It may be harder to come up with Packers positives in this preview than it was in the doldrums of the season when doorknobs were saying that Matt LaFleur should be fired. The 49ers are a juggernaut. They are the clear top team in the NFC and they’ve had the Packers’ number in the playoffs for a decade. Let’s see what the Packers have going for them.
- Jordan Love.
- The Packers’ o-line is jelling at the right time, and they need to be. The 49ers have the best defensive line in football and generate easy pressure against most teams with four guys. The Packers need to keep up the good offensive line play and mix it with help from both tight ends and the running backs to keep Love clean.
- Speaking of the rubbing backs, Aaron Jones is coming off four straight 100 yard games for the first time in his career. Missing time from leg injuries earlier in the season means the 29-year-old running back has plenty in the tank now. It will take another huge game form him to get a win here.
- OK, now we’re getting into the weird stuff. Jordan Love defeating the 49ers in his first playoffs would be the perfect full circle event to completely wash away Aaron Rodgers’ tenure. Not only that, beating the 49ers with an inferior team because the Packers have like 8 guys on offense to target when the 49ers shut down our offense two years ago by focusing on Davante Adams would be even more perfect.
- Even if the Packers lose, they’ve gotten farther than anyone expected and given young players a chance to gain valuable experience. And if they lose because of a defensive collapse it means we’ll likely have some level of change there. Whether that’s a completely new staff on defense, a few staff changes, or just bringing in some veteran advisors we should be in a good spot to combine the progression of the offense to top 5 with a better defense next year.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.