packers 49ers scoop
packers 49ers scoop

The Green Bay Packers should be well rested. It’s been a couple of weeks since they’ve played, that first-round bye well earned.

The Packers are healthier than they’ve been in a while, didn’t have to play last week and get to play at home on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

Of course, Green Bay’s opponent Saturday in the divisional round – San Francisco – has presented problems over the years in the playoffs.

Does history matter or should the top seed dispatch, easily or otherwise, the No. 6 seed?

Here’s this week’s predictions from around the web:

Barry Wilner of the Associated Press: Packers 27, 49ers 16 (labeled his “best bet”). “There’s some great history between these teams, and the 49ers won’t be fearful of playing at Lambeau Field, particularly after being the only road team to win in the wild-card round. But this is a step — make that a frigid, slippery step — too far right now for the Niners. Obviously, San Francisco must get pressure on Aaron Rodgers, who last threw an interception in, uh, who remembers when? We expect the Packers to get lots of pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo, who is battling some injuries. And he last threw a pick, well, last week at Dallas.”

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times: Packers 27, 49ers 20. “San Francisco is so physical and so good at establishing the run, the 49ers can play keep away. But Rodgers is the better and the more experienced quarterback — playing in his element — and that’s the difference.”

The Miami Herald’s Greg Cote: Packers 28, 49ers 17. “This is the only game of the weekend quartet where no plausible upset shot was entertained. We have few betting tendencies that rise to the level of philosophy, but one is: “In Aaron Rodgers We Trust. Especially At Lambeau Field. In January.” That’s on top of the night start turning the temps way down, and Green Bay coming off a bye. Did I mention Pack is 8-0 at home by a combined 112-point margin? Credit Niners for getting this far from a 2-4 start, but it ends here. Packers edged Frans on a last-second field goal in Week 3 and enjoy a 9-2 series run at home vs. SF. Rodgers is 0-3 in the postseason vs. Niners but that’s a career blemish about to be erased. While Gee Bees are rested, the 49ers have injury issues. QB Jimmy Garoppolo will play through a shoulder injury, and SF’s two best defenders — sack man Nick Bosa (concussion) and top tackler Fred Warner (knee) — were iffy to play as of Thursday. Key to game will be GB’s blocking front vs. SF’s pass rush, but that’ll tip in Pack’s favor if Bosa can’t go. Any game now could be Rodgers’ last in a Packers uniform. But this won’t be the one.”

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal: 49ers 23, Packers 22. “The Niners’ running game matches up well against a Packers defense that has been quietly mediocre for a while. Green Bay finished 30th in rush defense EPA, a problematic trend that didn't improve over the course of the season. They last played a meaningful game three weeks ago against Sean Mannion. They last played a team that finished with a winning record in November. Green Bay’s starters were trailing at halftime against the Lions in Week 18, a start in line with games down the stretch against the Bears, Ravens and Browns. Maybe none of that matters. Maybe Aaron Rodgers’ incoming MVP award was for managing a team with an uncanny ability to do enough to win. Green Bay’s last-second victory in San Francisco back in Week 3 was typical of a Packers season that included five wins by three points or less. I expect this game to be a challenge for both offenses. The Packers have the playmakers up front to force Jimmy G into game-changing mistakes that render all of the above moot, so I don’t feel particularly confident in the 49ers winning outright. But I do love the Niners to keep it close because of a peaking defensive line that is winning consistently with four rushers, so I may as well go all the way.”

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: Packers 29, 49ers 21. “The 49ers impressed going on the road and beating Dallas. But this will be a third straight road game. That's tough. The Packers are coming off a bye and will be getting injured guys back. That's a big edge for the Packers. The key to beating the 49ers is blocking them up front. The Packers have done a great job of doing that this year, and now they have left tackle David Bakhtiari back to bolster the front. I think Aaron Rodgers will have success down the field against the 49ers secondary. The key for the Packers defense will be how well they stop the run and put the game on Jimmy Garoppolo. I think they will do a solid job -- even if they won't stop them -- to find a way to pull this game out and advance to the title game. The 49ers are a dangerous team, but Rodgers will be the difference.”

John Breech of CBSSports.com: Packers 23, 49ers 20. “The Packers were the only team in the NFL that went undefeated at home this year, and now, they get to play a home game in weather that's going to make Lambeau Field feel like a giant igloo. I think the 49ers keep this close, but I can't pick against the Packers here. The prediction is that Aaron Rodgers gets his first career postseason win over the team that passed on him in the 2005 NFL Draft.“

Jordan Dajani of CBSSports.com: Packers 28, 49ers 21. “The Packers are probably the best team in the NFL, and Green Bay is entering the postseason healthier as well. The Packers and 49ers have met eight times in the playoffs since 1995. The winner of a Green Bay-San Francisco postseason matchup has advanced to the Super Bowl a whopping four times -- with the most recent coming in the 2019 NFC Championship Game. It's worth mentioning that Aaron Rodgers is 0-3 against San Fran in the playoffs. That will change this week.”

Jonathan Jones of CBSSports.com: Packers. “I love the physicality of the Niners, and it was easy to pick them last week. But it's too great of an ask to have me pick them against the Pack.”

Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com: Packers 27, 49ers 24.

Bill Bender of the Sporting News: Packers 31, 49ers 24. “The Packers had a week to rest players, and it will be interesting to see who else returns for the playoff run. Aaron Rodgers, who is 0-3 against the 49ers in the postseason, should be fresh, too. The Packers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the regular-season matchup but needed a last-second field goal to squeak out a 30-28 win. Look for Rodgers to get Davante Adams, who had 12 catches for 132 yards in the first meeting, involved early to set a tone against a defense that is waiting to see if Nick Bosa (concussion protocol) and Fred Warner (injury) will be available. Jimmy Garoppolo will have success in the intermediate passing game with George Kittle and Deebo Samuel too against a Green Bay defense that was shaky down the stretch, but it comes down to generating a running game. If the Packers can get ahead early, then Garoppolo will have to take too many chances down the stretch. ... It's a similar feel to the last game, but the Packers close the door a little earlier this time.”

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: Packers 34, 49ers 27. “Kyle Shanahan's team matches up well with former offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur's team well. The running game and depth of personnel in the passing game have been problems. But Rodgers also should like his matchups here against an overachieving secondary, especially if there's no Nick Bosa (concussion) to provide front-four pressure. Where the Packers will succeed is where the Cowboys failed. They won't mind controlling the game with their own rushing attack, with the healthy 1-2 punch of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. That will keep the chains moving with Rodgers and limit the chances for Jimmy Garoppolo. The Packers nearly blew leads of 17-0 early and 24-14 late in the previous meeting. They will learn from that and finish better against the 49ers to remove one big NFC championship obstacle.”

Ben Rolfe of Pro Football Network: Packers 24, 49ers 23. “The health of Nick Bosa will be crucial in this matchup after he left the Wild Card Weekend game with a concussion. If Bosa is there, the 49ers have a real chance to go into Green Bay and cause an upset. Without Bosa, Aaron Rodgers could pick off San Francisco’s pass defense, which is the weakest area of this defense. In terms of the 49ers’ offense, their run game could be the key to success. The Packers are the third-worst team in the league in rush yards allowed per game. Their overall numbers look good because their opponents are often left chasing the game in the second half. However, the 49ers have dominated Green Bay with the run game in previous seasons and could do so again. This has the feeling of being a close game.”

Justin Bales of Pro Football Network: Packers 28, 49ers 21. “This game will come down to San Francisco’s ability to keep the game close. If they’re playing from behind, they’ll be forced to throw, and Jimmy Garoppolo has consistently made mistakes near the end of the season. Green Bay has the offense to capitalize on those mistakes, as long as they can slow down San Francisco’s rushing attack. I don’t believe the 49ers can keep up with Aaron Rodgers and Co., and any mistakes will prove to be entirely too costly in a setting like Green Bay.”

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Packers 28, 49ers 20.

Don Brennan of the Toronto Sun: Packers 27, 49ers 20.

Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith and Mike Florio: MDS – Packers 30, 49ers 17; Florio – Packers 27, 49ers 20.

Bleacher Report staff: Ian Kenyon – Packers 34, 49ers 17; Wes O’Donnell – Packers 24, 49ers 21; Connor Rogers – Packers 21, 49ers 14.

Joe DiTullio of The Game Haus: Packers.

Seven of eight analysts at CBSSports.com take the Packers to win.

Ten of 11 analysts at ESPN pick the Packers.

All four writers at Athlon Sports think the Packers will win.

All seven writers at USA Today predict a Packers victory (five have Green Bay winning the Super Bowl).