keeping Clark out of the backfield unless they consistently double-team him.

4. De’Vondre Campbell will get 15 tackles

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Clark isn’t the only member of the Packers’ front seven who will enjoy a big night against the 49ers’ ground game. Campbell is going to rack up a lot of tackles from his middle linebacker position as well.

15 might seem like a massive number of stops, but a large part of Green Bay’s run-stopping philosophy is based on funneling tackles his way. Campbell may not be a household name based on his regular-season exploits, but he’s going to emerge as a borderline star during the postseason.

The key for Campbell will be to make sure he doesn’t get caught with his eyes in the backfield when San Francisco tries to pop an exotic run on the edge. The ‘Niners showed a clear desire to get the ball into their wide receivers’ hands in their win over the Cowboys. Campbell has enough speed to stop those wide runs but he can’t afford to take a false step due to San Francisco’s misdirection in the backfield.

Green Bay wants to make Garoppolo beat them with classic dropback passing in this game. Campbell’s ability to blunt the 49ers’ ground game will enable their defense to do just that.

3. Aaron Jones will have 125+ total yards

The Packers were very careful to limit Jones’ workload during the regular season. 171 carries in 15 games represent a very modest total for a running back with Jones’ talent level. It’s time for Green Bay to truly unleash their No. 1 running back now that the postseason has arrived.

The key for Green Bay will to keep Jones away from Fred Waner. The 49ers’ middle linebacker is a tackling machine. That’s why the Packers will work hard to get Jones the ball on the perimeter via the pass game on Saturday night.

It’s not that Jones isn’t going to get his share of carries, but he’ll be more influential via the passing game. His ability to turn short throws out of the backfield into long gains will be a nightmare for the 49ers for all four quarters. San Francisco’s outside linebackers will struggle to contain Jones in space no matter how he gets the ball.

Add it all up and Jones will be a key figure for his team’s first postseason win of the year. Look for him to rack up at least 125 total yards and he’s a strong bet to score a touchdown as well.

2. Jaire Alexander will get two interceptions 

Garoppolo threw one horrible fourth-quarter interception that almost allowed the Cowboys to score an unlikely come-from-behind win last weekend. His penchant for errant throws with the game on the line hasn’t gone unnoticed to Green Bay’s coaching staff.

This game has a strong chance to turn into Garoppolo’s last start with San Francisco. Trey Lance is waiting in the wings and will almost certainly take over unless the ‘Niners make a deep postseason run. The odds of him flaming out with multiple interceptions against Green Bay are far greater than him leading San Francisco to a Super Bowl title.

Jaire Alexander’s expected return to the field will be the final nail in Garoppolo’s coffin on Saturday night. He’s just the sort of ball-hawking, No. 1 corner that gives the San Francisco signal-caller fits.

The prediction here is that Alexander will return to the field and secure two big interceptions for his defense. His high-profile return will coincide with the end of Garoppolo’s time as San Francisco’s starting quarterback.

1. Aaron Rodgers will throw for over 400 yards 

The 49ers successfully overcame Dak Prescott last weekend but stopping Rodgers is going to be a challenge that San Francisco can’t navigate. San Francisco’s defense is predicated on bringing pressure against opposing quarterbacks without blitzes, but last weekend’s injury to Nick Bosa could put a big dent in those plans at Lambeau.

Giving Rodgers time to survey his options in the pocket is a death sentence for an opposing secondary. The Packers will work hard to establish their ground game in the first quarter, but that’s only going to make Rodgers more dangerous via play action in the last three quarters.

He won’t need to throw the ball a ton to get to 400 yards passing on the day. Look for Rodgers to have one of the most efficient days he’s enjoyed all season in terms of air yards per target. Big plays will be the name of the game for Rodgers on the day.

That’s how San Francisco’s season is going to end. Rodgers has enjoyed an MVP caliber season and he is going to continue to play at a high level against the 49ers. The Packers will continue to build momentum behind their star signal-caller.

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