Join Matt Andruscavage and former 49ers running back Dexter Carter as they breakdown the 49ers’ playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings and preview the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers.
Last week, San Francisco made short order of the Vikings as they squeezed the life out of them, 27-10. The 49ers applied constant pressure, had six sacks, and dominated the time of possession on offense. The ground game had nearly 200 yards and had an amazing 19 runs for at least 5 yards.
Jimmy Garoppolo was very good on the opening drive and led the offense against a very good Vikings defense, despite a couple of bad throws. The ground game and defense took over the second half, showing that the 49ers can win in multiple ways, as they have all season.
Against the Packers, the team knows that the 37-8 trouncing in Week 12 means nothing. The Packers will be more difficult to beat this time around and the Niners must execute.
If the 49ers do not turn the ball over, they should be able to win this game. Green Bay has not improved significantly, though they have found ways to win. They probably played their best game of the season last week against the battered Seahawks and will be a difficult opponent.
San Francisco has the edge going into the game as they now have Dee Ford, Matt Breida, Joe Staley, Kwon Alexander, and Robbie Gould, who all missed the Week 12 matchup. Ford and Alexander’s return, along with Jaquiski Tartt who also is back, have completely transformed the defense into the juggernaut that it was earlier in the season. Staley gave up zero pressures on Saturday and is playing at a very high level. That will be very important against Za’darius and Preston Smith in this game.
The Packers will have Bryan Bulaga back, who left the Week 12 matchup early in the game, but the 49ers have a better chance of protecting their quarterback and getting after their opponent than the Packers do.
If San Francisco takes care of the football, applies the pressure on Aaron Rodgers, and doesn’t allow Aaron Jones to take over the game, the 49ers will be heading to the Super Bowl.