Has any team in the league earned their playoff spot more than the Green Bay Packers? Let’s run down the resume; they’ve got the best record in the league, the reigning and presumptive MVP, and 5 wins over playoff teams (which could have been 6 if Rodgers had played Week 9 against the Chiefs). Take all that and add the return of their top 3 cornerback in Jaire Alexander, there’s a reason they are the current favorites to win it all.
But we all know how good the team is. They should win this game. The question is: will it be close? I don’t think so. I would understand looking at the 2 point game between the Packers and 49ers from Week 3 and thinking this one will come down to the wire. But the big difference here is the location. The Packers have been unstoppable at Lambeau, posting an 8-0 overall record and more impressively a 7-1 record against the spread. In home games they have the number 2 scoring defense and number 5 scoring offense. Getting to at least a touchdown victory feels inevitable.
To give the 49ers some credit, there’s a reason they’ve made it this far. Kyle Shanahan is an excellent coach and has actually had a lot of success against his friend Matt LaFleur. Lately the offense has been firing on all cylinders and Deebo Samuel might be the best playmaker on any field. But you need to be perfect to have a chance against the Packers this year. I expect the Packers to stack the box early and force Jimmy to throw. In this harsh Green Bay weather, it could get ugly fast.
Among the things to look out for is the status of Nick Bosa. He will likely play through a minor concussion but may not be at 100%. LB Fred Warner in a similar situation has said he will play through an ankle injury. Neither being available would sway me from taking the Packers -6, but either being held out would be a good reason to put even more on the Pack.