Black Monday is officially over, but now a new time begins in the NFL. That would be a guessing game that’s as big as free agency, and it’s the wonderment as to which coach will end up where.
This Saturday’s NFC divisional round matchup pitting the San Francisco 49ers against the Green Bay Packers is the best, most-evenly matched game of the NFL playoffs thus far. Both teams have flaws, both have strengths.
A year ago this week, Vernon Davis had the defining moment of his career in a thrilling 36-32 playoff win over New Orleans.
Each team features a different look in some form or another on offense, defense and special teams. Injuries, personnel moves and season-long development have fostered both positive and negative changes.
X-factors will ultimately decide who triumphs between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. Everyone knows Aaron Rodgers will rack up passing yards. Everyone knows Patrick Willis will rack up tackles.
The San Francisco 49ers can toss their film from the season opener against Green Bay in the trash for as much good as it will do now.
As the 49ers sit back and wait for the rest of the NFC to duke it out in the first round of the playoffs, they can continue to focus on getting healthy and figured out what to do with David Akers. Although there is still a lot to be determined, both of these issues are being addressed, and the team will have a little over a week to determine what direction they want to go in the kicking department, and the status of Justin Smith.
The 49ers will have all their players not on the injured reserve at their disposal when they take on the Patriots. New England however, will go to into battle banged up, but will not be at a clear disadvantage on the field and the game will not be influenced by injuries.
The Sunday Night Game is supposed to be the week’s best game, and the NFL nailed this one. The San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots are two of the best teams in their respective conferences and both enter the game playing well. Some have even picked these teams to eventually meet in the Super Bowl, making this game must-see television.
Nobody really thought that once the Seattle Seahawks named Russell Wilson the starting quarterback that they had a shot at making the playoffs this year, let alone winning the division. But with only four games left in the season they are right in the hunt, and have the attention of the 49ers, who have come out this week and made it clear that they plan to finish the regular season strong.