Back to the Future . . .

Last year it was the Giants in the NFCCG, this year we get Green Bay in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Niners seem to be meeting old friends in these playoffs. Green Bay leads the all-time series, one that has seen 62 meetings dating back to 1950. Green Bay leads 34-27-1. Green bay also owns the playoff meetings. In the last 5 playoff meetings between the 2 teams, Green Bay is 4-1. The lone win for the Niners is the Owens Owens Owens! wildcard win back in 1999. The last playoff meeting betwee the 2 teams was in the 2001 wildcard round. The Niners lost in Lambeau 25-15 in a meeting between Brett Favre and Jeff Garcia.

Now? Well, the prognosticators are pretty much giving the game to Green Bay. At least the ones I’ve been seeing. It’s hard to bet against Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers had a healthy team at the start of the season, and the Niners pretty much flattened them. If not for a gift punt return where the replacement refs missed 2 blatant blocks in the back when they picked up their flags and ate them. Still, the Niners won fairly easily. Saturday night however, the Niners will have their playoff rookie, Colin Kaepernick, behind center, and a team that is banged up a good bit. Gone are Kendall Hunter, Mario Manningham, Kyle Williams, and a limited Justin Smith. In their place are LaMichael James (good), Ted Ginn (bad), and AJ Jenkins (ugly), and a fair Ricky Jean Francois. I hope to see Randy Moss used more, and having Jenkins do more than get one look would help. Still not enough deep balls being thrown to either Moss or Jenkins.

Other than that, the formula remains the same for the Niners. Get to Rodgers early and often. They did that in the first meeting this year, and Rodgers was obviously rattled. If Justin Smith isn’t providing enough support for Aldon Smith, then the Niners should move Aldon around to force mismatches and get him in Rodgers’ face. Offensively? Well, the Niners aren’t going to suddenly go 4 wide and pistol formation every down, but certainly that is something that they should try on occasion. During Kappy’s time at UNR running the pistol, he had 2 RBs go over 1,000 yards the same year. Running out of the spread can be very effective, and Gore has done it the few times we have tried it. Get that going, and play-action out of that works great.

Minimize turnovers, force Rodgers into bad decisions or sacks, and get some early points on the board. Game over. I think I said 34-17, and I’m sticking with that.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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73 Responses to Back to the Future . . .

  1. Nipper says:

    Niners win big time.

  2. phil fan says:

    Our peerless pigskin proctologists predict VS the Cheeseheads: Who you gonna call?

    Chuck: 34-17 Niners. Dennis is pissing his pants already regarding Green Bay. This one should be better than the last one. 34 -17 or some shit like that. Rodgers is the easiest guy to face of the QBs left in the playoffs not named Matt Ryan. He won;t be able to throw under the constant pressure.

    Grumpy Guy: 49ers 27, Packers 24. Nail biter time. Question is, can we get that pressure this time with Justin at less than 100%? Aldon looked very ordinary with Justin on the sideline. We’re rested… ready? We’ll see. We looked horrible following the bye this year. I think we win, but I’m far from convinced it will be easy.

    barleyfreak: 38-34, Niners. I keep reading that we need ball control to keep Rodgers off the field to win this Sat. That sounds well and good, but my gut tells me that we won’t keep him off the field. In fact, unless Justin Smith has miraculously healed, I see us getting abused by Rodgers and his WR corps. This is not the same team we faced in week one. But I still think we win. The key is David Akers.
    Just seeing if you’re paying attention. The key is Kaep. Despite those saying that we can’t win a shootout with Aaron Rodgers, I think that is going to be the only way we DO win. We’re going to have to score points because I think our D is vulnerable right now. But I think we will. 38-34, Niners.

    Nipper: Niners win big time.

    Phil: 31-24 Niners. I’m with you Nip. Niners win big: pressure Rodgers with disguised blitzes, heavy dose of Gore and James, hurry up offense and downfield passing couple times a quarter, run out of the option. GB has only seen two (2) option plays all season! No fuck ups on STs

    Leo the Great: 35-21 GB. Got a real bad feeling about the 49ers. A reduced Justin Smith, no Manningham, kicking game mess, …thought it was funny to hear Bowman say they got the defense squared away against AZ…HAHA…facing that chump QB? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS> GB 35 SF 21

  3. phil fan says:

    Chuck are we going to continue the scoring predictions fer the rest of the playoff teams? Give Flavor a decent chance to get one right? If so I’m going to piggyback on Barley’s calls:

    SF over GB
    SEA over ATL
    NE over HOU
    DEN over BAL

    SF over SEA
    DEN over NE

    SF over DEN

  4. Irish Kevin says:

    Ok I watch the BCS Championship and by my name you can tell who I was rooting for. To say the least the Irish had their asses handed to them. Let’s go to the 4th quarter the Irish score, what does Alabama do, they come right back out passing the ball and scoring, they did not come out running the ball and trying to run out the clock!! They did not go into prevent defense. I hope to god that Harbaugh watched that game and took pointers from Alabama!! Throw your opponent on the ground and keep them there!!
    If the Niners try to score only when needed this is going to be a long game. Niners 17 – GB 13. I just don’t see Harbaugh taking chances with throwing the ball down the field.
    Oh and Chuck, I did not catch the guys name but on ESPN Mike and Mike the guy picked the Niners to win big! Just so you know.

  5. Spitblood says:

    Grump – on the last thread you said the 49er were flat last time coming out of the bye. That’s because they were playing the Rams, and nobody knew (at the time) the Rams were a tough team. What happened the previous bye? That’s right. Ultimate Saints domination. And that’s what I’m projecting now…… Niners 42, Packers 6. No joke. We’re gonna crush ’em. All the turnovers our D creates won’t be squandered by Alice Smith, AND the New England game taught Kaep about putting good teams away.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Kaep don’t matter. Harbaugh/Roman/Fangio does . . . I hope they had their eyes opened. The D went into its soft shell crab defense and gave up a TD in a matter of 1:30 once the Niners got up 31-3. The O went into Run Gore left, run Gore right, run Gore up the middle, and punt. They offered little resistance until the D finally went back into man coverage. Bad coaching that could have blown the game.

    • Spitblood says:

      Kaep matters. I agree with you that Harbaugh and Fangio went in the tank in the New England game and it almost cost Harbaugh a lot of egg on his face. But when the 49ers are up by two scores they very rarely go up by three scores. Anyone else notice that? It’s playing down to your opponent or simply not having what it takes (yet) to step on the opponent’s neck and put teams away in the 3rd and 4th quarters. The 49ers’ D is so good that Kaep and Harbaugh can feel comfortable up by two scores. I believe one of the reasons Harbaugh brought in Kaep is because Harbaugh wants to step on the opponent’s neck and put teams away early. Say what you want about the Alex/ Kaep comparison and all the stats, but one thing Alex couldn’t do was put teams away. Kaep almost…… ALMOST put the Patriots away early. And that was his sixth start? Kaep now just needs to know that when up by two scores he can’t let up – he has to either play with the same intensity, or he needs to pickup his game even more.

      Bubba Paris, on the Point After with Mark Ibanez, said “Bill Walsh used to talk about the ebb and flow of the game – that regardless of score teams would win the momentum battle back and forth and you had to learn how to take back that momentum. I believe Ronnie Lott used to look for the “whew” hit for this exact reason – to take back momentum.

      If Kaep can learn to push the offense and set the tempo when the team is up, it’ll make it easier on the defense (provided Fangio learns also and doesn’t start going zone all day). That’s the next step for Kaep. Sure, he still needs to work on get the snap from under center, and he need to continue to get through his reads quicker, but putting teams away has got to be something he learns quickly. And not to beat a dead horse, but that’s why Harbaugh should have gone to Kaep quicker, not later. Russell Wilson knows already how to put teams away. He scored 50 or more twice, then hung like 48 on the 49ers. Russell knows how already and it’s because Carroll started Russell immediately. Harbaugh should have done the same thing.

      • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

        Spitblood

        You seem to have your selective memory turned on to HIGH today.
        You forget what they did to the Jets and the Bills.
        This team is not built to score 35 plus points every week and most here know that except you.
        The fanboy in you keeps insisting on points and stats. Go root for New Orleans.

      • Irish Kevin says:

        Tommy, then why the hell did they go out and get Moss, and make the switch at QB?? They are built to score, it’s just that The Defense has been so good and Gore has been the focus of the offens for so long, that Harbaugh and company still look to score early and then control the clock. Harbaugh and Company will look to pass early and if they go up by oh say 10 – 14 points they will go strictly to the run and hope the D does not give it up. That has been the SOP for the Niners.

      • Spitblood says:

        Touchdown Tommy Vardel…. er, I mean Charles…… Yeah, we put away the Bills and Jets…. and that’s about as tough as putting away the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

      • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

        Fortyniners only attempted 30 or more passes 5 times this year.
        In case you haven’t been paying attention, when they get pass happy they lose.

      • Spitblood says:

        The 49ers were also 31st in passing and are now 23rd. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s room for improvement.

      • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

        Like I said they should change everything just to entertain a fanboy?
        Reality check is this is how they’re constructed.
        I recall you kept posting last year how indestructible New Orleans was. Care to comment?

      • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

        The stat you neglect to mention is they were 31st in pass attempts but 23rd in passing yards and 4th in rushing yards.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Phil, I’m going to ask for playoff picks later in the week. . .

  8. unca_chuck says:

    From Vic Fangio (a la RG III):

    Today, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he wouldn’t allow All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith to keep playing Saturday against Green Bay if he’s clearly at far less than full strength. Smith will play 27 days after he sustained a partially torn left triceps in a win at New England.

    “If, from point of view, he’s not playing up to his standard or close to it, we’ll put the next guy in,” Fangio said. “It’s been my experience that someone at 80 percent is not as good as the next guy at 100 percent.”

    The next guy, of course, would be Ricky Jean Francois, who started the final two regular-season games with Smith sidelined for the first time since 2001. Smith returned to practice last week sporting a bulky black brace on his left arm. Fangio wouldn’t hazard a guess about Smith’s potential effectiveness in the divisional playoffs.

    “He’s doing fine,” Fangio said. “I mean, I don’t think we’ll know for sure until (Saturday) comes … He’s told me that he’s ready. And that’s good enough for me.”

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Fuck intensity. It’s the play calling, skippy. I wish they would push the agenda and run/pass out of the spread more. They rarely did it with Smith in all his years here, and they likely won’t do it very much with Kappy.

    As far as the NE game goes, they turtled on both sides of the ball. Ultra-conservative rarely works against good teams like it did vs the Jets and Bills/

  10. snarkk says:

    J Smith is wearing a brace, probably the same type that Ray Lewis wore Saturday. A guy wearing one looks like Optimus Prime, or Robocop, if you want to go back a ways…

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Robbie the Robot?

  12. Flavor says:

    well, I don’t have the sack to lay actual US scratch on the niners -3 but I’ve got no qualms about talking some shit on my favorite Niner blog. I’ll say the Niners win 26-16….
    I’m still wondering why people still think Justin Smith will play effectively. I don’t give a shit if he wears a brace or a freaking baby Jesus wrap around that arm. The other day I read someone at the Chron and he said that Smith was able to bend his arm. Hey, that’s great. One problem: the bicep muscle does that. The tricep is responsible for straightening the arm. I’d love for someone to educate me on just how in the hell Smith is going to straighten his arm to bum rush the tackle. And if he can’t do that, what good is he with only one working arm?
    As I’ve said many times, I’d prefer Ricky-Jean with his two good ones.
    And Smith’s likely underwhelming contribution to this game is a fantastic reason to take GB on the $ line. But I won’t be doing that because only the fakest of fake Niner fans would predict a loss for their team in a playoff game……..

    • Spitblood says:

      You were also 0-4 this week. Lol. Just playin’. I know what you’re saying. Maybe Cowboy can work something out. Like Fangio said, “We’ll see…..”

      • Flavor says:

        I recognize my street cred is zero after this last weekend’s predictions.I’m glad I didn’t bet a single dollar on those games.
        I’m due….
        But as the faceless, drunken one-liner actor said in Let’s it Ride, “So’s Jesus”….

    • unca_chuck says:

      Hey, I couldn’t believe I let my son talk me into betting $50.00 on the over in the Niner AZ game. Thank God for the garbage time TD on 4th and 16 . . .

    • phil fan says:

      Ok Flavor 26-16 it is

  13. Del Mar Dennis says:

    JERRY: You’re supposed to just take a peek after a poke. You were like you just put a quarter into one of those big metal things on top of the Empire State Building.

    GEORGE: It’s cleavage. I couldn’t look away. What am I, waiting to win an Oscar here? This is all I have in my life.

    JERRY: Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun, you don’t stare at it. It’s too risky. You get a sense of it and then you look away.

    I never tire of that great exchange. Speaking of great exchanges, how bout that quarterback exchange we made mid-season? The year started off with Alex Smith, then…yada yada yada. Happy days are here again…

  14. Grumpy Guy says:

    Some numbers courtesy of Branch at the Comical.

    According to Pro Football Focus, quarterbacks had a 71.7 rating when throwing into Bowman’s coverage. They had a 71.2 rating when throwing against Willis.

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, they’ll likely go back to the 4-2-5 deal with Cox subbbing for Willis/Bowman.

  16. snarkk says:

    Yep, I am very skeptical about J Smith playing and contributing much on Saturday, even with that arm brace. Crap, Ray Lewis was out 2 months before he played last Saturday, and he wasn’t taking on 650 pounds of O line beef every snap. How can you take on one big dude lineman, let alone two, with a wing that won’t flap, even if it’s braced? We’ll know within a few plays whether he’s going to contribute at all. My guess is no, and he’ll be patrolling the sidelines the rest of the day…

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Well, they have to go with RJF. My guess is they don’t use Smith on 1st or 2nd down or in running situations. They bring in Smith for passing downs.

    • shaman138 says:

      What can J. Smith seriously do in this game besides be a cheerleader? He can’t possibly be effective with only one arm and if he’s put in there the Packers will see it as an obvious blitz situation and pick it up easily.

      • unca_chuck says:

        They still need to put a man on him. Maybe his tear (obviously) wasn’t as bad as Parys Haralson’s. Or even Ray Lewis’s. Maybe he healed quickly.

        Maybe Harbaugh is pulling the old gimpy Jerry Rice ploy where Walsh would put Rice on the questionable list with an ankle injury and have him limp around the field in pre-game warmups, only to turn him loose during the game.

        In other words, who knows? We’ll find out in Saturday.

  18. Spitblood says:

    I think the 49ers dominate the Green Bay Packers. That, however, could be a kiss of death. Last NFC Divisional game for the ‘9ers I said we’d get stomped by the Saints. So maybe I’m jinxin’ us. But I have a feeling this greatness can’t be jinxed.

    • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

      Nothing like sitting on the fence and then saying I told you so.
      You are just full of excuses and fecal matter.

      • Spitblood says:

        You have an interesting philosophy about how to run a blog: Bring in fictitious characters to troll? There’s no “fence sitting,” about saying the 49ers will dominate the Green Bay Packers.

  19. shaman138 says:

    I see this one being virtually identical to last year’s Saints game, where SF gets ahead early and shuts down Rodgers, but Rodgers is dyanamic enough to stay in the game and make it a shoot-out. Kap & Co. will be able to score on Green Bay’s half-assed defense and I think they’ll be able to pull away with the game in the 4th quarter. I’m calling SF over GB 35-28.

  20. Spitblood says:

    Did we ever have Ryan Longwell in for a look? It’s hard for me to imagine that Billy Cundiff is better than Longwell.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    If they did, Seattle just signed Longwell (and DE Chukwuruha) to keep him off of the Niners.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Musta missed that, Spit. Didn’t see the game . . .

  23. Spitblood says:

    Young just said the 49ers need to get home with 4, and that Harbaugh has to limit Kaepernick. There’s insight for you…….

  24. unca_chuck says:

    Spitty shut the fuck up about how I run this place.

    And what the hell does get home with 4 mean? Gang bang?

  25. Alleykat says:

    The latest of the bizzare Jimbo Quotes..
    On Justin Smith’s avalability Saturday night, he said:”God willing if the creek don’t rise”
    So if the creek rises to high,are we up the creek without a paddle?

    • Flavor says:

      it’s more nonsense from Harbaugh, anyone that listens to a thing he says to the press is wasting their time. He’s just fucking with the questions from the press with everything he says, I can’t believe anyone can miss this…………

    • phil fan says:

      Yes we are IF… But we could try to “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” Might work

  26. Winder says:

    Our DB’s are gonna have to play their best game this week GB has 3 top WR’s that all catch balls in the middle. It will probably be the most active Willis and Bowman have been in a while. We HAVE to figure a way to get to Rodgers. I think we should run a no huddle offense for the most part and KEEP all penalties to a minimum(hear that db’s and ol-men) 41 – 34 Niners

  27. Flavor says:

    Spit, saying you’re jinxing us by picking the Niners to *stop* Gb isn’t a jinx. It’s just another blathering pick from a no-nothing blogger. You’re as good as your last pick and you correctly recalled your failure last year with the Saint game. I went with a confident Niner win pick that day.
    Then I went 0-4 this week with my playoff picks.
    That makes both of us dipshit prognosticators. Stand down and let others who haven’t failed go before you (if that blogger exists)……

  28. unca_chuck says:

    Just about everyone was 3-1 last week. I’ll put up a thread tomorrow about picking this weekend’s games.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      I can almost guarantee, no one is going to go 11-0 for the post-season. If it was that easy, we’d all make Vegas our bitch.

    • Alleykat says:

      Umm..Not everyone Chuck.Still enjoying by fat cigar& Scotch…

  29. Spitblood says:

    The reason I’m saying the 49ers dominate the Packers is because I think Harbaugh, Fangio and Roman have a lot up their sleeves they’ve been showing for a while now. Do you remember Harbaugh’s first preseason? They ran vanilla all over the field. Sure, it was a strike-shortened off season and the 49ers were up against it, but the team was very different week one than they were in the preseason. We all know Harbaugh has a lot of gamesmanship in him. Did you recently hear the Colin Kaepernick interview where he said, “Talking to the media gives away your edge.” That’s clearly the culture in SF – deception. That said, I do believe this team was tired going into the last two weeks of the season. But I also think (alongside the team being tired and not showing much), that Harbaugh and his coaches are playing games with other potential playoff teams. Harbaugh is smart enough to know long ago that his team was going to the playoffs and he’s been setting it up the scouts for a while now.

    All trickeration aside, the game is still the game. It’s nicer to get home with 4 (meaning you don’t have to blitz), but sometimes you have to gamble, and gambling needs to be smart. The 49ers do have a young qb, and like Steve Young said, they can’t drop Kaep back alla Mike Martz all day long. But I think like Jaws thinks – I think Kaep is more ready than Harbaugh is letting on. I think Kaep can and will sit back in the pocket, not need all the tricks or gimmicks, and Kaep will open up the passing game more than we’ve seen. Why? Because Harbaugh isn’t stupid. Kaep was inserted for a reason. If the 49ers just wanted to run their way to a Super Bowl (or try) they’d have stayed with Smith.

    I think the 49ers beat the Packers 42-17, and I think they do it with Justin Smith being expectantly limited.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      Your dreaming if you think Harbaugh is going to go all pass happy. the only way the Niners score that many points is if the pass/run ratio is like 65/35. Not happening with Harbaugh. He will stay conservative unless the Niners are down 10-14 points.

  30. Alleykat says:

    Jags dump Mike (what a bunch) of Mularkey.
    No suprise their…Doubtful he will be included in any of the Coaching Carouse jobs going forward..

  31. Spitblood says:

    Watched “Outside the Lines.” Junior Seau …… I’ll tell what the NFL is going to move towards. I don’t know about the kickoffs, but I truly believe the NFL will move towards ejecting players mid game and also using instant replay to see if a player lead with his head intentionally or couldn’t have tackled another player differently. That’s managing intent, which everyone knows is tough to do. But I truly believe the owners will approve the refs’ ability eject players for unsportsmanlike conduct.

  32. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Jack Harbaugh is such a polite and congenial old chap. How did his son become such a surly and curt prick? Jimbo must take after his mother. Mrs. Harbaugh must be one mean old battle axe.

  33. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Jimbo is sticking with Akers. Stubborn fuck. His old battle axe of a mom should beat ’em over the head with a switch.

  34. “Jimbo is sticking with Akers.”

    Told ya. Spitblood I think said the same: ‘Cundiff won’t be playing’. To which I added “JH is just playing with matches”. As speculated this was all a ploy to light a fire under Akers ass. Competition for the kicking job? No way Harbaugh switches kickers going into the playoff unless DA’s problems are seriously physical not seriously mental. JimBO is crazy true but not as crazy as yer bible toting Grandma- yet.

  35. unca_chuck says:

    If JH really wanted a competition, he would have brought in Longwell. The only good news is the only kicker worse than Akers was GB’s Jackie Mason Crosby. . .

    .

    New thread is up you game pickers, you.

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