NFC Playoffs: Green Bay (12-5) at San Francisco (11-4-1)
• Kickoff: 8 tonight, Candlestick Park
• TV-Radio: Fox (Ch. 28);
• Line: 49ers by 3
• Forecast: 51 degrees, partly cloudy
The 49ers have the advantage in the “What have you done for me lately?” category, with a physically dominant 30-22 victory over the Packers in week one. The Packers have history on their side, winning 13 of the past 15 games against San Francisco, including four of five in the playoffs and two of three at Candlestick Park. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, a native of northern California, has a homecoming of sorts and will play against the team he loved as a child.
Packers offensive line
vs. 49ers pass rush
The onus is on Green Bay protect Rodgers after allowing 51 sacks this season. 49ers OLB Aldon Smith has 191/2 sacks this season, and pass-rushing menace Justin Smith is expected back after missing the final two regular-season games because of a partially torn left triceps. When Rodgers has time, he’s hard to stop; he hasn’t thrown an interception in five straight games and 177 pass attempts, and his receiving corps is intact again, at last. “We understand that it’s going to be up to us to keep Aaron clean, let him make some plays back there in the pocket,” left guard T.J Lang said.
Stats and stuff
Green Bay has only five turnovers in its past six games, and it has held opponents to 20 points or fewer points in nine of the past 11 games. … The 49ers yielded 63 points fewer than the Packers in the regular season.… San Francisco didn’t have a three-game winning streak all season. … 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick will make his first playoff start.
Green Bay ranks third in NFL history with 30 postseason victories, and San Francisco is No. 4 with 26. Dallas and Pittsburgh are tied for most with 33 each.
How it might play out
Aside from the victory against Rodgers in the opener, the 49ers have defeated two other elite quarterbacks this season: Drew Brees in New Orleans and Tom Brady in New England. The outcome will hinge on how much time Rodgers has to work his magic, and time is of the essence against a 49ers defense that ranks third in the NFL overall, and fourth against the run and pass.
— From wire reports