3 Bold Predictions For The Packers vs. 49ers In Divisional Round

NFL Analysis Network

The Green Bay Packers finished the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the league, going 13-4. It was the third consecutive season they won 13 games in, as they earned a bye during Wild Card Weekend and the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC will go through Lambeau Field.

The Packers will be hosting the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round in a matchup that has become an organic rivalry. The 49ers have been a thorn in the side of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as he is 0-3 against San Francisco in his career.

He will be looking to snap that losing streak this week in what should be a great game. The 49ers present a difficult matchup for the Packers, but they are the No. 1 seed for a reason and will be ready to go come kickoff Saturday night.

What can we expect to see from the Packers? Here are three bold predictions for Green Bay in their Divisional Round matchup with the 49ers.

3. Returning Defenders Make Impact

Getting a bye week has its perks. Players can rest before embarking on a grueling path that teams hope ends with raising the Lombardi Trophy. For the Packers, this bye week will enable them to get some reinforcements in the lineup.

Green Bay has played a large portion of the season without some important defenders and they could all return against the 49ers. Jaire Alexander, Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus are all on track to play this weekend despite lengthy layoffs.

Having an extra week to practice and prep will do them wonders as they will have a major impact on the game. Smith and Mercilus will each record at least one sack or tackle for loss, creating havoc in the 49ers’ backfield.

Alexander will record an interception in his return off of Jimmy Garoppolo. His return will be a huge boost for a secondary that has finally found players to get the job done opposite of him.

2. Davante Adams Goes Off

Arguably the biggest advantage that the Packers have heading into this matchup is wide receiver, Devante Adams. The 49ers have struggled at times against the pass this season as their secondary is one of the weaker units on the team.

They figured things out a little more as the season went on, but expect Rodgers to test them early and often with Adams. As they have done so many times before, the dynamic duo will connect for a monster performance.

In the meeting between these teams in Week 3, Adams caught 12 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown. In the Wild Card game, Adams will catch 10 passes for 120 yards and two scores.

1. Deebo Samuel Held Under 90 Total Yards

The 49ers suffered significant injuries to their backfield. They have cycled through numerous players throughout the season but have settled on Elijah Mitchell as their lead back. But, they have had a wrinkle in the run game since a Week 10 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.

That is the first time we saw Deebo Samuel take on an expanded role in the backfield. His explosiveness and power are on display even more as a ball carrier than when he is catching passes at wide receiver.

The experiment has been an excellent one, as Samuel is averaging 6.2 yards per carry during the regular season. He has averaged 46 rushing yards per game since Week 10, including the Wild Card victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He has also recorded 62.3 receiving yards per game, averaging a healthy 108.3 yards from scrimmage per game.

It will be a tall task, but the Packers will find a way to hold him in check. Samuel will get held to less than 90 total yards, which has happened only seven times the entire season.